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LOS ANGELES – Salesforce and Baron Davis might seem like an unlikely pairing. A tech leader and a former NBA All-Star? But the two are joining forces to address a shared goal of leveraging technology to transform our cities and our communities.
On Friday Salesforce’s Make Change series and Davis’ organization Business Inside the Game hosted an event in Los Angeles to bring together business leaders, influencers, and athletes to discuss how technology is shaping the future of work in LA and beyond.
“[Tonight] is all about connecting the older generation to the younger generation and making sure that not only are we investing our time and our resources, but we are also leading with purpose and responsibility,” Davis said at the event at West Hollywood’s Petite Taqueria. “It’s not just about the money. It’s about what we can do to continue to grow LA as a community.”
Like Davis, Cristina Mancini Jones, Salesforce’s Senior Vice President of Customer Marketing, Brand Partnerships, and C-Suite Engagement, is a Los Angeles native who hopes that unifying some of the city’s leaders behind the power of technology can help pave the way for a better future.
“It is my hope that you walk away from here tonight with a purpose around how we can not only lift up this community, our city of Los Angeles, but how can we entice other people to join this community?” Jones told the crowd. “A community of people who, like us in the room, believe that the business of business is doing well.”
At Salesforce, Jones – who Davis dubbed “the queen of purpose” – launched the Make Change series, an effort to celebrate the trailblazers who are using their platforms to create change and make the world a better place.
“We do this because it’s our hope that in hearing their stories, that you too will be inspired to create change,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what your job is or what your career is. There’s space in what you do to create change, to drive change, to make the world a better place, not just for us but for our kids and our grandkids.”
Davis, 40, was a basketball star at UCLA and selected third in the 1999 NBA draft. He went on to have a successful career in the NBA, twice being selected to the All-Star team. Despite his on-court success, Davis was frustrated by what he was not accomplishing off the court.
“I need to be a man of service,” he decided.
After retiring, Davis launched Business Inside the Game (BIG), designed to build a community of athletes, celebrities, and entrepreneurs in an effort to drive business and social impact. Now BIG and Salesforce are looking to accomplish that goal together, starting with Friday’s event in LA and expanding to other cities around the country.
For those in attendance on Friday evening, the call to action was a straightforward one.
“Salesforce is driving change,” Jones told the crowd. “Baron is driving change. Here’s your opportunity to drive change.”