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Business as a Platform for Change

‘CEOs Have a Responsibility’: Marc Benioff Urges Global Climate Action in WEF GTGS Interview

Marc Benioff at GTGS Event

This week, Salesforce and the World Economic Forum (WEF) joined forces for the first annual Global Technology Governance Summit (GTGS), a series of discussions on how key technologies in the digital, biological, and physical world must remain human-centered and serve all stakeholders. 

We can use technology to improve the state of the world. We can decarbonize, we can address overfishing, we can look at reforestation, we can use biometricians to understand our world in a new way.

Marc Benioff, Chair and CEO, Salesforce

The key to meeting these goals is collaboration, and the event is helping to define what that collaboration should look like – how technology governance must evolve, and how capitalism itself must change to better serve all stakeholders. Salesforce Chair and CEO Marc Benioff participated in panel discussions and interviews during the event. He also served as one of 10 co-chairs of GTGS.

Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO, at GTGS

On Monday, Benioff participated in an online panel discussion on the outlook for technology governance, and on Tuesday he sat down for a fireside chat with New York Times Deputy Managing Editor Rebecca Blumenstein to discuss stakeholder capitalism, climate change, digital transformation, the future of work, reskilling, trust and more. 

Here are some of Benioff’s comments from his sessions at the GTGS event:

  • “Climate change and the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere is the number one issue in the world today.”
  • “All companies have the ability to become net zero companies. All countries have the ability to become net zero countries.”
  • “The environment is a key stakeholder. You can’t have a successful business without a successful environment.”
  • “CEOs have a responsibility to listen to their employees and then act on their behalf.” 
  • “Some of the world’s largest companies have now committed to being fully transparent in their reporting of the sustainable development goals. The idea that CEOs are now willing to commit to transparent reporting, I think that’s very exciting progress.” 
  • “We built a product called Salesforce Anywhere so that our customers can be successful from anywhere — sell from anywhere, service from anywhere, market from anywhere, conduct commerce from anywhere, collaborate from anywhere. We’re in a new world and Salesforce is going to be a leader in that new world.”
  • “We’re pulling [social media] companies into the future—they should be pulling us. They shouldn’t be protecting their old revenue models but instead they need to be aggressively going after how they are going to protect us as their users, as society. That should be their primary point of view….that’s true stakeholder capitalism.”

A full video replay of the panel “Technology Governance Outlook” is available here. A full video replay of the conversation with Rebecca Blumenstein, “An Insight, An Idea with Marc Benioff” is available here.