#speakstandards challenged people to imagine how much harder life would be without International Standards, and capture it in a 15-second video.

From left, clockwise: Noemi, “I enjoy coming up with ideas to make our work better and easier”. Gabriel, “I really like to think out of the box”. Edgar, “I love coffee, museums, opera and arts in general”. Miguel Ángel, whose mom always jokes about how he could be a model.

The contest received more than 130 entries from around the world. Participants covered everything from clothing sizes to interoperability of parts, to efficiency and safety, and illustrated them with creative love stories, crazy scientists and a lot of humour. IEC, ISO and ITU selected the top 10 candidates and put them up for public vote.

The clear winners were a Mexican team of four ranging from 30 to 15 years old. They include: Gabriel Enrique Hernández García, who works in the multimedia and innovation section of a certification body; Norma Noemí Herrera Ramírez, a biomedical engineer; Edgar Antonio Hernández García, a graphic designer; and Miguel Ángel Romero Cortés, an enthusiastic teenager who loves playing soccer!

In their video we see how, without graphical symbols, communicating even the simplest messages, like which toilet to use or where is the fire extinguisher, would be much more difficult. This is because standards provide a common language that is understood everywhere in the world across geographical and language barriers.

Talking about their video, the team said, “It was a lot of pressure, but we have the reward thanks to the help of our families, co-workers, partners, friends and supporters around the world. Thanks to ISO, IEC, and ITU for allowing us to participate in this experience, and see you next year!”


Watch the top 10 finalists' videos:

The winning team will receive 1 500 Swiss francs. The competition also awarded cash prizes of 500 Swiss francs to each of the three runners-up.

The team from Orbeli productions.

In second place is an Armenian team of co-workers from animation studio Orbeli Productions. They include 23-year-old Anna Sargsyan (founder), 19-year-old Shant Hakobyan (character designer), and 21-year-old Karo Galoyan (scene designer). Their video focused on the importance of standards for safety of products like light bulbs.

Anna saw the ad for the competition on ITU’s Facebook page: “#speakstandards was our first international contest and therefore a big challenge. The subject was very practical, but also allowed for a wide range of ideas and creativity. In the end, we decided to focus on a simple example that even a child could understand.

“Thanks to the competition, we now realize the importance of International Standards too! When we shared our experience with our friends, they were also surprised to learn about the role of standards in our life.”

Noemí Herrera and Gabriel Hernandez.

On third place is the first entry by the Mexican team of Gabriel Hernandez and Noemi Herrera which looked at the milk food chain and the importance of standards for ensuring quality and safety. It covers everything from animal feed to farming, processing, packaging and distribution.

On fourth place is a team from the Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI), which calls itself OMG Plus. Oh (40-year-old Ongard Jitprom) is a librarian, Mod (38-year-old Nathinee Chantajaru) is a foreign relations officer, Gap (39-year-old Narit Lerkmoung) is a standards officer, and Pae (58-year-old Varavute Eaimpituck) is an audio-visual technical officer. Their video tells a story of standards for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), which are crucial in allowing us to use more than one electronic device at a time.

From left: Gap, Oh, Mod, Pae.

“When we talk about EMC to consumers, many do not understand its importance. That's because they don’t realize that electronics and electrical devices generate unnecessary radiation which can cause interference when they are on at the same time,” explains the team.

#speakstandards was organized by the World Standards Cooperation, which comprises the International Electrotechnical Commission, the International Organization for Standardization and the International Telecommunications Union. Their objective was to raise awareness and understanding about the importance of International Standards, and celebrate World Standards Day (14 October), whose 2015 theme is “Standards – A common language.”


Watch all the videos: