ISO participates on World Economic Forum councils to offer global solutions to global challenges

Issue 36 – March 2012

The growing awareness that ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Standards can make practical contributions to tackling many challenges facing the international community has led to ISO participating in the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting. ISO will participate on two WEF 'global agenda councils' at the WEF annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Leaders from business, government, and society will attend the annual meeting.

WEF councils unite experts, including business and government leaders, in an ongoing, comprehensive, and shared creative process to monitor and address global, regional, and industry challenges. ISO will participate on WEF councils working on the following issues.

  • Benchmarking progress – specifically contributing to the debate on the future of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) beyond 2015 by proposing a blueprint for the next generation of MDGs
  • New platforms for global cooperation, problem solving, and governance

ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele attended meetings with public and private sector leaders of the groups addressing these issues at the 2012 WEF Davos Forum in January 2012. 'One of the primary focuses at this Davos forum was 'global risk',' says Steele. 'The Global risks report 2012 was presented, highlighting areas where escalating risk in financial markets, consequence of climate change, societal revolution, and unintended consequences of technology have increased likelihood of instability.

'What is significant is the number of these areas where ISO has and is developing Standards and some where we need to ask questions as to how we could do more – cyber-attacks being one.'

Steele pointed out that ISO Standards support the United National 'Millennium Goals', such as for ensuring food and water for the world's population. Other Standards already existing or under development address areas such risk management, corporate governance, information security, road traffic safety, supply chain security, climate change, health and safety, consumer issues, and societal responsibility – all pressing issues on the global agenda.

'At international meetings like the Davos forum, there is broad discussion on what the global challenges are,' says Steele. 'ISO's expertise is in developing specific requirements, metrics, and guidance to provide global solutions to such challenges and this is why I'm excited at the prospect of ISO contributing to the work of the WEF global agenda councils.'

Published in international.