Darren McDaniel

Darren McDaniel is a strategist, sociologist, educator, solutionary, and hat-juggling creative. A deliberate idealist, McDaniel's advocacy for emboldening independents through creating opportunity structures led to his role as Founding Director of Orlando's Urban ReThink, a community hub for stimulating collaborative endeavors, economic growth, lifelong learning, and community evolution. In the wake of its closure, McDaniel launched the not-for-profit, Gapways, Inc. with the aim to bridge gaps in multiple social institutions, most notably work and education. McDaniel also serves as Course Director for Digital Storytelling in the Digital Arts and Design Program at Full Sail University. He's spoken at TEDx Orlando, served as Programming Director at Orlando’s Downtown Media Arts Center, piloted a social networking startup, and wrote, produced, and directed an independent feature film. McDaniel received his Master of Arts in Sociology (ABD) from Vanderbilt University, his Master of Arts in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi, and his B.S. in Speech: Radio-Television-Film from Northwestern University. He recently completed Full Sail University's Leadership Academy, for which he received the Executive Recognition Award.