NATIONAL Geographic Explorer Dan Raven Ellison visited King’s Ely to talk to students about some of his fascinating adventures.
Dan, who focuses on combining Creative Exploration, Geography and Communication to tackle Social and Environmental challenges, visited the school on January 19th and talked about his work on a number of pioneering projects. Much of Dan’s work takes place in urban spaces and explores how we can change them to improve them for the people living there. He has a philosophy of “purposeful exploration” and his message was that we are all explorers from the moment we are born, and we don’t need to go to exotic far-away places to start exploring.
Dan introduced Year 7 and 8 students at King’s Ely Junior to projects including Route 125, where he completed 125 adventures with his son, and his walk across all of the UK’s cities and National Parks wearing a headset which captured his emotions. He also spoke about when he crossed the world’s largest cities and took a photograph every eight paces.
For Year 10 and 12 students at King’s Ely Senior, Dan focussed on a project he spearheaded four years ago – to make London the world’s first National Park City. He has the support of the Mayor of London and is close to getting enough political support for this to happen in 2019. Dan spoke about how his plan would improve the health of London’s population and help with the theme of sustainability. He shared outcomes from work with universities and architects to re-think the city, which he has explored in a giant 600km spiral walk.
Dan was welcomed to the school by Head of Geography at King’s Ely Junior, Alan Parkinson, with whom he created an award-winning series of children’s books with an exploration theme, and an iPhone app called Mission:Explore.