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Jason Young

Mindblown Labs
Founder and CEO | FXD Speaker
Jason is Co-Founder and CEO of MindBlown Labs, a Silicon Valley based financial wellness innovation lab. MindBlown's mission is to empower Americans to make better financial decisions and ultimately achieve enduring financial wellness as a result. The company partners with financial institutions to develop highly engaging digital solutions that connect with users on an emotional level and drive positive saving and investing behaviors.
Jason has worked with senior executives across the retirement industry to bring groundbreaking new solutions to market. In 2014, he was appointed by President Obama to a special advisory council on financial capability for young Americans. Jason also serves on the board of the National Endowment for Financial Education.
Jason is Co-Founder and Board Chair of The Hidden Genius Project, a non-profit that trains and mentors black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership. The goal of Hidden Genius is to expand economic opportunity by creating career pathways into the technology industry.
Prior to founding these organizations, he was part of the founding team of SigFig, a financial technology startup focused on helping Millennials make better investment decisions. He also worked at Merrill Lynch. Jason received an A.B. in Economics from Harvard College.
Recognition and Thought Leadership:
•Presenter Breaking Thru: New Direction in Participant Engagement, LIMRA Annual Retirement Conference
•Panelist: Working with Multigenerational Clients and Staff, FINRA Annual Conference,
•Presenter: Gamification for Financial Inclusion Expert Meeting, World Bank
•Keynote: Advancing Financial Capability Efforts with Emerging Educational
•Technologies Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
•Keynote: Secure Retirement Institute Financial Literacy Round Table
•Featured: New York Times, NPR, Entrepreneur Magazine, CNN, Pensions and Investments
•Appointed: President Obama’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans
•Co-Authored: “How to Use Games for Financial Education,” World Bank

Get to know Jason

What do you enjoy about the work you are doing in finance?
 I love the fact that we are developing scalable solutions that will change lives.  People often think of personal finance as either boring or scary. We help them to get past those negavitve emotions so that they can make financial decisions that contribuite directly to them being able to live their best lives.
What gets you most fired up in terms of a technology, tool, trend, or advancement?

Crossdisciplinary Soltuions. There's a ton of buzz about AI, machine learning, big data, etc.  But what happens when you combine these things with best in class UI, gamification, behavioral economics? That's what we aim to find out.  Apart from our own work, I think that the next era of growth will be driven in large part by the creative combination of technologies and approaches to create experiences that are intelligent/individualized and immersive.
What do you think the future of financial experience will hold?

 For far too long, the financial services industry has been mostly focused on doing things its way.  In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about customer centricity.  While the industry has yet to deliver fully on this promise, I think it's making progress.  In the future, I expect to see experiences that are much more intelligent and better tailored to individual needs.
What is the biggest obstacle you face in building a culture of design and innovation or putting a focus on wellbeing? How might the industry solve it?

We are a small organization and we literally only hire people who want to design great things, innovate and change people's lives for the better.  That said, many financial institutions in the spaces we work in struggle to innovate.  I see two major obstacles:  A lack of the lack of an effective framework for innovation and lack of appetite for failure. Often times, these organizations have really smart people with great ideas.  That said, there is no outlet for these ideas.  Quite the opposite in fact.  There are a set of complex systems, processes, and politics, designed explicitly, to kill innovation.  Moreover, if you somehow push an idea through and it fails, it could result in a major career setback for the person championing it. I don't know the solution, but I think it's some mix of the following: the courageous leadership by the CEO and his senior leadership team, the placement of lieutenants that will also encourage and nurture new ideas and approaches, KPIS throughout the org attached to innovation and how effective managers are at encouraging those under their purview to try new things,  training for managers and employees on both the design process and effective methods for innovating, and finally and finally partnerships with smaller, more agile organizations. 
What would you tell your younger self?

Never stop learning, and don't forget to enjoy the process. Build strong relationships with phenomenal people with good hearts with and/from whom you can learn.