Innovate! Create! To save the planet

Imlisanen Jamir

This Easter Sunday was the second ‘official’ celebration of World Creativity and Innovation Day; a day which is incidentally celebrated six days after Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday and one day before International Mother Earth Day.

According to the United Nations, the WCID aims to raise awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in problem-solving and by extension, in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The goals are lofty and the concepts are slathered in a euphoric optimism, as is always the case with rhetoric by organisations like the UN, but the message is direct and should be pursued and integrated into societies worldwide, especially the focus on small and medium-sized enterprises and the youth in promoting innovation and creativity.

The goal to develop a holistic view of development rests on encouraging platforms that promote use of creative thinking technologies toward the achievement of sustainable development.

This is a concept that we should weave into our way of life because if we rely on best practices and couple them with creative thinking and technologies, we will find that we can solve most of our problems.

As this sets us up to think innovatively and holistically, today is International Mother Earth Day, a day observed to remind is that there is only one home for us.

While surrounded by global conflicts, and humans obsessed with fighting each other, the day reinforces the fact that all of us dwell on a relatively small planet with dwindling, finite natural resources and we should all do our part to preserve it.

While the UN and a small part of the world patter on these messages, the unfortunate thing is that days such as these have very little impact beyond being established. For most people, they don’t exist, and any such message gets lost in the other issues that people have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

People may deem them to be unnecessary and choose to ignore them, but we hope that everyone that reads this will pause and take just a few minutes to reflect on the importance of these messages on their lives and the lives of future generations.

It should not take the UN to point out the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit or the significant non-monetary value that creativity and culture contributes to inclusive social development, to dialogue and understanding between peoples but it helps that they do.

Last week, sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg pointed out to the European Parliament how the world watched with despair and sorrow as the 800-year-old Notre-Dame Cathedral burned in Paris.

“I hope it has strong foundations and I hope we have strong foundations, but I’m not so sure.” She urged the world to recognise overarching message in how the burning cathedral was dealt with. Pledge to rebuild our “burning” planet like people did to rebuild the burnt Notre-Dame cathedral, Thunberg said.

So, today, tomorrow and every day, be creative and innovative as you seek to pay tribute to Mother Earth.

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