You need a representative that will support your ideas, fight for the needs of your community and earn your respect. For someone who truly cares for your community, look no further.
Being an active volunteer in IEEE and IEEE SA for 10+ years, I believe that IEEE SA has the opportunity for a significant growth and a much stronger global influence, and our members deserve better services and recognitions.
"Yu Yuan and I have been working together as volunteer colleagues and friends in IEEE for 11 years. He is a talented engineer and an open-minded leader with extraordinary execution that makes him a man of action. In all the IEEE positions that he served or is serving in, he has been strongly supporting openness, fairness, and transparency. I believe he is an ideal representative of the IEEE SA membership and the global standards community. If you need someone who really cares about the benefits, services, and recognitions that you think you deserve as an SA member or a standards developer, vote for Yu Yuan and support him to bring changes to IEEE SA. Yu is the Leader that we need."
2010 - 2011 Region 3 Director, IEEE Board of Directors
Secretary, IEEE Consumer Technology Society Standards Committee (CTS/SC)
Chair, IEEE P2023 Digital Transformation Working Group
Member, IEEE Internet of Things Initiative
"Yu Yuan, more than anyone else, is personally responsible for giving me the encouragement and support I needed to create P2145. He was a continual source of information and help in the early days when I could easily have become discouraged and given up. I consider him an exemplar of what an IEEE member should be, and I support him enthusiastically for the role of President-Elect of IEEE SA. If you wish for a robust and revitalized IEEE SA, I believe you should vote for Yu Yuan and encourage your colleagues to do the same."
Chair of IEEE P2145 Blockchain Governance Working Group
"Yu Yuan has been an IEEE volunteer leader who really cares about the community that he leads and always gives support instead of criticism when some projects are facing challenges or problems. I think this is what an IEEE volunteer should be, especially, always and truly treating other volunteers in the IEEE hierarchy as your clients instead of subordinates. I support him in the election and believe that he is the one who can really improve the IEEE SA membership benefits and services, making IEEE SA a better home that really cares about its members."
Chair, IEEE P3800 Data Trading System Working Group
"Yu Yuan and I have been knowing each other and collaborating on standards projects for 5 years. He is a good friend, a hard-working colleague, a dedicated volunteer, and a leader with truly global vision and open mind. I support him for the role of the IEEE SA President-Elect who should wholeheartedly represent the voices and needs of the IEEE SA members and standards developers globally. I look forward to seeing and supporting him to make IEEE SA a truly global platform and a home community for global standards developers, which include the ones who are currently underrepresented but deserve more visibility, more support, more rights, and more benefits."
Chair, IEEE P2847 DC Power Transmission and Communication to DC Loads Working Group
Secretary, IEEE 3079/P3079.1/P3079.2 Human Factor for Immersive Content Working Group
Voting Member, IEEE Consumer Technology Society Electronic Games and Sports Standards Committee (CTS/EGSSC)
IEEE SA faces a time of opportunity for significant growth and stronger global influence. And most importantly, our members deserve better services and recognitions.
Based on a background of 10+ years of active volunteer service in IEEE and IEEE SA, I believe that IEEE SA could and should:
With an open mind and an open heart, I ask for your support and look forward to working with you to make IEEE SA a better home and a better platform for all of us. Thank you for your fair and open consideration.
1. Improve the membership benefits and member satisfaction significantly.
Let’s focus on a fundamental question. Why should anyone join IEEE SA or renew their membership? I don't think our current membership benefits are convincing enough or provide the perceived or actual value to answer this question. I believe this is especially true for individual members. While the participation in individual-based Working Groups should remain open to everyone with or without the IEEE SA membership (we’ll talk about the entity-based Working Groups later), our members do deserve more and better members-only benefits that may include but are not limited to:
1.a. Better discounts and/or open access to more IEEE standards and draft standards. Making it easier to access the standards will not only help with the broader adoption of these standards, but also help improve the harmonization between related standards when the existing work can be referenced rather than reinvented. Historically, the copyright income has been critical to IEEE SA financial sustainability. New business models need to be explored to make cheaper or free access possible to more (if not all) standards.
1.b. An organized and structured way to help individual members (if they are also IEEE members) get elevated to higher grades (Senior Member, Fellow). IEEE SA as your professional community should support you when you need to find nominators, references, or endorsers. IEEE SA should also help to make your standards-related work better recognized in the elevation process.
1.c. Support for local member activities and communities. IEEE SA does not have local Chapters. Why can’t we have local member communities in some form? Local member communities and regular activities can serve as handy interfaces between you and the global IEEE SA community and will give you a better sense of belonging to like-minded professionals.
1.d. Annual IEEE SA General Meetings (in person, virtual, or hybrid). All IEEE Societies and Councils have general meetings or flagship conferences. IEEE MGA also has the triennial Sections Congress. Why does IEEE SA not have similar gathering to provide a platform for members to easily network/communicate with each other and with the IEEE SA governance?
1.e. Quality member services. Did you find the process frustrating when you tried to add the IEEE membership on top of your IEEE SA membership? Have you already taken the full advantage of your existing IEEE SA membership benefits (e.g., the complimentary IEEE SA individual memberships coming along with the IEEE SA corporate membership) or you never did that because the system is too complicated and unclear? Such examples came from many real cases that should not have happened.
2. Raise the level of recognition of IEEE standards developers internally within IEEE (e.g., through Fellow elevation) and externally throughout the world.
Standards development is and shall be recognized as an important and valuable technical contribution. However, our IEEE standards developers (including IEEE SA members and non-members) cannot receive the recognitions that they deserve in many cases. IEEE SA should take organized actions to improve the situation, especially:
2.a. Consider a frequently happened real case where a person who made major contributions in developing a prominent and influential standard could not get elevated to IEEE Fellow, in contrast another person who published many papers on using this standard got elevated to IEEE Fellow. I don’t want to imply that publications or standards users are not important. My point is that standards development shall be recognized as significant technical contribution in the IEEE Fellow elevation process (not only being explicitly written in the guidelines but also being really accepted by the IEEE Fellow Committee members who review nominations and make recommendations). Like IEEE Societies and Technical Councils, IEEE SA should have its own Fellow Evaluating Committee to assist standards developers who may have difficulty in finding support for their Fellow nominations.
2.b. Achievements in developing standards (especially international/global standards) are also recognized by many non-IEEE organizations (e.g., other professional associations, local governments) in various incentive or award programs. However, in many cases, achievements in developing IEEE standards are not recognized or rewarded equally as achievements in developing other international/global standards (e.g., ISO, IEC, or ITU standards), which has caused many people to perceive that IEEE standards are less influential than the other standards, although we as IEEE standards developers know differently. IEEE SA has been reaching out to many of such organizations and partnering with many of them. This is exactly a topic that should be added into these outreaches and partnerships.
3. Satisfy the different needs and expectations from all kinds of stakeholders: large companies/institutions, small/medium-sized businesses, and individual developers/consultants in various industries and markets.
3.a. Standards stakeholders (i.e., any parties that have an interest in or may be impacted by the development of a standard) have their own needs and expectations, which may not be aligned with the KPIs (e.g., how fast a standard can be developed; how many pages a standard contains) monitored officially by IEEE SA or unofficially in the thinking of some IEEE SA leaders. In these cases, IEEE SA should remember that stakeholders are indeed our customers, and customers can’t be wrong. For example, if stakeholders choose to slow the development of a standard in order to synchronize it with the growth of the business and the ecosystem, I believe we should support their decision. Also, standards do not have to be alike in terms of containing many pages. There are quite a few reference cases and success stories where a short standard can also be very influential if it is what the stakeholders want. IEEE SA should prioritize impact and usability above page length.
3.b. The IEEE SA Corporate Program should be refined and improved to provide quality and differentiated services for both big companies/institutions and small/medium-sized businesses. For example, more options can be defined and provided in the Corporate Membership benefits. I know many companies who never use the complimentary IEEE SA individual memberships included in their Corporate Membership benefits. This case leads me to believe that IEEE SA individual memberships are not what they need or value.
