“Dr. Jane’s lecture gave me hope”

Here is how April 20th went! Overall, everyone seemed to have a great time and really connected with each other.

Native American Blessing (below)

Keynote Address from Dr. Jane

“[Jane’s] words helped me to find the way and her experiences give me hope”

Keynote Address from Dan Goodman, Bio Diesel University

N.A.P Time (New Action Potential Time), also know as youth led discussions*


“The conversation was so engaging with all of the people involved, hearing each others stories and backgrounds. No adults were allowed, which allowed for discussion that would have never taken place any other way.

“It was so inspiring to hear from about each issue from so many different cultures”

“[During NAP time] we agreed that we have the obligation to stop the cycle that is going”

Discovering Your Leadership Compass

“I lack the words to describe Maureen Roche (leader of the activity). She made it possible for me to realize my strengths and weaknesses of my leadership and personality.”

Dave’s Point of View

I personally have never seen such an amazing group of young people. Although the workshops and discussions have been great, what I find to be most inspiring are the conversations that take place during the breaks, while they are making friends. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next few days and, more importantly, what happens when they all go back to their communities, I think that these 100 youth are set up to truly change our world!

*NAP Time stands for New Action Potential Time. This is a chance for participants to suggest topics and for youth to facilitate discussions about those discussions.


Day 1 – Games, Dr. Jane and Welcomes

At 6:00 PM today, all 100 participants of the first ever Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Summit gathered in the warm late afternoon light to play an unusual ice breaker. Each group of 10-12, had to pick an endangered species and make up a song for that species. Once the group had picked a sound, all members of the group were blindfolded and here is what happened:

Each group had to find each other without making any noise except the noise that their endangered species makes. This highly amusing game kicked off the week by not just breaking the ice but introducing the participants to a few different summit themes such as cooperation and conservation.

Dr. Jane also arrived and gave a rousing and inspiring talk to the participants (below).

Jane spoke of how excited she was to see such a diverse group of people she even compared it to the very first youth summit held by the Jane Goodall Institute some eight years ago. She contrasted having 25 youth from five US cities at the first summit to having 100 youth from 28 countries at this summit! This event is a dream come true for Dr. Jane along with many other people including Shawn and myself. We are so excited to be together with our friends from across the world.

After Dr. Jane’s talk we all moved inside to enjoy a tasty opening dinner. We were given a warm welcome by Dr. Jackie Ogden, Vice President of Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives for Walt Disney World. There Dr. Ogden reflected on her personal hope for our future just by seeing and meeting all of us. What a great vote of confidence! Something that will for sure help us make this a successful week! Following Dr. Ogden’s words we heard from Pamela Mitchell, Program Specialist with the Diversity and Cause Marketing Department at Delta Air. Ms. Mitchell told us all about Delta’s community programs and how she was excited to see our Summit as a great addition to that programming.

Our keynote Speaker for our opening dinner was former Youth Fellow and current JGI Board of Directors member Chase Pickering. Chase shared with us how a trip to Antarctica inspired him to get involved in Roots & Shoots and apply for the National Youth Leadership Council. Finally Chase shared how happy he was to see that we were meeting here at Disney because it was two years ago that he was down here with Dr. Jane when we were first talking about having a large gathering of young people at Disney.

Following Chase, Mark Nieker, President and Executive of the Pearson Foundation, explained what the Pearson Foundation would be doing with the summit participants all week. A perfect follow up to Chase’s presentation, Mark explained the importance of taking stories like Chase’s and make them available to a wide audience and via the internet. There is no doubt that the Pearson workshops, focused on developing public service announcements will be a highlight of the summit.

We closed out our night with NEYLC Member Nicole Coakley sharing with us information about Well Wishes and Blessings a campaign to send inspiration from American students to students in Iraq. Then LA Roots & Shoots Volunteer, John Zavalney shared with us a presentation and information about International Day of Peace and encouraged us all to participate this year on September 21st.

Rolling on in

In just a few hours, the first ever Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Summit kicks off here (above) at the Coronado resort in Disney World. About half of the participants have landed in Orlando an are making their way to the resort.

Tonight the festivities kick off,  with meetings of 10-12 participants in program groups, or the groups that they will be in throughout the summit, followed by a reception with a few words from our sponsors (Disney, Delta and Whirlpool) as well as Dr. Jane.

Following the reception, participants will have about two hours, from 9-11 to get to know each other during what we are calling No Brain Cells Required time. This is simply a chance for people to make connections, no saving the world allowed!

It will also be the time that each night Shawn and I will be recapping the day, so expect a post around 11ish each night. Along with plenty of pictures and even some videos!

Stay tuned!

Global Summit- Truly Global

Check out the awesome Google map that Shawn made:

Each little marker is the location that one of Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Summit participants live. As you can see, this is not just a global summit with a few international participants, we have folks coming in from almost every continent and 28 different countries! It is going to be a great five days!

It is going to be a very exciting and motivating summit! If your are as excited as we are, be sure to check right here for Blogging Live from the Summit! Pictures, videos and quotes from the participants! Don’t forget to tell your friends!

Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Summit


You might have noticed the recent lull in activity on the blog. The reason for the lull is Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Summit. The entire Roots & Shoots staff is working 24/7 (almost literally) to finish up preparations for the summit, which kicks off in just about a week on the 19th.

This summit is really exciting! With 100 participants coming from 28 different countries, the summit represents a step towards a truly global network of young people working together to change the world.

The summit will feature numerous speakers who are experts in their given fields along with many workshops focused on giving participants the skills they need to lead the next generation. Perhaps most exciting, each participant will leave the summit with concrete actions that they will implement when they return home.

Some other unique features of the summit will include:

  • Dr. Jane Goodall, of course.
  • Disney World, our host for the summit.
  • N.A.P Time, New Action Potential Time- this will be a chance for youth participants to lead discussions or given workshops.
  • Youth Master of Ceremonies, yours truly and Shawn Sweeney will be MCing the event and each speaker will be introduced by a youth participant to minimize the amount of time that adults are leading the summit.
  • Pearson Foundation’s Digital Arts Workshop, The Pearson Foundation will be equipping participants with the skills they need to record, direct, edit and produce hip and eye catching PSAs.
  • And much much more…

And guess what? You can hear about every workshop, every speaker and every discussion right here! Shawn and I will be blogging throughout the event in our special Fellow Blog: Live from the Summit Edition! So get your RSS feed ready, tell a friend and be sure to stay tuned from the 19th to the 25th for Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Summit!