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Next Generation of Standards Professionals Get a Glimpse of Their Future Careers at ANSI-Hosted Workshop

New York, Nov 19, 2012

Twenty-five students, new faculty, and new professionals, along with numerous observers, gathered for a workshop simulating the experience of taking part in the process of creating voluntary consensus standards. The workshop was held on Friday, October 12, 2012, by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as part of the 2012 World Standards Week (WSW) series of events. The event was held at the Newseum’s Knight Conference Center in Washington, DC.

The workshop made use of a standards simulation exercise, titled “Setting Standards: Exercise in Strategy and Cooperation in Standardization Process,” provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The event was made possible by the generous sponsorship of ASTM International, IEEE, and the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS).

Prior to the workshop, participants took part in a networking breakfast attended by more than 80 ANSI staff members, Board members, and members of the ANSI Federation, including representatives of government agencies, standards developing organizations (SDOs), and industry. During the networking breakfast, the first- and second-place prizes in ANSI’s inaugural student paper competition were awarded to Peter W. Barfknecht of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Matt Nelms and Graham Jacobs of the University of Mississippi, respectively. [See related news item]

In the first portion of the workshop, participants were divided into eight teams and given an agenda and lists of interests which simulated the perspectives of different stakeholders in the voluntary standardization process for a new hypothetical technology. Following lunch, participants took part in a discussion that examined the various negotiation and leadership strategies used during the standardization process, as well as the system’s underlying mechanisms.

Deborah Prince of Underwriters Laboratories and chair of ANSI’s Committee on Education (CoE) said, “It was such a wonderful experience watching the participants act out their roles and learn about compromise and relationships, some of us that have been involved in standards development for a long time could use to be reminded of these basic principles.” One participant in the exercise told the group that, after taking part in the workshop, “I learned that I really did want to know more about standards,” while another new professional said, “I now know that my boss’s job is really challenging.”

For more information about the workshop, or about ANSI’s ongoing schedule of workshops and training sessions, please visit the ANSI training schedule, or contact the ANSI CoE, via Lisa Rajchel (, the Secretariat to ANSI CoE.

A gallery of event photos is available here.

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