Peter Gabriel was a guest at the Dreamforce Europe conference this morning. He was introduced by Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and then interviewed.
Why was he there? He is promoting his work with Witness, which tackles the deniability of human rights abuses by encouraging and enabling victims and observers to publish photos and videos of what is taking place. Apparently the existence of this type of evidence makes a substantial difference, putting pressure on governments or other groups to reform their practices.
The Salesforce.com link is that Witness is one of the recipients of funding from the company’s charitable donations.
While this strikes me as the most worthy of causes, I have mixed feelings about corporate flaunting of good deeds at events like this; PR and philanthropy make uncomfortable bedfellows.
Still, I am easily beguiled by Gabriel being a fan of his musical output. He didn’t talk much about music in his interview, except in saying that it is a great cross-cultural bridgebuilder. The other link is to do with pursuing your passions; thirty-five years ago he had a passion for music; now he has a passion for human rights (I’m interpreting something he said about pursuing your dreams).
His delivery was low-key and he looked almost elfin sitting up there on the stage.