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How to Develop Creativity and Innovation

How to Develop Creativity and Innovation

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Wondering how to develop creativity and innovation? Start by dedicating one day.

How to Develop Creativity and Innovation

If you're wondering how to develop creativity and innovation, you can start by dedicating one day and by joining in on the World Creativity and Innovation Day and Week celebrations. 



A Brief History of WCID

The idea to dedicate a day and then a week to celebrate creativity and innovation came about when in 2017, the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized April 21 as World Creativity and Innovation Day—a day to “raise awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in problem-solving and, by extension, economic, social and sustainable development.”

(Resolution 71/284, World Creativity and Innovation Day, UN General Assembly)

And it spawned an organization, dedicated to promoting the benefits of creativity because 

"Creativity is what makes the world go ’round. Everything around you is a product of creative minds thinking differently, challenging the norm, taking risks and learning from trial and error. Everything you do can be a creative act."


Setting aside a day to focus on creativity and innovation was the brain-child of  Marci Segal, a graduate of the International Center for Studies in Creativity (ICSC). 

On May 25, 2001, the Canadian newspaper National Post, published an article about Canada’s creativity crisis. The article chronicled a debate between artists and scientists - who was more creative? Marci, in her words, “lost it.” “Give me a break!” she said. “We ALL have the capacity to be creative!”

So Marci used her creativity, and World Creativity and Innovation Day was born. April 21 was selected as the date due to its proximity to Earth Day, thinking that people could apply their creativity toward greening the planet.

Marci advocates that World Creativity and Innovation Day is a day to take the time to  “create new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes to make the world a better place, and to make our place in the world better as well.” Thanks to the ICSC and the Creative Education Foundation, the first celebrations occurred in 2002. The idea caught on, and now fifty nations join in the celebrations.

In 2017, UN Ambassador I. Rhonda King, Permanent Representative to the United Nations from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, contacted Marci. She said, was looking for a way to bring creative problem solving to the United Nations. Do I have your permission to make World Creativity and Innovation Day a UN Day of Observance?” Of course, Marci agreed!

On April 27, 2017, Ambassador King read the resolution to the UN General Assembly for World Creativity and Innovation Day to be an International Day of Observance.


You can hear Marci tell the story of how World Creativity and Innovation Day came to be, including snippets of Ambassador King’s speech to the UN, in this video

You can read the UN resolution here.

What excited and inspired Marci in particular about the UN resolution to observe World Creativity and Innovation Day on April 21 of each year, was the focus of the UN on using creative problem solving to address all seventeen of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These goals are a “universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.” As Marci says, “This is all of life on our planet. We have a day.”

Make time to be creative

The purpose of World Creativity and Innovation Day is to give people the space and time to be creative. To give them ways to experience creativity in new ways.

For people who think creativity is frivolous or who think that some people “have it” and some don’t, I can assure you, that's just not the case.  All people are creative. And regardless of our level of ability, creativity can be enhanced - it is teachable, and it improves with practice.

Celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week

Celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week by getting your work team, friends and family involved. Take the opportunity to do something new and different. 

There are lots of opportunities for new thinking and new innovation, and the thing is, each one of us already has the capacity, so why not use it?

We've come up with 5 ways to celebrate during World Creativity and Innovation Week. Choose one of our ideas or come up with one of your own. 

Take a walk in the forest. The practice of “Forest Bathing”—simply being in the presence of trees”—originated in Japan in the 1980s, and has been shown to have many health benefits. As an added bonus, people who make Forest Bathing a part of their regular practice experience clearer intuition and increased energy.

Take a walk in a labyrinth. Labyrinths are tools for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation, also thought to enhance right-brain activity. Our Founder, Janice did her master’s thesis on labyrinths and their connection to creativity, and later wrote a book about the labyrinth experience. We offer this book to you as a free download; click on the book title to download your PDF copy of Creative Walker's Guide to the Labyrinth. If you are inspired to take a walk in a labyrinth, here's a handy Worldwide Labyrinth Locator to find one near you.

Do something you haven’t done before: Try a new flavour of ice cream, check out a new restaurant, or visit a new museum or art exhibit. Making a habit of doing something out of the ordinary; even walking around the block in the opposite direction to how you normally do it can shake things up and improve creativity.

Take a nap! Taking time to recharge is a great way to encourage incubation of ideas.

Read a book about creativity: Share the book with your family, friends or colleagues. Books make for great dinner time, lunch table or cocktail party chatter. We have many suggestions in this blog post on Reading for Creativity.

And, if you want to learn more about how you can apply creative problem solving to challenging problems, check out the Audible listen for The Innovative Team: Unleashing Creative Potential for Breakthroughs.



in "Building Capacity for Innovation"
in "Building Capacity for Innovation"
in "Building Capacity for Innovation"

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