Business, Politics & Society

Advocacy Strategies

Dr. Jane Goodall

Lesson time 13:32 min

It's easy to feel hopeless in the face of problems. But Dr. Jane teaches you the many ways you can help, and how we should think—and act—locally.

Dr. Jane Goodall
Teaches Conservation
In 29 lessons, Dr. Jane Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, conservation, and activism.
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I think gradually I find that more and more people are aware of what we're doing to harm the planet. They know. I mean, you can't live in China and not know about pollution. Because half the time you're wearing a mask. And so, why aren't people doing more about it? Often they just don't know. It's ignorance. They don't understand what they can do. And I think one of the main problems is that if we're thoughtful, we think about all that we're doing to harm the environment-- everything I've said and more-- we feel helpless. We feel hopeless. What can I do? What can I possibly do? And I think the thing is, and sometimes young people get this better. That if we start making decisions, little choices each day, and think about the consequences of those little choices. What do we buy? Where did it come from? How was it made? Did it come from very far away, using a lot of fossil fuel? Could we buy the same thing that's made locally? Did it involve harm to animals? Did the making of it involve child slave labor? Is that why it's cheap? Should I perhaps spend a little more, and therefore waste a little less? Because the waste is terrible. And if we start thinking in those terms of the consequences of the small choices we make. First of all we learn a little more. Because we can't make a good choice if we don't understand. And children are learning, and teaching their parents. But secondly, we realize that it's not just me. If it's just me making these little ethical choices, well so what? But as more and more people are becoming more and more aware. More and more educated. And more and more countries. It's hundreds of people. Thousands of people. Millions of people. Eventually, hopefully billions of people all making the right ethical choices in how they lead their lives each day. That is going to move us towards the kind of planet that we would like, or not be ashamed to leave behind to our children. And of course, there are people out there who can, with one decision, make huge change. Like the CEOs of major companies. I sometimes wonder how some of these CEOs can live with themselves. I sometimes wonder how people can be good parents. Care about their children and their grandchildren. And yet, with one sweeping decision do something that will harm the future for those very people that they love. And it's as though they shut off a part of it from their family life. It's the same with people doing animal experimentation. I've met people who work in a lab with dogs. Doing experiments on the dogs. They hang up their white coat, they go home. And there's the family pet. Oh, she understands everything I say. She's part of the family. What a dissociation between these dogs that you're tormenting, and this dog who's part of your family. We seem really a...

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There is still a window of time. Nature can win if we give her a chance. In her first ever online class, Dr. Jane Goodall teaches how you can conserve the environment. She also shares her research on the behavioral patterns of chimpanzees and what they taught her about conservation. You'll learn how to act locally and protect the planet.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Jane goodall is an indomitable force of human understanding, collaboration and inspiration. This is incredible!!

I have spent my life to live and understand the natural world.This class has not just given me the additional information but has added heat to my passionate fire that I have for conservation.Thank YOU

Recommended for everyone! This is a great class to create awareness and also to learn about the opportunities that Jane Goodall has created for us to contribute to making the world a better place. Very inspirational.

I have gone from someone wanting to learn what is unknown. I want to bring others along with me on the journey for that knowledge in making our world better.


Maria Lisa P.

And he gave the little crumb to his "beloved" - so beautiful. I agree with Jane, people are so busy they forget to notice nature all around us. We need to take the time to see the living world in front of our eyes, sprouting out of crevices in our concrete jungles, it is alive and it reminds us how silently persistent and resilience it is. We can learn a lot from nature.

Svanfridur M.

I love this lesson in how it encourages people to act, but I disagree with her statement that we must stop thinking globally. It is vital that we change our point of view to a more holistic representation of the world and ecosystems as a whole. Thinking globally, thinking about preserving us as a species and natural life in general is the only way we will beat climate change and other large scale problems. Yes, we must act locally, but if we spend all our time trying to get this one species saved or this one town to start composting then we will miss the bigger picture, and all that will fly past us until it is too late. Yes, thinking globally is scary, but we should be scared! Just as fear moved our ancestors to run from lions and go make a spear for next time, fear will make us change the way we live out of self-preservation.

Darya B.

So happy for this awareness! I didn't even know about palm oil or even things like recycling batteries. People just need awareness to make better choices. I always thought there should be commercials on daily that make people aware of recycling, animal cruelty, environment; because the ignorance is not exactly everyone's fault, it is the false advertising by large companies for example pretending that PETA is just a bunch of crazy people who throw paint on celebs wearing PETA does amazing amazing work. Those videos they show are heartbreaking how some people can just do that to animals. Even for myself, so many mistakes I was making while thinking I was making the right choices, simply not understanding the full story. THANK YOU!

Louanne F.

This is my favorite lesson so far - love the idea of disassociation when it comes to animal cruelty vs. pets, the idea of "think globally, act locally" being backwards, and especially the idea that we can all make small decisions every day that will ultimately have a great impact.

Brandon B.

One person can make a difference, one decision can change the world, one action sets it all in motion.

Gretchin D.

It's so important to remember that each one of us can make a difference every day!

Kalia D.

