A quick glance at the accelerating technological change over recent years, and the subsequent upheavals, could be enough to make us all fear for the future of the global economy. However, there are good reasons to be hopeful: the rapid changes in today’s interconnected world call for a renewed interest in international standards, making them more important than ever.
This edition of ISOfocus depicts an evolving organization. From the birth of the first ISO standard in 1951 to our emblematic management systems standards and our latest adaptation for educational institutions, the issue takes a look back at ISO’s 70-year journey and some of the formative events that shaped its history.
It offers a forward-looking view of the evolution of International Standards, accounting for factors such as globalization, technology trends, the development of new products and the state of the global economy, all of which, ultimately, highlight the demand for standards.
Also in this issue
Over the course of its seventy-year history, ISO has undergone a remarkable transformation, keeping pace with, and redefining its role in, a fast-changing world. But how have personal attitudes and responsibilities changed over the same time? We go family-style on a big platter of environmental issues.
We can no longer envision a world without computers or the Internet, but in 2017 this is old news. Much more exciting developments are in the pipeline. From virtual reality to artificial intelligence, if we are to be ready for what is to come, we must first understand how we got here, and acknowledge the silent game changers that paved the way.
The social responsibility movement started with debates about corporations having a responsibility to society – it is now recognized that people, planet and profit are mutually inclusive. Since these early discussions, the concept has seen many transformative moments, including the launch of ISO 26000, a standard which has gained traction and credibility in less than a decade.