What is a Leaders Lab?

AFCOM Leaders Labs are a series of regional workshops comprised of data center professionals who explore solutions and develop responses to the most critical issues being addressed in the data center today. The topics for 2020 are:

  • The role of hyperscalers in your data center strategy.
  • Business continuity and disaster recover best practices for maxium data center uptime.
  • Data center outfitting and energy planning for optimal buidling performance.
  • The data center balancing act from the core to the edge.

These are exclusive gatherings of hand-selected thought leaders driving innovation, education, and advancement of data center technologies, and their work is shared with the industry via a comprehensive whitepaper outlining recommended solutions to challenging problems.

‚ÄčThe AFCOM Leaders Lab groups will meet in four cities across the US to tackle these pressing issues. Their work will be shared with their peers during a keynote session at Data Center World in Orlando, Florida March 8-11, 2021.


I’m not an expert on the Lab’s topic. Can I still participate?
Yes! The only person we expect to be an expert on the Lab topic is the Lab Advisor – our Featured Speaker - who we worked with to develop the Leaders Lab program. If you received an invitation to participate, we already deem you as qualified to participate. If you did not receive a direct invitation, please see if you qualify through our interest form.

I work on the IT side, not the facilities side. –OR-- I work in facilities, not in IT. Can I still participate?
Absolutely! The ultimate goal is to create a fully inclusive and comprehensive AFCOM whitepaper that covers all aspects, perspectives, and considerations for the topic. Representation from various roles in the data center is crucial to make the Lab discussions that much richer, and the learning that much deeper.

I am not permitted to talk specifics about my data center. Will I have enough to share? Can I still participate?
No AFCOM Leaders Lab participant is required or expected to share confidential or proprietary information about their company. Leaders Lab participants are attending with the understanding that no one is expected to give away their data center’s secret sauce. We respect, honor, and encourage the strict enforcement of all privacy laws, regulations, and overall ethical behavior.

My company will not allow me to be listed as an author on a whitepaper. Can I still participate?
Yes, we would still like for you to participate. Your contributions will still be valuable even if we cannot quote you or list your name and company on the whitepaper.



  • Participants will include 18 invited end users and 3 vendor participants in each city
  • Meetings will be hands-on and problem-solving in nature
  • Each group will examine one specific topic and will create one tangible deliverable for the industry
  • Attendees will be invited based on qualifications and their willingness to participate in the full lab experience
  • Vendor sponsors will participate in the full lab experience, alongside end users, as co-authors of the deliverables
  • Tech writers will attend each lab in order to help groups produce the final deliverables
  • Each lab will be led by a Lab Advisor/Subject Matter expert and guided by Table Leaders and a DCI Board Member


The resulting deliverables from each group will be Data Center Institute *Certified* and outputs will be presented live at the 2021 Data Center World event, in conjunction with the Data Center Institute State of the Industry Survey.