Get Together

Publishing a book through crowdfunding 👩‍🎤Elena Favilli, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

Episode Summary

An interview hosted by Bailey and Maggie with Elena Favilli, the founder and CCO of Rebel Girls, a media company dedicated to inspiring the next generation of brave and confident girls. Elena Favilli’s book, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, pushed the boundaries of traditional publication with 60 collaborators from around the world and $1.2 million in crowdfunding backing the project, making the book the most crowdfunded campaign in literary history. The book is bigger than itself, blossoming into a media company that tells contemporary and historical stories of women doing extraordinary work in the world. We’ll talk with Elena about testing ideas with her audience at scale, curating stories that inspire change, and launching a Kickstarter campaign to build community, not just raise funds.

Episode Notes

“It's important that people realize that extraordinary women are not just the heroes of the past, but they are around us every day today. They are already part of our communities. We just need to look a little deeper and more carefully, but they are already there.” - Elena Favilli

Elena Favilli found herself at the center of an all too familiar story of women in the startup world. She was in Silicon Valley working on her company Timbuktu and finding it hard to make friends with investors, get support, and raise money as a woman. 

From that pain point, she made it her mission to contribute in her life to gender equality. Elena began researching gender representation in children's books to start. After observing her favorite children's stories, she noticed they all centered around male characters. She asked the bold question: what if this was different?  

Elena started a newsletter called “Who Framed Cinderella: Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls,” where she promised each week to showcase one story of an amazing woman like Maria Sibylla Merian, a 1700s scientist and artist who discovered the metamorphosis of butterflies (before that people thought butterflies appeared out of mud like magic!). She sent out the first newsletter to 25 friends and received eager responses for more stories like Maria’s. So each week she continued to tell stories of historical figures and contemporaries until she reached 4,000 subscribers. With an audience behind her, she launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for a book that quickly exceeded her $400,000 goal climbing to a total of $1.2 million in funding, breaking a record as the most crowdfunded campaign in literary history.

Rebel Girls shifts a narrative by spotlighting real women as the heroes and showing kids that women can do amazing things just like men. Elena published Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls with the help of 60 women illustrators around the world and a sequel with crowdsourced stories from dedicated readers. We talked with Elena about how she used crowdfunding to gauge interest and how she has collected contributions from readers, telling the story with her audience. 

👏Learn more about Elena and Rebel Girls at:

📘Pre-order Rebel Girls' new book Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World

✨Learn more about our correspondent Maggie Zhang on her blog, Commonplays

This podcast was created by the team at People & Company. 

We published GET TOGETHER📙, a handbook on community-building. 

And we help organizations like Nike, Porsche, Substack and Surfrider make smart bets with their community-building investments.

Hit subscribe🎙 and head over to our website to learn about the work we do with passionate, community-centered organizations.

Episode Transcription

Note: This transcript is automatically generated, and there may be some errors.


Welcome to the get together.


Speaker 2: It's our show about ordinary people building extraordinary communities. I am your host Bailey Richardson. I'm a partner at people on company and co author of get together how to build a community with your people. And I Maggie get together a correspondent. In each episode of this podcast, we interview everyday people who have built extraordinary communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to hundreds, maybe thousands, more members today we're talking to Elena founder and CCO of rebel girls, a very special media company. That's unearthing stories to inspire the next generation of brave and confident girls. Here's a clip from their community.


Speaker 1: 


Speaker 2: So Maggie, why were you so excited to interview Elena today? I admire how rebel girls is it a hundred percent community driven company. They listened to the young girls all over the world who followed their content and actually incorporate their feedback. So for example, their first book was crowdfunded on Kickstarter. They raised one point $2 million and broke a record as the most crowdfunded campaign in literary history. Their second book consisted of women who were mostly suggested by the community. So you can tell that community building is really part of their DNA. Absolutely. I was so impressed by the size and scale of all these different people, reading their books and reading these stories and then contributing them back. We learned about a few ourselves in the interview. So tell us, what's one thing that stood out to you from our conversation with Elena, Elena really emphasized the importance of testing ideas with your community and making sure you're really listening to them.


