The working team
Peter Gross a technology and energy internationally recognized expert whose career spans over three decades. He is presently the Managing Partner of PMG Associates a consulting and advisory firm. In addition, he sits on several boards of directors and boards of advisors for public, private and not-for-profit companies, and is the Chairman of SmartNations Foundation.
Until end of August 2019, he led the Mission Critical Systems group at Bloom Energy, the
premier manufacturer of solid oxide fuel cells. Prior to joining Bloom, he was the Managing Partner for HP’s Carbon, Power and Critical Facilities Services where he was responsible for strategic technology planning and business development. He was the co-founder and CEO of EYP Mission Critical Facilities, Inc., the preeminent consulting and engineering firm dedicated to the design and operations of data centers. In this position, he has played a pivotal role in the rapid growth of EYP MCF’s business since its founding in 1997, leading to its acquisition by HP in 2008.
Peter is recognized as a thought leader in the mission-critical information, communication and infrastructure design realm, has published numerous technical papers in the field and is a frequent speaker at international events. His focus centers on mission-critical facilities, high-reliability design, power quality, energy and sustainability. Peter has more than 30 years’ experience in the engineering and design of power systems as applied to data centers, trading floors, command and control centers, and telecommunication and broadcasting facilities.
Peter has been at the forefront of many innovative concepts that have contributed to the data
center industry evolution. He was co-awarded patents for the modular, prefabricated FlexDC product, for Direct Current power distribution topologies in data centers and for fuel cells data
Peter is the recipient of 2010 Data Center Dynamics “Outstanding Contribution to the
Industry” award. He was quoted in many publications, including The New York Times, Businessweek and Computerworld.
A Senior IEEE Member and a Registered Professional Engineer, Peter was one of the contributors to IEEE Standard 3006.7-2013, “Recommended Practice for determining the reliability of 7×24 Power Systems in industrial and commercial facilities”.
He is a member of the Advisory Board of UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability
and of Southern Methodist University’s Data Center System Engineering Board of Advisors.
He is also an Advisory Council Partner and a Master of Infrastructure Masons, and a member of the DCIRN Board of Directors.
Peter graduated from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest with a degree in Electrical
Engineering and received an MBA from California State University.
A native Norwegian, he started his first company at the age of 20, and has consistently provided innovative software solutions to a range of corporate organisations, including all major media houses in Norway, Dutch telecom giant KPN, and Cisco. Today, the focus of intraHouse is dedicated to SmartCities technologies and systems, pioneering the creation and development of the not-for-profit SmartNations Foundation, dedicated to accelerating the adoption of 21st Century Digital Infrastructure to support and enable the digital transformation of SmartCities, with particular emphasis on the emerging societies and economies.
In addition, André’s intra.work platform facilitates project management, communications, collaboration and networking in the SmartCity space. Through the SmartNations initiative, he hopes that hyperscale cloud data center development in countries with favorable climes and substantial clean energy like Norway will become the “Green Hard Drive” for the world.
Bruce A. Taylor
Bruce A. Taylor is a strategic advisor to the global data center industry. A career-long
science and technology media practioner, senior executive, and an entrepreneurial
founder of successful specialized media businesses. Bruce traces his early entry into
technical journalism back to the early 1980s, covering every major development in
computing technology, from mainframe to handheld. He specialized in computer
graphics, video and imaging, and was the founding and seminal publisher in the field of
Interactive computing-enabled Human Capital (in partnership with IBM’s Advanced
Educational Systems Division) and Knowledge Management. In 2005, Bruce entered
the data center field, joining as a principal and vice president of the legendary iconic
global authority, the Uptime Institute, best-known as the promulgator of the engineering
standards, known as the Tier Classification system by which data centers globally are
certified for 7×24 uptime availability, reliability, resiliency and operational capability.
Bruce was the principal of the first research project and conference-producing group
focused on the energy efficiency and eco-sustainability of mission critical compute
facilities known as the Uptime Institute Symposium. In 2009, he initiated the divestiture
of the Uptime Institute to 451 Research, where he served as vice president until 2013.
