A Deep Time Walk is a transformative journey through 4.6bn years of Earth history via a 4.6km walk, where each metre you walk equates to 1 million years. It provides a deep experience that invites participants to view the world differently, encouraging positive action and collective advocacy for a regenerative Earth.
Starting at the formation of the solar system and the creation of Earth, a Deep Time Walk covers some of the most significant events and key revolutions in Earth’s deep history, including the formation of the Moon, the oceans, the atmosphere, the early evolution of single-celled life, plate tectonics, multicellular life, the Cambrian Explosion, mass extinctions, dinosaurs and right at the end, our own species, humans.
A Deep Time Walk helps put into context humanity’s rich ancestral heritage and gives an insight into the interconnectedness of all life. It helps participants to get a bodily sense of the vast amount of time it has taken for life to evolve using the kinetic movement of walking.
The following provides a list of learning objectives associated with a Deep Time Walk:
- Comprehend the vastness of 4.6 billion years by walking across a 4.6 km geological timeline of Earth, experiencing first hand how humans arrived in the blink of a geological eye.
- Provide a transformative, deep experience that leads people into a profound connection and love of place.
- Gain a sense of the high-level, macro-evolutionary story of Earth, learning about the coevolution of life with the environment. Understand that humans are entangled in the Earth and its deep history. Humans and the rest of life are interconnected.
- Understand that the Earth is not a static, passive backdrop on which humans reside, but a set of complex interrelated active actors which have in themselves agency to move and dramatically change the Earth. In this walk, participants will learn many of these changes, and appreciate the many different configurations of the Earth that have occurred.
- Help participants overcome a widespread “temporal illiteracy” and develop an appreciation of the long arc of deep time. Help people develop a sense of what Marcia Bjornerud calls “timefulness”.
- Enable people to feel the reality that their own body is a living manifestation of deep time.
- Appreciate the gifts from deep time in order to foster a generation of good ancestors, to consider their decisions based on long-term, intergenerational justice.
- Understand through science the risk that humanity is facing and the impact that humans are having on the Earth causing the sixth mass extinction.
- Provide a rich set of hope-filled narratives for humanity, to inspire people to take urgent personal action and collective advocacy to address the climate and ecological emergency.
For additional information, please see the website Deep Time Walk.