Speaker 2: For example, her first book, goodnight stories for rebel girls started as a newsletter just to see if people were even interested in hearing these fairy tale like stories about real woman. And she wanted to see if people were interested in more historical woman, woman from the present day. So there's other interested in both. And then they use Kickstarter as a crowdfunding campaign, not just to get investment, but also to gauge the community's interests. So she's always tapping in and finding different ways to get a pulse on the community. That's following her. Great love it. Let's jump in Elena. Where are you at? Thank you so much, Elena, for joining this podcast, I was really excited to reach out to you because everything I've heard about rebel girls is how it's 100% community driven from your books to your podcasts to now this company that's expanding into so much more so, really great to hear from you today. I was wondering if we could start with the origin story of rebel girls. Yeah. Thank you so much for inviting me to the show. It's really a pleasure. It all started with a crowdfunding campaign in 2016 when we launched the first volume of our books here is goodnight stories for rebel. That was


Speaker 3: A collection of bedtime stories about the life and adventures of extraordinary women across time. From the past to the present, from Cleopatra to Serena Williams, it was about real women who had done amazing things. And the idea did desire for, for this book to come to life, came to me because I'm a journalist and I'm a writer and trying to build my own company in Silicon Valley from 2012, I started realizing how difficult it was for women than for men to be friends with investors and raise money and get support. So I thought, Hmm, maybe with my next project, I should do something about it. And it was a very interesting moment for my company that at the time was called Timbuktu. We were doing an iPad magazine for kids, but I thought maybe it's time to do something different that can really have an impact on these specific issue, which feels so personal and so important to me.


Speaker 3: And which I really felt was the battle of my life. I remember thinking if there's one thing that I really want to contribute to during my life is the cause for gender equality. So it was really this need and desire, but also this profound pain, as it often happens, right? With creative ideas or products, it's also very often connected to, to a pain point that you were suffering there personally. So I started researching around the theme of gender representation in children's books. To my surprise, I discovered astounding researches that were saying that nothing had changed over the past a hundred years. The stories that we read today and that we read to our children today, a steel feature for the vast majority of cases may characters as the protagonists and the leads of the story. Usually female characters are always the ones who need to be rescued or are in the best case, the help pair or the supporting sister to supporting mother.


Speaker 3: So I started to go back to the stories that I was reading as a child. Not surprisingly. I found out that all my favorite books had male characters as the main heroes. If you think about the grapes brothers fairytales or any Italian classic like Pinocchio, which was one of my favorites or Cole of the wild, I thought, wow, what if this was different? What if, instead of telling the same stories where only men are the heroes and only men can do the cool stuff. What if we started to tell stories where women are the heroes and actually even more so like real women are the hero so that children, both boys and girls can see that women can do just as much can do the same amount and the same level of amazing things that men can do. And in all sorts of fields, you know, all walks of life.


Speaker 3: So it was really important to come up with a collection that was very diverse, very inclusive, very global and international, and very representative of many, many different professions and jobs and cultural backgrounds. One of the most interesting aspect of this book series is the juxtaposition of different professions from tennis players, to judges, to scientists, to trombonist, to astronauts and chefs. You have the whole spectrum just in front of your eyes. And that is so powerful just by itself. So at the end of the day, when children discovered these stories and they read them, of course, girls get really excited because they can see themselves in any of those stories. But for boys too, at the end of the day, they're just beautiful stories. If you don't point it out to them, they're not going to say, Oh, but you know, there's not even a boy here because beautiful story is a beautiful story.


Speaker 3: So that's where it really started from. And then the crowdfunding campaign became immediately this big success. It actually became the most crowdfunded literary project in the history of crowdfunding. We started with a funding goal of $40,000. And then we ended up raising over 1.2 million. So it was kind of an unexpected mindblowing success. And the word of mouth that came out of that was just as incredible. So then we published the book volume one with the first a hundred stories. And in a few weeks it became a New York times bestseller. We immediately started licensing the rights for translations in other languages. And in other territories, the following year we launched volume two. Now the book series has been translated into 49 languages in over 85 territories around the world. So this book has really become this global movement of rebel girls who, who want to change the world, who want to really change the status quo and redefine what equality means, what power means, what respect means and what kind of rights they want for the life. Right. It's been a pretty incredible journey.


