Questions from Lana

Lana ask the following two questions and I think that there might be a number of people out there with the same quesitons.

1. What is the age range of the summit?

The age range for this year’s Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Summit was 16-24 for US participants and 18-24 for non-US participants.

2. How can I come to the summit next year?

Good question. This was the first year we have ever held a Global Youth Summit so the participants were hand selected by the staff of the Jane Goodall Insitute as well as a few of our partner organizations. So, there are several ways that you can help ensure that you are considered next year.

The first is to be an active leader in your community. In my expirence, the more you do, the more you act and the more that you are involved, the more oppertunities you will get.

Second, join or start a Roots & Shoots group! Although the goal of Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Summit is to bring together the best and the brightest young people from around the world no matter what organization they work with, one organization that will always be represented is the one closest to Dr. Jane’s heart, Roots & Shoots.

Finally, if you are already a part of a Roots & Shoots group, consider applying to one of our Youth Leadership Councils. Being on a Roots & Shoots Youth Leadership Council means that you are already doing great work in your own community but you are looking to make a difference on a larger scale. Not only will becoming a Roots & Shoots Youth Leaders improve your chances to attend Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Summit you will also have a number of other oppertunities such as attending our annual Youth Leadership Retreat in February or our semi-annual Youth Leadership Immersion Expirerence to Tanzania.

Also, be sure to check the summit website in the next six months ways to get involved!

Good questions Lana!


Sometimes, you just need to dance

Saving the world is not easy. In fact, it is a lot of work. And sometimes, you just need to let go, have some fun and dance.

GYS Participants Dancing

And that is exactly what participants at Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Summit did! After a few days of presentations, many discussions and a few too many hours indoors, a western themed vegetarian baroque was just what we needed.

The evening was hosted by Whirlpool, who have been a terrific sponsor of the Roots & Shoots program and one of the sponsor’s of the first Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Summit.

After enjoying a delicious vegetarian baroque, complete with chili, baked beans and baked potatoes, 100 youth from all around the world jumped on the dance floor for a little line dancing. Under the leadership of Cowboy Kip Sweeney (no relation to Shawn Sweeney!), we learned three different dances. Throw in a few y’alls and by the end of the night, youth from places like Sweden, Australia, Nigeria and China would have fit in just perfectly in any country-western dance hall or saloon throughout the Mid-Western United States.

After quite a bit of dancing, the group moved down to a a little lake where a number of camp fires where set up. The participants got a chance to chat with Dr. Jane while sipping hot chocolate and watching a crackling fire.

Fireside Chat with Dr. Jane

And would it have been a campfire without some songs? Although, you won’t find many campfires in the US surrounded by young people singing songs in Swahili, Disney is a magical place!

I think the night was so successful and well received because it gave young from around the world a chance to relax and just have some fun. It is safe to say that it was a night that will be remembered by all who where there.

Photos by Michelle Bot

Very little sleep…especially during N.A.P. Time

As we all gathered at Walt Disney World our schedule was jam packed. We were so excited to have the opportunity to gather with young people from around the world that we had to get as much done as possible. One of the most exciting things that we did was have N.A.P. Time. Not nap time, but N.A.P. Time.

N.A.P. = New Action Potential

In preparation for the summit we left a few hours during our first few days completely blank. Completely open for the participants to decide what we would be doing. On their Day 1 evaluation each of the participants noted topics they would like to discuss. From the list of topics David and I put together a schedule of eight workshops over the course of two hours. Four in the first hour, and four in the second hour. These sessions were largely unplanned and lacked format. That was left to the participants to take care of. Below is a list of the topics they chose.

Global summit participants discussion the issues facing our planet

Day #1 Topics

  • Conflict/Violence/Peace
  • Water Issues
  • Project Sharing Time
  • The Triumphs and Pitfalls of Using Technology
  • Endangered Species
  • Environmental Issues
  • Engaging your Community
  • and one more I can’t remember but it doesn’t matter because…

…when we got to the end of the first session all of the participants said they needed more time for the first session! So we decided to push our topics to the next day, and allow everyone another hour to continue their discussions!

So the next day we had another session of N.A.P. time where we discussed:

  • Conflict/Violence/Peace II
  • Endangered Species
  • Development of Youth Purpose
  • Speed Issues (like speed dating, but instead of talking about relationships, you talk about issues!)

Again these discussions were incredibly rewarding for the groups and everyone noted in their evaluations that they really appreciated having this time to talk about what was really important to them.

global summit participants in discussion

Probably the most exciting thing about these meetings was that two Global Youth Councils have formed from the participants based on two of the sessions. The first is Global Youth Council for Wildlife Conservation which seeks to protect wild animals and conserve their habitat’s. The second is World Youth for Peace which is a group for youth all around the world to learn from each other about the conflicts we face and help each other work for peace. We are so excited that these groups have formed, and that it was N.A.P. time where the ideas were born!

Pearson Digital Arts Workshops

Perhaps one of the most exciting parts of the Global Youth Summit, other then getting 100 young people from around the world together, was The Pearson Foundation‘s Digital Workshops.

Dave's group working on their PSA

Over the course of the summit, the participants broke up into teams of three to five to create PSAs, or public service announcements. These PSAs ran from 30 seconds to one minute and were about one of three issues, wildlife conservation, water or poverty.

As someone who loves film making, I was so excited about these workshops but I was also a little worried because I know how long it takes to plan, shoot, edit and produce a good looking video clip. However, Pearson did an unbelievable job. Over just six hours (broke up over three days), the Pearson staff facilitated 100 youth making about 25 videos.

Pearson staff showing participants how to edit a video

And I am not talking about little clips that looked like they were shot on handy cams and edited with iMovie, I am talking about TV ready PSAs professionally edited.

The most exciting part was watching the PSAs at the end of the summit. They were really good!

I never had a doubt that given unlimited time and money that the summit participants could produce some incredible PSAs. However, these 100 youth only had two hours to plan their shoot. Then each group had 20 minutes in front of the camera. The trick was that they could not bring the camera anywhere, the PSAs had to be just the participants and whatever props they could carry in, all in front of a white screen.

Each PSA directed views to a specific action, whether it was to visit a website or plant a tree or just think about their choices. Perhaps more importantly, each PSA inspired viewers to act. I actually got chills down my spine watching the PSAs.

Check back soon for the PSAs themselves!