The Digital Foundation Podcast

from Infrastructure Masons

Whether you're helping build the digital age or just interested in how the foundation of the internet of everything works - the Digital Foundation Podcast is an independent platform where the voices of technology and business leaders from around the world can be heard to help with awareness of what's going on in the Digital Infrastructure industry.

About our hosts: Carrie Goetz is CTO StrategITcom helping shape the technology direction for companies and public entities as well as an industry blogger, and STEM enthusiast. Simon Allen is Executive Director of the Infrastructure Masons and describes himself as a straightforward thinker.

All Episodes

Nautilus DT is an American company developing floating data centers. As well as almost zero environmental impact these innovative Data Centers can be located on the industrial side of town creating jobs and delivering technology that can help address Digital Exclusion. Another advantage of this innovative and sustainable approach is that the floating DC can be built and then sailed (by a tug) to where it needs to be. Want to know more? Jeff Omelchuck (Executive Director of iMasons) meets with Jim Connaughton (Nautilus DT CEO) for a fascinating and engaging discussion.

Nov 4

48 min 56 sec

The information and communication technology (ICT) industry is the largest industry sector in Japan which also has more cloud-ready Fortune 2,000 businesses than any market outside the United States. Japan has a dynamic and growing Digital Infrastructure industry and iMason members have connected to launch an iMason Japan Chapter which recently held its first Chapter meeting.Want to know more about DI in Japan? Meet Scott Payton who started his career in Digital Infrastructure in the USAF and was attracted to a career in Data Centers on discovering "Mission Critical", "Uptime" and ``Availability" aren't exclusively used in the field of ICBMs. Scott has worked in Data Center Design and Build in Japan now for 16 years and has fascinating experiences and insights to share.The next iM Japan Chapter meeting will take place in Tokyo on February 17th.

Oct 15

24 min 28 sec

iMasons developed a senior Capstone Project which was piloted at Hampton University, a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in So. Virginia, USA for the 20/21 academic year. This was a very successful program with many students securing jobs in our industry and is being ramped out to 4 Universities in phase #2. iMasons have recently partnered with AFCOM to help expand the project globally.In this episode, Bill Kleyman, EVP of Digital Solutions, Switch and iMasons Millennial GenZ Group Lead, meets Jai Huntley who recently joined EdgeConneX as a Data Center Engineer after participating in the Capstone Project. Jai shares her thoughts and experiences to date as she embarks on a career in Digital Infrastructure.Also in this episode - meet Taylor Whitson who's just joined the iMasons team as Head of Marketing and Communications.

Sep 28

25 min 50 sec

Ecodatacenter in Falun, Sweden has recently been declared “The World’s First Climate Positive Data Center”. So, what’s the secret sauce? Join us as Julie meets former CEO and Senior Advisor Lars Shedin, COO Dan Anderson, and Board Member Jan Fahlén as they discuss that, and the future of data centers in the Nordic Belt and beyond.

Aug 19

26 min 59 sec

Lakisha Woods, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and Rhea Williams, VP Compass Data Centers, join Carrie and Simon as part of iM Women’s, “Women in Construction Month”In a year marked by crisis and uncertainty, the choices companies make today will have consequences on gender equality for decades to come (McKinsey - see link below)Women — especially women of color—are more likely to have been laid off or furloughed during the COVID-19 crisis, stalling their careers and jeopardizing their financial security. Now, more than one in four women are contemplating downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce completely. This is an emergency for the corporate world - Companies risk losing women in leadership and future women leaders - unwinding years of progress toward gender diversity.But this crisis also represents an opportunity. If companies invest in building a more flexible and empathetic workplace—and there are signs that this is starting to happen—they can retain the employees most affected by today’s crises and nurture a culture in which women have equal opportunity to achieve their potential over the long term.Women in the Workplace 2020

Jul 22

28 min 41 sec

Want to know what's happening in France? Check this out.New addition to the Digital Foundation Podcast, Dr. Julie Albright, talks to industry leader Fabrice Coquio - President and Managing Director of Interxion France and founding member of the France Data Center association. Fabrice is a Data Centre industry specialist with 30 years of experience and shares great insights on the French Digital Infrastructure Industry which is also experiencing huge growth.