We just need to open our eyes. And see some of the wonderful things going on around us. Because they are everywhere! - Did you notice how at the end of the session she describes the two birds? It is a test. "The bird was desperate to find food for his beloved..." What blasphemic words out of the mouth of a scientist! :) I noticed it's the same way I wrote about nature in my biology essays as a child, and got seriously reprimanded. I am a bit disappointed though about her disappointment of adults. We cannot give the responsibility for our actions to young children. The amount they excel in purity and innocence we should equal in ripeness and wisdom. Children are easily overwhelmed, and when turned into activists, they can get seriously, seriously hurt and traumatized once they meet the real opponents. I think it's enough for them to grow up in that much love and world that we can create from our adult fights for them, and they will carry these deeply felt seeds into their future. 'Reasons for Hope' must also mean trust in our elders. Jane would have never become the activist she is without her life experience, her cultivated wisdom, her adult accomplishments. The young Jane, the one that took the worms with her in her bed to sleep out of love and interest, wouldn't be a better activist by rule. She needed a loving mother to tell her: Jane, they need the earth! It is only natural that we teach our children what we are convinced of. That's not activism, it's the natural way of life. But we can't hide behind them, or behind our belief that our innocence has become contaminated. We will very much need the strength of the elders of this world to make improvements. We will need everybody's strength. And especially the worst culprits in the field, if so convinced, can make a few small basic changes, and the elaborate systems they created will show to run on compassion just as effectively, as they did on cruelty...

Mia S.

"There's one very major danger, still going on today. OK, you care desperately about experiments that are going on with monkeys, so you start a group, put out a whole lot of information, and you don't take a lot of care to find out exactly what the truth is. Some of the information that you're sharing with people to get their sympathy and their support may be completely out of date. Photographs from 30 years ago of procedures which are no longer used. So to get the actual truth about it is really really important. I've been into many homes where people really care about green things and being in touch with nature. It's very much a question in some cases of, 'Do you have the space?' Some people have to live in very tiny spaces. If you have more money, more space, you can have more green; some people are so lucky, they have great big gardens. Many people, that's not possible, so we just have to work out the best ways of bringing some kind of green into our lives. It's very sad today that so many children grow up in concrete jungles, because we know how important nature is for the developing child. We know that it's important for us adults, as well. Cities are beginning to create greenness within the city and change this aspect of just concrete, concrete. We need the green! We can't live in harmony with nature why we're still destroying. It's wonderful that there are these movements of urban gardens, people beginning to grow plants in the middle of cities, change landfills into green parts where nature can once again flourish. It changes the way you think if there can be green around us. We just need to open our eyes and see some of the wonderful things going on around us, because they're everywhere."

Mia S.

"There are corporations that are buying products that are cheap because of child slave labor. They're selling products that are filled with poisons from agricultural or industrial chemicals. They'll go on doing that, until people stop buying the products. So we have that power. It may seem that we don't, that the huge, giant corporations will always have the upper hand. But it's not true - if enough of us get together, if enough people say, 'Well it may hurt my pocket a little bit, but I am not going to put money into the pockets of this corporation that is selling what it sells cheaply because of the harm it's inflicted on the environment, the pain it's caused to animals, the suffering it's caused to people. I will not buy it.' This is where my hope lies in the youth. Young people - they're not responsible for feeding themselves, they start working on their parents, saying 'I don't want to eat that.' 'We can't buy this because it's got palm oil in it, we mustn't buy it.' One lady, just her, managed to bring free-range eggs, and a whole new concept and a whole new way of thinking, into supermarkets in the UK. The zoos that I went to in the early days, nobody was questioning them, or they weren't speaking about it. I knew there was research going on in the labs, but there was nobody really talking about it. Gradually, some people were very brave, they got in to see what was going on, which of course drove the problem deeper underground - they became more secretive. That was the beginning of airing these things, because people can't become advocates, they can't show concern, they can't do anything if they don't know about the problem."

Mia S.

"There are people out there who can with one decision, make huge change. Like the CEOs of major companies.I sometimes wonder how some of these CEOs can live with themselves, how people can be good parents, care about their children and grandchildren, and yet with one sweeping decision do something that will harm the future for those very people that they love. It's as though they shut off a part of it from their family life. It's the same with people doing animal experimentation - they hang up their white coat, they go home, and there's the family pet. What a dissociation between these dogs that you're tormenting and this dog who's part of your family. We seem really able to divide ourselves like that, and I think that's one of the reasons that we're so harming this planet. All the time we're hearing this phrase, 'Think globally, act locally.' And that's completely the wrong way around. Why? Because if we think globally, there is so much wrong on our planet today, environmentally and socially,, such a lot is gloomy. We feel filled with despair, we feel helpless because, after all, What can I do about it? However, if we twist it around and we think locally, we realize there is something we can do about it. We work out what we can do, we get together with other like-minded people, we take action. We feel and see and know that we're making a difference. We know too that because of growing environmental awareness, other people around the globe are also taking action locally. Suddenly, we're filled with hope. Together, we can make a difference. The only way that we can really create the kind of planet that we hope to leave for our children and grandchildren is when people start to understand that they hold power in their own hands, even though it may not seem like it."