Baptist refers to the ability to stay on top of the challenges posed by new production technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence (or AI), and emerging needs for standardized procedures around increasingly important issues such as data. He is one of a dozen experts in this issue that very much supports – encourages, even – the widespread use of International Standards to help meet the challenges of new technologies and benefit the global economy.

Entitled Making history, the July/Aug. 2017 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.

ISO President Dr Zhang Xiaogang explains in his opening remarks: “Much has changed since we first opened our doors 70 years ago, but with passion and determination, we have built a strong, resilient organization ready to withstand, and adapt to, the uncertainties of today’s dynamic, interconnected world.”

ISO is at an important juncture as it celebrates its 70th anniversary, says Dr Zhang, recalling the organization’s past and its prospects for the future. “We have seven decades of exceptional work and achievements, but very challenging times lie ahead of us as we seek to build a better and safer future for all. We believe that our efforts in this regard will ultimately lead to greater socio-economic development and stimulate economic growth as we tap into new and diverse growth areas for the development of standards.”

The latest ISOfocus 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. 

Examples come from users and stakeholders from organizations large and small, and from highly varied activities including 3D printing, robots, drones, social responsibility, management systems standards, trade, economics and more. They also include comments by the Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland, and by the heads of our partners IEC and ITU, reinforcing the importance of collaboration and the huge value of an open, transparent, inclusive and consensus-building process to develop and publish ISO’s standards.

Read the latest ISOfocus to learn more.