June 17 by Patrick Wolf

San Francisco Skyline, where Dreamforce 2016 will be held.

Salesforce this week released their first round of speaker announcements for Dreamforce 2016. These initial announcements are some of the big boys, those that will most likely be speaking in the keynote sessions, and are truly exciting. Dreamforce has always brought in the best of speakers, from A-list actors to philanthropic giants, to speak about the forces shaping the future, and this year’ initial speaker announcement does not disappoint. Although it is still mid-June, I for one am already getting excited wondering what these compelling, revolutionary speakers will be discussing this year in San Francisco. Below is an overview of the first 10 speakers that have been announced:

1) Melinda Gates

Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Placed before Mark Benioff in the list on the Dreamforce website, Melinda Gates is the Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where she, along with Bill, shapes the strategies and overall direction of the company. Melinda is a strong advocate for the empowerment of women in the United States and around the world. Dreamforce is an incredible platform for Melinda to expand the reach of her foundation’s message.

Melinda Gates

2) Marc Benioff

Chairman & CEO, Salesforce

Marc Benioff

This one is always expected, but still a speaker that is exciting to listen to year in and year out. Co-founder and current CEO of Salesforce, Marc is widely recognized not only as a visionary leader who helped create the Software as a Service industry, but also a sincere philanthropist and activist. In 2000, Marc created the “1-1-1,” whereby Saleforce contributes 1% of equity, 1% of employees’ hours, and 1% of product to the communities it serves. It simply wouldn’t be Dreamforce without Marc Benioff.

3) Deborah Dugan


Deborah Dugan is the CEO of (RED). Founded in 2016 by Bono and Bobby Shriver, (RED) has a simple mission: “to make it easier for people and businesses to join the fight against the deadly virus.” Through partnering with companies such as Starbucks and Apple, (RED) has raise $350 million for AIDs programs on the ground. What better place to help spread (RED)’s message than at Dreamforce, one of the largest professional conferences with a reach that spans the globe.

Deborah Dugan CEO of (RED)

4) Billie Jean King

Sports God, Humanitarian

Billie Jean king

Everybody knows Billie Jean King the tennis player, but how about Billie Jean King the humanitarian. Probably most famous for the Battle of the Sexes tennis match in which she beat Bobby Rigs one-on-one, Billie has fought for gender equality and social justice her whole career. Most recently, she launched the Billie Jean King Leadership initiative in 2014 to “move the needle on issues impacting diverse talent globally.” She has received incredible awards throughout her life including the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom and a ranking in “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life Magazine. Such a historic cultural figure will be a great addition to Dreamforce 2016.

5) Patricia Arquette

Academy Award Winner & Activist

A prolific actor, Patricia has won numerous awards including the Academy Award for her starring role in the 2014 movie Boyhood. Away from the camera, Patricia has been a strong voice for gender equality and women’s rights in the workplace. In addition, she, along with friend Rosetta Millington-Getty, formed the charity GiveLove, a non-profit organization supporting ecological sanitation, community development projects, and housing in Haiti since the earthquake in 2010. GiveLove’s efforts now extend to Nicaragua, India, and Uganda.

Patricia Arquette

6) Tony Robbins

Life and Business Guru

Tony Robbins

Tony Robins has been confirmed as a speaker at Dreamforce 2016. Tony is a motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and author of numerous best-selling self-help books, including most recently the #1 New York Times Bestselling Money: Master the Game. Tony has reached more than 50 million people through his training programs and seminars, empowering people from all over the world to take control of their lives. In addition to being the life guru, Tony is devoted to philanthropy and always tries to use his success to benefit those less fortunate. Most recently he partnered with Feeding America to donate the profits from his most recent book, along with additional personal donations, to purchase 50 million meals to feed the needy.

7) Captain Mark Kelly

Astronaut, NASA

Mark is a retired American astronaut, engineer, US Navy Captain and American hero. In his highly decorated career as a Space Shuttle pilot, Mark flew four missions up to the International Space Station, first in 2001 and last in 2011 on Space Shuttle Endeavor’s final mission. In addition to being one of only two people to have visited the ISS on four separate occasions, Mark has gone on to become a #1 best-selling author and a founder of World View Enterprises, a private near-space exploration company. Kelly will be bringing an incredibly interesting perspective to Dreamforce 2016, one that draws from experience leading teams in the most dramatic of environments. A perspective that few can match.

Captain Mark Kelly

8) Captain Scott Kelly

Astronaut, NASA

Captain Scott Kelly

Scott Kelly, Mark’s twin brother and fellow Astronaut, will be joining his brother to speak at Dreamforce 2016. With no less of an incredible career with NASA, Scott has recently garnered tremendous attention with his yearlong stay on board the International Space Station, during which he brought his time in space to the world through interviews and incredible footage of the ISS. Partnered with his brother (who remained on earth as the control), Scott tested the effects on the human body of a prolonged stay in space. Recently returned in March, Scott has been featured in everything from Forbes to a Time Magazine cover.

9) Daniel Goleman


Daniel Goleman is an author, psychologist and journalist, ranked by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top 10 most influential business thinkers. Probably his pivotal book, Emotional Intelligence was on the New York best-seller list for a year and a half, and has been named as one of the 25 “Most Influential Business Management Books” by Time Magazine. Daniel has changed the way the world thinks about business and management. A co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Leaning at Yale University’s Child studies center, Goleman has looked to transform the way people view emotional intelligence in education and the work place. Goleman has produced groundbreaking work and you can count on him incorporating these ideas during his time at Dreamforce.

Daniel Goleman

10) Larry Brilliant MD

Chairman, Skoll Global Threats Fund

Larry Brilliant

Larry is a physician, epidemiologist, technologist, and is currently authoring his memoirs Sometime Brilliant. Currently, Dr. Brilliant is the chairman of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, which confronts threats to humanity such as disease, climate change, and nuclear weapons. In an incredibly interesting career spanning 4 decades, Larry participated in the WHO smallpox eradication effort, co-founded the Seva Foundation (a non-profit health foundation), and, most recently, worked as the Executive Director of Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google. And if that is not enough, he also has been the CEO of two public companies, co-founded Well, and has contributed to many movies.

This first list of confirmed speakers can make anyone question what they are doing with their lives. Each of the people described above has made significant strides in their respective careers and made incredible contributions to society, both through their business and philanthropy. I personally have gotten very excited for Dreamforce 2016 as I write this blog, and I hope that you will be equally exited as you read it.

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