Worldreader Named One of the Most Innovative Nonprofits of 2016

In News by Hannah Johnson

Business magazine Fast Company has named Worldreader as one of 2016’s most innovative companies.
Students reading a digital book on an e-reader, both donated by Worldreader (Image courtesy of Worldreader)

Students reading a digital book on an e-reader, both donated by Worldreader (Image courtesy of Worldreader)

By Hannah Johnson | @HannahSJohnson 

Each year, business magazine Fast Company releases its highly anticipated list of “Most Innovative Companies” across a range of sectors. This year, Fast Company has chosen literacy nonprofit Worldreader as one of ten not-for-profit enterprises on this prestigious list “for trying to break the cycle of poverty with free digital books.”

Since 2010, Worldreader has been working to improve literacy and access to reading material in developing markets. They provide free ebooks on existing local platforms, by distributing e-readers (and solar charging stations) to schools around the world, and via their Worldreader Mobile app.

“Literacy is a foundational skill essential to anyone’s lifelong success,” says Worldreader on its website. Their goal is to reach 15 million readers by 2018.

Worldreader logo“We are grateful to play a part in creating a more literate world, and are deeply humbled to have our work acknowledged by Fast Company,” said Worldreader CEO and Co-Founder David Risher.

Other nonprofits on this year’s list include UNICEF, Black Lives Matter, the 92nd Street Y, and Humans of New York.

Worldreader works with publishers, technology companies, global foundations, local governments and other organizations to achieve its goals.

“Our partners are so integral to Worldreader’s impact,” the company said in a prepared statement. “Each one of them is profoundly passionate about innovating to improve people’s lives through education and technology. Together, we’re able to achieve scale and impact that is truly transformative.”

Earlier this year, Worldreader released a report on the top digital books in its library of 28,500 titles in 43 languages. According to their data, over 6 million children and adults have read for a total of 17 million hours using Worldreader apps and e-readers. The cost of reaching so many readers? Just $2 per person.

In order to curate their vast and growing library, Worldreader has partnered with leading global publishers, who donate ebooks to the platform. Worldreader also works with publishers in developing markets like Africa and India to help them digitize and translate their books and reach more readers globally.

Read more about Worldreader here on Publishing Perspectives.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.