3.c. Individual developers/consultants (with or without IEEE SA individual membership) are important resources that have been supporting IEEE standards development for decades. They deserve quality services commensurate with their contributions. Serving non-member standards developers better will attract more standards developers to IEEE SA when they need a platform to develop standards. And serving members better may convince more non-members to become members.
3.d. Along with the expansion of IEEE standards development into new areas and markets, the experience and practices that the IEEE SA governance established in traditional areas and markets may no longer be suitable or applicable for the new ones. For example, emerging technologies may be innovative and disruptive not only in the technologies themselves but also in how to develop standards for these technologies. IEEE SA should be more adaptive and agile to maintain relevance in a rapidly changing world.
4. Find more and better ways for individuals to participate in entity-based standards projects while maintaining and developing the unique features of the entity program.
This has been a controversial and sensitive topic. However, the need not only came from individuals who want to at least be able to observe the entity-based standards development, but also came from entities who want to invite external individual experts to help with the standards development but have some business or legal reasons on either the entities’ end or the experts’ end that prevent the experts from claiming being affiliated with the entities.
4.a. As long as IEEE SA does not care the income from the entity program (mainly the corporate membership fees) too much, I believe there are multiple possibilities to allow individuals who are not affiliated with entity members to participate in entity-based standards projects while not compromising the integrity of the entity program. For example, could a Standards Committee or IEEE SA itself be regarded as a virtual and non-voting entity that individual experts can claim being affiliated with? This is just one of the many ideas, but an effort should be initiated to investigate in all of them from all the perspectives especially legal and customer satisfaction.
4.b. There should be an effort to continuously review the existing features of the entity program and develop new features that are attractive to entities. But a barrier to prevent individuals from participation shall not be on the features list, explicitly or implicitly.
5. Encourage, support, and protect innovation in standards and standards development processes.
5.a. Innovations, especially Standard Essential Patents (SEPs), are typically key elements of influential standards. However, the agenda item “Call for Patents” mandated in every Working Group meeting has become a mere formality in many Working Groups, as many participants especially newcomers do not understand its meaning or implications. IEEE SA should provide more education with real examples and case studies on this matter. This would not only benefit standards developers who can then know what to do when needed, but also benefit IEEE SA in terms of attracting more innovations to be part of IEEE standards.
5.b. Innovations should also be allowed and encouraged in the standards development processes, at least when they are not violating any written policies and procedures. For example, to better address the standardization needs in rapidly changing markets, some Standards Committees allow PAR submitters to split a relatively big topic into multiple “compact” standards projects while each project addresses a separate subtopic and then can be used as a standalone standard by the industry immediately after the Working Group completes the standard for the subtopic. After the completion of several “compact” standards in an area, they can be merged into a “comprehensive” standard if technically an overarching framework or storyline can be developed to integrate them together. In this practice, “compact” standards can serve the target industry faster, while “comprehensive” standards can serve general audience better. I recognize that a few IEEE SA leaders are concerned about this practice because of the perceived waste of IEEE SA resources to support multiple small projects rather than a large one. But what are the resources of IEEE SA supposed to do? You cannot call it a waste as long as it is welcomed by the standards developers and stakeholders.
5.c. Indeed, the existing policies and procedures, as well as the corresponding IT tools provided by IEEE SA, need to be more user driven. Processes and requirements that are relics of the past and no longer needed in the current climate should be timely identified and superseded. From a user point of view, the standards development processes and tools can and should be further streamlined, more intuitive and user-friendly to global users.
5.d. IEEE SA has a proven track record of building broad consensuses in standards development. The SA balloting process and public review process are two successful practices especially in terms of openly forming a balloting group and proving an opportunity for any interested party, anywhere in the world, to submit comments. These practices can and should also be employed in IEEE SA’s policymaking, especially when making highly influential policies such as the patent policy.
6. Positively and constructively support standards developers and volunteers, Working Groups, Standards Committees, and TA Societies/Councils (less judging, more encouraging; less politics, more openness).
