As we prepare for Earth Day, we are excited to share our reflections of the Deep Time Walk application. This app was created after a concept developed at Schumacher College with co-creator Stephan Harding, Resident Ecologist at Schumacher College.
The mobile app, which you are invited to put in your pocket when first starting the walk, invites you on a 4.6 km walk to discover Earth’s 4.6 billion year history- 1 metre is equivalent to 1 million years of the Earth’s history. Earth Charter Youth Projects Coordinator, Christine Lacayo along with intern Maksim Lavrik experienced this app by walking through the Peace Park trails at the University for Peace. Forests, riverbanks, parks, and other natural settings are ideal places for your walk to be able to fully experience the journey.
During the walk the listener, explores the Earth’s evolution, learns about the role and development of greenhouse gases on Earth, experiences the appearance of bacteria, nucleated cells and, eventually, multicellular organisms, evolution of species, and the arrival of humans. All of this is done in an artistic yet realistic audio experience.
The journey starts from the point where the Earth begins, with zero oxygen and no liquid water. It goes through the birth of Gaia 2 700 million years ago. The ancient Greeks gave this name to the Earth, highlighting the Earth as a living being, the divinity of its creation after the chaos and ability of self-regulation to maintain the delicate balance between living-beings, rocks, water and the atmosphere.
The narrator then raises a rhetorical question, whether science is enough for the understanding of the evolution of the Earth. While the Deep Time Walk offers the scientific explanation based on the latest inter-disciplinary evidence, it also leaves room for spirituality, which correlates with Earth Charter Principle 14d on the integration of different types of knowledge and values into learning including moral and spiritual education for a sustainable lifestyle.
During the walk, the listener recognizes that 252 million years ago the greatest extinction of species occurred with 96 % of marine and 70 % of terrestrial species gone. The Earth became quiet “like the Earth after us” as the narrators mention. We can say this moment represents the preamble of the Earth Charter, with the critical moment in Earth’s history when humanity must choose its future.
The Deep Time Walk helps the listener feel their connection with the community of life and to recognize the role of mankind in the evolution and protection of our living Earth.
Because of the evident connections between Deep Time Walk and the Earth Charter, we are excited to announce our partnership with the Deep Time Walk app and Mapting. Mapting is a free tool that invites users to look for everyday actions that people take which help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while discovering Earth Charter Principles.
At the end of the 4.6 km walk, Deep Time Walk will invite listeners to adopt the Earth Charter and download Mapting and make use of it in their everyday lives- sharing their sustainable development projects and connecting with others around the world using Mapting.
We invite all of those interested in discovering the beauty of Earth’s history and evolution to download the Deep Time Walk app. If you do, you will experience the feeling of remembering that we are one with Mother Earth, that we came from her and nothing within us is separated from her. We invite you to help others remember, to emerge consciousness, and to protect our Mother Gaia.
For more information see: Deep Time Walk. A history of the living Earth.
Written by: Youth Projects Coordinator, Christine Lacayo and Earth Charter Intern, Maksim Lavrik