By The NextGenVest Team
We interviewed NextGenVest Founder & CEO, Kelly Peeler on giving a TED Talk entitled "How to Change the World as a Millennial." Check out the TED Talk and interview below!
Q: What was the theme of the TED Conference? **
A:** The theme for the TED Conference was "NEXTGEN". The organizers reached out to me to speak about this theme as it relates to money.
Q: Within your TED Talk you showed video interviews of students on campus answering the question "How do you hope to change the world" as well as basic financial quesitons such as "What is your credit score" and "What worries you about student loans." What inspired these questions?
A: At NextGenVest, we believe every student has the potential to change the world in a positive way. This generation is the most positive and civically minded in history. We wanted to highlight the unique and amazing ways students wanted to make a significant impact and tackle important problems. On the flipside we also wanted to show that many of these students also do not know the basics of personal finance. It is our core belief that to set yourself up to change the world and to take risk, you have to know the basics about money.
*Q: So did you just ask random students on John's Hopkin's Campus? *
A: Yup! They were incredibly friendly and I ended up having a lot of great conversations with students about student loans and how they wish they had learned everyday topics on money in high school.
Q: In your TED Talk you mention the need to have a driver's license to drive a car and a CPR certification to be a lifeguard, but no type of "test" to start engaging with bank accounts, loans, and investing. How do you hope to change this?
A: We believe every student needs a "Money Mentor" to provide relatable and "low stress" education on topics lke student loans, investing, credit cards, insurance, the sharing economy, and more. It doesn't make sense to start using a credit card while not knowing the basics about how credit cards actually work. We know students have a lot on their plates from SATs and college applications in high school to a heavy course load and job prep in college. The delivery of this education needs to work for a student's busy schedule which is why we produce 3 minute video based courses that are entertaining on these topics. To provide additional insight and help, students can also easily reach out to a NextGenVest #MoneyMentor.
Q: Why do you think 30% of college students who take out student loans end up dropping out of college?
A: I think its really really hard to deal with the anxiety of thinking "I have to somehow pay back $50,000 of student loans, I don't really know where to start, I don't really know who to go to, and its awkward to talk about these things with just anyone." That anxiety is real and it can be lonely. Every student has worked so hard to get to college and that effort shouldnt' be wasted.
Q: You mentioned at the end that you work with high school and college students around the world.
A:Yes! We have an incredible community of students that lead NextGenVest Global Chapters in both high schools and colleges around the world. We really consider ourselves to be a community at the core, working directly with students to build our product. We host NextGenVest Global Summits across the country where students actually pitch new features, we all vote on the best ideas, and then we build it. Turning "desing thinking" into "design doing". We highly value student feedback and send free swag to students who send us great thoughts on improvement!
Q: What do you hope people take away from your TED Talk?
A:The main message is that any student should have the ability to change the world and pursue their own passions. NextGenVest hopes to support students on their journey to do so by setting them up with the right financial knowledge and guidance to do achieve their goals in a big way.