Dreamforce ’19 is in full swing and day two was a smashing success! We heard from media maven Arianna Huffington, Bay Area royalty Stephen and Ayesha Curry, and our own Parker Harris and Bret Taylor during the seventh annual True to the Core customer forum. On top of that, we learned about the $12 trillion dollar opportunity behind the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and explained to the red meat lovers why beef didn’t make an appearance at Dreamforce ’19.
The day’s programming focused heavily on the role every person and business has to impact the SDGs and how digital transformation will change the face of commerce, sales, retail, and more. Here’s what we learned:
1. AI plays a crucial role in productivity and customer success
There’s tremendous excitement about artificial intelligence (AI) and its role in digital transformation, but there’s also confusion about how to get started. At the Einstein Keynote, we heard from Leave a Nest Co., Ltd. Chief Information Officer Joji Yoshida, State Street Global Advisors Global Director of Sales Enablement Tools and Analytics Jessica DeLeo, and members of our Einstein AI team on how to implement, adopt and achieve a single view of the customer with AI.
“It all starts with a question — one that makes sense for your business,” said Marco Casalaina, Salesforce Vice President of Einstein Products. That question could be, “Which opportunity is going to close or which students are in danger of dropping out of school? Or, will my email get opened or not?” With artificial intelligence baked into the Customer 360, employees can get these questions answered to become more productive.
2. Health and wellness (even when tech is involved) is key to achieving our potential
In a refreshing session between Thrive Global Founder and CEO Arianna Huffington and Salesforce Chairman and Co-CEO Marc Benioff, Dreamforce attendees took a break from technology to talk about wellness. Since its founding in 2016, Thrive Global’s mission has been to eradicate the stress and burnout epidemic — or, as Huffington calls it “civilization’s disease.” She explained to the audience that 90% of healthcare problems and costs are lifestyle, behavior, and stress-related.
“There’s so much suffering in the world that we cannot immediately solve,” she said. “But this is something we can solve simply by changing the collective delusion that to succeed we have to burnout.” They shared their views on meditation, breath, and spirituality. And in a grounding moment, Marc himself spoke about how he needed to take a “pause” ahead of the opening keynote on Tuesday to collect himself and process Monday’s emotional memorial for Bernard Tyson, whom this Dreamforce is dedicated to.
3. To address the SDGs, we must first focus on trust
How will we achieve our SDGs without repairing the trust crisis that currently exists in the world? In an enlightening panel led by South African TV and Radio Broadcaster Tumelo Mothotoane, we heard from leading voices for peace and equality including Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Secretary General of World YMCA Carlos Madjri Sanvee, and UN Secretary-General’s Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals Eddie Ndopu about how we can rebuild trust to create a better world.
Currently, there’s a profound lack of trust — especially among young people — in our institutions and systems of government. “Trust makes the world easier. When we go into things trusting, we get things done,” explained Ndopu. “It’s difficult to build really extraordinary things if we don’t have trust. It’s important we open ourselves up and be receptive.”
As a society, business leaders, and human beings, we need to lead with our values. Yo-Yo Ma quoted Marc’s new book Trailblazer by reminding the audience that “values create value.” “If you don’t have values,” Ma says, “you wave around something that’s shiny, but empty.”
4. New Trailhead features help learners transform their lives
Today’s Trailhead Keynote felt more like a homecoming than a keynote, with audience members donning golden hoodies, waving at one another from across the aisles, and greeting each other with big hugs. Kris discussed the importance of Trailhead as a tool to reskill the workforce. Vice President of Trailhead Content Chris Duarte introduced new enhanced Trailhead features to help maximize learning:
- Trailhead LIVE for videos of expert-led certification classes
- The new Trailhead Go in partnership with Apple for iOS for mobile learning
- A new Amazon Web Services certification partnership
- The opportunity to earn college credit with Southern New Hampshire University
Vice President of Trailhead Evangelism and Trailblazer Community Leah McGowen-Hare emphasized how the Trailblazer Community “roots for each other.” Trailblazer stories from Lauren Zolp, who was presented with her golden hoodie, Daniel Gorton the Salesforce admin who sees Trailblazers as his extended family, and how Accenture piloted myTrailhead to reskill employees, customers, and partners.
5. Business will be a major mover of progress in the world
The business of business is to improve the state of the world. That was the main topic of conversation at today’s session titled, “The $12 Trillion Opportunity Behind the SDGs.” As Film Writer, Director, and UN SDG Advocate Richard Curtis explained, “There was a thing called corporate social responsibility, but we are shifting now into a time of responsible social corporations.”
The other panelists — Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Actress, Director, Philanthropist, and Co-Owner of Pour Le Femmes Robin Wright — reiterated the exponential impact we can make on the world if we each adopt one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Wright, who founded her socially conscious sleepwear company three years ago to give women in conflict areas new opportunities, discussed how she uses business and technology to increase her impact. “We need Salesforce to scale our business,” she said. “It’s all interconnected.” The panel closed with a warm but urgent reminder that we all have homework to do in 2020 when it comes to making progress against the SDGs. “Business will be the major mover of major progress in the world,” Curtis said. “Not politicians; they’re too short term.”