Nicholas Verveken, one of our YP's in Dubai, gives us his feelings about this experience.
The IEC Young Professionals Programme was developed as a way for the IEC and its National Committees to reach out to the younger generation of experts, managers and leaders and to encourage their long-term participation in standardization and conformity assessment activities. This helps guarantee continuity in the availability of high-quality experts, enabling the IEC to maintain its focus on responding to market needs on a long-term basis. Participants also help shape the future of IEC by sharing their ideas about how IEC should evolve to respond to the needs of future generations. The eleventh edition of the IEC YP workshop was held in hybrid format from 3 to 7 October 2021, in conjunction with the General Meeting, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 109 Young Professionals from 46 IEC National Committees attended in person (40) and remotely (69). Following the recommendation from former YPs, the duration was increased by two full days. In addition, 16 NCs nominated one additional YP, making use of the opportunity provided at the time of the call for nominations following the cancellation of the 2020 YP workshop. Out of 109 YPs, 41 YPs were nominated in 2020. 5 NCs nominated YPs for the first time (Bahrain, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Peru and Uganda).
In a few questions we wanted to discover the experience of a YP during this program. Nicholas Verveken, Global Product Manager Power Solutions and Airfield Systems at ADB Safegate, was one of our Belgian YP's on site.
What were your expectations of this program before participating?
Nicholas: "Ever since participating within the TC-97 working group I was wondering upon how an international community was organized to produce standardization. While I was working on a technical level within TCs, rewriting standards, I did not catch the full picture of standardization. When I saw the possibility to participate at the GM I saw this as a unique learning experience in standardization as well as a great networking event."
Were these expectations met and if so how?
Nicholas: "They were surpassed. The standard in a day course covered my expectations. But learning how IEC operates, prioritizes with its vision and mission resolving around the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) was the real valuable thing. It left me thinking how this should descend in my current standardization work."
What did this participation bring to your work?
Nicholas: "I work in the aviation industry. The aviation industry benefits hugely from the standardisation work of ICAO, which in turn refers to IEC for electrical standardisation. Alas, it suffers the same challenges: the lack of international diversity in participation threatens a uniform implementation, reaching sustainability by enabling technology and attracting skilled and gender divers workforce."
What was your best experience during this program and why?
Nicholas: "The networking possibility with all smart, highly motivated people from all across the globe. Many friends were made."
What would be your motivational phrase to participate in this program for future YPs who would like to participate?
Nicholas: "Be part driving worldwide sustainable development through shaping standardization and innovation."
How to become a YP for Belgium?
Each year, IEC National Committees are invited to select two candidates to participate in the YP programme, including to attend the annual YP workshop held alongside the IEC General Meeting.
If you are interested for the next YP 2022 in San-Francisco, please send a mail to: email@example.com.