He then joined the London-headquartered leading global data center media and
conference business, Datacenter Dynamics (DCD), as executive vice president of the
North America and host chair of the conferences. In this role, he was responsible for
DCD’s strategic content guidance. Bruce is now an independent advisor, researcher,
writer, conference speaker and webcast host on topics related to global Digital
Transformation, with a specific interest in the Digital Infrastructure that enables and
supports DX. In this role, he is a strategic media partner with DigitalInfra Partners, a
global conference provider focused on the physical infrastructure requirements for the
sustainability of Smart Energy and Smart Data Centers. Bruce lives in Santa Fe, New
Mexico where hiking and skiing are his “off-duty” passions for as long as his knees hold
A highly experienced entrepreneur with Strong professional skilled in Business Planning, Operations Management, Event Management, Real-estate Development, Sales and Marketing.
The Co-Founder of Datacenter Dynamics, Dan founded DCD in 1998 and remained the acting CEO, until 2013. Under his leadership, the company became globally recognised as a leading voice of the data centre industry and during Dan’s leadership was holding 47 conferences in 37 countries, operating a thriving publishing, training and research business through 13 overseas and a staff base of 150. Having worked in the data centre and cloud infrastructure industry since its inception, Dan has an intricate understanding of this rapidly developing sector.
After stepping down from DCD in 2014, Dan created RockScar as a holding company to capitalise on the industry understanding and global network that he had built over the last twenty years. RockScar has worked with multiple organisations involved in the entire life cycle of Digital Infrastructure in various regions globally.
Through his variety of engagement’s Dan has worked extensively in both residential and commercial real-estate, and cloud and data centre technology. He understands the end to end development process and the challenges of delivering and operating complex digital infrastructure projects in multiple international locations.
He is currently working on his next media and events project with the launch of Digital Infrastructure Partners a group of like-minded individuals focused on moving the global market towards sustainable digital infrastructure. Dan is also working with Salute Mission Critical to help them grow and develop their business in Europe. Salute Mission Critical specialises in both project work and operating mission critical infrastructure using a veterans work force.
Micheline Erika Birkhead
Micheline Erika Birkhead brings over 30 years of experience in strategic planning, business development, operations, marketing and sustainability. With a beginning in her family’s commercial construction company and as a successful entrepreneur, Micheline is passionate about multi-stakeholder win-win scenarios. She uses her decades of experience, along with her skills of collaboration and evangelism to enhance company profitability, sustainability and internal/external relationships. Micheline has been a strategic advisor and hands-on contributor to organizations around the world from start-ups to SMB’s, large enterprises and nonprofit organizations.
Micheline is the Founder and Managing Director for ClearPath Strategies International, a boutique consulting firm and is also an Adjunct Professor and Advisory Board member for Sustainability Programs at California State University, Fullerton. Birkhead has held roles as Sr. Director Sponsorship Sales (IT Data Center / Facilities), Conference Producer; Director of (Advertising) Sales & National Brands Accounts Director, and as a Corporate Spokesperson for a Fortune 100.
Her diverse industry experience encompasses Technology (software, hardware, infrastructure, data centers), Advertising – National Brands, Retail, Consumer Packaged Goods, Entertainment, Sustainability, Fundraising Events and Commercial Real Estate / Construction. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in nutrition. Her additional credentials are from the USGBC – US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED-GA), the IWBI – International Well Building Institute (WELL-AP), Microsoft as a Systems Engineer (MCSE) and a Database Admin (MCDBA), and from Cisco as a Certified Network Admin (CCNA). Her masters degree in business administration (MBA) is from Pepperdine University in Malibu California.
Nancy Dyste Christiano
Nancy Dyste Christiano is a proactive leader, visionary, speaker, strategic thinker, and public relations expert focusing on national and international business development. She has depth in management and coalition building at the grassroots, state, national and international levels in business and non-profit sectors, and a co-producer of TEDx.
As a strategic advisor, Nancy has access to major corporations, family foundations, and personal relationships who focus on peace, justice and sustainability and is instrumental in connecting them to philanthropic organizations, universities, governments and others. She is the CEO of Pacific West Ventures, a financial networking company providing strategic consulting services; the International Director at the Nelson Mandela Institute Center of Excellence; and an advisor to DX Planet, Energy Everywhere, the Born Free Foundation, Starbucks Global Solar Project, Givvor, Terra Sustainable Technologies and numerous Pan-African companies.
