The Meaning of ‘Infrastructure Masons’
Given that names do have real meaning, we want to clarify what the name ‘Infrastructure Masons’ means – and doesn’t.
Juliet told Romeo that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but just as it did in fact matter that he was a Montague and she was a Capulet, names do have meaning. The name ‘Infrastructure Masons’ does. But perhaps not the meaning that first comes to your mind.
Indeed, we’ve received feedback – particularly as we expand into Europe – that the name ‘Infrastructure Masons’ evokes images of the Freemasons, and all the complex history that goes with. That was not our intention.
Why Infrastructure Masons is called Infrastructure Masons
The word ‘mason’ is defined, as a noun, “a builder and worker in stone” and, as a verb, “build from or strengthen with stone.” Whereas the foundation of the Renaissance was stone, the foundation of the modern age is digital infrastructure. So today’s ‘masons’ are the builders of the Digital Age, and we build with infrastructure. Hence, Infrastructure Masons.
There’s a personal story behind the name, too. Dean Nelson, our Founder and Chairman, shared that story when he founded the organization:
“I grew up with a father in the construction business. He built custom homes in Colorado…I remembered back when I rode in my dad’s pickup to job sites. As we drove, he would point out different homes he had built. At the time, I didn’t appreciate how much effort and dedication he put in to completing something that would change peoples lives so profoundly… This train of thought led me to a different question. Did other builders have this type of profound impact?
“I felt a kinship to my Dad and [other] masons. They knew their contribution to society made a difference, even if the people using it did not understand or appreciate it. My dad’s community was proud to help families thrive. The masons were proud to help civilizations thrive. My technical community is proud to help every person on the planet connect and thrive…We are the masons for the digital age. Infrastructure Masons.”
– Dean Nelson, Are You A Mason?
“Today’s ‘masons’ are the builders of the Digital Age, and we build with infrastructure. Hence, Infrastructure Masons.” – Click to tweet
What Infrastructure Masons is about
Community – Infrastructure Masons is an organization of individuals who are builders of the digital age. We come together to share challenges and opportunities, trials and triumphs. We innovate together. We look after each other. We have fun. And we share symbols of our community that reflect the fact that we are proud to build and operate the infrastructure that makes the Internet of Everything possible.
Our membership levels reflect each member’s work and contributions to the industry in the categories that matter most: Experience, Economics, Stewardship, and (forthcoming) Sustainability. That’s where our triangle comes in:
“We come together to share challenges and opportunities, trials and triumphs. We innovate together. We look after each other. We have fun.” – Click to tweet
Diversity and inclusion – The future of technology depends on bringing more women and minorities into the industry. Infrastructure Masons are committed to helping increase the number of women in technical infrastructure by both encouraging more women to enter the industry and by supporting the women already working here to stay and succeed. Learn more in To Bridge the Tech Talent Gap, Hire More Women.
Education – Educating the next generation of infrastructure builders is one of our key priorities. We’re helping do that through partnerships with universities and through a scholarship fund – all with a 50% gender parity mandate. Beyond formal education, we have a data center tour program for students to experience the industry firsthand. And for people who are already builders of the digital age, we host a mentorship program for more advanced members to help bring up the less experienced builders.
“The future of technology depends on bringing more women and minorities into the industry.” – Click to tweet
Transparency – In every respect, Infrastructure Masons is about transparency. We want digital infrastructure operators to be transparent about their operations (hence, the Data Center Incident Reporting Network). We want deal-making criteria to be transparent (hence, the Data Center Performance Index). And we ourselves are transparent in the way we operate the organization. It’s not about being secretive or exclusive. In our day jobs, we don’t give special treatment to other Infrastructure Masons. We do want to wield influence, such as over policies that affect our industry, but we do it openly.
“Deal-making criteria should be transparent (hence, the Data Center Performance Index).” – Click to tweet
So…yes, we have a strong community with regular meetings and rings and triangular symbols and programs to bring up the next generation of masons. We also are actively committed to diverse inclusion, and to transparency.
So that’s what’s in our name. Now the question is: Are you an Infrastructure Mason?