An alternative to google that helps raise $

Hi all,

I have been using for a year now and wanted to share the link with everyone. JGI is a designated cause, so just type the full name in the field “Who do you search for?” and select verify. Once  you past that step you can search just as you would using google or choose to shop online. In 2006 we only raised $53.60, but this year it is up to $229.34. I typically search info online 10-15 times a day, so I could possibly raise about $50 a year all on my own. It doesn’t seem like a lot but if we continue to share this website with Roots & Shoots groups, especially during this holiday season, it is sure to add up  : )


Peace Day 2008!

Hey everyone, Roots & Shoots Day of Peace was a great success all around the world! Congratulations! Here are some highights from the weekend.

Katia and I at the United Nations in 15 naughts of wind!

Katia and I with the Peace Bell made out of old weapons, “May peace prevail on earth!”

The United Nations New York City

Myself with Peace Dove and Dr. Jane in the background at St. Catherine’s Park

National Office Ladies: Claire, Katherine and I

Mi amigo, Christian and I

Don’t forget to share your Roots & Shoots Day of Peace experience with us! Submit a Project Report and send your photos, with completed release forms, to!

Clinton Global Initiative University – Tulane University, 14-16 March 2008

Last Thursday I hopped on a plane and headed to New Orleans for the first ever Clinton Global Initiative University conference ( 700 college students, 30 college and university professors, and many NGO representatives spent a day talking with experts in Energy and Climate Change, Global Health, Poverty Alleviation, and Human Rights and Peace. Then we had a chance to do a service project in the lower ninth ward. It was such an incredible time and I am so lucky and honored to have been able to go. I hope you can watch the full video. It’s really neat.

ABC News Story

In this second video you can watch President Clinton’s closing speech, and if you fast forward to minute 39:00 exactly you can see half of my face in the upper right hand corner. In all the other media and photographs I was in the background, so thats the most of the media attention I got. 🙂

President Clinton’s Closing Speech

If you are REALLY REALLY interested in watching videos, they have the webcasts for all of our sessions up on their website at:

CGI University Webcasts

Global Issues Conference

For the past three days I have been at the International School of Dusseldorf in Germany at the Global Issues Conference, which is put on by the Global Issues Network. The conference brought together about 350 students from a dozen international schools from around the world.

The conference consisted of five keynote speakers, myself included, along with a number of workshops, all of which focused on taking action.


Many conferences that I have been to do a lot of talking and everyone feels great at the end and they had fun but they go home and do nothing. This was not one of those conferences. The goal of the conference was for each of the schools to leave with a written action plan that outline concrete and implementable solutions to problems that their community faced.

Stuents work on their action plans

Students discussed throughout the conference what they could do to make their community more sustainable, which was the topic of the conference.

I get very motivated when I go to events like this and see students from 8th to 12th grade from many different countries working together simply because they have a desire to better themselves, their community and their world. In fact, it goes to the topic of my talk, youth leadership.

I am in the unique position to still be a young person who works full time, pays rent, pays bills, pays taxes and lives in an adult world. It lets me see what is on the other end of my four years of college. More importantly, it lets me realize that the next four years and the four years of high school that I just left behind are the best time in my life to follow my passions.

As “young people” or “youth,” we have the responsibility to take a leadership role in the world now while we do not have the responsibilities of a family or a job or as I told them,”adult stuff.”

I will be able to sleep well tonight though, knowing that the 350 participants at this conference are going back to wherever they are from to spread the passion that they have for changing the world.

More to come on the conference, speakers and even the Roots & Shoots group who was there!

Talk with Projects in Sustainability Class – Santa Barbara City College

Last week I journeyed across the U.S. to meet up with our wonderful California Regional Staff. They invited me out to help them with some outreach presentations and some strategic planning for the year. Great things. Great fun. I love their staff.

The trip started Saturday evening when I went into NYC to meet up with some friends, and crash before a very early 6am flight out of JFK. Flight went well…mostly. They sent my bag to the Bahamas. Woo. Not so much. I was fine though. We went to get some supplies and definitely survived a few days sans my stuff.

So I normally I wouldn’t complain about something like that in a blog post, but I felt it had a great connection to the presentation that I gave yesterday. So here goes. Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of speaking with Dr. Adam Green’s Projects in Sustainability Class. I was only expecting about 20 or so students, but I guess Dr. Green was able to get the word out and I think all in all there were about 60 people there. That was really exciting.

We started the presentation with a group of young ladies from Santa Barbara High School discussing what they had been doing for Roots & Shoots. They had a really creative idea to hold a fashion show each year to raise funds for a specific charity. Their first was Save Darfur as an example. After these ladies finished I went into my speal about Roots & Shoots, Dr. Jane, chimpanzees etc…

After my presentation we had a bit of time for questions. Now normally in my presentations I talk about chimp conservation and Dr. Jane. People usually have questions about those things, but this time it was different. This time all the questions were directed at Dr. Green and how people could get involved on campus. It was the coolest thing ever. Not that they didn’t appreciate the information about Dr. Jane and chimps, but their focus was solely on making their campus more sustainable. I later found out that this class, Projects in Sustainability was created by the Student Sustainability Coalition. Their campus club created a class where they could explore doing sustainability projects in their own communities and get credit for it! How amazing is that? I have included the course description below in case anyone reading this post is interested in getting similar courses going on their campuses.

ENVST 200 — Projects in Sustainability (2) S — CSU
Students work in groups to develop or continue projects that make the college and local community more sustainable (meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations to meet their own needs). Lectures, discussions and workshops provide the student with current knowledge in environmental science, sustainable practices, and real world skills needed to implement practical solutions to local environmental and social problemsSo I draw a connection between this presentation, and my lost luggage, because no matter what I could do, their drive and dedication to make their campus more sustainable, made my luggage situation seem so…not important. I could go daysssss wearing the same clothes just hearing their enthusiasm and excitement.

