When you work in the tech world, attending a conference like Dreamforce is one of the most rewarding experiences you could imagine. Attracting 170,000 attendees, and over 15 million online viewers, Dreamforce is Salesforce’s annual user conference. This year, thought-leaders and celebrities like Tony Robbins, Malcolm Gladwell, will.i.am, Melinda Gates, and Robin Roberts came to present and inspire this conference of tech enthusiasts. Companies like Forbes and Accenture and Deloitte and Coca-Cola and Vineyard Vines were all in attendance, displaying how they are creatively using technology to propel their businesses forward. Salesforce is a company that prides itself on its innovation, and uses its own conference to magnify the work that everyone is doing around the globe.
And the work displayed here is out-of-this-world.
And while we all work hundreds of hours preparing for the conference, and then more hours attending the conference, leading sessions and demos, welcoming clients, having 1:1s, etc., we still make time for a little bit of fun. Most of these photos are from the ‘fun’ parts of the week, but there are a few sprinkled in from the actual conference.
PS, I love my job.
My Proudest Moment
This past year, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Salesforce’s CEO announced a partnership with (RED), donating money, products and employee time to help (RED) accelerate the end of the AIDS epidemic. (RED) is an organization founded by Bono, and led by former Wall Street mergers and acquisitions lawyer, Deb Dugan. Their dream is to see the first AIDS-free generation.
When this partnership got announced, a handful of Salesforce employees were identified to help (RED) get off the ground with Salesforce products. And lucky for me, I got to be one of those people. I’ve been working with the (RED) team since April, and I’ve enjoyed my work with them immensely. But it wasn’t until Dreamforce that I started to see the work our team had been doing start to really come to life. To hear the stories of the people being impacted in Africa by the work that (RED) is doing, to see how the technology is being used on a day-to-day basis to make things run more smoothly and efficiently, and to witness first-hand the amazing network of partnerships that (RED) has that are helping (RED) go a step further. Our team has spent over 900 hours focusing just on (RED), and the impact is staggering. A few stats about HIV and why the work (RED) is doing is important:
- HIV+ people can reduce the level of HIV in their blood to an undetectable level, allowing them to live long lives and reducing the risk of transmitting HIV to virtually zero. This is done by the HIV+ person receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) / taking daily medication.
- HIV+ mothers can give birth to HIV- children. If the mother receives ART to reduce the level of HIV in her blood, the baby receives ART for 6-weeks after birth, the baby is formula-fed and not breast-fed, and potentially a c-section is used over vaginal birth (e.g. with twins / if the mother isn’t at an undetectable level), the risk of transference is reduced from 15-45% to less than 2%.
- HIV- people who believe they are at higher risk of acquiring HIV (e.g. men who have condom-less sex with other men, sex workers, injecting drug users), can take a pill a day and effectively be immunized against HIV. This is called PrEP and is readily available in the US, and available to high-risk people in parts of Australia and France.
- People who believe they have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours can take a pill a day for one month to reduce their chance of acquiring HIV to effectively zero.
So while Dreamforce is a technology conference, Salesforce is channeling its technology to get antiretroviral therapy to people around the world – making it actually possible for us to see an AIDS-free generation. And (RED) partners with companies like GAP, Coca-Cola, Aden and Anais, Belvedere Vodka, Apple, Square, Moleskin and so many more to put (RED) products in the market to get higher funding for the fight against AIDS.
So while I only play a part in this project, I know I’m accelerating and propelling the work (RED) is doing with their partnerships around the globe. And thus creating opportunities for the AIDS risk to become virtually non-existent. And this is worth every hour spent troubleshooting and every phone call and email and meeting if it means the face of our planet is changed forever.
And this is why I love what I do. Who I work for, report to, interact with. Salesforce is a powerful player in the world today and I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR IT.