Nancy is a visiting professor at Chapman University, her alma mater where she is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a BA in Communication Studies.
Karen Floyd brings 25 years’ global experience of entrepreneurship, leadership, business development, sustainability, marketing and public relations having worked with startups, SMEs, corporates and nonprofits. A U.K. native fluent in Spanish, French and Russian, in 2017 Karen was certified by the U.K.’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) as being in the top one percent of PR professionals in Europe, tested on strategy, leadership and ethics. In addition to holding degrees in French, Russian, International Relations and Public Relations, she has studied leadership and entrepreneurship at Babson College, Innovation Norway in Silicon Valley and Oslo and HIVE in San Francisco.
Sustainability has been close to Karen’s heart since 1995, when she joined the Moroccan Ministry of Fisheries before being head hunted to FIS – the world’s first global online platform for the commercial fishing and aquaculture industries – where she oversaw strategic development and key stakeholder relationships with the U.N.F.A.O. and ministries of fisheries from around the world.
As Director of technology company intraHouse Spain S.L. – a founding organization of the SmartNations Foundation which is based on Gran Canaria – she oversees strategic relationships with key stakeholders reaching into Africa. Karen also runs a U.K.-based boutique PR firm she founded 11 years ago, working with global startups, SMEs and corporates across technology, tourism and the built environment. She acts as a Client Advisor for the CIPR and appears at conferences, in the press and on radio and television speaking about entrepreneurship, technology and public relations.
Roger Strukhoff is Conference Chair of Cloud Expo, and Executive Director of the Tau Institute for
Global IT Research. His early career was spent as an Editor and Publisher with United Newspapers
and IDG, where he served on the Long-Term Planning Committee of this $1-billion company.
More recently, he served as Director of Research for Altoros Software, Story Manager for the Cloud
Foundry Foundation, and Director of Global Publications for TIBCO Software.
He has led several startups, notably the JavaOne Conference (launched as an $80 million event),
CoverOne Media (a dot-com era agency with Apple, Intel, Siebel, Sybase, Cadence and others as
clients), Sys-Con Media (grew to $20 million in annual revenue and produces Cloud Expo), and Blue
Dove Software (was CTO at a visual database company, sold to a major vendor two years after
During his 30 years in the technology business he has written more than 1 million words, interviewed about 1,500 people for television casts, and spoken at hundreds of events.
He served as a Guest Lecturer at MIT on the topic of CD-ROM and networking, then expanded this
presentation into a broader view of technology at events in Keidanren Hall in Tokyo, Tsinchu
Technology Park in Taipei, Stanford University, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, New York's Flatiron Building, and many other locations.
He was once pitched for funding by Captain Kangaroo. He knew Bill Gates when Bill was worth less
than $1 billion. He received 3am emails from Steve Jobs when Steve was a client. He has at least 500
anecdotes like this.
Roger received a BA from Knox College, Certificate in Technical Writing from UC-Berkeley, attended
the IDG Publishing Institute at Babson College, and conducted MBA studies at CalState-East Bay. He is an orchestral trumpet player and plays the piano well enough to impress his family and some of his friends.
Fabienne Durand is a political scientist, consultant on sustainability and a public relations expert.
Fabienne has a long experience in communication, first as a political scientist and teacher, and then in institutional and influence communication. Lobbying, public policies, decision-makers, strategies, development and activation of an international network are her field of expertise and playground.
In addition to this, she has a solid and enlightened expertise in the field of sustainability, within GSC (Green Sustainable Communication), a consulting structure, of which she is the Founder and CEO, after having worked in other structures.
She builds and accompanies ‘sustainable’ projects, helps with business-development contributions, and helps to raise money and to find investors. Fabienne contributes numerous articles on geopolitical and geoenvironmental issues. She is also very active on social networks in order to cover a broad spectrum in terms of influence.
For Fabienne, it is not only a question of being active and influential, through writings, conferences, with decision-makers at all levels of public and private governance, and think tanks, but also through social networks to reach other targets and have maximum impact.