top of page

Episode 2

Following nature's blueprint

With over 40 years of legal practice under his belt, Dan has been instrumental in empowering local, national, and international non-profits, guiding them to tell their stories by aiding town founders in crafting narratives that enrich their communities. Moreover, he's been a catalyst for entrepreneurs striving to introduce innovative, world-changing products, helping them resonate with environmentally conscious consumers.

Show Summary

In Episode 2 of Smith Lane, we sit down with the dynamic Dan Slone, an author, lawyer, and self-described “vision wallah” who co-founded Vertical Vision PLC. Join Monaca, Callie, and Dan, as they delve into some subtle nuances that shape a community's identity and sense of belonging.

Throughout this episode, Dan’s passion for placemaking shines as he introduces his concept of "heartware vs. software," emphasizes the significance of biodiversity in fostering vibrant communities, and explores what “fourth place” signifies to him. Alongside discussions on placemaking, Monaca, Callie, and Dan share personal anecdotes about their own ‘Smith Lane’ experiences, forging deeper connections through shared stories.

About Dan

Dan lives in Virginia, USA with his wife, dog, and two cats.

Dan’s day-job is sustainability law. He has had the great honor to represent many leading non-profits in the US working on sustainable buildings and pedestrian-oriented communities, as well as with developers of sustainable communities and new, alternative energy companies. He is co-founder and partner in Vertical Vision where his title is lawyer and vision wallah. He recently started BluLightning, a company focused on virtual trainings in urbanism, sustainability, and biodiversity.

Dan has written three fantasy novels under the name Dan Slone, and parts of 12 nonfiction books, mostly under the name Daniel K. Slone. He is currently completing Saving the Dark Night and Her Children: Resisting Artificial Light’s Encroachment, which is due out in the fall of 2024.

He grew up on the Gulf of Mexico where he developed a deep love of the ecology and its inhabitants. In the fall of 2023, he gave a presentation at the Rural Renaissance Roadshow in Bentonville, Arkansas entitled “The Role of Local Wildlife and Dark Skies in Making Places We Love”, reflecting his work with developers and homeowner associations in creating connections between biodiversity, darkness, and buyer appreciation of place. Besides degrees in law and political science, he has a degree in philosophy, which is why the characters in his novels are always lost.

You can find information on Dan's books at or his Facebook page. Information on wildlife and darkness can be found on Dan's new website. 

Contact Dan regarding speaking or working with your community at or

Connect with

Dan Slone

Share your story

Learn more about being a guest on Smith Lane.

Launching Spring '24

A podcast about community, presented by OnPlace

Subscribe for updates to your inbox

Thanks for subscribing!

Podcast Image.png
bottom of page