So Dr. Green, your students in Projects in Sustainabiltiy, and the SBCC Student Sustainaiblity Coalition…ROCK ON!

Viral Marketing

Roots & Shoots is a grass roots organization. We were founded by 16 Tanzanian students and Dr. Jane Goodall. It was a while until we had a corporate office and a communications department and communications strategy. So for a while, Roots & Shoots spread two ways, either by Dr. Jane Goodall or simply by people who were a part of the program passing it on to friends and family.

While simple word of mouth is great and has been very effective for a number of organizations, including Roots & Shoots, it is a thing of the past–not the concept, just the traditional means by which it is accomplished.

The name is gone too. What was word of mouth, is now ‘viral marketing’ and anyone with a laptop and an internet connection can take part.

In fact, most young people are already apart. Viral marketing takes place when you log into Facebook and in your feed you see that your friend just bought the new Ipod touch. As a result, you either buy it or you change your status to “is jealous of Jake’s Ipod touch.” If you don’t buy it but pass it on, it is likely that someone is going to buy it because they heard of it from one of their friends who heard it from one of their friends who heard it from you, who of course heard it from one of your friends.

The tools of the trade?

Myspace, Facebook, YouTube,, Digg,com, Stumble, Photobucket, WordPress, Blogger, Live Journal, Discussion Boards, Instant Messengers… really anything that allows people to communicate with a lot of people from the comfort of their desk, couch or bed.

Roots & Shoots is working on it’s viral marketing strategy but if you are reading this, you have already been touched by it!

Check out some of the other tools of the Roots & Shoots viral marketing strategy:

Dr. Jane’s Myspace

Roots & Shoots Myspace

Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Facebook page

The ReBirth the Earth: Trees for Tomorrow Facebook Cause

the Jane Goodall Institute’s Facebook page

Roots & Shoots YouTube Channel

And of course the Fellow Blog!

William Penn Charter School

I had the great honor of speaking at the William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, Penn. this past Wednesday. The school, which spans K through 12th grade, is a very old prestigious private school founded in the late 1600’s by Quakers. Although the school is house in a series of buildings that would fit in well with Boston’s Old North Church or even Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, the school within is a modern and progressive one aimed at teaching students the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. One might expect a student body decked out in blue blazers and pleated skirts but on this average Wednesday the students dressed in accordance with the latest fashion trends (and among high school students that means jeans and either a t-shirt from your favorite sports team or a shirt from one of the many American Eagle-esk stores).

My morning started off with a presentation to the middle school. The sleepy crowd who seemed unsure at first quickly livened up after I asked what class they were missing, which seemed to be overwhelmingly Spanish. They also seemed to like the below picture of me and Jane when I was their age. My presentation included everything from Dr. Jane’s work in Gombe to my work in sixth grade to our Youth Leadership Immersion Experience to Tanzania (which they seemed most interested in). I suppose they enjoyed it as they were full of questions afterwards.

Dave and Jane

Following that, I got to sit in on a fifth grade history class before meeting with the entire fifth grade. I do not recall my fifth grade history class very well but I hope it was like this one. The class exemplified the ideal teacher to student interaction. After doing a short assignment, the teacher led a discussion where he would ask a question and not just expect an answer but also a conclusion based on the answer. AND the students produced.

I then had lunch with both the fifth grade environmental club and the high school environmental club. I have never sat at a table with 20 fifth graders who were as motivated as this group. They were throwing out ideas of what they could do to make a difference. The way they would take a seemingly unattractive idea, such as raking leaves, and turn it into a project everyone was interested in, such as taking the leaves and composting them for a garden to grow food for the school’s cafeteria, was astonishing.

My day ended up with perhaps one of the scariest things in the world, speaking to a high school assembly. There is no tougher crowd in the world then a bunch of teenagers at the end of the day who would rather be doing just about anything then sitting in an uncomfortable assembly hall being told to listen by the teachers who just gave them hours of homework. And I should know, I was one of them less than six months ago. As an added bonus, I was a Pats fan in the city of the latest Patriots conquest, the Eagles.

Nonetheless, the crowed seemed willing to at least give me a chance and I think once they found out I was only a year older them they lightened up a bit. I knew going into this that a high school crowd is difficult to engage so I threw my standard presentation out the window and took a risk with an entirely new one. It started off with a few jokes about what the word green meant and with a few pictures of hippies and famous “green” celebs the crowd seemed to get into it. And although, few of them knew who Dr. Jane was, they were captivated by stories of the chimps from Gombe.

Climate Change

I decided to end with a history lesson. After talking a bit about the problems the world face as the result of human activity, I decided that rather then telling them they have the power to make a difference I would show them. I went back to the start of the American Revolution, to the Boston Tea party (where I accidentally let it slip I am a Pats fan and got a mix of boos and laughs). I went there because many of the men who dressed up like Indians and threw tea into Boston harbor were students from Harvard University, young people. Next I went to the civil rights movement, which was won on the campuses of colleges across the country. Finally, I wrapped up with a picture of young people protesting the Vietnam and I delivered the message that throughout history, young people have been on the forefront of change. Then I switched to the picture above and posed the question, in twenty years do you want to be one of the many who stood by while arguably the greatest in justice in history (climate change) took place, or do you want to be one of the few who stood up, said no and changed the course of history?

I look forward to seeing what comes out of Penn Charter’s two new Roots & Shoots groups as the school already knows how to educated the next generation. Well done Penn Charter, your staff, students and school gets all A’s in my book.