Organized by our dynamic Next Generation DKE initiative, a total of eighteen young professionals from fifteen different countries were given a warm welcome at the premises of the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (DKE) in Offenbach. These highly motivated participants work in the field of electrotechnical standardization and not only developed their skills in writing standards during the event, but also prepared innovative concepts to make it easier for interested parties to get started in standardization. Specifically, they looked at Part 2 of the ISO/IEC Directives in order to find creative approaches to communicating these complex documents in an understandable and exciting manner. The ISO/IEC Directives represent a collection of basic rules and guidelines that explain how to create and structure international standards and technical specifications.
A Review of the DKE Young Professionals Camp 2023
From August 10-13, 2023, future standardization experts from all over the world gathered for the DKE Young Professionals Camp 2023 in Offenbach, Germany.
Our Commitment to the Future
“At DKE we are dedicated to supporting young talent in the area of electrotechnical standardization. The Camp provided a dynamic platform for a lively exchange of knowledge, hands-on workshops and the development of a global network. The networking created here makes it possible to exchange new ideas across national borders and strengthens cooperation among future experts.”
Alena Widder, Next Generation project manager
The DKE Young Professionals Camp 2023 offered participants a varied and exciting program. The highlights included:
Introduction to the IEC Online Standards Development (OSD) Tool:
Participants were provided with a thorough introduction to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) OSD tool by Alisdair Menzies, Head of Standards Production (IEC). This tool revolutionizes the standardization process and provides important skills for future work.
Michael Dopichaj, one of the Camp’s co-organizers, explains: “Participants at the Camp were given the opportunity to try out how to formulate “good” standards in practical workshops. But what does a “good” standard actually mean? There is no quick answer to this question. There are many basic principles that one can pay attention to: Comprehensibility (especially for people who did not help to formulate the standard themselves), unambiguity, objective verifiability, and much more. In the process, participants also had the opportunity to try out the OSD tool. The OSD tool is an online-based platform from ISO and IEC that is intended to make writing standards easier in the future. Today, almost all standards are still written using Microsoft Word, and comments are also collected via Word tables. This often lengthy and time-consuming process is to be made much faster and easier in the future using the OSD online tool.”
Exclusive Guided Tour of the VDE Testing and Certification Institute:
Participants gained insights into state-of-the-art testing and certification processes, while deepening their appreciation of the practical importance of norms and standards.
In addition to the official program, the Camp provided opportunities for informal networking in order to allow participants to better get to know each other and network among themselves.
These program elements not only underscored the technical skills of the young standardization experts, but also enhanced their skills in terms of collaboration, innovation and communication.
A Special Workshop
Another highlight of the Camp was the workshop “Making the Impossible Possible – A Creative Session on ISO / IEC Directives”, where participants intensively discussed how complex issues such as ISO/IEC Directives can be designed so that they can be explained in a simple and exciting manner. In this case, the next generation of standardization experts dealt with documents containing the principles for preparing and structuring international standards and technical specifications.
Annette Frederiksen, honorary head of Next Generation DKE, emphasizes: “The ISO/IEC Directives Part 2 comprise more than 100 pages and are often scarcely or only reluctantly read. That is why we want to facilitate access to these formal documents and develop concepts on how to convey the knowledge they provide in an easy-to-understand and entertaining manner. In this creative workshop participants in three groups developed different approaches that will then also be made available to the national standards organizations: The first group developed a quiz, the second created a collection of memes for Messenger that convey important information from the Directives in a humorous manner. The third group recorded a video that illustrated emotions and lessons learned using a concrete example.”
The results of the Creative Session were presented to DKE management at the end of the Camp. The sophistication of the ideas that were developed and their entertaining and inspiring implementation were particularly impressive. The participants experienced a lot of fun in the various teams developing these creative ideas.
The results of the DKE Young Professionals Camp will be summarized in the event’s yearbook that will be published in the weeks to come.
Further Incentives and Ideas for Expanding National Young Professionals Programs
After the Camp, the focus is now on how national committees can establish, expand and further develop targeted young professionals programs for young people in standardization. IEC Young Professionals Leader Mareen Tiedemann has already been working on this topic for some time now and presented the “Dreamguide” project in her presentation during the DKE YP Camp.
She notes: “The Dreamguide is a guide for national committees, future young professionals, and anyone interested in developing national YP programs. The guide consists of a description of three tools: a social media campaign, the table for regulars, and a mentoring program. It very specifically describes how to use these tools to develop national programs, but is intended to serve as a source of inspiration.”
The Guide is the IEC YP Leadership project developed by Mareen as IEC YP Leader during 2022/2023 and will be published at the end of the year. Together with the results of the DKE YP Camp, this collection of creative ideas provides a valuable source of inspiration for implementation by the national committees.
The DKE Young Professionals Camp 2023 was remarkable for its cultural diversity. On the one hand, the participation of young professionals from fifteen countries underscores the global significance of electrotechnical standardization. And the fusion of cultures and perspectives reflected the diverse nature of standardization work.
The progress of these young professionals is being closely followed and the new ideas are ready for implementation. Participants shared their impressions on social media under #DKEYPCamp. The DKE YP Camp was aptly described by Batuhan Ayaz, volunteer representative of the Next Generation DKE Community, as having “the atmosphere and togetherness of college days.” This demonstrates the strong sense of belonging among the participants as they work together to advance standardization. For him, the answer to the question of what made the Camp so special is clear: “the participants themselves”.
He elaborates: “Seeing young professionals from so many countries around the world, of different ages and cultures, working with a common goal of actively shaping the future of standardization was impressive and inspiring. The diversity during the workshops made it clear that team tasks require different perspectives and experiences, and broadening perspectives leads to more innovative results with a high level of maturity.”
The DKE Young Professionals Camp 2023 was an inspiring event that continues to actively shape the future of standardization. We look forward to following up on the progress of these young professionals and seeing the new ideas that emerged here in action.