Commercial Sector Sustainability Leader, EMEA
Thomas Blood began his career in the 1980s studying climate and environmental science, and economic development. “I wanted to connect the human element and environmental science, but in the eighties there wasn't any work in that, and it wasn’t really a career path, so I found my way into it instead,” he says.
Over the next three decades he worked across different sectors, including software, data centres, as well as at startups and the public sector, before joining AWS as an enterprise strategist. His journey in the company has allowed his career experience in technology and his personal passion for sustainability to combine, providing him with the opportunity to help customers using AWS and the cloud to realise their sustainability ideas and ambitions.
The emergence of sustainability as a critical business focus has evolved rapidly in the last decade, and from his position, Blood has seen that change first-hand in the last five years. “It became a topic that the CEOs cared about and all of a sudden it became a top 10 issue. It has become a boardroom conversation to say, ‘what's our responsibility? How can we help? What can we do differently?’ And that is just such a game changer.”
It is the scale that AWS operates at, which is where Blood feels they are able to make the most impact, they help businesses around the world accelerate their sustainability progress through their cloud services. The parallel between the cloud and sustainability may not be immediately obvious, but he thinks they are inextricably linked, because of how technology can remove so many limitations and blockers to progress. “Sustainability is a global challenge and we have to solve it at scale,” he says. “That's the first parallel. AWS is global. We're trying to solve global challenges.”
In dealing with so many partners and customers, Thomas Blood has used that as inspiration for co-writing a book called ‘Reaching Cloud Velocity’ alongside Jonathan Allen. With AWS powering world-wide companies in their cloud transformation, the work has helped explore the lessons they have learned in that time. Writing it has allowed them to bring their own unique experience - combined with that of hundreds of customers that they have worked with around the globe - to create a book of lessons, knowledge, and advice that leaders can use to grow their progress. It is a part of how Blood feels he can help influence others in accelerating sustainability through the AWS cloud.
With AWS’ technology allowing their customers to accelerate and amplify their strategies, Blood is genuinely excited about exactly what the future holds, and how the cloud can help people achieve remarkable things. “I love this question of what would you do if you had no constraints? It changes your thinking. If I have no constraints, and I just look at what's theoretically possible, not even theoretically just what do I want to accomplish?” he says
“I write it down and then I look for ways to make it happen. It may not be possible to do all the ideas that I have, but by asking the right question, I can try things that I wouldn't ordinarily try. It's enabling people to create the future we all need. That's what I'm looking for and that's why I came to AWS.”
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