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Technology Ethics

Responsible Technology: Highlights from Salesforce at WEF’s Global Technology Governance Summit

GTGS

This week, Salesforce Executives participated in the World Economic Forum’s first annual Global Technology Governance Summit (GTGS)

The Summit was a multistakeholder initiative dedicated to the responsible design and development of technology, and sessions focused on the evolution of technology governance, public-private collaboration, and the importance of a capitalism that serves all stakeholders. 

Salesforce Chair and CEO Marc Benioff served as co-chair of the event, and was joined by CFO Amy Weaver as a panel participant. 

Below are compiled links to the sessions in which Salesforce participated, along with comments from Weaver and Benioff. 

Technology Governance Outlook

Benioff joined Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain and Data Policy and a Member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum; Hiroaki Nakanishi, Executive Chairman of Hitachi; Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister in Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative of Singapore; and Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube in a discussion about the state of global technology governance. 

“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

Some of Benioff’s comments from the session are below:

  • “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 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.” 
  • “When we think about climate change we think about it on four fronts. One, emission reduction. Two, sequestering carbon. Three, educating people on lifestyle practices to reduce climate change, and four, creating new innovation.” 

Watch the recording, or read our full recap here.

An Insight, An Idea with Marc Benioff

Benioff joined New York Times Deputy Managing Editor Rebecca Blumenstein for a wide-ranging conversation covering stakeholder capitalism, climate change, digital transformation, the future of work, reskilling and trust.

“CEOs have a responsibility to listen to their employees and then act on their behalf.” 

Marc Benioff, Chair and CEO, Salesforce

Some of Benioff’s comments from the session are below:

  • “All companies have the ability to become net zero companies. All countries have the ability to become net zero countries.”
  • “CEOs have a responsibility to listen to their employees and then act on their behalf.” 
  • “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.”

Watch the full session recording, or read the recap of this session.

The Next Frontier – Corporate Governance

Salesforce President and Chief Legal Officer Amy Weaver participated in a session focused on evaluating technology-related risks alongside other environmental, social and governance (ESG) indicators.

“I am convinced leaning in on ESG is one of the best ways to build a strong and durable and trusted company.”

Amy Weaver, President and Chief Financial Officer, Salesforce

Some of Weaver’s comments from the session are below:

  • “I am convinced leaning in on ESG is one of the best ways to build a strong and durable and trusted company. These are companies that will deliver greater value to their investors and all of their stakeholders.”
  • “If you are only talking about your aspirations and not what you’re actually doing, you’re going to wind up with a lot of dissatisfaction.”
  • “Whether it’s our employees who are very passionate about how we engage in social issues, our customers who are increasingly shifting their business models to address sustainability, or our investors who are more and more are looking to ESG issues, and specifically ESG metrics, when they’re driving their own investment decisions….all of these things are going to be incredibly important to balance.”

Watch the full session recording here.

Tokyo Climate Action Lab

Begins April 16

Since 2015, Salesforce has hosted an annual Davos Codes event — to involve and engage middle school students in World Economic Forum programming during the Davos agenda week. The learning experience teaches middle school students computer programming skills and the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting the power that technology can bring when used for social good.

Timed with the first-ever Global Technology Governance Summit, Salesforce will be bringing Davos Codes to Tokyo, where students from Tokyo Metropolitan Machida Technical High School will participate in a four-month Climate Action Lab as part of their curriculum.

Learn more about Salesforce’s approach to the responsible development of technology here.