Meet A Steering Committee Member: Dan Lewis-Toakley of Thoughtworks

Posted on November 11th, 2021

Dan Lewis-Toakley is the Green Cloud Lead & Senior Developer Consultant at Thoughtworks. He believes that a critical mass of green software adoption will require stakeholders across all industries and sectors to come together.

Meet A Steering Committee Member: Dan Lewis-Toakley of Thoughtworks

Tell us about your  career path, interest in green software and your journey to GSF 

As a technologist, I’m passionate about green software because I want us together to solve the climate crisis. As the demand for digital products and services grows—especially during the era of COVID-19—we have an increasing responsibility to develop software with limited or no reliance on fossil fuels. 

As the Green Cloud Lead for Thoughtworks North America, I advise clients on strategies to help reduce the environmental footprint of their technology. I also work with climate justice movements to deliver software solutions for increased growth and effectiveness. Prior to Thoughtworks, I  spent almost a decade working with nonprofits to build technology solutions to scale their impact on issues of climate, social and economic justice. 

What do you, as an individual, expect to achieve by working with the GSF and in green software? 

Ultimately, I want to see us build a large and diverse movement of green software practitioners all around the world. More specifically, I’m hoping that we can innovate with new open source and open data projects to build a trusted and shared ecosystem of tools and techniques to build greener software. In particular I’m passionate about pushing the limits of what’s possible when it comes to architectural approaches to greener cloud computing, video/audio streaming and edge computing. 

What obstacles do you see to the cause of green software? How can we overcome them? 

I think one of the biggest challenges we face is time. If we want a critical mass of green software adoption over the coming years, we are going to need policy makers to set requirements and standards for doing so. This is a huge task that will require stakeholders across all industries and sectors to come together fast enough, while the impending climate crisis only grows in size and reach. I’m hopeful that we can overcome this challenge—but we need to move quickly.

Any other matters you would like to share with us in the cause of green software?

Related to green software (and a shameless plug)—our team at Thoughtworks has been building an open source tool to help measure and reduce the carbon emissions from cloud services and usage. It’s called Cloud Carbon Footprint - you should check it out and give it a try! 

Check out what our other Steering Committee members say about green software

Elise Zelechowski of Thoughtworks

Jeff Sandquist of Microsoft

Jose Lopez Diminguez of Globant

Matthew Kropp of BCG GAMMA

Santiago Fontannarosa of Globant

Toru Shimogaki of NTT DATA

Yusuke Kobayashi of NTT DATA

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Nilooka Dissanayake
Nilooka DissanayakeEditor & Content Creator