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Bringing Together Great Minds to Collaborate in an Open Environment

Matt Ceglia, Senior Director at IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA)

The local economy really isn’t so local anymore, is it?  Just about everything today is a global economy, in which almost any technologist or businessperson is able to access economies that were never available in the past. The potential application space for entrepreneurs and large corporations alike today is really the globe.

Challenges in Cross-Disciplinary Communication

That brings its particular challenges, in terms of understanding the world in which a company operates and provides relevant solutions. There are differing cultural norms and business ethics in different markets around the globe, and the ability to communicate in a meaningful way across that landscape is crucial to exploring and enhancing opportunities.

Also, there’s a tendency for cultures to clash in business spaces where traditionally separate technologies and professional disciplines now converge. Terminologies and approaches can be very different. Trying to harmonize and achieve a common understanding across technology spaces so that everybody involved can succeed and get to a fruitful outcome is no simple undertaking.

This is one of the primary reasons that an open collaborative platform such as IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) is of such value to industry in today’s world of borderless commerce. One of the best ways to address today’s challenges is to get those individuals representing the diverse areas to sit down together—whether virtual or face to face—and start talking and understanding one another.

Collaboration Through An Open Platform

IEEE SA offers the opportunity for anyone and everyone that wishes to engage in collaboration the opportunity to do so. In our individual-based standards program, there is no membership required to participate (though membership does allow participants to ballot on standards and assume leadership roles in standards working groups). In entity-based standards development, organizations, associations, suppliers, vendors, etc. can fast track the needs of a given industry. IEEE provides both avenues, creating the opportunity for anyone to come forward and be heard.

The ability to access academics, researchers, governments, industry, and users all in one collaborative environment is a very powerful tool. Most technical standards tend to be narrow in scope, written by experts within a particular sector for particular new technologies or industrial practices. With its terrific, far-reaching footprint and flexible platform spanning the entire development lifecycle, IEEE SA delivers a broader degree of collaboration, and that broader collaboration delivers more profound results.

Consider the IEEE 802.11™ “Wi-Fi®” standards for wireless networking. IEEE 802.11 originally was conceived to interconnect wireless cash registers, but that focused conversation—facilitated through IEEE SA’s open, balanced collaboration platform—evolved organically into a still-rising wave of innovation that has benefitted and forever altered the entire world. In technology space after technology space, it has been through this type of group discovery that innovators expand on their ideas in the most interesting and successful ways.

Open collaboration through the IEEE SA platform is proven in its ability to efficiently help bring about significant and concrete impact—establishing global markets, fostering job creation and economic opportunity, yielding better products at more competitive prices, protecting the health and public safety of workers and the general public, etc. Global standards and the other outputs of open collaboration have proven themselves to be essential to bringing about the world that humanity desires.

This is why collaboration via an open environment like IEEE SA stands to play an even greater role industry to industry and market to market in the years ahead. Bringing together great minds across traditional borders in various types of bottom-up collaboration is a proven method for effectively harnessing global creativity and expertise to advance technology for the benefit of humanity.

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Beyond Standards features contributions from IEEE SA’s global network of volunteers, members, staff, and partners, serving as a trusted source of information, education, and inspiration for industry, government, academia, and the public.

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