On April 18, the world celebrates World Heritage Day, also known as the International Day for Monuments & Sites; and the day is dedicated to promoting the importance and value of cultural heritage. It’s also all about raising awareness about the need to preserve historical sites & monuments across the globe. Besides celebrating the unique and diverse cultural heritage across the world, it encourages people to appreciate and safeguard it for future generations.
It was in 1982, that the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) proposed the idea of World Heritage Day, which was approved by UNESCO’s General Conference the following year. The first World Heritage Day was celebrated in 1983; and since then, it has become an important annual event for promoting awareness about cultural heritage.
Theme for World Heritage Day 2023
The theme for World Heritage Day 2023 is – “Heritage Changes”, which focuses on the crucial issue of climate action and its relation to cultural heritage. In the past, the theme has been based on various aspects of cultural heritage, such as – “Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility” in 2020, “Heritage for Generations” in 2018, and “Cultural Heritage & Sustainable Tourism” in 2017.
Heritage: driver of creative entrepreneurship
It is significant that creativity is the driving force behind innovation & entrepreneurship in India. Entrepreneurs who are creative – “creativepreneurs” in their approach to problem-solving are more likely to come up with unique and innovative solutions.
And, cultural entrepreneurship actually promotes creativity – a country’s heritage, resources and creative talents through products, services and experiences. It shapes the country’s cultural economy; enables economic growth, innovation and socio-cultural development; and, when exported, contributes towards building ‘soft’ power. India, with a millennia-old heritage, indeed has the potential to become a leading cultural and creative economy in the world. Hence, it is important to work towards developing India’s cultural and creative economy.
Heritage as a driver for new local creative entrepreneurship: Local cultural and creative entrepreneurship can be the catalyst of new models of economic and social value creation. It can contribute to increasing levels of regional innovation and productivity – through new product design, new production techniques, new business models, innovative ways of reaching out to audiences and consumers, and emerging forms of co-production.
Here’s a reality check. There is a proven enduring appetite for India’s cultural offerings across the globe – be it health, cuisine, organic beauty, or handicrafts.
A robust network of cultural entrepreneurs, industry leaders, interest groups, and consumers is integral – for augmenting India’s cultural footprint.
Leveraging India’s cultural assets economically to their maximum potential – can pave the way for India to emerge as a leader in the cultural economy.