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WSC Academic Roundtable 2016

Engaging academia in standardization for a sustainable future

Contact: Alessia Magliarditi at ITUbangkok.jpg 

The WSC Academic Roundtable 2016 invited university professors and researchers, industry players, government representatives, and standards practitioners to a roundtable discussion on how to engage academia in standardization for a sustainable future.

Target audience

Programme outline

Roundtable 1: Collaboration among academia, industry, and global standards organizations to develop international standards for a sustainable future.

In many countries, national standards bodies, along with the international standards community, are actively promoting cooperation between leading companies participating in standards development and universities in order to set-up specific courses and to develop high quality content suitable for inclusion in academic curricula of engineering and technology universities, business and management schools and law faculties.

Participation of academia in the standards development process can be beneficial to both academia and the international standards community. On the one hand, academic institutions can offer a significant contribution to raising awareness on the importance of standards, by including international standardization in their curricula. Moreover, academia’s work on the cutting edge of research and technology can be highly valuable for the development of standards.
On the other hand, the international standards community can offer knowledge, experience, and views from a large variety of multi-stakeholder international interests. In this regard, information from and cooperation with standards organizations can help academia increase the value of their research and teaching.

Roundtable 2: Gender dimension in international standardization
A report from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington DC, shows that there is a positive correlation between the presence of women in corporate leadership and firm profitability.

This assumption is also supported by a research conducted by Catalyst that estimates that the Fortune 500 companies with the highest proportion of women on their boards performed significantly better than firms with the lowest proportion. Catalyst’s analysis goes even beyond by suggesting a link between gender-inclusive leadership and corporate social responsibility (CSR), providing that women leaders might act more socially responsible. It appears that gender-inclusive leadership outperforms all-male boards and executive tables, and provides more benefits for business and society at large.

Based on these considerations, the adoption of gender-inclusive strategies in the world of standards development might be a winning approach to further both the cause of women empowerment and the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
International standards are instrumental for attaining sustainable development, by enabling the creation of appropriate technical solutions to global social, environmental and economic challenges.
It is, therefore, essential to ensure the participation of the best talented experts, whatever their gender, with diverse skills and ideas in the standards-making process.

Roundtable 3: Internet of Things (IoT) to accelerate sustainable development
The rise of Internet of Things (IoT) has tremendous potential in driving effective solutions to the common, pressing challenges of sustainable development.

Interconnected sensing and actuating devices communicate with each other and provide data that are intelligently linked and analyzed.
Thanks to their both communicative and analytical nature, IoT technologies and applications can provide support to decision-making and operational processes in various areas of everyday life, such as transport, healthcare, environment, education, water and energy management, businesses and manufacturing. IoT also holds the promise of bringing to fruition the global smart sustainable city dream, by providing urban systems with seamless technologies that stimulate economic growth and enable a more habitable and better connected socio-economic fabric.

While there has been significant progress in this field, there are still some technical challenges that standardization can address to support IoT evolution. Collaboration between academic research and standards communities will help ensure that IoT brings about its much promised economic, environmental and societal benefits in a sustainable, safe and trusted way.