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Jane Goodall
Source: Ashoka

Dr. Jane Goodall’s words for right now

This article originally appeared on Medium

More than ever, we’re all asking “how do we make lasting change?” Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE and UN Messenger of Peace, has more than a little experience from the past 86 years—her work has redefined how we understand humans’ relationship to animals and powerfully shaped the conservation movement. Many of us recognize photos of Dr. Goodall as a 26-year-old in a ponytail, when she set off to learn about chimpanzees in a new way: as a neighbor living in their world.

Dr. Goodall is now a world-traveling activist, raising awareness about environmental crises and the threats facing chimpanzees, and encouraging everyone to take action. She kept speaking out after the global pandemic began; this time, it’s through a screen from her childhood home in England.

Dr. Goodall recently fielded questions from over 60 young environmental changemakers during the Our Planet, Our Purpose Changemaker Summit.

Here are our highlights:

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Ashoka insight

What’s the most successful way to shift mindsets about climate change? “Telling stories,” Dr. Goodall says. “Get into the heart. People have to change from within.”

She insists we shouldn’t overlook the small things. Rather than rushing to make “massive change,” she urges young people to consider each day a gift. “Just let the ideas come and see what happens.” Her advice: take concrete steps to make a difference — whether it’s cleaning a stream, planting trees, or raising funds— which gives us energy for a better future.