This past year, I’ve thought a lot about the word expand. It was with this word in mind last month that we did a big thing. We threw our largest event ever and raised thousands of dollars for people in need. We also shared a few laughs and an intimate, real conversation with a hero and finder of ‘greenlights’, Matthew McConaughey, as 1,034 of our closest friends tuned in from across the world.
“We have to have some ascension in our lives. If we can’t be a little bit more true or better tomorrow than we were yesterday, well then, what are we doing here?”
Play the video below to hear excerpts of our exclusive conversation with McConaughey on February 18th about finding inspiration and chasing Greenlights.
In case you missed it, last month, we hosted our second ever EXPAND event, Acorio’s 2021 Kick-off party. We called this event Expand because we truly believe that while our worlds and our personal pods have contracted this past year, many other aspects of our lives have expanded, including our need to:
- think differently
- experiment with new models of connecting and supporting each other
In fact, the event in itself was a demonstration of the ways we used lessons from 2020 as a springboard to pivot our strategy in regard to hosting digital celebrations.
It’s no secret that Acorio throws a great party, so we had an important reputation to maintain with this event (and even more so now that we’re part of a global company, NTT DATA). Our mission for the evening was straightforward: throw the most fun Zoom call of 2021.
So, how do you entertain and engage a virtual room full of people for 90 minutes? Host a mixology class, share some music from a favorite band, and – oh yeah – have a conversation with an international superstar.
Another pillar of the event was giving back. When we decided to throw a 2021 celebration party, we wanted to share that idea of expanding our horizons, and thinking both more globally – with an international superstar, but also more locally – to layer in some good karma, and do our part for our communities.
As part of our EXPAND event, we partnered with McConaughey’s Just Keep Livin (JKL) foundation which works to support disadvantaged students and their families in 16 states, including Matthew’s (and NTT DATA’s) home state of Texas.
Following the unseasonably cold weather and storms that battered the state last week, we saw Matthew and team react promptly to offer support by partnering with Meals on Wheels, the Austin Urban League and the Boys and Girls Club of Austin, and also helping feed the homeless currently housed at the Dallas Convention Center through an organization called OurCalling (@OurCalling).
Working with the charity directors at Just Keep Livin, we joined their efforts, deciding that all donations received from our event would go directly to the families on the ground displaced and hungry as a result of last week’s storms. Since our event, we’ve raised $19,947 to donate to Texans in need. So thank you to all who participated in our donation efforts, we appreciate you and your contributions.
For those who weren’t yet familiar with McConaughey’s philanthropy, there’s a lot to be said about how Matthew has sought inspiration throughout his career and personal life.
While I’m sure you all have seen his work in movies, you might not know how many other roles he’s played in his lifetime, including:
- Academy-award-winning Actor with 40 feature films
- NYTimes #1 Best-selling author
- Dedicated Philanthropist supporting the Just Keep Livin Foundation
- Texas Native and Minister of Culture for the UT sports arena and Austin FC MLS Soccer club
- A force of nature both onscreen and in business
- Creative Director for Wild Turkey and Creator of Longbranch whiskey
Admittedly, I’m still a little starstruck even a week after interviewing Matthew McConaughey (I can’t believe I’m even writing that sentence). He was warm, charismatic, and open to sharing his insights along with a few personal anecdotes, like the time he had to tell his dad he wanted to change paths from applying to law school and instead pursue film, and why he never gets tired of recounting his movie debut with his iconic “alright, alright, alright” line.
I hope you find inspiration in McConaughey’s words. We are truly one ServiceNow community, and I believe that if we work together, we will all come out the other side of this year transformed, and stronger for the journey.
From all of us at Acorio, we hope you are staying safe and have made it through the past year with peace and health – and today, with warmth and hope for the future. In the meantime, keep expanding and reaching for those Greenlights.