Just as you cannot separate GS1 and barcodes, you cannot separate Wouter Schaekers and innovation either. He therefore always looks for the connection between innovation and the masterplan. “With the innovation committee, we anticipate future trends. This is incredibly important to stay relevant. As I’ve said before, standards don’t suddenly appear. Someone has to create them. If we anticipate on those trends, we’re really going somewhere. Besides, you always need two currents: innovation and a basis. Without the basis that has been created in the past years, you can’t innovate, but without innovation, your basis becomes irrelevant.”
As an example, he talks about the Digital Product Passport, where a product gets in a manner of speaking a passport that follows it throughout its entire life cycle and contains information about its origin, composition and previous repairs, among other. This makes traceability and circularity possible. “It brings sustainability and standards together. This will only benefit the quality of data exchange. At a single glance, you can show the core of your story, your products and the various parties involved. In this way we also increase the value for our members and make standardisation less complex."
Wouter has already a lot of ambition and looks forward to starting his journey as president. His goal is clear: create value for members. How he wishes to do this, is by bringing different parties together, actively listening and next proceeding to action. We close off with a clear statement: #WeAreGS1.