In 2013, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Paul Salopek set out on a 21,000-mile journey to retrace the first human diaspora — from Ethiopia to Chile — on foot. Salopek calls this a "storytelling experiment," one he hoped would both slow things down and increase the attentiveness of his audience.
This is not merely a journalistic pursuit, however, as Salopek and his partners at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education have created Out of Eden Learn, an initiative to introduce educators and young learners to Salopek's walk, facilitate crosscultural inquiry, and — hopefully — help bridge the divides between cultures.
Now entering its fifth year, Out of Eden is working on, as Salopek says, "diversifying the voices of this global project" by incorporating the stories of the people that he meets along the way.
"The people I walk with are crucial partners," says Salopek of those who help him through his journey as guides and teachers. "They don't just keep me safe ... they have terrific stories to tell on their own."
In this edition of the Harvard EdCast, Salopek speaks from his winter camp in Kyrgyzstan about the goals and benefits of the Out of Eden walk, his partnership with Project Zero, and how he hopes the project will grow in the future.
The Harvard EdCast is a weekly series of podcasts, available on the Harvard University iTunes U page, that features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. Hosted by Matt Weber and co-produced by Jill Anderson, the Harvard EdCast is a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field.