In this compelling episode of Nomad Futurist, hosts Nabeel Mahmood and Phillip Koblence welcome Shannon Hulbert, the CEO of Opus Interactive and a member of the Yurok Tribe. With over twenty years of experience in data centers, cloud, utilities, and advocating for digital inclusion, Hulbert offers a unique blend of professional expertise and personal background. Raised in a rural village on the Yurok Tribe reservation in Northern California—a place largely untouched by modern conveniences like electricity, telephone, or internet—she brings a distinctive perspective to the tech industry.

During the episode, Hulbert shares insightful reflections on her early industry experiences, particularly noting the absence of utility companies at data center conferences and the rampant energy consumption:

“Coming from an energy efficiency company as a Native American who has grown up with sustainability at the core of who [I am], to coming into the data center industry, at some of those early conferences, it was like, where are the utility companies? Like we’re burning through energy here and there’s so much opportunity for efficiency.”

Hulbert explains how conversations and her drive help her keep up with the constantly evolving technology sector:

“I’m just really passionate about innovation. So nothing else in the history of mankind is happening as quickly as what we’re building right now in data centers and the cloud, the introduction of AI is here and that’s huge.”

One notable trend Hulbert highlights seeing in her career was the migration towards sustainable, efficient power solutions, which has consequently shifted focus towards IT:

“Now, nothing happens at the business level unless IT is involved and so it becomes very important to make sure that we have sustainable IT. Because for companies that have corporate social responsibility initiatives, this becomes one of the only ways that they’re now able to show that they’re doing their best where there’s no longer brick and mortar.”

This episode not only showcases Hulbert’s unique insights as a representative of the Native American community but also serves as an inspiration for those navigating their career paths in telecommunications. Connect with Shannon Hulbert on LinkedIn to stay updated about her ongoing journey.

BONUS: As promised during the Podcast interview, you can listen to Shannon Hulbert’s electronic music here.

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