Speaker 2: Yeah. Wow. I want to ask you more about that crowdfunding aspect. It definitely sounds like the book really hit a chord with women all over the world. What do you think made the campaign so successful?


Speaker 3: I think it was a combination of few different elements and was the perfect storm. First of all, the whole idea of creating something around gender equality, especially for children just came out at the right time because when I started working on it and playing with the title goodnight for rebel girls, which was the first element that came to my mind, that was the time when Hillary Clinton was leading her presidential campaign. The whole debate about potentially having the first female president was going on. It was a moment in our society where people were even if just at a subconscious level, just more aware of this change of this need, of this desire. And remember, this is all pre me too movement. So this is in the infancy of this new wave of feminism that now everybody talks about. But I think that the rebel girls really captured a specific moment in time.


Speaker 3: And so with that really captured the imagination of our contemporary society, which I think is what art is able to do when it's doing a good job. So that was honestly the most rewarding aspect for me. So certainly there was a matter of timing. And the other reason was that we had started crowdfunding as a Kickstarter, as a platform for several months to see what kind of campaigns were performing the best, especially when it comes to books and editorial projects, like what kind of campaigns have done better than others and what kind of rewards they were offering starting the whole ecosystem of crowdfunding is really, really crucial for the success of your campaign, because you need to build like this machine. Then when you hit the launch button, everything starts working domain or effects. Then you know, one piece like pushes the next and pushes the next.


Speaker 3: So starting how viral effects work on Kickstarter was so very important. And then I think that building our audience before launching the campaign was the other distinctive factor because sometimes people think that to launch a Kickstarter campaign, you just need to have a cool page, cool veto, cool rewards, and then you would click the launch button and it's done. But in reality, if you don't have a first initial audience that is ready to buy your product, and that is been following you along your journey, so that when you launch, they're just waiting for you to launch, to be the first one, to preorder the book with all the perks that you're offering, it's very difficult for a campaign to have that kind of snowball effect, because it takes more time for you to make your campaign visible. And it's known that the first few hours are the most crucial hours for any campaign. It's really important for any creator to drive the most amount of traffic and attention immediately after launch so that your campaign gets traction, Kickstarter notices that there's something cool going on, that's new on the platform. They help you promote it. And then, you know, the snowball starts very rapidly building up. Yeah.


Speaker 2: So you mentioned building your audience beforehand, before you even launched the Kickstarter campaign. It seemed like you already had a community of girls following you, starting from your work with Timbuktu labs. Can you tell me more about what that audience looked like and how you built it?


Speaker 3: In our case, the audience was an email list that we built through weekly newsletter. We often hear people talking about how powerful and important newsletters are, and that was certainly true for rebel girls. I started as newsletter that was called, who framed Cinderella and the subtitle was goodnight stories for rebel girls. I just launched this very simple landing page where the prompt was sign up to receive a story about one extraordinary woman every week. I remember that I sent out the first newsletter to 25 people who were mostly my friends, cause I really wanted to build user base from scratch to really test without any bias from previous Timbuktu and newsletters. I'd really wanted to see what the real response was. I started publicizing the newsletter on my Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn, the first people to sign up, are your friends or people in your network?


Speaker 3: I remember that the first story was about a female scientist of the 17th century. She's called Maria Sibila Marian. She's actually in our volume one, she was a naturalist and a painter. And she's the one who discovered the metamorphoses of butterflies before her. Everybody thought that butterflies came from mud like magic. Oh, wow. Is she was an amazing scientists and artists and nobody believed her for quite some time. And then she decided to prove her own observation and discovery. She decided to leave Germany and she traveled with her teenage daughter on a ship to Suriname and they spent months there studying the insects of the forest and then drawing how these insects change during their life. And basically showing the process of the metamorphosis. When she came back, she published finally this study and then metamorphosis became accepted as a scientific thing. So I sent his first story and I received this amazing response from my very limited group of readers at the time.


