Shining a Light on the Data Center Industry

Phillip Koblence and Nabeel Mahmood, co-hosts of the Nomad Futurist Podcast, will record their unique brand of interviews on the Data Center World live stage on Aug. 18.

Nomad Futurist’s vision to develop talent and encourage networking in the critical infrastructure space aligns closely with that of AFCOM and DCW.

The duo plans to interview a cross-section of technology leaders in attendance to capture their stories and insights.

As technologists and thought leaders, Koblence and Mahmood  believe in the power of technology to deliver transformational change. The podcast, launched with the goal of demystifying the world of critical infrastructure and attracting newer generations to the space, presents a dynamic and entertaining vision of change, blending technology, economics, demographics, culture, and human psychology. 

Nomad Futurist is unique in that it avoids any commercial focus on products and services and homes in on the passion, excitement, and diverse individual aspirations that led to career success and fulfillment. The various episodes raise awareness of the breadth of roles available in the industry, from construction to sales to finance to real estate and more. 

“What the Nomad Futurist podcast is trying to capture—the stories of people and how they fell into a data center career is spot on!” comments Alicia Schap, Association Manager for AFCOM. “The data center has evolved to subsume people who have been elsewhere in IT or in analytics or in construction or electrical engineering—people who did not set out to be in a data center initially.  These stories resonate with our AFCOM members and our Data Center World audience as the stories are not dissimilar from their own.” 

The two are on a mission to bring these critical infrastructure stories to life, particularly for younger generations.

“Every one of our guest speakers serves as inspiration,” says Mahmood, “an opportunity to gain knowledge, hear a new story, and experience a different perspective on the field.”

Since the podcast’s inception in early 2020, more than 30 tech leaders from around the world have participated, many of whom were involved in the genesis and development of the industry. They provide insights into a world that is not well understood, and valuable guidance for newer generations. 

“Most of our guests are part of a generation that experienced life before the Internet, before cell phones, before data centers, and their stories reflect the magic and excitement of discovering new technologies,” adds Koblence. "Our goal is to capture that passion and share it with younger people who may experience technology through graphical interfaces, distanced from any understanding of the underlying infrastructure– the actual servers, network connections, and data centers that enable digital experiences.”

They are also  launching the Nomad Futurist Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization designed to empower and inspire younger generations through exposure to the underlying technologies that power our digital world. 

A key focus will be on launching global programs in partnership with a range of education providers, NGOs and other nonprofit organizations committed to educating children in underprivileged communities. 

If you are interested in getting involved or learning more, please contact them at [email protected]. The podcasts recorded at DCW will be added to the Nomad Futurist website at

Nabeel Mahmood is a Technologist, Futurist, and a Keynote Speaker. Nabeel has 20 plus years of experience leading large-scale global technology organizations through seasons of explosive growth via M&A, global expansion, implementing new business models, and technology innovation. His areas of expertise include Big Data, Cloud, ERP, IoT, AI, ML, RPA, Mobility, and Data Centers. Nabeel is a strategic CXO identifying opportunities that are being underpinned by emerging technologies and is an advisor to CIOs, CTOs and CEOs across a number of industries. He serves on multiple boards of private and publicly traded companies.

Phillip Koblence co-founded NYI ( in 1996. Since then, he has successfully navigated through an ever-shifting infrastructure landscape and grown the company from a single data center in Lower Manhattan to a robust network with executional capabilities in key national and international markets. His leadership, focus on customer experience, and ability to cut through complexity and hype, has positioned NYI as an industry leader in high-touch infrastructure solutions. Phillip is the Chair of the IX Committee of the Open-IX Association and sits on the DE-CIX North America Customer Advisory Board. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and has been profiled by Data Center Knowledge, TheWHIR, MSPMentor, and NJ BIZ. He has also contributed to CRN and NJ Business Magazine. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, with an engineering degree.