Daniel Raven-Ellison
Speaker Profile

Guerrilla geographer, National Geographic Explorer and leader of the campaign to make London a National Park City

Watch Daniel in action.

Daniel is the founder and Chief Exploration Officer of the new National Park City Foundation, a game-changing move to make London the world’s first National Park City. With the aim of making the capital radically greener, healthier, wilder and more prosperous, Daniel has inspired thousands of people. As well as giving hundreds of talks, Daniel has appeared on BBC Countryfile, NatGeo.com, the Financial Times, Evening Standard and Time Out to name a few. Supported by the Mayor of London, plans are now being made for London to be declared a National Park City in 2019.

In 2017 he completed an expedition with National Geographic Partners and Cisco to walk 1,686km across all of the UK’s national parks and cities while wearing a headset that mapped his emotions. Demonstrating how people, things, technology and nature can be better connected to improve life in cities, the project created an estimated 50,000,000 PR impressions around the world and won the 2017 Festival of Media award for Best Use of Geo-location.

Daniel has walked across some of the world’s largest cities including Mexico City, Mumbai and London. He’s also been on urban polar explorations that go from the most to least violent parts of a city and walked the height of Mount Everest by only using steps in London’s buildings. Most recently he walked a 563km spiral from the far north of the capital to the city’s centre to help catalyse the London National Park City campaign. On this walk he was joined by mayors, celebrities, community activists, business leaders and local residents.

In 2014 Daniel completed 125 micro-adventures across all of the UK’s regions with his son. As part of a partnership between National Geographic and Toyota to promote the new RAV4, the project included climbing, kayaking, canyoning, wild swimming, hill rolling and one hundred and twenty other challenges between Cornwall and the Shetlands. For each adventure Daniel wrote adventure reports which included inspiring photography and dozens of self-shot videos.

As an urban explorer and geographer Daniel is fascinated by the things that shape places and how we can make them better. That’s why InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in partnership with TED asked Daniel to facilitate an international conversation on the “Future of Local”. The purpose of the project was to find out how the benefits of globalisation can best be balanced with the needs of local places. Daniel presented an award winning film and led conversations at TED Active in Palm Springs.

Daniel was a geography teacher for nearly 7 years. During this time he was always exploring new ways to bring the outside world into the classroom and take young people out into the outside world. One of his projects involved travelling to Sao Tome and Principe, a small island state in the Gulf of Guinea, to film a virtual field trip so that his students could explore the island’s communities, habitats and volcanoes. Shortly after arriving back in the UK the footage was used by The Workshop to create a cutting-edge virtual learning game for BBC Learning. An active geography campaigner, Daniel was picked to be a guest editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.

Daniel is a disruptive and highly-thought provoking speaker who uses the power of exploration to challenge people’s ideas. He has given talks on every major continent bar Antarctica. Clients include TEDx, HICAP (Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific), WorldHotels in Monaco, software giants ESRI, infrastructure designers AECOM and presented on the prestigious main stage at the National Geographic Society in Washington DC on many occasions.

What the audience can expect
In his thought-provoking and inspiring talks, Daniel explains how he uses adventure to shape new ideas, challenge the status-quo and provoke positive change. His stories include walking 1,686km across all the UK’s national parks and cities as a mind-reading cyborg, hiking the Height of Mount Everest without leaving London, how he’s proved that New Zealand almost certainly does not exist and why he plans for his next major expedition to be just 100 metres long.

Languages
Daniel presents in English


Quotes

Dan worked with Cisco on creating a campaign to help show why sustainable cities need wild spaces as well as smart technology. Throughout the campaign Dan was engaged, driven to help us share our message, and pro-active in supporting the project. He took part in Facebook Live videos with Cisco senior staff during his walks, recorded a special Cisco Podcast episode, and helped us to proliferate our message throughout social media through his own channels.

Lucas Betes, Digital Marketing and Brand Manager, Cisco 

I had the pleasure to work with Daniel as part of a team that delivered a global brand partnership between TED and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. Daniel worked with us as our consumer-facing “voice” of the campaign, moderating a global conversation on TED.com. The Future of Local campaign was one of the most successful online conversations ever generated on TED and won the coveted ‘Best Initiative in Social Responsibility’ from Hospitality Awards in 2014. Daniel’s credible passion for the greater social good of the world and the environment specifically is personally inspiring and was critical to the commercial success of the TED / InterContinental partnership.

Jennifer Ploszaj, JP Communications

Dan came to Carat as part of a series of talks to inspire our team to see the world differently and to be more connected, more curious, and more courageous. He was one of the highlights of the week.

Polly Roberts, Client Director, Carat


Further information
To find out what Daniel Raven-Ellison could bring to your event or to make a booking, please contact Alice Saunders.