The quest for knowledge and the power that it bestows are among the most important threads in the fabric of human development. As we celebrate International Literacy Day on September 8, we recognize the importance of education in creating future societies that will be sustainable and peaceful. This year’s topic, “Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies,” highlights the criticality of this pursuit and encourages us to think about the far-reaching effects of a well-lit path towards enlightenment. The need to encourage education takes on a heightened sense of urgency in a world that is experiencing transformations on a scale never seen before. The world today requires that we offer our societies the ability to negotiate complexity, adapt, and innovate to keep up with the pace of rapid change. The theme for this year’s Literacy Day perfectly encapsulates the ever-changing nature of our time, shedding light on the importance of literacy as a cornerstone upon which long-term advancement will be established. It is the acknowledgment that societies, through change, are required to foster a pervasive culture of learning across all facets of life. Although educational institutions are often tasked with fostering literacy, the business world also has an essential part to play in this endeavor. Beyond the field of commerce, businesses are crucial members of the community and carry the individual and collective responsibility for progressing humanity. The indisputable connection between increased levels of education and societal and economic advancement suggests an avenue through which contributions from corporations could create a huge impact. The importance of this endeavour can be clarified by reviewing some relevant facts and figures. Around the world, over 260 million children and adolescents do not attend school, and for millions more, illiteracy continues to be a barrier to growth. In the presence of such inequities, there is really no possibility of the development of progressive societies. Consider also that more than 770 million individuals worldwide, almost two-thirds of whom are women, lack the basic literacy skills necessary for survival. The vicious cycles of poverty, inequality, and social unrest are all fueled by inadequate educational opportunities. Nevertheless, these numbers do more than simply bring attention to the issue; they also bring awareness to the unique potential for change that education can bring about. The participation of the corporate world in efforts to improve educational opportunities is not an act of pure benevolence, but rather an investment in a more promising future. When companies connect their commercial objectives with the quest for knowledge, they tap into a pool of unrealized potential. Corporations can have a role in developing the future workforce, nurturing innovation, and building social harmony by providing financial assistance to educational initiatives. The path leading to a more educated and enlightened society calls for a united front of government organizations, educational establishments, and the corporate sector. Each one of us is responsible for ensuring that the benefits of education are accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of factors such as where they live or socioeconomic standing. According to predictions, raising literacy levels could lift 171 million people out of poverty if we If we play our part responsibly. Improving literacy rates could have a domino effect on society. Raising literacy rates results in better healthcare outcomes, higher political engagement, lower crime rates, and economic expansion. According to UNESCO, a 1% rise in the literacy rate leads to a 2.5% increase in GDP per capita. That’s a great return on investment! The lasting impact of International Literacy Day serves as a reminder that the pursuit of knowledge by individuals and communities alike lays the groundwork for a world in which sustainable progress and peaceful coexistence are not merely ideals but rather realities. Children in a country without access to education are like uncharted stars in the night sky, waiting for the dawn of knowledge to illuminate their full potential. As we celebrate International Literacy Day, let’s dedicate ourselves to igniting the spark of learning in every facet of our society. Let us maintain our cohesiveness in our commitment to building a culture that values exploration, critical thinking, and collaboration. By equipping people with academic opportunities, we allow them to seize the chances of the present and help define the framework of a prosperous and fulfilled future. Writer is CEO at Sunridge Foods.