Whole Earth 50th


Exactly 50 years ago, in 1968, the Whole Earth Catalog first came to life. 

Thanks to the work of an ongoing community of people, it prospered in various forms for 32 years—sundry editions of the Whole Earth CatalogCoEvolution Quarterly, The WELL, the Whole Earth Software CatalogWhole Earth Review, etc.  Their impact in the world was considerable and sustained.

Hundreds of people made that happen—staff, editors, major contributors, board members, funders, WELL conference hosts, etc.  We’d like to bring them together one last time to: take a public bow, celebrate fine work together, convene and scheme across the multiple generations, and honor our departed (Jay Baldwin, Dick Raymond, Peter Warshall, Anne Herbert, Andrew Fluegelman, Richard Nilsen, Dick Fugett, etc.).

The format is still being developed but the celebration will take place on October 13, 2018, and a fine venue in San Francisco has been reserved. It should be one full, amazing day—private during the day for the extended Whole Earth alumni, and open to the public in the evening with a blizzard of 5-minute talks (like at the "Whole Earth Jamboree” in 1978) and other instructive delights.

The Whole Earth Catalog was an invitation to agency.  It made people eager to haul off and try things that might improve their life and the world’s life.  Tools have improved vastly in the 50 years since then, and so has access to them.  How is the eagerness doing these days?  It might be worth visiting the past, present, and futures of that impulse and the ways it gets kindled.



Stewart Brand is co-founder of Revive & Restore, of The Long Now Foundation, of The WELL, of Global Business Network, and founder/editor of the Whole Earth Catalog. His books include Whole Earth Discipline, The Clock of the Long Now, How Buildings Learn, and The Media Lab. He was trained as a biologist at Stanford and served as an Infantry officer in the US Army.

Ryan Phelan is the Executive Director of Revive & Restore, whose mission is to enhance biodiversity through the genetic rescue of endangered and extinct species. After working at CoEvolution in 1976, she launched her entrepreneurial career working in both the not-for-profit and business sector in health care and software technology.

Danica Remy joined the WELL as a user in 1987, she ran the WELL from 1994-1996 and has served since 1995 as President of Point Foundation, the publisher of Whole Earth publications. Remy is currently President of B612 Foundation, co-founder of Asteroid Day. Previously Chief Operations Officer for Tides and held senior roles in internet companies and helped create Global Business Network. 

Rusty Schweickart was frequent contributor to CoEvolution and Whole Earth. In 1969, Apollo 9 astronaut Schweickart was the first to fly the Lunar Module.  He served as Chair of California’s Energy Commision and co-founded the Association of Space Explorers (1985) and the B612 Foundation (2002), dedicated to defending the Earth from asteroid impacts.

Kevin Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review from 1984-1990. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers Conference and was involved with the launch of the WELL. Kelly co-founded Wired in 1993 and served as its Executive Editor for its first seven years. He is also founding editor and co-publisher of the popular Cool Tools website, which has been reviewing tools daily since 2003.

Simone Giertz is a Swedish inventor, YouTuber and robotics enthusiast. She is world-renowned for her useless machines and has risen to the very top of the field, mainly because the field is very tiny and not of interest to the general populace.

Howard Rheingold was editor of the Whole Earth Review (1990-94) and the Millennium Whole Earth Catalog (1994), author of a dozen books (including The Virtual Community, 1993, inspired by the WELL). He has taught courses on digital journalism, social media issues and social media literacies at UC Berkeley and Stanford.

Chip Conley is a hospitality entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author. Chip served as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy for four years and today acts as the company’s Strategic Advisor for Hospitality and Leadership. His five books have made him a leading authority at the intersection of psychology and business. 

Stephanie Mills, a longtime bioregionalist, was assistant editor and editor at CoEvolution Quarterly from 1980 to 1982. She moved to Northwest Lower Michigan in 1984 where she joined the counterculture, helped build her house, started a local currency and produced seven books.

Stephanie Feldstein is the Population and Sustainability Director at the Center for Biological Diversity, where she leads the Center’s work to highlight and address threats to endangered species and wild places from runaway human population growth and overconsumption. She is the author of The Animal Lover’s Guide to Changing the World, and her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, NPR, Salon, The Guardian, and Washington Post.

Sal Khan is the founder and director of Khan Academy, whose 6,500 free instructional videos on YouTube have been viewed 1.4 billion times by 4.3 million subscribers and are now available in many languages.  They have been credited with revolutionizing and democratizing education.




7PM - 9 PM



Stewart Brand, hosts Ryan Phelan and Danica Remy


Rusty Schweickart


Kevin Kelly and Simone Giertz


Howard Rheingold and Chip Conley


Stephanie Mills and Stephanie Feldstein


Stewart Brand and Sal Khan


Alums will be joined by Cowell Theater attendees for dessert and other treats

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We would be VERY grateful if you might consider making a tax-deductible donation to Point Foundation.


"WEC popularized the idea that having access to computers would be
important to the counterculture - this brought many people into the Homebrew Club and other outposts of personal computing."



"In the early 70s, during my teens, it showed me that the boundary between science and the arts that I'd drawn in my mind was neither necessary nor useful. That has shaped my thinking (and career) ever since. It also inspired me to a career in self-publishing, from mimeograph zines to websites and blogs."



"It introduced me to the novel idea that you could do something yourself instead of hiring someone to do it for you. It was like hacking without code."



"In innumerable ways, but most notably, the 'Whole Earth' vision of 'accelerating access' was very much in my mind when I decided to become the founding technical person at Amazon."


"Provided me with the road map to actualize my vision for being a steward of the Earth within a global community who still share core values and aspirations. The whole earth flag is the only one we fly to this day."


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The Whole Earth 50th Planning Committee:

  • Ryan Phelan

  • Robert Horvitz

  • Kevin Kelly

  • Isabella Kirkland

  • Art Kleiner

  • Danica Remy

  • Alexander Rose

  • Peter Schwartz

  • Stewart Brand