Story-telling is the most powerful tool to bring people together.
"And that simply mean, that is me. This is, Jane" said Jane Goodall after vocally demonstrating how she would greet the chimpanzees. We knew this was going to be an entertaining and privileged night in her company.
An amazing story-teller, Jane's recital of her experience - while no doubt very much summarised - was heartwarming, playful, and thought-provoking. Her life illustrates that what may seem impossible, is not and that what we believe to understand, should always be questioned.
Upon the stage spoke not just a scientist who was given a grant to get a PhD despite having had no college tuition, not just a woman who had made her way into a male-dominant field, not just a young and yet inexperienced observer who spent months in the forest with chimps to understand them better... No, up there in front of us was a message of compassion, trust, and hope.
Beyond disproving the scientific institutions of the time that humans were not the only beings capable of emotions and feelings through her breakthrough studies of chimps and other primates, Jane has become symbolic, through her work and most notably all the collective achievements across 30+ countries of the Jane Goodall Institute, of the human ability, responsibility and necessity to protect the environment and to restore those many parts which we have destroyed.
This remarkable woman travels 300 days a year to spread the word of hope and hard work - the two of which are indissociable to succeed. It was, therefore, a little cruel when someone asked at the Q&A whether she considered the carbon footprint of flying - "I think that warrants flying. Don't you?" The crowd was all to keen to agree.
Jane is a hero who reminds us that we can all make meaningful changes to our lives to collectively lessen our impact on the environment, for it is the collective efforts of individuals that change the world.