News >> Step back 4.6 billion years with the Deep Time Walk App

Step back 4.6 billion years with the Deep Time Walk App

Monday, 18 April, 2016

 

Crowdfunding campaign to bring innovative project to life launches on Earth Day - Friday April 22nd

The new Deep Time Walk App is a walking audio history of the Living Earth giving users a detailed and dramatised experience of the planet’s 4.6 billion year big history as they are guided on a 4.6 kilometre walk across time. The creators are launching a crowdfunding campaign on Earth Day (Friday 22 April) to complete its development. Scripted by award-winning Devon-based playwright, Peter Oswald and directed by seasoned BBC producer, Jeremy Mortimer, Deep Time Walk is based on a concept developed at Schumacher College, part of the Dartington Hall Trust in Devon, UK.

Walking over a distance of 4.6 kilometres, users of the Deep Time Walk mobile app listen to the story of the evolution of the 4.6 billion year big history of the Living Earth - from a disc of rocky debris, through the formation of the Earth, its oceans and atmosphere, the appearance of bacteria, nucleated cells and, eventually, multicellular organisms. At the climax of the walk the last 20cm (200,000 years) represent the timespan of humanity, and in the final 1/5th of a millimetre (200 years), the walker witnesses the miniscule time (in geological terms) that has elapsed since the start of the industrial revolution.

Stephan Harding, Resident Ecologist at Schumacher College and co-creator of the Deep Time Walk, says: “The Deep Time Walk enables people to connect their own short-lived experience of time on Earth with the vast expanse of geological time. This is an educational walk that I’ve been leading on the south coast of Devon for over nine years. With this ground breaking new mobile app, we will now be able to offer the Deep Time Walk to anyone, anywhere.  By pledging support, backers will help make a ground-breaking new educational app for environmental awareness possible.

Devon-based playwright Peter Oswald (ex Playwright-in-Residence at Shakespeare’s Globe) has collaborated with ecologist Stephan Harding to create a unique script that provides an enticing and poetic dialogue between ‘The Scientist’ and ‘The Fool’ as they journey through deep time. Peter Oswald: “The Deep Time Walk is a chance to combine poetry, drama and science with technology and see what reaction occurs. In order to navigate reality, a strong discipline of the imagination is required.”  The script was recently recorded at studios in London with actors Chipo Chung (“The Scientist”) & Paul Hilton (“The Fool”).

The production is directed by Jeremy Mortimer, who has created over 200 dramas for BBC Radio. “I have dedicated much of my working life to telling stories in sound. I can’t think of any more important story to tell than the story of the planet we call home. Only through understanding how we came to be here can we safeguard the Earth for future generations. I hope that the Deep Time Walk creates a sense of wonder, as the story it tells is truly astonishing, and inspires people to take action to protect the Earth we share.” says Jeremy.

A prototype for the mobile app has been designed by locative media expert Fred Adam. To move forward, the project now needs to raise £21,000 to edit and mix the sound recordings, create symphonic soundscapes to accompany the narration, code the iOS and Android applications and go through two beta testing versions ready for launch in autumn 2016. To raise these funds, the team have chosen to partner with South West based platform Crowdfunder, the UK's largest crowdfunding platform. Surplus profits from the sale of the app will be used to fund scholarships for students at Schumacher College.

Rewards for supporters of the project include:

  • Exclusive invitation to a beta-version of the Deep Time Walk app for the first 50 supporters.Exclusive new audio recordings from Satish Kumar (Spirituality mediation), Stephan Harding (Science contemplations) and Martin Shaw (Story-telling extract on Deep Time from his forthcoming book Scatterlings ).  
  • Video rewards include the film Animate Earth and over six hours of new tutorials from Stephan Harding on Resilience, Ecology and Gaia Theory.  
  • Other higher value rewards include a copy of the Deep Time Walk script signed by Peter Oswald and Stephan Harding, a private walk with Stephan Harding and an invitation to the launch party.

Geoff Ainscow, Project Lead, and initiator of the project, says: “Every day should be an Earth Day. Our hope is that the walk evokes a profound shift in worldview. A shift from seeing Earth as a dead rock, used as our pantry, our lumber yard and our waste dump, to a self-regulating, living Earth - a precious environment from which all life has emerged. This is the ground from which solutions to the many crises facing humanity will grow.”

Rhodri Samuel, CEO Dartington: “We’re excited to see innovative technology applied to a project that began life at Dartington. The Deep Time Walk app will give a taste of the transformative education at Schumacher College, and offer the perspective of deep time to anyone, anywhere.”

Brian Thomas Swimme, Professor at California Institute of Integral Studies and co-author of The Universe Story: “The change in consciousness from the discovery of an evolving universe is far deeper than what took place with the Copernican revolution. The revolutions in science that have come from Einstein's theories of gravitation, quantum mechanics, and non-linear dynamics amount to a radically new vision of reality. But even though we have the mathematics, the real challenge now is to take this new understanding into the body, into our emotions, into our hearts. This challenge will involve some of the most creative minds throughout the 21st century. At the present time, the Deep Time Walk is the most efficacious process we have for initiating ourselves into this radical transformation of human consciousness.”

The crowdfunding campaign launches on Earth Day – Friday April 22nd 2016. To pledge support for the project, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/deeptimewalk.