If you’re stumped on how to spend your next family Zoom call, Megan Rapinoe has a provocative idea: start a conversation about how you’d like to change the status quo.
This is harder ice to break than, say, launching into a round of Mad Libs or sports trivia, but Rapinoe is offering both a suggestion and a solution.
The World Cup champion and three of her current and former teammates — Christen Press, Tobin Heath, and Meghan Klingenberg — just debuted a deck of conversation cards called Reset The Table.
The deck, which costs $25, comes with 21 letter-pressed cards divided into five themes: revolt, rediscover, reimagine, redefine, renew. Each card contains a question like, “If you could shake up any industry right now, which one would it be?” or “What revolutionaries from the past do you admire? Which of their qualities do you wish to embody today?”
Rapinoe says the quartet developed a version of the deck last year, when hosting an event for their lifestyle brand re—inc. The participants’ positive response to the conversation-starting prompts convinced the group to “scale the idea … of getting people to think about and talk about these questions.”
“You have to be open to it and you have to be willing to listen and willing to hear other people’s perspective”
It’s worth noting that the event’s attendees included high-profile liberals like actress Sophia Bush, activist DeRay McKesson, and Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff. Rapinoe, who is famously progressive but grew up in a conservative family, says the deck isn’t just an activity for people who agree all the time.
“You have to be open to it and you have to be willing to listen and willing to hear other people’s perspective, but I actually think it’s a good way to have almost like a conversation-starter,” says Rapinoe “[I]t’s a loosely neutral way to have a little bit deeper conversation about what we want our world to look like.”
Re—inc is promoting the cards on Instagram with tips on how to use them during a video call. Basically, schedule a call, screenshot the card, share it with your group, and start talking. Rapinoe recommends trying it with family and friends as well as for a work or corporate event.
“I would suggest just like a very blunt, ‘Hey we’re not doing anything else, we have this time, let’s try. I heard about this from the women who play soccer that started their own company,'” says Rapinoe. “Maybe just set some simple ground rules of, we all take our turns talking, we let people talk, we hear people’s perspective, and whatever it may be.”
Rapinoe knows, however, that just talking about what we’d like to change isn’t enough to see those aspirations become reality. She hopes the cards will encourage people to reflect on what they’re already doing to implement change, even on a personal level, and what more they might do to achieve a greater impact.
For Rapinoe, Press, Heath, and Klingenberg, re—inc is an outlet for leveraging their interest and experience in business, branding, creativity, and activism. The company launched with a streetwear collection that rejected “masculine and feminine labels.” The point of re—inc is to create products that “reimagine the status quo,” says Rapinoe.
That shift couldn’t come sooner for Rapinoe and her teammates, whose equal pay suit against U.S. Soccer was set back considerably when a federal judge recently ruled that the women weren’t systematically underpaid by their employer. The women have appealed the judge’s decision.
“Obviously the ruling and particularly the explanation of the ruling of the court was very disappointing,” says Rapinoe. “I take a lot of energy knowing that so many women out there have felt this way and have dealt with this. I think our fight has become so much bigger than just our team. It’s clear that we’re a lightning rod during this time and a sort of mouthpiece for a lot of women. It was a tough day to hear that, but also we feel really strong in our case.”
No doubt Rapinoe and her co-founders have given a lot of thought to each of their Reset The Table prompts, but this one might elicit an especially passionate response: “Share a time when you stood up for yourself. How can you inspire others to do the same?”