World Standards Day: How standards build connections
From facilitating high-speed communication and infrastructure upgrades for access, resilience and interoperability, to leveraging artificial intelligence to improve understanding, technology is transforming our world. Voluntary standards and conformity assessment activities enable innovators to build on established technologies — and devise modern solutions that allow people, organizations and systems across the world to connect in ever-evolving ways.
World Standards Day is celebrated internationally each year and honors the efforts of the thousands of experts who develop voluntary standards within standards development organizations and aims to raise awareness among regulators, industry and consumers as to the importance of standardization to the global economy.
This year’s U.S. celebration of World Standards Day will be held on Nov. 7, 2019, in Washington, D.C., during World Standards Week 2019 to commemorate the critical role of voluntary standards and conformity assessment in driving innovation across every sector and to recognize the critical role of various stakeholders across the standards community, including business leaders, industry, academia and government. The widely attended event is co-chaired each year by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology — with the role of the Administrating Organization rotating amongst the members of the U.S. World Standards Day Planning Committee. The November event is sponsored by the codes and standards community — including the Code Council, which has served twice as Administrating Organization — and attended by representatives from corporations, industry and federal government agencies.
Initially launched in 1970, World Standards Day is now recognized and celebrated by nations around the globe, bringing together ANSI members and diverse private- and public-sector stakeholders from across the standards and conformity assessment communities for topical discussions and special events in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration.
This year’s event will include the presentation of the 2019 Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award, which is named after the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce and honors an individual who has effectively promoted standardization as a key tool in the elimination of global trade barriers. Ronald L. Lynn, a past board president of the International Code Council, was a recipient of the prestigious award in 2012.
Awards are also presented to the winners of the 2019 World Standards Day Paper Competition — co-sponsored by the Society for Standards Professionals — which is designed to raise awareness of the importance of standards, as well as present various perspectives on national and international standards and conformity assessment issues. This year’s challenge asks participants to submit papers that answer the question, “How do standards help mitigate disaster?” and is very relevant to the Code Council and its work toward demonstrating the importance of regular updates to the building codes and strong code enforcement in order to mitigate damage from natural disasters.
The Code Council is proud of its work with ANSI and the commitment of U.S. experts to support international standardization activity for established fields and emerging new technologies. As an active participant in the international standards community, an institute member and an ANSI-accredited standards developer, the Code Council proudly supports World Standards Week and World Standards Day each year (this year as a “Diamond Sponsor”) and has worked side-by-side with ANSI on many projects. The Code Council references almost 1,300 standards in its International Codes and also develops a number of codes and standards, including mechanical, plumbing, structural, resilience, accessibility and green standards.