The IEEE SA governance shall always keep in mind that standards developers and volunteers in Working Groups and Standards Committees, although being overseen by the IEEE SA governance, are indeed our customers and supporters rather than subordinates. When some of their projects are facing challenges or problems, they need support instead of criticism. And IEEE SA should focus on understanding and meeting the needs of the volunteer standards developers and not to cater to special interests or pet projects of only a few SA leaders. Especially, IEEE SA can and should make the following improvements:
6.a. Make supporting the standards developers with staff, tools, education, and mentorship the highest priority. With a deep understanding of the standards development workflow in detail from idea to ratification and beyond, IEEE SA should dedicate a significant majority of resources to create an environment that maximizes the standards developers’ efficiency -- an environment that gives them all the support they need so they can concentrate on producing excellent standards. If this is accomplished, the IEEE will become known as the best place to develop standards.
A very simple example is the maintenance of WG voting membership according to the attendance of each meeting. The rules of revoking and adding voting membership are clearly defined in WG P&Ps with very limited variants. Why cannot IEEE SA provide a web tool to help WG secretaries record attendance and adjust voting membership in a much easier or even automatic way? This is just an example from many real cases where IEEE SA should significantly improve its support for standards developers.
6.b. Increase and streamline the publicity support (including but not limited to Call for Participation) for Working Groups, IC Activities, and other standards activities per requests of standards developers and volunteers. In a real case, an IC Activity requested IEEE SA to approve a Call for Participation. The request was submitted in May 2021 but is still under review as of September 2021 without any instructions being given to the request submitters. Such cases should not happen in an efficient organization.
6.c. Adhere to procedural justice and minimize the practices that are not clearly delineated in written policies and procedures. For example, clearly defined entry and exit criteria should be in place either as part of the existing policies and procedures or at least as a one-time resolution approved by the SASB before the SASB starts special oversight on a specific Standards Committee or Working Group.
6.d. Increase transparency and openness by minimizing executive sessions and confidential documents. For example, a specific Standards Committee was under the SASB special oversight for more than a year, but the Standards Committee officers were never invited to nor received any report out from the executive sessions where the oversight reports were presented and discussed. How can such a practice be helpful to the groups that are under special oversight?
The lack of financial transparency has also been an issue. If TA Societies/Councils and other IEEE OUs can make their finance more transparent, why cannot IEEE SA? Especially, the standards developers and the TA Societies/Councils that support standards activities should have the rights to know the volume of sales or downloads for each published standard they developed or supported.
6.e. While it is valuable to evaluate the vitality of a group (Working Group, Standards Committee, etc.) or a project (PAR, IC Activity, etc.) when some problems happen, IEEE SA should be extremely discreet and refrain from taking irreversible actions such as disbanding a group or withdrawing a project if it is against the will of the volunteers in that group or project. Standards development is somewhat like venture capital investment in terms of only a small percentage of projects can be very successful. We have been proud of IEEE 802 standards which are indeed extremely successful in all aspects. However, in addition to encouraging other groups and projects to learn from IEEE 802, we should allow people to make mistakes and build a supportive environment that gives many projects the opportunities to grow and shine.
6.f. Most of the IEEE Working Groups and Standards Committees are hosted by IEEE TA Societies/Councils. It is extremely important for IEEE SA to further engage TA Societies/Councils, enhance win-win collaborations with them, and help them benefit from standards activities. For example, supporting standards-related sessions in conferences of TA Societies/Councils is a good practice that may help attract more industry attendees to the conferences.
Meanwhile, IEEE SA should carefully avoid stepping into TA Societies/Councils’ own business such as volunteer appointments. TA Society/Council Standards Committee chairs should be invited to the meetings between SA and TA Society/Council leaders if there is no clear reason NOT to do so. Overall, there should be fewer secret meetings between SA and TA Society/Council leaders.
6.g. Be keen and open to support new vertical industries, new technical areas, and new types of standards, which collectively would be the key for the growth of IEEE SA and IEEE. IEEE SA should serve as an advisor rather than a gatekeeper when Standards Committees want to establish new scopes or expand existing scopes, especially when these scopes fall into the fields of interest of their home Societies/Councils. Scope mediation among overlapping Standards Committees (except for the ones that are organizational units of IEEE SA) is TA’s job and SA should not intervene.
