John Francis was in his twenties when a 1971 oil spill in San Francisco Bay jarred his comfortable life. Even as he joined the volunteers who scrubbed the beaches and fought to save birds and sea creatures poisoned by petroleum, he felt the need to make a deeper, more personal commitment. As an affirmation of his responsibility to our planet, he chose to stop using motorized vehicles and began walking wherever he went. His decision was greeted with surprise, disbelief, and even mockery—but it was only the start of a much deeper transformation. A few months later he took a vow of silence that would last seventeen years. He founded Planetwalk in 1982 when he began his walking and sailing pilgrimage around the world. To date, Dr. Francis has walked across the U.S., sailed and walked through the Caribbean, and South America from Venezuela to Argentina and a walk in Cuba. Today Planetwalk consults on sustainable development and works with educational groups to teach kids about the environment. He is the author of Planet Walker, 22 Years of Walking 17 Years of Silence.