PwC Oscars Purpose Red Carpet

This Is What Celebrities Should Really Be Talking About On the Red Carpet
Feb 28, 2016 6:20 PM ET
It's not about what you're wearing, it's about what inspires you. Stream live this Sunday 4pm PT #PwCRedCarpet

This Is What Celebrities Should Really Be Talking About On the Red Carpet

By Shannon Schuyler

I can imagine how exciting it is for an actor, director or screenwriter to have his or her name announced after the famous words we've been hearing for more than 80 years: And the Oscar goes to... I can understand, too, why in their speeches the winners thank so many people both on and off screen. It takes an ensemble working seamlessly together toward a shared vision to make a great movie. And who doesn't love a fantastic film?

The Academy Awards® lasts only a few hours (except, of course, for accountants at my firm, PwC. PwC has counted the ballots every year since 1934, and it is estimated that it takes PwC's Balloting Partners three days to tally the final results). Yet many of us spend a lot longer thinking about the stories that come to life on the big screen. After seeing a memorable movie, what interests me most is the question of why someone has chosen to tell this particular story. What made this story seem worthwhile and important? Why did the writers, producers and actors believe this would interest me? The answer to that question is where a successful ensemble, a shared vision and a winning project come together. And it's an ideal script for purpose.

Movies can help drive a focused interest in complex issues that many of us would ordinarily shy away from. They celebrate great heroes who could otherwise go unnoticed. They bring to life critical moments in history, and they tackle important issues in our society -- from education and poverty to women's empowerment. Yet, sometimes, within the sea of beautiful gowns and tuxedos on the red carpet, the purpose behind the films may get lost.

To remedy that, PwC is adding a unique spin to the red carpet this year. We'll ask social entrepreneurs, educators, fashion designers and professional sports players not about what or who they are wearing, but about their purpose. What drives them to get up every day? Who inspires them to make a difference in someone's life? How are they working to change the world for the better? Change-makers like MSNBC anchor and HeForShe advocate, Richard Lui, and famed fashion designer and women's empowerment champion, Carrie Hammer, will walk alongside the 2015 Hart Vision Teacher of the Year and board member, Genein Letford, to talk about their senses of purpose. Fans can also get involved by using hashtag #PwCRedCarpet to ask questions, and share stories and insights.

My firm's purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. This year we're not just counting the ballots -- we're counting on our conviction that a winning effort is one that evolves from purpose. On Hollywood's most exciting night of the year, we'll have the opportunity to talk with inspiring and influential thinkers and industry leaders about why they do what they do. At the end of the night, we won't say "that's a wrap," because this is an exciting conversation that we want to continue with diverse stakeholders across our organizations and communities. Working with purpose will allow us, I am certain, to say: And the winner is...all of us.

Follow #PwCRedCarpet and check back here for PwC's Purpose Red Carpet live stream on February 28th from 4:00--4:30 pm PT/7:00--7:30 ET.