No Unicorn Sightings at BSR

No Unicorn Sightings at BSR

Just blocks from a San Francisco construction site that will become the new home of the 61-story Salesforce Tower, executives from across the globe gathered yesterday at BSR Conference to learn how to be better corporate citizens.

Salesforce, with a $53 billion market cap, dedicates 1 percent of its value – defined as profit, equity, and employee time -- to support organizations that are working to "make the world a better place.”

CEO Marc Benioff routinely challenges the next generation of companies valued at more than $1 billion, so-called “unicorns,” to make corporate citizenship a core value.

“I did it to someone today at lunch. I say, ‘Now is your chance — you have people, resources, data center — you have power.’ I did an onstage interview with Travis Kalanick, the head of Uber, at our user conference. I said, ‘Well, does Uber have a heart?’ He had a few things, but he didn’t have an answer. At the end of our talk, I took him aside and said he has to integrate it more,” Benioff told New York Times reporter Quentin Hardy in the Nov. 2 “Giving” column.

“Our Pledge 1% initiative has influenced almost 500 companies. But it’s individual: Uber has to find its role, Dropbox has to find its role, Airbnb has to find its role. It will be harder for some than others, but that’s O.K. Just get out and do something,” Benioff continued.

Here at BSR, the attendee list includes Salesforce, Google, Facebook and Twitter. But there’s no sign of the unicorns Benioff has been trying to influence.

Fortunately, the attendee roster includes hundreds of established, successful companies from all industry sectors.

Even nations where the private sector is tied closely with government, like Cuba and Bahrain, have sent sustainability and corporate social responsibility pros to hear about human rights integration, the circular economy and trends in sustainability reporting.

BSR has made a live stream available of plenary sessions. Here’s the link.

Maybe the unicorns will watch the webcast.