Inspiration and innovation was on everyone’s lips on Day 3 of Dreamforce. Today’s Equality Summit propelled thoughtful conversations about how companies, and the people who lead them, can be powerful platforms for social change. Attendees also heard about the latest innovations and features to drive customer success in numerous product keynotes. Here are some of the highlights, in case you missed it.
Award-winning actress Taraji P. Henson has had the opportunity to portray strong, driven women in her roles on TV (nobody messes with Cookie Lyon!) and in important films like Hidden Figures. In a moving and supremely funny discussion with Michele Norris, Taraji spoke of fighting Hollywood’s expectations of what she should and should not be on and off the screen: not an action star at 47 years old, not an intelligent women, not right for a role, and many more stereotypes. But she delights in pushing back and fighting for her worth, whether it’s being box-office worthy or being paid upfront like her male counterparts. “I wake up every morning waiting for a fight. I can’t wait to meet the nay-sayers. Prove me wrong,” she says. In her talk, Taraji also discussed where she finds strength and guidance, and what frustrates her about labels and stereotypes.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing the way we live. Every thing and everyone is getting smarter and more connected every day, and we’re seeing this transformation in the way we work. IBM’s Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty and Marc Benioff discussed the topic of transformation today, its effect on workers, and the responsibilities tech leaders and companies have in this new era. "For those of us that make technology, it is our job to make sure it is ushered into the world the right way," Ginni said.
The discussion turned to workforce development, and like Marc, Ginni believes that education is the key to helping current and future employees thrive in a rapidly changing world. “The divide we see in this nation, it’s haves and have-nots, and the root of this is in education,” she said. She emphasized the importance of mentorships, apprenticeships, and in developing stronger technology curriculums for students. Ginni challenges other companies to have more empathy for their users and offers this advice:
A growing number of Hollywood actresses have been speaking out about the pay disparity between themselves and their male co-stars. Even amongst the most famous women in the world, it reflects a universal theme, across all jobs, of women receiving less pay than men for equal work. Academy Award winning actress Natalie Portman has added her voice to the conversation and advocates for equality for all. At Dreamforce, she shared her views on why more women need to be empowered to speak up and how we can foster that spirit in younger girls and women. “We need a ‘boss school’ for girls. It’s important to know how to ask someone to do something in an unapologetic way,” she quipped. Natalie also went on to talk about the importance of equality beyond the scope of pay, saying, “We’re not taking away seats from the table, we’re adding them. Inclusion is for the betterment of everyone.”
It’s not a specific moment, but attendees were abuzz with all of the fun surprises and innovations we heard about in various product keynotes — the majority of which occurring today. Sales Cloud showed us how to put out fires before they even start with Einstein Predictive Forecasting and Platform announced that after ten years our Force.com brand is changing to Lightning Platform.
Commerce Cloud unveiled an Instagram shopping integration, where brands can tag products in their posts with product information, creating shoppable content, and had Bella the dog help demonstrate Petsmart’s connect shopper capabilities.
Quip announced live apps to speed collaboration and productivity in their keynote, with a guest appearance from two of the stars of HBO’s Silicon Valley, and over at Success Cloud’s debut keynote, Luis Fonsi (of “Despacito” fame) performed to help raise funds for Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief efforts.
Art and activism have always gone hand-in-hand. Regardless of the medium, artists have long been surfacing underrepresented social issues, sending messages of anger, despair, hope, and change, as well as making bold statements that grab attention. Today, Dreamforce attendees heard about the process and emotion that goes into creating these works, as well as how everyone can become an activist. “Activism is what you do in the community because you have a position,” will.i.am said, as he shared his experiences about growing up in a tough neighborhood and wanting to see change. Laurene Powell Jobs echoed this sentiment and emphasized that through art and education, we’ll see change and more equality. “We all have to be relentless. When we see the truth, we have to speak the truth. We have to keep pushing in every avenue we can, especially the arts,” she said.
If you missed any of these moments, you can check them out on Salesforce Live. Three epic days down, one more to go. Let’s finish out your Dreamforce experience strong, tomorrow!