This interview is the seventh of nine in a series of Q and A’s with leading changemakers, representing the Millennial generation who are working across sectors to be the force for change on the issues they care about most.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work
I’m the founder and CEO of Real World Playbook, a tech startup focused on simplifying the transition into adulthood. We provide tools and trusted resources to navigate the real world, and work with universities and employers to educate twenty-somethings on everything from personal finance and signing a lease to health insurance and retirement savings. I’m a lawyer by background and started the company after experiencing the problem of feeling unprepared when I started working, and realized that nearly every twenty-something around me was in the same boat!
What problem keeps you up at night? What do you think it will take to solve it?
Twenty-somethings are flying blind when it comes to the “real world”, and often make uninformed yet significant decisions. We think that providing education, actionable tools and resources, and a sense of community around this life stage will help solve this problem and make the next generation “real world ready”.
With technology, the barriers to information have continued to come down—how are you using technology to empower young people in their lives?
Our educational and resources platform is fully tech-driven and allows us to scale our ability to share information with our users. By allowing us to provide actionable tools and critical information in an easy-to-understand (and enjoyable) way, technology has empowered us to engage with twenty-somethings on topics that are often considered “boring” or not relatable.
Why do you think it’s important that entrepreneurs meet young people where they are, using their tools and language, to engage with issues that impact them today?
We are huge believers in the need to meet our users where they are! When it comes to real world decision-making, half the battle for young people is understanding the vocabulary, context and significance of the decisions they are making. At Real World Playbook, we strive to take even the most complicated topics and break them down into relatable, digestible (and often humorous!) terms for young people to understand. No matter the industry, it’s so important to meet young people where they are because of the amount of content and options available to them—if you aren’t able to connect, their attention will likely be drawn to something else!
What have been some of your biggest challenges?
One of the major reasons this problem exists is that twenty-somethings often don’t know what they don’t know (until it’s too late). This can be tricky as we build a solution, as we have to show our users not only that we have built something exciting for them, but that they have the problem we are addressing.
What has been your favorite success story?
We love hearing from twenty-somethings who have benefitted from our platform—whether it’s feeling more confident about the transition into adulthood or actually figuring out a frustrating “real world” issue, we are most excited when our work creates meaningful change in someone’s life. One success story that comes to mind is from a first-generation college student who was very nervous about how to find health care coverage after graduating from college. Her parents were unfamiliar with the health care system and did not speak English, and she was unclear of the options available to her. Through Real World Playbook, she told us she felt confident that she could not only understand health insurance terms more clearly, but had a better sense as to how to navigate the process and select the right health insurance plan.
Who are some fellow next generation leaders you admire?
I admire social entrepreneurs—leaders who are creating meaningful change through their work, and focused not just on building successful companies but on creating sustainable solutions to real problems. Lauren Bush Lauren, Alexa von Tobel, Kathryn Minshew, Ty Haney, Alexandra Cole, and Nellie Morris come to mind!
What is one thing you think everyone should know about your generation?
We care deeply about making the world a better place.
What’s next for you? What are some of your dreams and goals?
Disrupting adulthood is a full time job! Our goal is to help every twenty-something feel confident and informed when making real world decisions, and spread the “real world ready” movement across the country.
How can people interested in your cause learn more?
Please visit www.realworldplaybook.com to learn more!
We will be featuring interviews from each of the leaders representing the Millennial generation on key movements and issues today who participated in our recent 10-day Instagram takeover. Stay tuned for the rest of this series and see their stories as part of an infographic detailing ten key traits about how Millennials engage with causes, based on our ten years of research, here.