As every April 26, the date when the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was founded in 1970, the United Nation’s member countries celebrate this UN agency’s goal: to dedicate its work to the use of intellectual property (patents, copyright, trademarks, designs, etc.) as a means of stimulating innovation and creativity.
For 2012, WIPO is celebrating Visionary Innovators. Behind every great artistic or technological innovation, the agency explains, is a human story “…a tale in which new pathways open as a result of the curiosity, insight or determination of individuals…”
We are all familiar with the iconic symbols of inspiration and innovation nad, this year, are invited to explore the stories behind the phenomenon. For example:
- The Wright Brothers’ boyhood fascination with flight lead to a flying machine and travel by air.
- Louis Pasteur’s inquisitive mind advances the science of disease prevention.
- Tu Youyou’s dogged analysis of herbal remedies results in a malaria treatment that saves millions of lives.
- Steve Jobs’ ambition to make digital technology simple and accessible to everyone gives rise to personal computing and – three decades on – a new paradigm for the delivery of entertainment.
As depicted on the official poster, the list of visionary innovators suggested by WIPO is long, including the many artists, writers and musicians who changed the way we see and hear things: Rembrandt and Turner, Picasso and Kandinski, each reshaping our perceptions of light, shape and form; Chekhov and Tagore, Neruda and Mafouz, their writing giving new insights into the human experience; Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, Hendrix and Rostropovich – musicians who challenge the status-quo, and endure.
Archives of past activities, videos, and a poster gallery are available in WIPO’s archives.