A Dreamforce Review: Innovation and Teamwork

From AI and innovation to sustainability and how it relates to the economy, Dreamforce 2018 was packed with incredible speakers, valuable sessions, and worthwhile content. Here’s Concord’s recap of the week.

AI and machine learning were two hot topics in many of the sessions. From will.i.am’s AI-powered company to input from leaders from McKinsey Global Institute, the World Economic Forum, and Google AI, one of the biggest questions around AI was how to keep it human-centric. As technology continues to become smarter and more ingrained in day-to-day life, all of the leaders present stressed the critical elements of creating AI for people’s benefit, not the other way around. As Sarah Franklin from Salesforce put it, “AI provides more opportunity for satisfaction and creative work in your job because the redundant parts are automated.”

Empathy in design is a large part of this personalized way of creating new tools. Thinking about individual activities and tasks that people deal with, whether in work or daily life, and making processes easier is what makes AI successful. The workforce implications of AI aren’t about replacing people, but assisting them in mundane work to allow for a focus on more important things. In addition, while AI may reduce or eliminate the need for some jobs, it can create huge opportunities in many other areas, whether it’s on the engineering side or the physical maintenance of devices and tools.

Teamwork and collaboration were two other central focuses of the conference. Golden State Warriors basketball head coach Steve Kerr spoke about creating tangible values that a team can map back to and work towards together. Having a value system that a team feels every day when they come into work, whether that work is basketball or business, translates to a solid culture. Taking the time to ensure those values are meaningful across an organization makes that culture great.

Many speakers talked about the 4th industrial revolution, technology, and how one of the most impressive factors about this wave is how accessible it is to everyone. The availability of knowledge and growth has skyrocketed due to new ways of communication and interaction. Whether through AI or design, ensuring that there is both a competitive edge as well as a compassionate focus to the technology being created will help enhance the good aspects of this digital era. Keeping all this in mind, Dreamforce continues to be a place where people have a chance to learn, share ideas, and work towards being a greater force for good in the world.