Originally Posted on Pacific Telecommunications Council
Afonso Salema is responsible for the development of the SINES project by Start Campus. This hyperscale data center campus will be one of Europe’s largest data center campuses and will respond to growing demand from large international technology companies. It will benefit from strategic advantages such as ocean water cooling systems, access to the high voltage power grid, and connectivity through the connection to high-capacity international fiber optic cables with North America, Africa, and South America. Prior to Start Campus, Afonso spent 15 years in investment banking, covering the renewable energy and infrastructure sectors.
Pacific Telecommunication Council (PTC) Question: How can telecommunications technologies help humanity?
Afonso Salema, CEO, Start Campus (AS) Answer: “I love this question and it prompts me to recall the book The Victorian Internet, by Tom Standage. The book highlights how the world changed due to the introduction of the telegraph. The true revolution is not the Internet, and the faster and more bandwidth capabilities, the real revolution was how it completely changed the way that we communicate — with our families, our co-workers, and with our friends. For example, I have a commitment with my children that every single day at 6 p.m. their local time that I would call, no matter where I am in the world. If we go back to post-World War II, people would go weeks or months without receiving letters and wondering what was going on with their loved ones. Today, we can speak with our children every day before they go to bed. And that’s amazing
I think that evolution is positive. We can see how cultures have started to fit together and work together. It’s all about new communication and the availability of communication because if all these cultures were completely isolated, there’s no cultural interchange. There’s no learning the best about each other. Every single one of us is living our own life. Telecommunications completely changed the world and that’s what makes us, as humans, unique. We are now a living, breathing, unified global world where you can speak with someone somewhere in China and find things in common; for example, the latest movie that was released. None of this would be available if we didn’t have telecommunications, and it is because we have it that humanity can achieve the next level of civilization. It is critical.”
PTC Q: How can corporations and researchers best serve the next generation?
AS Answer: “The fact that the Internet was started by a military project that very soon turned into a university exchange project — a way for universities to share knowledge, that’s the best way. The best thing that corporations and researchers can do for the next generation is to share knowledge with them and help them evolve. As Isaac Newton said, the only reason we are here is by standing on the shoulders of giants. What this effectively means is that knowledge is built on strong foundations that keep on growing, and it’s up to the current generation of corporations and researchers to set the basis for the next generation that leads and helps us achieve even higher levels of excellence.”
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