The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative that speaks to many diverse segments of science, culture and society and forms bridges between them. A number of major international Organizations, Commissions and Unions have endorsed the Year and its goals, including the promotion of optical technologies in solving some of society’s most pressing problems—from medicine to energy-- as well as bringing awareness of how light can promote positive aspects of the human condition, through philosophy, art, design, etc.