Category Archives: Sustainable Development

The Story of How World Creativity and Innovation Day became a UN Day of Observance in video

Greetings all,

Happy to share this video with you – it’s the 15-minute Ted-like speech I gave in Buffalo this past fall at the Creativity Expert Exchange hosted by the International Center for Studies in Creativity.

In it, the founding of WCID is shared, as is the tale of how the day became a United Nations Day of Observance and why that is important. Spoiler alert: it’s centered on using creativity in problem-solving especially with regard to meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Imagine applying creative thinking and creative evaluation to assess and address the challenges  – to find solutions that work.

As a reminder – World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 was founded to encourage people to use new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes that make the world a better place and make one’s place in the world better too. How fitting to align this with meeting the Global Goals.

After you’ve taken a look at the video, scroll further for information on the Global Goals Interconnectedness and see what you can do to help meet any of the goals by reviewing the Global Goals List that follows.

With thanks to Nicolette Wever

The Global Goals are Interconnected

The goals’ interconnectedness and influences are spelled out in a paper Water, Peace and Global Security: Canada’s Place in a Changing World, delivered by R.W. Sandford, EPCOR Chair, Water and Climate Security, United Nations University, Institute for Water, Environment & Health at the University of Victoria, British Columbia Jan 23, 2018.

See Global Goals list below*

“All 17 of the UN’s 2030 Transforming Our World global sustainable development goals can be achieved by realizing the link between water security, climate stability and human and planetary health.

Water security means clean water and sanitation for all. It also means managing water on a basin scale which means protecting aquatic ecosystems which improve life on land and life below water which leads to improvements in agriculture which will help end hunger; which also helps to end poverty.

Managing water in a manner that will help end hunger and poverty, however, cannot be achieved without industry innovation and infrastructure; but innovation and infrastructure development cannot come into existence without quality education which demands gender equity which in itself leads to reduced inequality.

Quality education, gender equity, and reduced inequality lead to economic growth. It is only through economic stability that we will be able to make a smooth transition to affordable and clean energy for all which is a critical step toward climate action. Climate action will help restore planetary health thereby contributing to better physical and mental health and well-being for all.

Improved human health and well-being allows an ever more crowded world to react more proactively and be more resilient to growing public health threats like epidemic outbreaks which, in tandem with climate action will reduce the specter of large-scale forced human migration. This, in itself, will lead to peace and justice and strong institutions. Such institutions are necessary to guide humanity toward responsible production and consumption. It is only through strong institutions, responsible production and consumption, clean water, sanitation and climate action can we have sustainable cities and communities.

Making and acting upon the link between water security, climate stability and human and planetary health will demand the creation of the new kinds of partnerships that are necessary if we are to achieve all 17 of these global goals simultaneously. The building of such partnerships will build trust which will contribute to state and military security globally.”

*Global Goals List

1. No Poverty

This goal, which seeks to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. The UN defines extreme poverty as living on less than $1.50 a day. Perhaps most importantly, this goal includes measures to protect those who have had to leave their homes and countries as a result of conflict.

2. No Hunger

The UN seeks to both improve the access that the world’s poorest have to food, and the ways in which that food is produced.

3. Good Health and Well-being

This goal focuses on continuing to reduce child mortality, the health of mothers, and combating other diseases.

4. Quality Education

Improving worldwide access to education is a top priority. It calls for free education through high school, rather than limiting it to primary school only.

5. Gender Equality

This goal advocates for the elimination of violence and discrimination against women. It also calls on countries to improve women’s social and economic standing.

6. Clean Water and Sanitation

The UN reports that by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water. This goal aims to improve sanitation and hygiene practices, including access to fresh water, in developing nations by 2030.

7. Affordable and Clean Energy

This goal seeks to broaden both the development and use of renewable energies by 2030, the next deadline date for achieving these goals.

8. Decent Work and Economic Growth

The UN is interested in both the creation of new jobs, and the development of those jobs that are sustainable enough to lift employees out of poverty. According to UN estimates, “roughly 470 million jobs are needed globally for new entrants to the labor market between 2016 and 2030.”

9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

This goal focuses primarily on the building of roads, rail systems, and telecommunications networks in the developing world.

10. Reduce Inequalities

This goal aims at reducing the inequalities in income distribution among the most marginalized populations in the world, both within developed and developing nations. The UN estimates that “a significant majority of households in developing countries – more than 75 percent of the population – are living today in societies where income is more unequally distributed than it was in the 1990s.”

11. Sustainable Cities and Communities

With urban populations on the rise over the past decade, the world is on a hunt for ways to house, feed, and employ that burgeoning population. This goal seeks to tackle that problem by reducing the number of people who live in slums by 2030. It also aims to reduce the pollution output coming from those urban centers.

12. Responsible Consumption and Production

This goal, a continuation of Goal 6, seeks to improve the access that people in developing countries have to food and clean water, while at the same time improving how food is produced on a global scale. It also aims to address the global obesity crisis.

13. Climate Action

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals looks at quickly and efficiently reducing greenhouse-gas emissions in both developed and developing nations.

14. “Life Below Water”

The UN is interested in sustainable fishing practices and protecting marine life. They estimate that nearly “40 percent of the world oceans are heavily affected by human activities, including pollution, depleted fisheries, and loss of coastal habitats.”

