Daniel Raven-Ellison is a guerrilla geographer, radical educator and National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Founder of The Geography Collective and Director of Explorer HQ, Daniel’s work is focussed on challenging people to explore and think about the world in new ways. In the process he is hoping for nothing less than a revolution in how we think about and through geography.
For Daniel, guerrilla geography is creative, alternative, unusual, innovative and engaging geography that surprises audiences and makes them think again. Arguing that exploration is the physical manifestation of geography, Daniel believes that we are all explorers who are constantly asking questions and searching for answers.
For his presentation at the 2012 National Geographic Explorers Symposium in Washington DC Daniel received the People’s Choice Award. This special award was voted on by staff from across the society and its channels on the best presentation at the event. Daniel now works with National Geographic on a range of projects, including being the honorary editor for a new series of books on saving animals.
In one of Daniel’s projects he walks across some of the world’s biggest cities taking a photograph every 8 steps in an effort to (re)present what they are really like, away from media and guidebook bias. He has gone on adventures across Mexico City, Mumbai and London to name just three cities. The photography and films from this project have appeared in street magazines, academic books and in the visuals in Dance East at Glastonbury. The project perfectly bridges street art and academic thinking.
Mission: Explore is another project that Daniel leads. In presentations Daniel talks about the ‘exploration revolution’ that we are currently going through, but how children not being able to explore, play and learn outdoors is harming all of our futures. Leading a team of guerrilla geography educators this project includes a series of books for children, a website and is all about inspiring outdoor explorations and supporting adults in making them happen.
Daniel presents on a regular basis at conferences and events and is debuting at TED this year. He has experience of presenting to camera and has consulted for the BBC and other organisations on media projects. Daniel was a geography teacher for nearly 7 years and developed a range of innovative video techniques for bringing the world into his classroom while at the chalkface. This included working investigating the effects of potential oil income in the small island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe as well as happiness in various European countries.
Daniel is a geography fanatic and if you meet him, he’ll change how you think about geography forever, bringing together science, art, adventure and politics in creative and unusual ways.