Speaker 3: And people were saying stuff like, Oh my God, it's 30. So cool. I didn't know anything about this woman. I would love to know and to read more stories like this one. And so every week I just kept going and I just kept sending more and more stories. That's where I tested this idea of combining stories from the past, with stories from the present. Cause you know, then I sent a story about beyond say, and then I sent the story about the first female Pharaoh before Cleopatra. I really wanted to see how this concept of mixing and combining past and present real women was working with our readership. And I found out that for people, it was actually really fun. This variety of ages, times professions, it was very refreshing. So when the email list reached 4,000 subscribers, I thought that we had a big enough audience to launch a crowdfunding campaign because when you have 4,000 people who are really like eager to buy your product, then you have a pretty powerful force behind you. Right. You have this army that's ready to jump and fight the crowdfunding fight for you basically.


Speaker 2: Yeah. And it's really cool again about rebel girls being so community driven, the fact that you started with a newsletter. I mean, that's an email, right? So it's a two way street. People can reply directly to you share their feedback. You get to build from that and then transitioning to a Kickstarter campaign. Again, that was a big community driven effort, less so than just pitching the book to a big publisher. So what drove your decision to do Kickstarter in the first place? Why was that community element important? Well, first of all, we love,


Speaker 3: I looked at Kickstarter as an alternative to traditional fundraising and VCs and institutional investors. We really thought that this book could be the beginning of a larger media company. We knew that it could become a larger like it is now, but we also knew that it would have been very difficult to prove to some traditional investors at that time. So Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general was really these alternative route for funding, more than anything else for pivoting our company towards this new path. So it was a business decision more than anything else. Honestly, we also knew that this concept that we had in mind for this book was so new and different from most ontologies and collections that you find out there and these ideas, especially of collaborating with more than 50 different female illustrators from around the world, like no publisher would have said yes to that because it's pretty easy to do.


Speaker 3: It's not easy to coordinate the work of 50 or 60 artists in a short amount of time for the publication of a book. So it would have been pretty hard even with a traditional publisher, but going to a traditional publisher wasn't enough in a way, the idea was not just to publish a book, but to build a company behind it. And that is something that you don't do with a publisher. That is something that you do with funding that come in many different ways. In this case, it came from the crowd, which was the best way possible. One thing that stood out to me from your background is that you have an MFA and you have a very strong background in the arts and also you Italian. So it's in your blood clearly Italian sure. Completely creative. And it stands out to me as having a very high standard for the aesthetics in the book that you would want so many


Speaker 4: Different female illustrators to be a part of it. Like you said, it's not an easy decision. It takes a lot of work to coordinate that. And it requires having a strong vision and feeling clear about the need for such a diverse group of women to be contributing illustrations. So I was just curious, why did you feel so strongly about having so many different illustrators join you in this project?


Speaker 3: So, first of all, for me, the idea was for this book to be also a platform to showcase the best contemporary female talent that we have around us today, I thought this could be perfectly aligned with the mission of the book, with the values that we're trying to portray. So that was the first and biggest reason. I think this vision for equality and trying to lift each other up as women in every possible way was so strong that I was confident that we would have overcome the impossible, even working with 60 different artists at the same time, from different corners of the globe. The other reason was that I really wanted these portraits to be very unique and different because I noticed that in most ontologies out there, usually there's just one unifying style for the illustrations, which makes the whole visual experience less rich.


Speaker 3: Right? For me, it was really important to show the uniqueness of each one of these woman. And I thought it was extremely important, especially because for women representation across media is never personal, never unique women tend to be represented in the same way as if they had just one body, one skin color, one type of hair. The whole theme of body representation for women is huge. Right? If you look at the stats and at the numbers on representation of different races and features of your body, it's incredible. The stereotypes are still so much ingrained in children's books in school books. So I thought it was really important to commission these portraits to different women with different styles coming from different geographies. And so coming from different cultural backgrounds so that we could have this incredible diversity of portraits that were speaking to the diversity of the professions that we're speaking to the diversity of being a woman, just in general.


