The Best Moments from the Dreamforce Opening Keynote | MicroStrategy
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The Best Moments from the Dreamforce Opening Keynote

I’m spending the week in San Francisco to attend the MASSIVE Dreamforce conference. And if you’re here in San Francisco and don’t realize this conference is going on, you must be living under a rock. Or, perhaps deep in the forest—this analogy would align better to the Dreamforce “Trailblazer” theme.

On the morning of the first day of the conference, MicroStrategy CMO, Marge Breya, and VP of Enterprise Applications, Ferny Bengali, delivered a standing room only presentation in the Customer Success Expo Hall. The duo talked about the Salesforce products we’ve implemented and how we are using our own MicroStrategy analytics and mobility platform to enable our sales, marketing, and customer support teams. To get a glimpse of their presentation, you can watch this video summarizing some of the demonstrations Marge and Ferny showed.

In the afternoon, it was time for Salesforce Founder, Chairman, and co-CEO, Marc Benioff, to take the stage, along with a number of impressive special guests. The following are my three favorite moments from this opening 2-hour presentation.

"Adopt a Public School"

Benioff is well known for his philanthropic pursuits; he didn’t miss the opportunity to speak to a captive audience of Salesforce Trailblazers about the need to support public school education. He encouraged the crowd of thousands to go home, knock on the door of their local public school, meet with the principal and ask “what can I do to help?” Of course donating money to the schools helps supplement typically limited annual funding, but I really liked the notion of getting more personally involved and taking that initial step to engage in such a simplistic way.

“The Future of Capitalism is Inclusive Capitalism"

Benioff publicly supports organizations that promote diversity. In fact, Salesforce took a very public stand a few years ago against the state of Indiana when the governor signed a measure that threatened LGBT+ rights. During the keynote, Benioff and other guest speakers talked about the importance of diversity as part of a business culture. PepUp Tech, a nonprofit dedicated to helping underserved students launch careers in technology, spoke about their hiring process. They hire people not necessarily based on their experience, but based on how they think. In order to ensure diversity of thought, they want to bring on new people that push them to think differently.

Free Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

Anyone who knows me, knows I love ice cream. I was impressed by Unilever—the house of brands that owns Ben & Jerry’s—and their commitment to sustainability. Representatives from Unilever spoke about enabling every employee in their organization with modern technology. In addition to working to transform their organization, Unilever works to transform the environment. They encourage every employee to regularly track and monitor sustainability-related metrics. So how does ice cream come into the picture? They gave everyone free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream after the keynote. Yum!

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