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Why Would Someone Choose Silence For 17 Years?

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Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Quiet

About John Francis' TED Talk

For almost three decades, John Francis has been a planetwalker, traveling the globe by foot and sail with a silent message of environmental respect. For 17 of those years he didn't speak a word.

About John Francis

One day in 1983, John Francis stepped out on a walk. For the next 22 years, he trekked and sailed around North and South America, carrying a message of respect for the Earth — for 17 of those years, without speaking. During his monumental, silent trek, he earned an MA in environmental studies and a Ph.D. in land resources.

Today his Planetwalk foundation consults on sustainable development and works with educational groups to teach kids about the environment.

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NPR/TED Staff

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