Dan is a social artist and writer living in Margate. His work is about people and places. He is interested in the creation of social capital, in abandoned or underused spaces, and in DIY approaches to art, culture and social action. He often makes fanzines and badges as well.
Dan is the founder and director of Revolutionary Arts and author of Pop Up Business For Dummies. In 2012, he was included in the Time Out and Hospital Club’s Culture 100, a list of the most inspiring and influential people in the UK’s creative industries.
He also started #riotcleanup, after the August 2011 riots in London. That project inspired the Nesta-funded #wewillgather, which uses social media for social good. For this work, he has been singled out by David Cameron as an example of great British leadership.
Dan has provided advice and support to projects across the UK, and spoken at workshops, festivals and seminars across the country, and in Holland, Italy and Australia. He has worked for Unilever, RIBA, Renew Australia, the Transported Creative People & Places programme, Place NI, vInspired, University of the Arts, Spacemakers and Yell.
He is the author of Pop Up Business For Dummies, published Oct 2012, and has previously written the Empty Shops Toolkit for the government’s Living Places programme. In 2012, he authored and published Pop Up People, the first study of pop up urbanism, which has been read by government ministers. Mary Portas referenced his work in her High Street Review.
Dan has written for The Independent, the Daily Express and The Guardian. Other media includes The Sunday Times, Evening Standard and The Stylist, and he has also been featured in news reports on BBC News, Radio 4, Sky News, ABC and CNN.
As well as his Culture 100 award, Dan made The Independent Happy List 2012, the BBC Radio 4 iPM Alternative New Year Honours 2011, received a Team London Award from the Mayor of London, was named in GQ’s 100 Most Influential list and was winner of the Coast Awards 2011 ‘Unsung Hero’ trophy.
Natural capital gets lots of air time because banks – in their ongoing quest to own the world – like to invest. Social capital? Not so much. They’re so tricky, humans, aren’t they – with their foibles and need to be treated humanely? Dan Thompson bangs the drum on behalf of all of us. He is expert at unlocking potential in people and places that are ignored. If he was in the private sector he’d have a knighthood!
Lucy Siegle, Eco writer, founder Observer Ethical Awards, broadcaster, The One Show
DT is a visionary, an artist with a heartfelt sense of what matters in the real world, and the gumption to make it happen, not once but often. It’s unusual to spend time with Dan and not to come away inspired.
John-Paul Flintoff, journalist and author of How To Change The World
Dan Thompson showed the best of Britain by helping organise the clean-up operation after last summer’s riots.
David Cameron, Prime Minister
- Time Out and the Hospital Club – The Culture 100
- Observer Ethical Awards 2013 – shortlist
- The Independent – Happy List 2012
- Winner Coast Awards 2011 ‘Unsung Coastal Hero’
- Mayor of London – Team London Award 2011
- Listed in Twitter’s 2011 Year In Review for #riotcleanup
- Named in GQ ‘100 Most Influential Men In Britain’ for #riotcleanup
- On the From Desk Till Dawn ‘Cool List 2011’
- The Independent – Independent Voices 2011, Runner up
Selected Talks & Workshops:
Organising without organisations; leadership & social media
- Global Entrepreneurship Week, Portsmouth (2013)
- Unilever – Household Cleaning Forum, Stresa, Italy (2012)
- Unilever – Household Cleaning Forum, London (2012)
- Sussex Police Leader’s Conference – keynote speaker (2011)
- Hampshire School for Social Entrepreneurs (2012)
Community action and #riotcleanup
- Little Big Peace Festival, Streatham (2012)
- Greenbelt Festival (2011)
- V Inspired – Team V programme (2011-2012)
- Engage International Conference (2011)
Pop up shops and temporary urbanism
- Renew Australia – Creating Spaces Conference, Newcastle NSW (2013)
- Creatief Met Leegstand Festival, Rotterdam (2012)
- Arts Council England State of the Arts Conference (2012)
- Buurt Flirt, Rotterdam (2011)
- PLACE NI, Belfast (2010)
- RIBA’s Guerilla Tactics (2009)
- Spacemakers at Brixton Village (2009)
BBC News, Sky News, CNN, ABC, Radio 4, The Independent, The Guardian, Sunday Times, Evening Standard, The Stylist, BBC Radio Scotland
- ITV2 ‘Tweets of the Year 2011′
- BBC Radio 4 iPM ‘Alternative New Year Honours 2011′
- Radio 1’s ‘The Story of Trends’ (2012)
- Yell Ministry of Found campaign (2011)
- Author, ‘It’s All About The Road’ (published by Appetite, June 2015)
- Author ‘Pop Up Shops For Dummies’ (published Wiley, October 2012)
- Guardian CiF, Independent Blogs, a-n Magazine, Mailout, New Start, Computer Arts, Folksy, Mollie Makes
- Wrote introduction to The Caravan Gallery’s ‘Is Britain Great? 3′.
Talks & workshops for education
University of the Arts, Central St Martins, Southampton Solent University, The Littlehampton Academy, Midhurst Rother Academy, Worthing High School