Ethics and equality at #DF18
I am just about to set off to Dreamforce and I couldn’t be more thrilled that together with my counterpart Gaurav Bhagwa from India, we are taking nine of the Arxxus team from our offices in Australia and India.
As with TrailheadDX earlier in the year, several of our consulting team members are taking part in the Trailhead Bootcamps in the days before. Learning is the bedrock of Arxxus and these unique opportunities to learn from the world's best are seized across the company.
I wanted to highlight two key themes that are personally important to me and I can’t wait to explore in more detail in San Francisco.
Ethical and Humane Use of Technology
After Dreamforce last year, I wrote about the exciting developments going on in the areas of artificial intelligence and the harnessing of data, and how this would have positive impacts on Salesforce customers worldwide. It makes sense that these developments have also led to discussions around the negative impacts, not just within the Salesforce ecosystem but industry-wide.
The recent announcement by Marc Benioff that Salesforce has founded an Office of Ethical and Humane Use of Technology is a logical step and one that I welcome.
While it remains to be seen what practical actions the new office will take, in a recent interview with the San Francisco Chronicle Marc Benioff asserted they would, among other things, advise on the appropriateness of particular contracts or customers should an ethical question arise.
The ultimate decision on these questions would rest with the management team, however, the assertion is still a significant step forward and shows a willingness to hear the concerns of employees and customers on such issues. It is certainly going to be interesting to see what new information on this topic comes out of Dreamforce and how the ambitious goals of the new office will be realised.
Perhaps one of the things I look forward to the most at Dreamforce is the Equality Summit, with this year’s agenda set to be as thought-provoking as ever. The importance of a whole spectrum of identities being represented in everyday life, work environments and the media is not only a relevant discussion in the modern world, but ties closely into our own commitment to equality and inclusion.
Arxxus already has a strong balance of ethnicities and gender across our Indian and Australian offices, and since joining 18 month ago, it is an area I have really taken onboard to continue to push for even more progress.
Heading to Dreamforce and walking around San Francisco, it is hard not to be to be aware of the degree of homelessness the city experiences. We already know the issue is one that Marc Benioff is personally committed to tackling, and that discussion on this topic will feature prominently throughout the Dreamforce week. We are lucky in Australia that we do not experience this to the same degree but it is on the rise.
Consequently, I’m sure there will be many attendees, including myself, eager to hear more about how Kaiser Permanente is investing $200 million in community efforts to reduce homelessness and the impact such schemes can make in solving a global crisis. I am also pleased that Andrew Everingham, a Westfield Local Hero, will be speaking about Sydney Homeless Connect and the great work they do to create equality for people who are experiencing homelessness.
If you are going to Dreamforce, please say hello, I would love to chat with you on any of these topics and in particular about a special project I am working on with Salesforce and other partners on returning women to the workplace. I can also shout you a decent Australian coffee in San Francisco!