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Science & Tech

Reasons for Hope

Dr. Jane Goodall

Lesson time 0:12:48 min

Dr. Jane contends that there are four main reasons for hope: the energy of youth, the power of the human brain, the resilience of nature, and the power of social media.

Dr. Jane Goodall
Teaches Conservation
Dr. Jane Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, conservation, and activism.
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Today, we know the world is in a mess, socially and environmentally and economically. And there's a lot of reason for depression. And people are always asking me, Jane, do you really have hope for the future? You've seen so much suffering. You've seen forests disappear. You've seen chimpanzees tortured in medical research laboratories. You've seen crippling poverty. You've seen people harmed by conflict. Do you really have hope for the future? And I do have my reasons for hope, but I think the most important and meaningful reason for hope, for me, is the young people. Because now, wherever I go around the world, and I am traveling 300 days a year, I always try and get to schools. I always try and encourage young people to come together, the Roots & Shoots groups bringing their different projects, getting together, sharing their projects. And so wherever I go, there are these young people with shining eyes wanting to tell Dr. Jane what they've been doing to make this a better world, being utterly amazed and thrilled by the variety of projects. And because each child is encouraged to think of a project that they care about, they're all passionate. They're passionate about their projects. So the reason I have hope because of Roots & Shoots is it isn't that young people can change the world, they are. They are changing the world even as we speak, and not just environmentally, not just because they care about animal rights, but because they care about improving things for people as well. The same holistic message that's really threaded its way through everything I've done in my life is part of Roots & Shoots. So that's my main reason for hope. [MUSIC PLAYING] I have four other reasons for hope. And one of them is this extraordinary human brain. So as I've said, the biggest difference I see between us chimpanzees and other animals is this explosive development of our intellect, possibly triggered in part by the fact that we created this way of communication with words so that we can teach about things that are not present, discuss the past, plan the future, and bring people from different backgrounds together to try and solve a common problem. So we've used our brain, I'm afraid, for some pretty bad purposes. But because we have this intellect, we now have the hope of using it to solve the problems that are being created in part by our intellect. And the good signs, the good news, the hope, lies in all the ways, all the technologies that already allow us to live in greater harmony with nature. The use of solar power, it's free. The use of wind power, the use of the tides, we still have some way to go. We've still got to learn how using this will not harm bird migrations, not kill bats, and so forth. But nevertheless, we're taking big strides. And interestingly, the leader in solar technology, and probably the country that will be the firs...

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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.

Great first hand experience and story telling. Very inspirational.

Bravo! Love her devotion to animals and the environment! I am much more aware of what others are doing and of what I can do to advance these efforts

I took the class to thank Jane for her years of experience. Her perspective on current issues was very interesting and helpful!

What an inspiration Ms. Goodall is! To boil down the huge problems we have on our planet to understandable and manageable pieces helped me to realize that I can make a difference. I will never look at the world the same way again. Thank you.


Aldo Piero

I just learned about this lady n I already love her n da amazing work she has done trought her life!!!

Bernardo F.

Yes, I think we've reached a point where the only thing left is to solve this mess. I mean, even rich people are in danger, all of their capital is loosing its value day by day, this pandemics is showing it. Sure, greed (which I believe it's what has brought us to this situation) is a major problem, but more and more people are now aware of the problems, if we show them options that can transform into actions and then solutions, well, I think there can be a change. I doubt, though I'd love, that this change comes in the next... 20 years? But at least this generation and the next are going to be crutial.

Antonia T.

I'm sorry, but this discourse is a bit naif I'm afraid. No country in the world forbids pollution and the planet is dying at an alarming rate. Factories from all countries contribute to water and land pollution by acidifying rain, chemical spills and disposal of toxic waste. It does not make a difference what I do as an individual (not eating meat, buying organic food, recycling) as long as pollution & killing animals for meat is allowed by all the governments in the world. Sorry. We need laws that protect the planet, the animals and the future of the human species.

Sandra L.

Such a positive message right now. For young children to be the start, or roots, of this movement is amazing. This message needs to be shared! Thank you!

A fellow student

Social media is an information tool that can be used for instant communication . This can be a good thing . Example : posting information about ways to save our environment . But it also can be used for posting negative things . Example : the Russians posting ads that interfered with our election . And our president tweeting inaccurate information about the corona and many other things that effect our environment .


This Master Class with Dr. Jane is so inspiring and life changing! She’s such an amazing story teller that grabs your attention to listen. I will listen to this class again. Thank you Dr. Jane for sharing your story.

Catherine T.

It's interesting that she says that China will be the first country to move away from fossil fuels. I live in Panama where in this region (including Costa Rica and Nicaragua), renewable energy is HEAVILY encouraged if not subsidized. Nicaragua is almost entirely on renewable energy at this point. My house in Panama is fully on solar and it's increasingly common here. I'm an ESL teacher and a lot of my students are from Saudi Arabia, and many of them are engineers, and I've learned a lot from them about the government initiatives of KSA to move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy completely by 2030. And they are actively working towards that from what I've learned from my students who are involved in that process. So I think this is becoming a global consensus.

A fellow student

Dear Masterclass, please make this masterclass free on you website. Her message is so so important...!

A fellow student

Social Media has been a major pioneer in shifting the political landscape here in Hawai‘i. Social mediaʻs power on issues like Mauna Kea have brought better understanding of the situation, along with issues like climate change, to communities and people across the globe. People are educating themselves, and realizing that in order to make these changes they can no longer stay silent. The hawaiian culture too, has revitalized in a way that literally 30 years prior, the language was expected to become extinct. Now kids raised here, are speaking Hawaiian as their first language. Socials Media is game-changing, and Iʻm grateful for all it has done for the planet, hawaiiʻs precious island resources and my people.

Maria Lisa P.

The resilience of nature. Yes, I love nature. It renews itself with or without us. What I always notice is that plants are rooted so deeply in the soil, we may trample it, but it comes back again stronger again, even if in the cracks of sidewalks and walls. We need to stop and marvel at it, believe in it, appreciate it.