Business, Politics & Society

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.

Hearing Dr. Goodall introduce this class leaves me anticipation to start the next lesson immediately!

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.

Well, I don't know that I have learned a lot of facts. However, I do feel like I have gained a certain knowledge... Following these classes was also about inspiration, motivation, and guidance on how to better my work in reaching out. thank you. What would have been extraordinary for me would have been fact sheets and references to enriche the stories told.

If some other Masterclasses are really great, this one touched me deeply ! What a person Dr Jane G. ! What a life ! Everyone should listen to her for her message is universal, powerful and compassionate !


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.


What an amazing story about the hilltops in Gombe that grew back all those trees when there were none for a long time. It truly gives me hope about more nature thriving for years to come, and hopefully that will be the case in not just Gombe but in other parts of the world, as well. I absolutely love trees, and am always saddened whenever I see one, healthy or not, cut down.

Darya B.

Love the way she explains how people can teach others to help themselves. I have not cried so much during any class yet haha but happy tears so thankful she is doing all this good work. I have been to restaurants before that used Styrofoam and just didn't feel good about it but didn't think to do anything. Jane has showed me that just contacting the manager to let them know of better options and just having them be aware, can really make a difference by taking small steps; not forcing it on people but educating them so they can make better choices. Yeh!

Louanne F.

I shared the Roots and Shoots website with my niece, who teaches first grade in Florida, and with my minister, who spearheads all the mission trips and has an ongoing mission outreach in Africa. That's something we can all do, spread the word that there is a way to get people involved on a local level.


Love Jane's optimism. It is hard to keep on being optimistic sometimes when you are confronted to all these things that just make no sense at all on a everyday basis. In France we have a movie called DEMAIN by Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent which follow people around the world to find solutions. Here is a EN version if you want to know more and if you need more help to be hopeful : :)