LIVE: ISO Week 2021
Breaking news from ISO’s flagship event.
Welcome to ISO Week 2021. We will be bringing you the inside story of this event as it unfolds. Keep an eye on this page for regular updates
Friday 24 september
THE Lde award winner
The London Declaration
ISO names winner for Next Generation Award
The winner of ISO’s Next Generation Award is Andia Persad-Maharaj from the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS). The award recognizes a young professional from a member that is championing sustainability-driven standardization. A design engineer by education, Andia holds the national standards portfolios for energy efficiency, occupational health and safety, and automotive products. She is particularly interested in how to incorporate sustainability into standardization, delivering solutions toward a shared vision for a better world. As an emerging leader in the field of standardization, ISO looks forward to welcoming Andia to the Central Secretariat in Geneva for a six-month secondment during 2022.
Welcome to DAY 3
Welcome to the last day of ISO Week 2021. With an energetic kick-off, three breakout sessions are underway on the topics of Innovation, Diversity and Inclusion, and Climate and Governance – which we look forward to sharing a bit more about soon…
The final session of the General Assembly will take place at 12 pm UK time, with lots more opportunities to engage via the Q&A session.
Thursday 23 september
results of Council and Officers voting announced
The General Assembly gives ISO members the power to determine the future of the Organization through voting representatives to the ISO Council, as well as the election of ISO Officers who perform roles of the highest strategic importance.
New Council members elected
Announced today at the General Assembly, the following five members were elected to sit on the ISO Council from the start of 2022 until the end of 2024.
- BIS, the ISO member for India
- DSM, the ISO member for Malaysia
- KEBS, the ISO member for Kenya
- SA, the ISO member for Australia
- TSE, the ISO member for Turkey
Two new ISO Officers elected
- Christoph Winterhalter (from DIN, the ISO member for Germany) has been appointed Vice-President (policy) for the 2022 to 2023 term.
- Javier Garcia (from UNE, the ISO member for Spain) has been appointed Vice-President (technical management) for the 2023 to 2024 term, and will serve as Vice-President-elect from the beginning of 2022.
ISO well equipped to support members through COVID-19 and beyond
The challenges and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the many rapid measures ISO took to support its members were key highlights of the Secretary-General’s report during today’s General Assembly session.
“It is not just about surviving but about being resilient and future proof,” said Secretary-General Sergio Mujica. “The ISO Strategy 2030 is resilient, flexible and adaptable, allowing us to face this new reality and be more relevant than ever.” He described the new IT tools and virtual support and services that were put in place to help members continue to develop standards and interact with their stakeholders effectively. He also outlined a number of new projects and initiatives, including the ISO Foresight Framework, which is aimed at identifying trends and future opportunities for standardization.
Activities to support gender equality, reinforce partnerships, engage stakeholders and reach broader audiences were other highlights of his report. Finally, Mr Mujica also proudly announced that ISO had published 1 627 deliverables over the year, including standards developed to support global efforts in dealing with the pandemic that were made freely available online.
DAY 2 UNDERWAY
Good morning ☀ and welcome to Day 2!
The day is kicking off with the second and final run of the Workshop: Facing the future.
With 149 participants taking part in last night’s session, another 155 delegates are this morning exploring the world in 2040.
Wednesday 22 september
What can we expect of the future?
We can’t predict the future, but we can analyze current trends to identify potential scenarios of what it could look like.
Participants at ISO week took a journey that plunged them into three different visions for 2040 during the workshop, Facing the future. Together they identified the implications for standards topics, standards products, the standards business model and the structure of the international standardization system.
From the impact of climate change, to the geopolitical landscape, to the different ways technology will change our lives, building scenarios is one of the main methods used in strategic foresight to help organizations better plan for the future.
“This is an opportunity to experience something different; to get creative and develop a proactive mindset.” said Sergio Mujica, ISO Secretary-General, opening the workshop.
By confronting potential challenges, “we can seize opportunities to maintain our relevance and maximise our positive impact on the world”.
ISO Head of Research and Innovation, Belinda Cleeland, presented ISO’s standardization foresight framework. “This project addresses one of our 2030 goals, meeting user needs, by helping us identify future opportunities for international standardization, and making us more proactive and future focused.”
Act today to serve our future common agenda
“This General Assembly is the moment you go from detecting the signals of the future to acting on what those signals tell you,” said Cat Tully, founder of SOIF, the School of International Futures, as she delivered her keynote during ISO Week 2021. Her call to action explored how we can become more agile and innovative to better address the complexities our world is facing.
Cat drew attention to the ISO Strategy 2030, which is based on drivers of change and a vision for a better world encapsulated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. “The ISO Strategy puts you in a position to act today to serve our future common agenda,” she emphasized. “ISO brings the world together and connects markets based on principles of transparency, accountability and openness.”
“But your job within the ISO family is not just defending and upholding those core values. It is about continuing to find the best ways to use them,” she said, challenging participants to transform how they work to make the most of the risks and opportunities these drivers of change provide. “At a moment of planetary urgency, the ISO family should be using those strengths to achieve more for our people and planet.”
Cat called on ISO to become a platform for change, inviting participants to challenge assumptions of how the sector operates today, and engage in a true debate.
“In a world full of uncertainty and challenges, there has never been a greater need for truly international standards”
Speaking from the opening day of ISO Week 2021 in London, UK government Minister for International Trade Ranil Jayawardena pointed to an essential role for International Standards. Jayawardena drew attention to the challenges of global trade and, in particular, its many interrelated elements and growing intricacy. He said that the importance of standards was increasing in line with the increasing complexity of supply chains, and the rapid emergence of new technologies.
The Minister, whose appointment in May 2020 coincided with the UK’s first peak of COVID-19 infections, spoke from first-hand experience when he said that “the seismic shock of the COVID crisis caused a regrettable lurch towards protectionism in some corners”. Jayawardena said that International Standards were part of the solution, “critical to enabling low-friction global trade, and have arguably become as important a factor in ease-of-market access as tariffs, or rules of origin criteria”.
Highlighting ISO’s collaboration in developing international guidelines on safe working during the COVID-19 pandemic, which helped bring certainty at a difficult time, the Minister championed a similarly collaborative approach to addressing wider issues.
“The key to responding to not just the threat of the pandemic, but to other collective threats such as climate change, is to work globally with friends around the world, backing the rules-based international trading system. And that includes on standards.”
ISO President opens General Assembly with appeal for action
“We have the power to effect change, and it is our duty as the International Organization for Standardization to accelerate that process without delay,” said ISO President Eddy Njoroge.
The ISO President was addressing more than 500 delegates from 150 countries representing standardization and other international organizations at the 44th ISO General Assembly, being held virtually this week.
Referring to International Standards as key tools for addressing all of the challenges outlined in the United Nations Development Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the ISO President underlined the power of ISO standards for progressing from rhetoric and aspiration to action and equity. He went on to highlight climate change as “the single greatest threat that we face”, as outlined in the recent IPCC report, and the need for International Standards as part of a coordinated response in the lead-up to COP26.
The event comes at a time when “We can do more, and we must do it before it is too late,” the ISO President concluded.
“The Future Has Begun” is this year’s theme, which explores how, by working together, we can use standards to achieve a better and more sustainable world.