The Royal Netherlands Standardization Institute (NEN) is an organisation that connects parties and stakeholders – that together form committees - to ensure that they can establish agreements such as standards and guidelines. NEN plays a crucial role in connecting actors in innovation ecosystems. In addition, these agreements have a tremendous impact on society, economy, and technological developments. They shape, and are embedded, in our surrounding’s innovations which we often take for granted. This is done by for example promoting safety, privacy, and/or technological compatibility. And although these agreements can have a positive impact on our lives, we should not be oblivious to the fact that these impacts come with a great social responsibility. NEN deems it of paramount importance that the standard’s negative impacts are mitigated, while positive impacts are maximised. To reach this, NEN takes responsibility as of the very start of their standardization process. Inclusivity and (public) participation is essential here.
But recently, NEN has initiated and started collaborations in various research projects to explore how standardisation can be done even more socially responsible. The Delft University of Technology, as part of Co-Change, is currently exploring what factors can obstruct and increase the social responsibility of the standardisation process. In the coming months we hope to have identified these, after which we will estimate the alignment of their services with the societal needs and expectations of society. This is done by means of a so-called RRI maturity model. Both these analyses allow us to set forth recommendations to assist NEN in further improving their services.