Jul 15

30 min 9 sec

The pressures on those working in the Digital Infrastructure sector are beginning to weigh heavily on people having to cope with dramatically increasing demand and tightening supply chains. Whilst work-related stress and anxiety are nothing new - no industry or sector has expanded as quickly in history.We're joined by 3 subject matter experts - Dr. Eva Ritvo (Speaker, Author, and Psychiatrist & A Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association) Professor Laura Baker (Professor of Psychology at the Centre for Mindfulness Science at USC), and Dr Julie Albright (iMason Board member, Digital Sociologist, Doctorate in Marriage and Family therapy)The ladies discuss practical steps that can be taken and share their "Wellness Tool Kit" - a simple and effective list of "Tips and Tricks" you can dive into when feeling stretched.

Jul 7

53 min 31 sec

Hyperscalers like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, as well as many of 40+ iMasons Partner Companies, have made bold commitments to Sustainability and are applauded for their leadership. But, the big question remains - is this enough to save the planet? Many say we need to do much more and start thinking differently, including Christian Belady (VP Microsoft) and Eddie Schutter (CTO Switch) who met with Dean Nelson (iMason Founder and Chairman) to discuss the role Digital Infrastructure should play in a global holistic industrial solution to sustainability?Eddie is also an iMasons Board Member and also the Executive Sponsor for the new iMasons Technology Committee. Christian is also a Founding Member of iMasons and has agreed to help launch and guide the new Technology Committee, as the Vice-Chair. The vision is that iMasons will recruit a new, fresh face for the key Chair role to help lead the committee along with Christian and Eddie. Let us know if you have any recommendations.

Jun 17

50 min 42 sec

Carrie and Simon are joined by Bill Kleyman - EVP of Digital Solutions at Switch, Chairperson of the iMason Millennials/GenZ member resource group, and Cyber security expert.Stories in the press about serious cyber attacks are appearing with alarming and seemingly increasing regularity. We ask Bill, how can an industry that takes security so seriously be vulnerable to cyber attack, and what can we do to protect ourselves?

May 20

35 min 19 sec

Carrie and Simon are joined by Peter Gross (Industry Legend and sitting on multiple industry Boards including DCiRN) and Dennis Cronin (CEO DCiRN). Data Centers are the beating heart of the global digital infrastructure that the world is now completely dependent upon. Yet unlike other critical industries such as aviation and nuclear - data centre failures, and how they were fixed, just aren’t reported. DCiRN - The non-profit, anonymous Data Center Incident Reporting Network means we could all learn from the experiences of others which will make data centres safer and more reliable. Spotlight on the OVH fire - could DCiRN have prevented this incident.

May 7

39 min 28 sec

Lockdown strategies prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic actually increased digital inequality and its consequences are even more severe now that the world is heavily relying on digital infrastructure.Of urgent concern is the impact of the pandemic on children being homeschooled in households often sharing one device, often a mobile phone, for the whole family, or worse – no available technology at all - and this issue will remain after lockdown as children and parents battle to catch up.Liz Raven, Head of Quality at Yondr and EMEA Lead for iMasons Millennials / Gen Z MRG (Member Resource Group), is taking action.We’re joined today by Liz Raven and Collette Nabyonga, Co-Founder of TechInclusionUK who have developed A Circular Solution to Address Digital Exclusion and Tackle e-waste - actively helping children on the wrong side of digital inequality 

Apr 22

36 min 26 sec

Meet Richard Tang, the Founder and Chairman of Zen Internet, a successful business that's grown every year in it's 25 year history to become the biggest independent ISP in the UK employing over 500 people. Richard believes in driving goodness in society and has a unique business philosophy of always putting people first and that money should always be secondary and subservient - a philosophy that is contributing to successful growth and a more sustainable future.  Richard talks about his humble beginnings and his desire from an early age to set up a company to provide the resources to enable him to help others.