Speaker 3: I honestly think that this is one of the main reasons why these books stood out so instantly because it feels different when you open it. And when you scroll through the pages and I think it's also one of the main reasons why this book became so wildly adopted internationally and not just in the U S because people here find portraits of women, of all kinds of all types of all body types. Anyone from can find a little piece of themselves reflected in one of these portraits, which is incredible. And it's quite rare for one single book to accomplish something like this. Yeah.


Speaker 2: A woman can be represented pretty one dimensionally, pretty flat characteristics in media. And it's great for this community of illustrators to be depicting woman by woman. It's very meaningful. So I also want to talk about your SQL goodnight stories for rebel girls too. Obviously the book was such a big success and really resonated with a lot of people. And I heard for the SQL, you ended up crowdsourcing a lot of the ideas of women and got a lot of feedback from your community. Can you tell us more about that?


Speaker 3: Yeah, that was, that was actually a fun part of the process because as soon as the first book got published, we started receiving emails from our readers saying, Oh, what about this woman? Or what about this? What, why didn't you include this one? Because of course you don't just complete the representation of the female universe with a hundred biographies or stories. And so we started receiving pretty, pretty constantly this incredible amount of recommendations and suggestions, which was incredibly helpful for us because they brought us in touch with stories and women that we wouldn't have had any access to. For example, the stories of the black mambas in South Africa is one of them. It's a super cool story of this group of women who protect endangered pieces. They are basically recruited as Rangers in different parks. That's one of the stories that was suggested by one of our readers. So yeah, volume two naturally came as this evolution of volume one because we felt that there were so many stories that had been left out.


Speaker 2: Yeah. And it's amazing because your community is so international that you have people all over being able to on the ground, share what women inspire them. And therefore you get to have a really diverse and interesting collection.


Speaker 4: One thing that stands out to me is the curation. The selection of women is really remarkable. I have never heard of the black mambas and I was just Googling them as you were talking about them and this mixture of multiracial, different backgrounds and disciplines, just the diversity is really special. I assume that your background in journalism has to do with that. But how do you go about deciding who is a rebel woman, a story that you want to tell, especially now that you're getting submissions from your community, can you share a little bit about your guiding lights for making those decisions?


Speaker 3: Yeah, absolutely. We have three main criteria that we really, really follow every time that we compile the list. The first one is, as I mentioned, that we really want to include the broadest variety possible of profession. We try to find this balance. If we realize that we have too many writers, then we say, okay, no, we need to add one judge at least, or one weightlifter, you know, which scan the whole spectrum of professions and options. And really try to find this balance because we think that's incredibly important, especially for young girls to see that they can do anything and not just the usual professions that are typically associated to women. The other criteria is to find women from both the past and the present. I think that including contemporary women gives an edge to this collections that makes them really stand out because it's important that people realize that extraordinary women are not just the heroes of the past, but they are around us every day today.


Speaker 3: They are already part of our communities. We just need to look a little deeper and more carefully, but they are already there. One example that just comes to my mind, which in connection to the podcast, one of the narrators of our season three is Keith Delore, who was the first woman who climbed the seven summit and then ski down. Wow, wow, amazing accomplishment that not many people know about. You know, she narrated the story of Juco Tabby, this Japanese Mountaineer, who was the first woman to climb Mount Everest. The fact that she is a young woman, our contemporary, I think it makes it so much more effective to know for a younger who's listening to that episode or who's reading one of our stories to know that that woman or that girl is part of our time and he's doing these amazing things right now.


