Denver: We’re going to do Take Five with David Risher, the CEO of Are you ready, David?

David Risher

David: I’m ready to go.

Denver: What should we be worried about?

David: AI.

Denver: What is today’s most underreported story?

David: The good that’s going on in the world by great nonprofits.

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

David: Year Million.

Denver: What idea in philanthropy is ready for retirement?

David: Overhead ratios.

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

David: That someday a billion people are going to read on their cellphones and Kindles in the heart of Africa, India, and everywhere in the world.

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

David: Tony Marx of the New York Public Library.

Denver: What’s a favorite part of your morning ritual?

David: Reading the newspaper.

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

David: Take culture seriously but don’t take yourself too seriously.

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

David: A garlic press.

Denver: What do you wish more people would be open and honest about?

David: I wish people were more comfortable talking about money.

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

David: As a kid, I always wanted to be a drawbridge server; one of those guys that sat on a little boot and opened up a drawbridge because I actually like physical infrastructure. I like ships. I like water.

Denver: What is your superpower?

David: I can see little bits and pieces of the future.

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

David: Read more.

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

David: Seeing my two daughters next weekend.

Denver: What are you reading now?

David: I’m reading James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty.

Denver: What are you thinking about when you’re driving in the car alone?

David: Whatever is on NPR..

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

David: How to use the Insta Pot to cook anything you want.

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

David: I’d pick Elon Musk. I do find him fascinating. He thinks big. He’s not afraid to just make things happen no matter how big.

Denver: What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

David: I’d say be proud of yourself as a reader and as a student, now ashamed of yourself.

Denver: Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often?

David: I actually have quite a few. In college yearbook, I quoted Joseph Conrad who said, I don’t like work but I like what it does for me. And I think that’s right. It allows me to express who I am and allows me to help the world in a way that’s bigger than myself.


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