Denver: We are going to do Take Five with Ryan Merkley, the Chief Executive Office of Creative Commons. Are you ready, Ryan?

Ryan: I am ready.

Denver: What idea in philanthropy is ready for retirement?

Ryan: The 10% administration rule.

Denver: What should we be worried about?

Ryan: Losing our will for collective action.

Denver: What is one of your favorite documentaries or movies?

Ryan: When the Levee Breaks.

Denver: What is today’s most underreported story?

Ryan: The true causes of the plight of people in the developing world.

Ryan Merkley and Denver Frederick at the AM970 The Answer Studio


Denver: What is something you believe that other people think is just insane?

Ryan: That we should give away our copyright and share our content freely.

Denver: Name some organization or person that you have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for?

Ryan: Darren Walker at the Ford Foundation.

Denver: What is the most important thing that makes for a healthy organizational culture?

Ryan: Openness.

Denver: If you were a kitchen utensil, what would you be?

Ryan: Cork screw.

Denver: If you were to start your career all over again and do something completely different and away from this field, what would that be?

Ryan: I’d be a filmmaker.

Denver: What is your superpower?

Ryan: Collaboration.

Denver: If you could have one gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say?

Ryan: It would be a giant billboard on the Canadian border and it would say, ”Dear America, We love you. How can we help?”

Denver: What is something, whether it’s related to your work or not, that you are exceptionally excited about right now?

Ryan: We’ve spent two years trying to rebuild our movement and we are about to swing the doors open. I could not be more excited about what’s about to happen.

Denver: What is the one book that you would give as a gift?

Ryan: The Paper Bag Princess inspired by my wife, Kelsey.

Denver: What topic would you speak about if you were asked to give a Ted Talk on something completely outside of your main area of expertise?

Ryan: I would probably talk about wine and coffee.

Denver: What is something about you that very few other people know?

Ryan: I am a trained jazz drummer.

Denver: Given the choice of anyone famous in the world, dead or alive, that you could have come over as a dinner guest, who would you invite?

Ryan: Count Basie.

Denver: What advice would you give to your 25-year old self?

Ryan: Probably that I should start working out and that I should have saved more money.

Denver: And finally, do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often?

Ryan: Pick big fights with your enemies not small fights with your friends.

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