I participate in an international standard called BACnet. We exchange ideas and proposals via email and teleconference, and meet face to face at least 4 times a year in various parts of the U.S. and Canada. We handle a lot of the details by utilizing working groups. The working groups are usually formed to attack a certain problem area, and generate proposals to change the BACnet standard. The BACnet committee (AKA ASHRAE SSPC-135) then reviews the proposals, and if they are okay, vote them out for publication. At that point the proposals are open game for the world to assault, and sometimes they get public review comments. All the comments must be addressed before the proposal becomes a standard.
I lead a working group call the BACnet Lighting Applications working group. We have created a number of proposals over the past 4 years, and they are just now getting formal review by the BACnet committee. It usually takes several years for a proposal to become a standard. I hope I can be patient!
In my spare time, I work on a BACnet Protocol Stack for embedded systems. I figure that since I know a little about decoding the ASN.1 in the standard that I should put it to good public use. I also am committed to promoting BACnet, and think that having a free protocol stack allows anyone to give it a try.
I wrote the initial entry for BACnet on WikiPedia based on some history shared with me by the BACnet elders.