Speaker 3: It's even more powerful and effective because it's really telling you, Oh my God, I can do that. I mean, if she's doing sure, maybe I can learn and I can do that too. So yes, these inclusion of the contemporary aspect. And again, I think definitely these goes back to my journalistic roots is very important and this connection to our contemporary reality and society is really one of the core elements of the rebel girls DNA. And then finally, the third criterion is that when it comes to deciding who goes in, who gets left out, cause we usually have a list at least two times as big, right? We try to select and twos, those stories of women who are also most interesting from a storytelling perspective, because we don't just want to create an encyclopedia. We don't just want to compile cold biographies of cool people. Like the first woman who did this, the first woman who did that, you know, like the black mambas, if you think about them, they didn't break any records. They didn't climb by the mountains. They're not famous in politics or whatever, but they are doing extraordinary work and inspiring work. And so yes, what an amazing story. So we always try to include those stories that also have this magical aspect that can really Kindle the fascination and imagination of children.


Speaker 2: Here's what the research aspect, because it seems like for all the stories you're curating and telling, you're sharing them from a very different perspective, a very human perspective, highlighting the struggles and the strengths of each woman. How do you go about, especially for the woman in history, how do you go about finding those details to be able to include in the story?


Speaker 3: That's really thanks to my team now. You know, when we started, it was just me and my cofounder, Francesca Cavallo, but now rebel girls is really like a powerhouse. We have an incredible team in this case, it's mostly the editorial team who does all the research and for each one of the women that we choose tries to select and emphasize the most human elements that can make any story more interesting and fascinating


Speaker 2: Back to what we were talking about with the all female illustrators for your books. I have noticed too, you recently launched a podcast which you want to Webby award for, and I've been listening to it. And I really love how, not only do you feature really amazing woman, I just listened to the Frida Kahlo one and loved it. But you also have the narrators who are also very accomplished women like Jameela, Jamil, Priscilla, Chan, Melinda Gates. Can you talk again about why was it important for the narrators to also be accomplished woman?


Speaker 3: Yeah, there is something really important. I believe about the female voice that we really don't pay enough attention to this, but the female voice is not as common in media as the male voice. And in fact, I recently came across this stat that says that only one in three of the main top charting podcast around the world is actually narrated or hosted by a woman. So it's pretty incredible. And even in politics, the voices that you hear are usually dominated by men. So the fact that these stories about women could be not rated by some other extraordinary women, was a way to emphasize the importance of giving voice literally and metaphorically to women and to their amazing capabilities and power. So we started to involve different women representing different professions, just in the same way that the book is including women coming from every possible walk of life. So yes, we have actresses. We have people like Melinda Gates. We also have environmentalist athletes. So it's again the whole spectrum. And that ended up building this incredible coalition, right. Of women who support each other support rebel girls, and try to push this movement for equality forward through this medium of podcasts radio. We recently won a Webby award for kids and family. And it was, you know, like the greatest honor, honestly. Yeah.


Speaker 2: And it's great because my seems like the narrators are also aligned with the stories of the woman, like how Jameela of meals and activists, and then she read the story of Gretta. Thunbergii, who's also an activist. I find that a very cool company.


Speaker 3: Yeah, definitely. We try to match the navigators with the stories of the women that we tell as much as we can.


Speaker 2: So now we've talked about your books. We talked about your podcast. Rebel girls has also released journals and it looks like there's a lot more coming down the pipeline beyond bedtime stories. I'm wondering what is the community of rebel girls look like today and how do they connect and learn from one another?


Speaker 3: Yeah. So right now the challenge and really the dream is to make this movement even bigger. You know, we started by revolutionizing bedtime and we want to revolutionize the entire girlhood experience and what it means. We're trying to see how the rebel girls approach could also touch and redesign things like toys, apparel, the objects that you use in your daily life. So we are definitely now expanding our boundaries right now. We are working on volume three because book publishing remains the core of rebel girls, but we're also designing a toy line for rebel curse in trying to understand what a TV show for digital app could look like. Because as you mentioned, community is such an important and crucial element for us that right now, our readers can learn and communicate from one another, just by connecting on our social media platforms, mostly on Facebook and Instagram, but we want to provide something more like a rebel girls, content driven space that is original and unique. That is a safe environment where they can just sign up and then share their stories or consume content and then comment it. So we really try to leverage now this community that leaves right now in a very fragmented way, in so many different places and give them a safe space where they can continue with this conversation and also help us discover new stories and bring them to the surface, bring them to life.


