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On World Standards Day let’s #speakstandards!
You may not be aware that today 14 October is World Standards Day, but here are 5 reasons
why you should.
This year the theme is “Standards – The world’s common language” because International
1) Make communication across countries and technology possible
Imagine a world where your credit card would not fit into every cash machine or where you could
not just stroll into a shop and find the right lightbulb for your lamp. A world without telephone
codes, country and currency codes and access to the Internet.
2) Help us understand important information despite language barriers
For example, standardized graphical symbols display important information quickly and clearly,
no matter what language we speak or read – be they wash and care instructions on clothes,
emergency evacuation signs, or electrical equipment instructions. But if everyone used different
symbols for the same message, we would not understand each other!
3) Are necessary for interoperability and compatibility of technology
Technology needs standards to communicate. Have you ever wondered how your computer is
able to send your documents to a printer from a different manufacturer? Standards set out
common rules and parameters so that products can work with each other. Standard file formats
like MPEG and JPEG enable you to share videos and photos with family and friends using
technology from different vendors.
4) Help us get exactly what we want
Just picture how difficult it would be to order products and parts from international suppliers if we
didn’t have standardized units of measurement. “Small”, “medium” and “large” mean different
things to different people.
5) Are necessary for cooperation between people
Not only are standards good for trade, they also make it easy for people around the world to
work together.
When Standards are in place things just work, but without them routine activities we take for
granted, like making a call, surfing the Web or using our credit cards when we travel, would be
much more complicated or even impossible. That is why, to celebrate World Standards Day, the
three organizations that make up the World Standards Cooperation, IEC, ISO and ITU, invited
people to imagine what a world without standards would look like in a 15 second video! See the
results here.
World Standards Day is also an opportunity to thank the thousands of experts that volunteer
their time and effort to create international standards with the help of national standards bodies
and partner organizations under the IEC, ISO and ITU umbrellas.
So now that you know their importance, do you speak Standards too? Join us in talking about
your favourite Standards on 14 October with #speakstandards.
About the World Standards Cooperation
The World Standards Cooperation is a high-level collaboration between the IEC (International
Electrotechnical Commission), ISO (International Organization for
Standardization) and ITU (International Telecommunication Union). Under this banner, the three
organizations preserve their common interests in strengthening and advancing the voluntary
consensus-based International Standards system.
Further information
Gabriela Ehrlich
Mob: +41 79 600 56 72
Skype: gabriela.ehrlich
Email: geh@iec.ch