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Graphic of the Walk, courtesy of HP LabsThe idea for A Walk Through Time...from stardust to us brewed in the mind of Dr. Sid Liebes for 26 years. Born and reared on the San Francisco Peninsula "when it was pastoral, uncrowded, and quiet," Liebes returned from his years teaching at Princeton to find eucalyptus trees chopped down, apricot orchards replaced by housing projects, endless fields of poppies turned into shopping centers. A physicist working in the Genetics Department of the Human Biology Program and Computer Science Department at Stanford University, he was struck by how long nature took to recover from a biodiversity setback -- longer than it did for ice ages to sculpt Yosemite. Thus was born the idea of A Walk Through Time as a way Sid saw to "provide a viscerally meaningful perspective on how humans should conduct themselves to avoid precipitating the next mass extinction of species."

Over the years, Sid collected material for the Walk and wrote a draft. In 1996, he announced his decision to retire from Hewlett-Packard Labs to complete the Walk project. Barbara Waugh, HPLabs worldwide personnel manager had another idea: why not see if HP senior management would allow Sid to stay on and produce the Walk as a context-setter for an upcoming HPLabs event.

Management agreed and Liebes, with the enthusiastic involvement of Waugh and many other colleagues, found himself in a collaborative effort with scientists inside and outside of HPL, writers, editors, site managers, and volunteers. The result was a Walk with 90 large panels spaced along a mile so that each foot represents a million years of Earth's history. On Earth Day in 1997, the Walk was introduced to Hewlett-Packard employees in Palo Alto, California, Bristol, England, and Tokyo, Japan.

Shortly before the Walk was completed, a Hewlett Packard manager who had long been involved with the Foundation for Global Community (FGC), asked FGC if it might be interested in receiving the Walk as a gift from HP to carry to the world. To evaluate further interest, FGC invited a number of Bay Area leaders to experience the Walk. Their unanimous reaction was that the Walk was an outstanding project and that further uses of the Walk should be pursued.

In response, FGC offered to form a team of volunteers to spearhead the Walk project and to provide office space and other support to Sid Liebes.


Origin of the Walk Thru Time...from stardust to us
A project of such a magnitude could never have taken place without the help of many individuals who generously donated their time and creativity. The contributors to the original implementation of the Walk are acknowledged below:

The original one-mile Walk Thru Time ... from stardust to us was created by the employees of the Hewlett-Packard Company under the Company’s sponsorship. It was first presented as part of HP Laboratories’ Celebration of Creativity on Earth Day, 22 April 1997, at the HP Laboratories sites in Palo Alto, California; Bristol, England; and Tokyo, Japan.

Original concept of one-mile Walk Thru Time: Sid Liebes
Sponsor of HP Laboratories Walk Thru Time: Joel Birnbaum
Project leaders of HP’s Walk Thru Time: Sid Liebes, Laurie Mittelstadt, Barbara Waugh
Walk Thru Time research and text composition: Lois Brynes (Deep-Time Associates)

Project Contributors:
Geoff Ainscow
Cindy Alfieiri
Wally Austin
Brian Barry
Betty Belloli
Jean-FranVois Berche
Sally Cohn Berche
Steve Bicker
Gail Burke
Jackie Burleigh
Aleta Chandra
Cy Class
Maria Colin
Peter Cook
Wayne Davies
Chris de Vos
Jasmale Dhillon
Don Dunphy
Dennis Freeze
Nancy Freeze
Toshio Fujiwara
Joan Gallicano
Henrietta Gamino
Bill Gibson
Ruth Gilombardo
Caitlin Hall
Lorene Hall
Sharon Hanrahan
Ian Hardcastle
Pat Ichelson
Tak Kamae
Ed Karrer
Barbara Keen
Rhonda Kirk
Michi Kitaura
Cristina Konjevich
Joe Kral
Dick Lampman
Rob Lawrence
Debbie Leos
Kay Lichtenwalter
Linda Liebes
Andrew Liu
Robin Locklin
Rhonda Louie
Loretta Lovingood
Rich Marconi
Gina Massey-Parnis
Shirley McFadden
Molly Megraw
Raakhee Mistry
Jim Nunes & Facilities staff
Hans Obermaier
Thorsten Obermaier
Ian Osborne
John Otsuki
Gina Massey-Parnis
Chandra Patel
Herlinda Perez
Rick Pierce
Lew Platt
Jim Raddatz
Johnny Ratcliff
Cheryl Ritchie
Mike Rodriquez
Penny Rose
Bina Shah
Ruth Shavel
Jim Sheats
Bill Shreve
Darlene Solomon
Roger Sperry
Roxann Stephens
Randy Strickfadden
Srinivas Sukumar
Chie Tajima
John Taylor
Jean Tully
Dick Van Gelder
Chuck Untulis
Shalini Venkatesh
Jim Wack
Rick Walker
Hazen Witemeyer
Art Wittke
Sheila Worland
Rosanne Wyleczuk

Illustrations: Appreciation is expressed to the artists, photographers and copyright owners for permission to use their works in the original Walk Thru Time...from stardust to us.

Design: Original exhibit panel design and layout by Lisa Otsuki (SOZO)

Printers: Original exhibit panels were printed on Hewlett-Packard DesignJet large-format printers

Online Version: Online version was designed by Jason Ables

Future of the Walk Through Time... from stardust to us

Development and Presentation
The Hewlett-Packard Company has gifted the Walk Thru Time...from stardust to us to the non-profit Foundation for Global Community, Palo Alto, California. The Foundation is committed to evolving and sharing the Walk throughout the world.

Financial Support

Significant funding in support of the evolution and distribution of the Walk Thru Time...from stardust to us project has been provided by the following:
Hewlett-Packard Company
Richard & Rhoda Goldman Fund
Foundation for Global Community

• • • • • •

Acknowledgements to Hazen Witemeyer, of HP Labs, for generously granting permission to use and extensively reference Walk material she prepared and placed on an HP Labs external Web page.

All contents  2000 Stiftung Drittes Millennium
Email: Webmaster | The earlier sponsor Foundation for Global Community was a 501(c)(3) nonprofit