Whenever I talk about the IEC Smart Cities Systems Committee, I make it clear that our mission is not simply to develop standards and system reference documents ourselves. It is even more important to bring the knowledge of the 20,000 IEC experts to help solve city problems.
Even though I have been a committed member of the IEC for almost 5 years, this was my first opportunity to get a sense of the richness and breadth of IEC expertise, and I was so lucky in how I could spend my time. I enjoyed participating in the SMB meeting, the TC and SC officers meeting and the Statutory part of the General meeting, which gave me a good sense of how the IEC functions.
It was good to review the potential new TCs, and to find out more about the issues the IEC is grappling with, particularly how to involve more regions, dealing with gender imbalance, and relating the standards work to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It was also encouraging to see the consensus that the IEC is become increasingly open and transparent in the way it works.
The Smart Cities Systems Committee ran a one-day workshop, with the help of SEG 8 and JTC1 SC41, to explore how we can collaborate with the other standards development groups in the IEC family. It was a great way to meet lots of experts, who were linking up with the Smart Cities work of IEC for the first time, and we gained some very useful suggestions as to next steps. The experience was enhanced by the participation of a group of Young Professionals, who brought energy and freshness into the discussions.
I had the chance to take part in the Conference on smart city standards, which gave me a much better understanding of the work of the Korean standards bodies and the way they are working together to develop a consistent set of Standards for cities. Early one morning I had the privilege of being interviewed by Busan’s English Language Radio station and was so proud, not only to talk about the work of our Systems Committee, but also to share my impressions of the wider work of the IEC
The climax, of course, was the final open meeting, when everyone was together. For me, the greatest value was the opportunity to benefit from the wisdom of the community in the discussions that were held about the role of IEC in supporting cities in becoming smarter and more sustainable.
All in all, a great introduction to the IEC family!