Leveraging skills and generative AI to create technology innovation: Insights from AWS executive John Davies
Building skills is imperative for every industry, including technology. Whether you’re transforming how you teach; improving communications for public safety; moving medical records to the cloud; or generating donor, member, or volunteer insights through managed databases and analytics, various public sector organizations around the world are continuing to find they need to upskill, or reskill, their employees. They’re wondering: how can employees’ skillsets transfer to multiple roles? How can employees build new skills? How can generative artificial intelligence (AI) help streamline workloads so employees can focus on human-centric tasks that matter?
John Davies, director of Latin America, Canada, and the Caribbean (LCC) sales for Amazon Web Services (AWS) worldwide public sector (WWPS), has spent his career building, transforming, and leveraging his vast skillset to advance public sector technology forward around the globe in responsible, trailblazing ways. If anyone can share the importance of learning and using one’s skills – without requiring formal higher education – John may be one of the best people to ask.
So I did.
I’m Sarah Storelli, senior global marketing leader for AWS WWPS, and I’m on a quest to discover the people behind innovations across industries. In the video series AWS Behind the Cloud, I connect with pioneers serving the public sector globally to learn more about how their stories shape and define the way they build and support cutting-edge technologies that are helping make the world a better place.
In the third episode of the AWS Behind the Cloud series, I sat down with John to uncover the importance of building skills to deliver results; scaling teams and programs geographically to serve the greater good; and leveraging generative AI responsibly to create more meaningful impact for business, government, and society.
John shares how he takes the Amazon Leadership Principle “Learn and Be Curious” to heart through conscious decision-making and nurturing various skills to deliver results. For example, his career spans from engineering management to executive sales leader—without formal higher education. He applies his engineering skillset to sales since it is imperative to speak the technical language of developers to result in strategic, meaningful impact for cities, patients, students, and many more communities spanning from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) to LCC to the UK.
Throughout our discussion, it is apparent that John’s focus on building actionable skills—which mirrors AWS’s culture of learning—makes him a relatable advisor to help public sector organizations understand how they can solve their challenges at scale by leveraging technological innovations such as generative AI responsibly.
“What we need to do is give people an understanding of what [generative AI] is to remove the risk and the fear because there’s an opportunity to get this right. We absolutely need to be responsible about the usage of it, and I see it as the most incredible opportunity to educate the world on the possibilities for what generative AI can do for us,” John says. “We have all over the world, in all industries, staffing shortages, and we can help with this. We have educators online now, so instead of having a class of 30, they might be talking to thousands at the same time. What about having a bit of generative AI as a chatbot where you can ask questions like you would to a tutor? The more we can help people understand AI and how to interact with it—not just the technology of it—and that you need a human within all of these aspects, people will start to understand using it the right way and deliver at scale.”
In addition to John’s compelling career evolution, what is most inspiring is his genuine humility and the intrinsic drive he exudes to help make the world a better place for global citizens by using technology for good. “I’d like to be remembered as someone who was able to move public sector technology forward in the right way,” John says.
Ready to learn from one of AWS’s top leaders about the importance of skill building and learning to advance your career? Curious how generative AI can be used by the worldwide public sector to enact positive change for their communities? Watch the latest episode of AWS Behind the Cloud now.
Learn more about how AWS helps support public sector organizations using generative AI.
Want to build in-demand cloud skills your way? Check out AWS Skill Builder.
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