15. Life on Land

The UN is also interested in protecting creatures on land, with an emphasis on reducing deforestation and desertification.

16. “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions”

A goal that envisions fair and free elections, as well as governmental accountability at every level. The UN estimates that “corruption, bribery, theft, and tax evasion cost some US $1.26 trillion for developing countries per year.”

17. Partnerships For the Goals

In keeping with practices established with the 2000 Millennium Development Goals, the UN continues to envision a global framework of support to make sure that its goals are realized.

Adapted from:

See what you can do. Release human potential for a purpose.



New Ideas Need a Soft Place To Land

You can quote me on this. I’ve been using the phrase and the idea behind it for years to explain that people feel more comfortable contributing new thinking, knowing their ideas will be well received; that psychological safety exists.


Let’s face it, over 15,000 scientists worldwide agree we need to shift away from ‘business as usual’ toward a more environmentally sustainable way of acting, living. With that big ask, comes opportunities to use imagination, to free thinking to create new futures.

Environments with psychological safety give new ideas a soft place to land. Not necessarily adopted, as put into action, heard and considered.

Psychologically safe environments let people risk new ways of thinking and understanding challenges, and stretch beyond ‘normal’ to consider alternative methods, outcomes, and activities without feeling threatened, insecure or embarrassed.  In other words, out of the box thinking is welcomed; people walk the talk, they encourage using curiosity and exploration.

I recently read Inc magazine’s recently published article The Results of Google’s Team Effectiveness Research Will Make You Rethink How You Build Teams.  It cited the importance of psychological safety as a determinant of effective teams. Other qualities are dependability, structure and clarity, meaning, and impact.

What if, in the lead up to World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, you planned to enable psychological safety in your environment?

Innovation is about people after all. New ideas need a soft place to land. See what you can do to be open and receptive to new thinking – yours and others’.

WCID founder Marci Segal outside the UN April 20, 2017. WCID founder Marci Segal outside the UN April 20, 2017.

Use your creativity. Do what you can leading up to and after WCID April 21 every year.

Your creativity is needed to help transition from today’s chaos to create a clarity around decision-making.

What if every decision we make contributes to our having, living in, sharing and promoting a healthy planet?

Our systems are broken. Your creativity is being challenged, in a good way.

Here’s where we are today (from a presentation by Mark Stevenson). Evidence of broken systems, in broad brush strokes:

  • We have lost trust in institutions that govern us
  • Democracy is in retreat – we use a 19th-century system to deal with 21st-century challenges
  • Media sets us against each other; divides us
  • Energy use is unsustainable
  • Healthcare is often a labyrinth of ‘sick care’ rather than reinforcing and sustaining ‘healthiness’
  • The financial system is riddled with risk and short-term-ism
  • Our education systems are stuck in the 1950’s
  • More than half employees hate their jobs – recognizing they are working in a morally blind system that no longer serves the needs of our future.
Imagine applying your creativity – new ideas, new decisions, new actions for new outcomes – to create a decent life for all on a sustainable planet.

What if, instead for example,

  • We had trust in institutions that govern us
  • Democracy is shaped to deal with 21st-century challenges
  • Media unites us
  • Energy use is sustainable
  • Healthcare reinforces and sustains ‘healthiness’
  • The financial system is geared toward the long-term
  • Our education systems are future looking
  • More than half employees like their jobs. They recognize they work in a moral system that serves the needs of our future.
See what you can do.
Celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21.
Find a way to make a creative and meaningful difference.


Your Creativity Needed: Ideas for Your 2018 World Creativity & Innovation Day April 21 Celebration

Greetings all,

Today, August 2, is Earth Overshoot Day. Essentially, this is the date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year. This short video explains what that is and means.  

On April 27 this year, the United Nations General Assembly declared World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, (WCID) as a day to direct global attention to using creativity in problem-solving to make the world a better place; today, we can apply it to help achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

This one approach might be interesting to pursue as a WCID April 21 project.  It can be used at home, in school, in clubs, at work, in communities, you name it.

  1. Awareness – open the door to new opportunities to use creativity in problem-solving to make the world a better place
  2. Assess – your environmental footprint
  3. Action – generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions, achieve new outcomes to prototype ways that reduce your footprint (aka use creativity in problem-solving)
  4. Audit – reassess your environmental footprint, collect learnings from your prototype
  5. Announce – share your results and learnings during World Creativity and Innovation Week, April 15 – 21, leading up to World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21. #wcid2018

Thoughts? Ideas? What might be other ways?


Your creativity is needed to save the world

Your creativity is needed. UN call for more action on 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

Here’s the plan…

  1. Use your imagination.
  2. Create strategies to help move the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals forward.
  3. Action something.
  4. Report your progress, achievements, learnings, and next steps for a massive World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 celebration
  5. This will show how we use creativity in problem-solving to make the world a better place and make our place in the world better too.

Conversation and ideas are welcome.

In what ways are you able to help?

Stay tuned, stay curious, stay hopeful, make a difference.

We can.  So cool.

World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 and
World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21
Let’s learn together


The lazy person’s guide to saving the world – United Nations Sustainable Development

Thinking about your celebration for World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, 2018 and World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21, 2018?

Why not engage in using your creativity in problem solving to help achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015?

Take a look at the Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World for inspiration – see what you can contribute…