The International Day of Light is a global initiative that provides an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy. The broad theme of light will allow many different sectors of society worldwide to participate in activities that demonstrates how science, technology, art, and culture can help achieve the goals of UNESCO – education, equality, and peace.
The International Day of Light is administered from the International Basic Science Programme (IBSP) of UNESCO by a Steering Committee that includes representatives from a broad range of international partners.
The major goals of the International Day of Light are:
- Improve the public understanding of how light and light-based technologies touch the daily lives of everybody and are central to the future development of the global society.
- Build worldwide educational capacity through activities targeted on science for young people, addressing issues of gender balance, and focusing especially on developing countries and emerging economies.
- Highlight and explain the intimate link between light and art and culture, enhancing the role of optical technology to preserve cultural heritage.
- Enhance international cooperation by acting as a central information resource for activities coordinated by learned societies, NGOs, government agencies, educational establishments, industry, and other partners.
- Emphasize the importance of basic research in the fundamental science of light, the need for investment in light-based technology to develop new applications, and the global necessity to promote careers in science and engineering in these fields.
- Promote the importance of lighting technology and the need for access to light and energy infrastructure in sustainable development, and for improving the quality of life in the developing world.
- Raise awareness that technologies and design can play an important role in the achievement of greater energy efficiency, in particular by limiting energy waste, and in the reduction of light pollution, which is key to the preservation of dark skies.