Obama touches on income inequality, inclusivity in keynote message at Dreamforce

People attending the annual Dreamforce convention in San Francisco, lined up early Thursday morning for a seat to hear Former President Obama. 

The former president and Salesforce leader Marc Benioff talked for about an hour, largely avoiding current politics, but touching on big issues including inclusivity. 

Obama said a major issue that needs to be addressed is climate change, but he has confidence the current generation of activists will be able to come up with solutions. 

"Climate change is right at the top," said he said. "There is such a thing as too late."

The former president also highlighted the widening gap between rich and poor, and the "new information age" that allows people to live in a media echo-chamber, avoiding any challenging ideas. Obama also said that inclusivity and empowering women will be key to problem-solving and business going forward. 

"Diversity is not charity, not something you do to be nice. If you're running a business, and you have no African American, Latino or Asian Americans in your workplace you're missing a market," he said. 

Dreamforce attendees said they were messages that resonated. "It's about this compassionate capitalism, where you really have to look to not just make a dollar. But, you have to do well by doing good," said Karene-Sean Himes of Pi-TaP. 

Attendees said the former president was inspirational. "Extremely inspiring, and he insists on a few very important things," said Doubi Ajami from PWC. "Trust people. Give a chance to everybody, and there is talent everywhere."

Obama also had a broad message, the same message he said he gave to his daughters—be kind and be useful. He said if you're kind and useful, you will find people who will work with you side by side.