Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff on the fourth industrial revolution and 'inclusive capitalism'

As we move into the fourth industrial revolution, companies need to band together to do good. Only by doing good, can companies do well. This all starts with bringing societies together. “Everyone has to come together for the fourth industrial revolution in inclusive capitalism. Business is now a platform of change,” said Marc Benioff, CEO and founder of Salesforce, at the opening of Dreamforce at San Francisco.

“We are all moving forward and everything is starting to get connected […]In the fourth industrial revolution we are all connected,” said Benioff. He added that with all the change and empowerment technology is bringing to our daily lives, skill sets are changing and people are getting inspired to do well. That’s why, more than ever, companies have to now listen to their customers, employees and executives to define what their value systems are. They also need to align with the greater community as a whole to do good.

“There are many things on the table we are looking at. We have to ask what is really important to us and what are our values and what do we stand for,” he said. In a world where technology, through the fourth industrial revolution is grounding us, Beinoff believes that “we all have a higher responsibility especially as AI gets released to the whole world”.

Technology is not good or bad, it is what you do with it.

"Companies need to ask themselves, now more than ever, if what they are doing is ethical and humane. Every CEO better be ready to answer that question on their values,” he said. Values at the end of the day, guide our behaviour.

Adding on to the conversation, Leah McGowen-Hare, senior director of Trailblazer added that Salesforce terms these people changing society through their innovative approach to thinking as “Trailblazers”. At the heart of it, “Trailblazers” see what ought to be in society, and move to create it. “These are people, who create for the greater good, authentically,” she said.

She added,

Marketers also must think beyond societal good being just a side dish.

“It has to be interwoven in everything you are doing,” she said. To make a shift, McGowen-Hare explained the change can be as small as looking to see if there is a diverse enough group representing the marketing team.

“Marketing is so powerful. Marketers put out images and messaging that impacts so many people. Marketing has such a powerful stance. [To make a shift] brands need to look inwards to see if their marketing group itself is diverse enough to shake-up different perspectives,” she said.

“You should not want to do good because people will like you. You should want to do good because it feels good,” she added.

Salesforce paid for the journalist’s trip to Dreamforce 2018, held in San Francisco.