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Audience in Lecture






Founder & CEO


Adaptive Commons


Derwin has spent the last fifteen years in real estate impact investing, community development, and public education with a particular focus on coalescing and maximizing community assets.

He is the founder and CEO of Adaptive Commons, a real estate development and investment firm that adapts public spaces for public good. Prior to Adaptive Commons, Derwin co-founded and co-led Maslow Development Inc., a real estate and community development firm that advises, designs, and develops mixed-use communities anchored by high-quality schools. Prior to Maslow, Derwin co-founded and served as the CEO of Gestalt Community Schools, a charter management organization that develops high-quality, community-based charter schools in Memphis, Tennessee. Honored by the White House and the U.S. Department of Education, GCS grew into one of the highest-performing networks of schools in Tennessee, anchoring over 40 acres of a mixed-use development that Derwin spearheaded, including a performing arts center and affordable housing. Derwin’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including Urban Land Institute’s Urban Land Magazine, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Derwin holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University, a PhD from the University of Memphis, and he is an alumnus of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where he was a Loeb Fellow. Derwin is also a Broad Fellow and a Pahara Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, where he was selected as a Braddock Scholar.

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