Apr 1

33 min 26 sec

Data Centers have been called the ‘Factories of the Future’, yet there’ve been few attempts to double click on what this means in terms of possibilities and opportunities. Are there synergies that can be exploited between what data centers do and what is done in ‘industry’? Carrie and Simon meet two people from ABB who have the answers - Kevin Starr is the Global Program Manager for ABB’s Oil, Gas, and Chemical Division and Richard Ungar is the Head of Data Center Automation.

Mar 18

42 min 59 sec

Carrie and Simon are joined by Charisse Richards, Chief Information Officer at Judicial Branch of Arizona, Maricopa County and Nancy Novak, Chief Innovation Officer at Compass Data Centers to discuss the difference between Equity & Equality and share their thoughts and experiences on ways to make a change and take a look at what’s worked in the past and examine solutions.

Mar 4

37 min 48 sec

Laurie talks about the meeting with an iM scholarship recipient that solidified her, and Vertiv’s, personal commitment to support the iM Scholarship fund and the importance of encouraging the next generation of talent into our industry.Vertiv are also aligned to iMasons strategic priorities of inspiring Sustainability and championing Diversity and Inclusion and Laurie shares how Vertiv are developing technology and solutions to support the changing architectural needs of their customers and how important remote monitoring and management will be to support the proliferation of Edge.

Feb 25

34 min 21 sec

Carrie and Simon are joined by Hannah Ormondroyd Chair of the iMasons D&I Committee and Head of People, Data Centre Solutions at CBRE who led the team producing the Digital Infrastructure Industry’s 1st ever Diversity and Inclusion Best Practice Guide and by Inge Woudstra CEO of the Big Fish Academy who was commissioned to conduct interviews and gather the content for the Guide.Do you think achieving workforce diversity is beyond you? This Guide is based entirely on stories from people who have been on this journey and can help by sharing experiences and providing helpful insights and tips.

Feb 18

33 min 44 sec

Hosts Carrie Goetz and Simon Allen introduce a chat between iMasons Founder and Chairman, Dean Nelson and Michael Tobin.From humble beginnings to CEO of Telecity Group and awarded an OBE for his ‘Services to the Digital Economy' in The Queen's Birthday Honours List. Find out why Michael is swimming with sharks (real sharks), sleeping in hotels made entirely of ice or sleeping on the streets of London (with other CEOs) and why he thinks we all need luck. Also - why we should forget strategy and focus on results.

Feb 2

51 min 7 sec

Today we’re joined by Ruiqi Ye from Greenpeace East Asia in Beijing and Patrik Öhlund Chairman of the iMasons Sustainability  based in Lulea, Sweden. We'll be discussing what the major Chinese internet / data center companies are doing in response to China's recent climate pledge to hit peak emissions before 2030 and for carbon neutrality by 2060. Also, how can different regions and countries come together with a cohesive plan and work together towards a common goal for a sustainable future?

Jan 29

52 min 16 sec

Hosts Carrie Goetz and Simon Allen introduce a chat between iMasons Founder and Chairman, Dean Nelson and Co-Founder and CEO of Sun Microsystems, Scott McNealy. Dean spent 20 years at “The University of Sun” resulting in quite a perspicacious and open (and often hilarious) conversation with Scott.20 years ago Scott famously said “You have zero privacy, get over it” now updated to “Everything you do is a digital tattoo”Find out why Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, keeps the “Sun Microsystems” logo etched on his office windows since moving into the old Sun offices in Menlo Park.

Jan 21

1 hr 4 min

Hosts Carrie Goetz and Simon Allen chat with iMasons Founder and Chairman, Dean Nelson and Executive Director, Jeff Omelchuck for this kick off episode. Find out what sparked the creation of the iMasons, what's the purpose and priorities of iMasons, what's been achieved so far and why there's so much more to do. Also why Dean and many iMasons are having uncomfortable discussions. 

Jan 1

58 min 33 sec