Speaker 2: Yeah, that's really exciting because I feel like you have so much rich content. You're putting out into the world and creating a space to engage more with the content, talk to each other about the content and hear people's thoughts is really, really awesome idea. So, any other thoughts about the future of your community? For example, I saw you have an upcoming book being released this October immigrant


Speaker 3: Woman. Maybe you could talk a bit about that. Yeah. So the third installation in the goodness stories for rebel girls book series is entirely dedicated to immigrant women it's actually called, but their stories for rebel girls, a hundred immigrant women who changed the world. We thought that it was the right moment to talk about immigration and to have an entire collection dedicated to this theme because you know, women are such a big piece of immigration, but again, it was so rare to hear stories about them or from their perspective. And honestly, I was so tired of hearing immigrants as just numbers, as opposed to people plus being an immigrant myself, I have even more sympathy for this theme. And I think I have an even deeper understanding for some of the struggles and difficulties of trying to live in a new country and to create a new life in a new country where you have no one really.


Speaker 3: And of course also we thought it could be very interesting to show all the different phases of immigration because immigrant is one of those words that is used. So generically and so vaguely. And also it's one of those words that unfortunately thanks to all the anti immigration politics that are now very predominant, pretty much all over the world is also associated to fear, right? Immigrants is one of those words that definitely has a strong association to fear consciously or subconsciously for most people. So for us, for rebel girls, this was also the occasion to show how many different things immigration can be, how many different walks of life it can encompass. And so to open up the conversation about it and to make it less confused and also less terrifying. Sometimes you hear people talking about immigrants like they're coming to get us, or they're coming to take control of whatever we have.


Speaker 3: So it's important that we show children the beauty of immigration, the value that contributes that immigrants bring to any country. So that then when they grew up, hopefully the politics around immigration will be a little better. Yeah, that's great. So any other thoughts about the community and where you want to see it evolve in the next few years? Next decade? The biggest dream is for this coalition to become bigger and bigger and to involve people of all ages, just like our readers and to really develop this global community of self identified rebel girls who at some point start just to organize themselves and do something for their communities. Because as we know, and as we're seeing today, especially in the U S people are tired of oppression, they really want change. They want to take action. So the biggest dream is for this company that started with just a book to become this larger platform for change for social activism.


Speaker 3: Amazing. That's very exciting to see where I'll go. So I just wanted to wrap up asking you, I mean, rebel girls has done such a good job building with your community, and I love to ask you what advice do you have for other companies who want to be more community driven in their approach? I think the biggest and most important advice is to just listen to your community and start building very open and honest dialogue early on with them. And just talk to them about what you think it's important. What is the thing, the subject area, the scene that you're working on, listen to what they say, how the words that they use to describe that same problem, what is their perspective and what are their fears? That is the most powerful way to get an initial sense on initial breasts of potentially big and deep problem that you might solve for your product or with your company, just to say, thank you for doing what you're doing.


Speaker 3: My mother was one of the first airline pilots for United airlines. So I grew up with a female role model like, wow, congratulations, thank you. Every year that passes, I understand more and more how much that shaped my imagination of who I was in the world and who I could be. So thank you for doing this work. It's a wonderful collection and I'm going to buy them from my mom. Thank you. No, thank you for having me and for this beautiful questions. It was a pleasure to talk to you. If you want to connect with Elena of ULI and rebel girls, you can find them at You can find out more about us, the people behind the podcast at our website, people And also our book is available. You can check it out at, get together It's full of stories and learnings from conversations with community leaders like this one with Elena. And


Speaker 1: Last thing, if you don't mind, please review us and cooks.


Speaker 3: It'll help these stories get out to more people. Great. We'll talk to you next time.