Denver: So we’re going to play Take Five with Lauren Smith the Co-CEO of FSG. Are you ready, Lauren? 

Lauren Smith

Lauren: Oh, I think so. 

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

Lauren: The Big Short. It’s not a recent movie, but I really like the way they explained the technical aspects of what happened during 2007-2008. And I thought that that was really well done. 

Denver: What is today’s most underreported story?

Lauren: The deep impact of ACEs on not just this generation of children, but the next generation of children.

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

Lauren: Angela Glover Blackwell at Policy Link. She’s an articulate, thoughtful thinker of and speaks about how we can progress as a culture in achieving the kind of deep equitable change that we’re looking for.

Denver: What idea in philanthropy is ready for retirement?

Lauren: The idea that nonprofits don’t need operating support to be able to function in that efficiency and looking at overhead is the only way to proceed.

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

Lauren: A kitchen utensil? Maybe – well, I don’t know if this is a utensil – a blender because I feel like I can mix things up and get something better out of it.

Denver: What’s your superpower?  

Lauren: Inspiring people and developing close and productive relationships 

Denver: Name one of your favorite restaurants.  

Lauren: Ocean Air.

Denver: What is one thing you wish you really more fully understood?

Lauren: The stock market.

Denver: What topic would you speak about if you were asked to give a TED Talk on something outside of your two main areas of expertise?

Lauren: Mothering 

Denver: What is the best constructive criticism you’ve ever received?  

Lauren: That I have very high expectations for myself, and that can sometimes translate to other folks, and I have to moderate that.

Denver: What is something that everybody else seems to love but you really don’t like?

Lauren: I was just talking about this. The Seinfeld Show.

Denver: What’s the biggest misconception people have about you?  

Lauren: That I always have it all pulled together.  

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

Lauren: Take your time to explore as you’re doing, and know that there’s plenty of time in life to get to everything. You don’t have to get to it all at once 

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

Lauren: I do for that one. It has to do with “Service is the rent you pay for living.” So, the idea that our life is a gift and that by giving to others and by doing service to others, that’s how you pay for your ability to be on the planet. 

Denver: Well, thank you very much, Lauren. 

Lauren: Sure. 

Share This: