What is Planetwalk: Hangzhou?

Inspired by National Geographic Explorer and Former UN Environment Project Goodwill Ambassador to Grassroots People of the World, Dr. John Francis, 11 CIS students and 5 CIS Faculty & Staff will participate in a 6-day Planetwalk adventure through Hangzhou and across Zhejiang.  The team will travel upwards of 150km on foot while exploring their own, as well as Hangzhou’s and China’s connections and relationship with the physical environment, especially air and water.  The team will be learning about scientific investigation and gathering meaningful data on air and water quality, and fill their time by observing their surroundings, listening to others, recording their thoughts and observations in journals/sketchbooks; and reading and discussing John’s book, Planetwalker: 22 years of walking, 17 years of silence.  An added feature of the project is to explore the role that silence played in John’s journey, and in our own.  They will also share John’s message with the Chinese communities they become a part of on their journey, and will work together to share John’s message locally and globally upon their return.



·      A bilingual and multimedia Planetline1 presentation outlining the route, videos/photos/data points gathered, key discoveries, and insights from the walk.

·      A short documentary about Hangzhou, China and how our evolving relationship with the environment is also shaping our relationships with each other.

·      A post-walk PlanetTalk with Dr. Francis sharing about his own experiences working to protect the environment, our perspectives on China’s hopes and challenges regarding their relationship with the environment, and key actions for us and our community as we move forward.

1 A Planetline is a map with embedded layers of data and media taken over the course of a Planetwalk.   It is a tool for telling the story and sharing the walking experience.  University students in the United States in various environmentally focused programs have developed Planetlines, and a corresponding curriculum, as a platform for sharing environmental and geographic knowledge.