Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Hey, friends! It's Spiffy, back again on Planet Earth with an eye on changemaking leaders making the world a more equitable place! I have another great interview for you this week. Today, I’m excited to cruise around with Kayla Glanville, the founder and CEO of Upaway. Are you ready to be inspired?
Spiffy: Thanks for joining me, Kayla! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through your organization?
Kayla: Glad to be with you, Spiffy! At Upaway, we make travel easy. We're a technology company that empowers more people to explore the world and learn about other cultures. Through our app (yes, like the one on a phone!), we help travelers keep their plans organized, stay safe in new places, and get trip support anytime from our team.
Spiffy: Very cool! Tell me more. What motivates you to tackle this challenge?
Kayla: I've always been motivated to create opportunities for others—and to build things that bring people more happiness. So whether you're making new memories on a family road trip or flying halfway around the globe for a safari adventure, travel is one of the best ways to feel happy and connected to others around you.
Spiffy: I agree, I love to travel throughout space! How else would you describe the impact of your work?
Kayla: Travel has always been a part of humanity, but it hasn't always been possible for everyone. Even today, the ability to take trips can depend on someone's resources (money), networks (who you know), and experience (feeling comfortable). That's why at Upaway we're on a mission to make travel safe, simple, and accessible for everyone!
Spiffy: Awesome. Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Kayla: Entrepreneurs come from all genders, races, sizes, and educational backgrounds. So whether you're slammin' at STEM or even if that's not your thing, you can do it! The world is waiting for your ideas and your creativity. You'll have big successes and ultra letdowns: ride the wave and keep going!
Spiffy: That’s great advice. Thanks for speaking with me today, Kayla—it’s been an honor!
Kayla Glanville is the co-founder and CEO of Upaway. She has worked with major travel companies such as Airbnb, Southwest Airlines, and Universal Resorts, establishing brands, growing startups, and building partnerships. She received the Brand Innovators 40-Under-40 award and was named to Adweek’s Innovator’s Council in 2019. Kayla was also inducted into the 2023 Gaingels 100, recognizing accomplished and inspiring venture-backed LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs. (Nominated by Kerry Ingram of Visible Hands. First published on the Ladderworks website on April 13, 2023.)
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.
© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Lindsey Brannon. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.