6.h. Enhance and embody the collaborations with other SDOs. IEEE SA should provide more guidance and support for IEEE standards to be adopted by other SDOs, especially when requested by the standards developers. IEEE SA should also involve more volunteers in various types and levels of liaison relationships with other SDOs.
6.i. Grow the IEEE SA volunteer community. IEEE SA should engage and appoint diverse individuals to support the IEEE SA governance. The nomination and appointment processes should be more transparent and shall always avoid the situation that a single employer or affiliation is overrepresented in any IEEE SA board or committee.
Dr. Yu Yuan is a visionary researcher, inventor, practitioner, and entrepreneur in the areas of Consumer Technology, Multimedia/VR/AR, Connected/Automated Vehicles, IoT, and Digital Transformation. He founded 0xSenses Corporation, a multinational technology company specializing in Virtual Reality. Dedicated to "Creating Better Worlds" as its long-term vision, the company is developing technologies, infrastructures, ecosystems, and resources needed for massively multiplayer ultra-realistic virtual experiences. Prior to this he worked for IBM Research as a research scientist and was a key contributor to IBM's Cell Broadband Engine, Smarter Planet, and IoT initiative. He has been a passionate volunteer in various leadership positions at IEEE and other professional communities. His outstanding service in IEEE standards activities at different levels (working groups, standards committees, and governance at higher levels) has been widely appreciated by standards developers, individual members, and corporate members. He has a Ph.D., an M.S., and a B.S. in Computer Science from Tsinghua University.
Dr. Yu Yuan has been engaged in extending IEEE and IEEE SA's influences:
• He led the IEEE Consumer Technology Society Standards Committee to grow the Society's standards activities from zero to a top level among IEEE Societies and Councils. The committee received the IEEE SA Standards Committee Award in 2019.
• He initiated IEEE’s first Blockchain Standards Committee (CTS/BSC) and led its rapid growth. Two thirds of IEEE’s blockchain standards projects are now under this committee, making it the world’s largest community dedicated to standardization in blockchain technology and applications.
• He helped IEEE SA establish partnerships and collaborations with important organizations (ISO/TC 204, C-ITS, TRB, APEC, CIC, etc.) in strategic areas (transportation, communications, etc.).
• He helped IEEE SA recruit a significant number of members from big companies, SMBs, and individual standards developers.
Dr. Yu Yuan's service in IEEE:
IEEE Standards Association
• Board of Governors (BOG) (2018-2019)
• Standards Board (SASB) (2012-2017)
• SCC Coordinator (2015-2016)
• Industry Connections Committee (ICCom) (2012-2017, 2019)
• New Standards Committee (NesCom) (2012-2014)
• Standards Review Committee (RevCom) (2016-2017, 2019)
• Patent Committee (PatCom) (2017)
IEEE Technical Activities Board
• Committee on Standards (2018-2021)
• Co-Chair, Digital Reality Initiative (2018)
• Chair, Digital Senses Initiative (2015-2017)
• Steering Committee, Brain Initiative (2015-2021)
• Standards Committee, Blockchain Initiative (2018-2021)
IEEE Consumer Technology Society (formerly IEEE Consumer Electronics Society)
• Chair, Standards Committee (CTS/SC) (2015-2021)
• Secretary, Blockchain Standards Committee (CTS/BSC) (2018-2021)
• Chair, VR/AR Standards Committee (CTS/VRARSC) (2019-2021)
• Associate Editor, IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine (2011-2021)
• Steering Committee, IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Vehicles (2015-2018)
IEEE Photonics Society
• Vice Chair, Standards Committee (PHO/SC) (2019-2021)
IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society:
• 11073 Standards Committee (EMB/11073) (2019-2021)
IEEE Computer Society:
• Artificial Intelligence Standards Committee (C/AISC) (2021-)
IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society
• Co-Chair, Technical Committee on Software Infrastructure (2010-2017)
IEEE Vehicular Technology Society
• Publicity Chair, Land Transportation Division (2010-2015)
IEEE Transportation Electrification Community
• Secretary (2015-2016)
• Standards Chair (2015-2016)
• Steering Committee (2015-2019)
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Dr. Yu Yuan, IEEE SA President
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are the opinions of me and not necessarily the opinions of IEEE or IEEE SA.