Since the development of ISO 26000:2010 is an experiment, and offers also the opportunity for some serious deliberations of the future drafting of social standards and society related standardization.
(status February 2011)
My key statement is: Societies are different in many aspects and societies want to keep these differences.
Putting it the other way round would read: What a terrible world would it be if we had everywhere the same cultures, religions, education etc??
The easy conclusion is that there are narrow limits for useful society related standards. The application of the guidance standard ISO 26000 will make us learn whether it goes already beyond these “narrow limits”.
My friend Yusof M. Hitam (TSD) from Malaysia puts it this way: There are shared values and concerns between peoples; and there are subjective and objectives differences which have to be respected if this world and the universe is to be habited peacefully by peoples, animals, and plants. I believe that all these are mutually interdependent. I do believe you and I , and many others, share these concerns. So there are “standards” of conduct, action, and demands that should be formulated if these concerns could be mutually identified. Such effort could continue, and as you suggested once, ISO 26000 could be seen as one such a step. The search should continue on a more sound basis, and with an open mind.... we need some future action in the search of an international social behaviour or conduct (not “standards” in the sense of
“sanctions “) in order to protect and promote sustainability of life on earth – for mankind, plants and animals.
And he is right. Adding a geographical dimension, one can say:
- national standards can address national societies and their national values
- regional standards can address a conglomerate of national societies and make sense only if they are limited to the common values of the nations in a region
- international standards will have to address all societies and, to be accepted internationally by these societies, make sense only if they focus on a globally agreed set of societal values.
This globally agreed set of societal values has not been found yet. A global research project would be needed to specify this set. The current edition ISO 26000:2010 is a valuable input for this research project, particularly when sound experiences with its practical application have been made. However, the ISO 26000 can only be a minor contribution, because there are invaluable other documents and practical viewpoints that need to be included in such a global research project. ISO could, and should, be a major contributor.
You, as a reader of this site, are kindly invited to disclose and provide your own ideas and perspectives, regardless whether you would like to have them published on this site or not. Please feel encouraged to send an e-mail to Guido.Guertler@t-online.de.
In practical terms: there would not be a problem to set up an Internet based discussion group, for example in LinkedIn.
Related earlier thoughts, as of 2008, are available in English, Spanish and German.