ISO 2022 Annual Meeting: Working smarter together – achieving global collaboration
The second day of ISO’s 2022 Annual Meeting offered an opportunity to engage with some of the foremost minds in the SDG–sustainable development space as they presented their vision for the ways in which we, as a global society, can work together more effectively to meet pressing challenges with urgent and effective action.
The panel comprised Sandra Cabrera De Leicht, from the International Trade Center, Gauri Singh, Deputy Director General of International Renewable Energy (IRENA), Houssam Chahine from the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and policy analyst Marianna Karttunen from the OECD.
Naturally, standards were firmly on the agenda with lively participation in the session from ISO Secretary-General, Sergio Mujica who was joined by his counterparts from the IEC and ITU, Philippe Metzeger and Chaesub Lee respectively.
Discussions confirmed the critical links between standards and verifiable progress on sustainability initiatives, but also pointed to an expanded role for standards. Several participants expressed a need for standards in new areas. Energy expert Gauri Singh said that in her experience there was growing interest in green hydrogen, but no clear agreement on what ‘green’ means in this context. A standard in this area could bring clarity in the same way that ISO is leading efforts to establish a shared idea of “net zero”.
Wide-ranging topics around sustainability, technology and the standardization process were addressed, prompted by enthusiastic questioning from online and in-person participants. Directly addressing the future of standardization, and progress towards machine-readable standards, ISO’s Sergio Mujica emphasized that rapidly changing technology must never fail to take people’s needs into account, confirming the importance of standards remaining “accessible and inclusive”.