IP and the SDGs: Building Our Common Future with Innovation and Creativity

Published: April 26, 2024

Brand & New

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Edward Kwakwa

Edward Kwakwa WIPO Switzerland

Today is World Intellectual Property (IP) Day. Established by the World Intellectual Property Organization— or WIPO—in 2000, World IP Day serves to raise awareness of the positive role of IP—including copyright, designs, patents, and trademarks—in society and in the daily lives of consumers, and to celebrate IP as a driver of innovation, creativity, and economic development. WIPO selected April 26 for World IP Day as it was on this day in 1970 that the Convention Establishing WIPO entered into force.

Each year, World IP Day focuses on a specific theme. This year, it looks at the ways in which IP is advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals—or SDGs. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 SDGs, which are an urgent call for action by all countries—developed and developing—in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

Titled, “IP and the SDGs: Building our common future with innovation and creativity,” World IP Day 2024 looks at how we need to re-think how we live, work, and play, if we are to build a common future and achieve the SDGs. It is an opportunity to explore how IP encourages and amplifies the innovative and creative solutions that are so crucial to building our common future, and how inventors, creators, and entrepreneurs can benefit from IP to achieve their own goals while also heling improve people’s lives and safeguard our planet in line with the SDGs.

Our guest today is Edward Kwakwa, Assistant Director General, Global Challenges and Partnerships Sector, at WIPO. The Global Challenges and Partnerships Sector covers issues relating to traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions, and genetic resources. It also leads WIPO’s efforts to work with other UN agencies and international organizations on cross-cutting global issues; builds on and expands partnerships with stakeholders, including those from international, business, and civil society sectors; and builds bridges with new stakeholders.

ADG Kwakwa served as General Counsel at WIPO from 2004 until September 2016. He holds an LL.B. degree from the University of Ghana, an LL.M. from Queen’s University in Canada, and an LL.M. and a J.S.D. from Yale Law School in the United States. Before joining WIPO, he practiced with the law firm of O’Melveny and Myers in Washington, D.C., worked as International Legal Adviser at the Commission on Global Governance in Geneva, Switzerland, as Senior Legal Adviser at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and as Legal Affairs Officer at the World Trade Organization.

Related Resources

About Edward Kwakwa


About World IP Day


WIPO’s Global Challenges and Partnerships Sector


The United Nation’s SDGs


About Brand & New

Brand & New podcasts from the International Trademark Association

Our hosts discuss compelling business and legal topics relating to intellectual property, innovation, technology, and change with an international roster of influential experts and industry visionaries.

Brand & New guests contribute to this podcast in their personal capacity, and the opinions expressed (or experiences shared) are their own. They do not purport to reflect the views or opinions of INTA or our members.

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