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What It Takes - Jane Goodall

What it Takes - Jane Goodall
What it Takes - Jane Goodall
What It Takes - Jane Goodall
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00:00:00 ALICE WINKLER: When Jane Goodall was a little girl, she was addicted to Dr. Dolittle books.


00:00:08 NARRATOR: “‘What’s that noise outside?’ They all listened. Then the door flew open and the monkey Chee-Chee ran in, badly out of breath. ‘Doctor!’ he cried, ‘I've just had a message from a cousin of mine in Africa. There's a terrible sickness among the monkeys out there. They're all catching it — and they are dying in hundreds. They've heard of you and beg you to come to Africa to stop the sickness.’ ‘I would gladly go to Africa, especially in this bitter weather.’”

00:00:36 ALICE WINKLER: By the time Jane Goodall turned ten or eleven, another series of books had stolen her heart, Tarzan.

00:00:43 JANE GOODALL: Of course I fell passionately in love with this lord of the jungle, and what does he go and do? He marries that other wimpy Jane.

00:00:51 And I was really jealous, and I was sure I would have been a better mate for Tarzan myself, which I would have been.

00:00:59 So that was when my dream began. I would grow up. I would live with animals in Africa, and I would write books about them. That was the dream.

00:01:09 ALICE WINKLER: Well, if anyone has ever made a dream come true, it is Jane Goodall. Her study of chimpanzees in the wild changed everything we know about our hairy, tree-swinging relatives. It also led to profound changes in zoos, in the use of animals for scientific research, and in our understanding of the relationship between humans and the environment. Jane Goodall is the subject of this episode of What It Takes, a podcast about passion, vision, and perseverance from the Academy of Achievement. I’m Alice Winkler.

00:01:48 OPRAH WINFREY: "Hattie Mae, this child is gifted," and I heard that enough that I started to believe it.

00:01:54 ROGER BANNISTER: If you have the opportunity, not a perfect opportunity, and you don't take it, you may never have another chance.

00:02:01 LAURYN HILL: It all was so clear. It was just, like, the picture started to form itself.

00:02:05 DESMOND TUTU: There was no way in which a lie could prevail over the truth, darkness over light, death over life.

00:02:13 CAROL BURNETT (quoting CARRIE HAMILTON): “Every day I wake up and decide, today I'm going to love my life. Decide.”

00:02:21 JOHNNY CASH: My advice is, if they're going to break your leg once when you go in that place, stay out of there.

00:02:26 JAMES MICHENER: And then along come these differential experiences that you don't look for, you don't plan for, but boy, you’d better not miss them.

00:02:37 JANE GOODALL: Well, good evening, everybody.

00:02:39 ALICE WINKLER: Jane Goodall came to South Africa in 2009 to speak at the Academy of Achievement’s Summit, and while she was there, she also sat down for an in-depth interview. There are no wild chimpanzees in South Africa, mind you, so, as Goodall told the students and other luminaries in the audience that day, she came with a greeting from Gombe Stream National Park, where she first began studying chimps in 1960.

00:03:06 JANE GOODALL: If you came to one of the places where they live in the forests, you would hear what, for me, is one of the most evocative sounds of the African forest... “Hello.”

00:03:32 I want to go back just for a second to the beginning.

00:03:41 Little girl born in England to a family with very little money, couldn't even afford a bicycle. Now traveling around the world and able to meet more or less anybody. There are open doors. So how did it happen? And it makes me think of a fable that I'm sure many of you know. My mother used to read it to me and my sister when we were little, and it was about the birds coming together to have a competition — who could fly the highest? And the mighty eagle is sure that he will win, and with these great, strong wings, he goes higher and higher, and gradually the other birds get tired until, in the end, there he is.

00:04:17 But he's tired now. He can't go any higher, but it doesn't matter, because he's won, like he knew, but hiding in the feathers on his back is a little jenny wren. And now she flies up, and she flies highest of all. And the reason I love this story is because to me it’s symbolic. If we think of our life as an effort to always go just a little bit higher, to reach a goal that’s just a little bit above our grasp, how high can any of us go without our eagle?

00:04:44 And I look back over my life, and I think of all the amazing people who’ve been there to support me, to keep me aloft. And the one that I want to acknowledge now, the person to whom I owe the most, who is the greatest inspiration, who helped me to be what I am today — at least the good parts, not the bad parts — was my extraordinary mother. Right from the beginning, she supported my passion for animals. When I was 18 months, she came into my room one night, and I had taken a whole handful of earthworms to bed with me.

00:05:20 And instead of saying, "Ugh, take them out. Don’t have those dirty things in your bed," she said, "If you leave them here, they’ll die." And so together we gathered them up and took them back to the earth. And then, when I was four-and-a-half, oh, the excitement! We lived in London, but we went for holiday into the country, and I met, for the first time, cows and pigs and horses, and I can still remember it vividly.

00:05:44 And one of my jobs was to help collect the hens’ eggs. So in those days, there were no cruel battery farms. The hens pecked around in the farmyard the way hens should, and so they were mostly laying their eggs in these little wooden henhouses where they also slept at night. And I was, you know, collecting the eggs sort of that size, but where on the hen was the hole big enough for the egg to come out? I couldn’t see a hole like that. So I was asking everybody, and obviously, nobody answered to my satisfaction.

00:06:15 So one afternoon — and you know, the whole thing remembered, I saw this hen climbing up this little sloping plank into her henhouse. And I thought, "Ah, she’s going to lay an egg," so I crawled after her. Well, big mistake. Squawks of, I suppose, fear, and she flew out. So I worked out that would be a frightening place for other hens. I would not see an egg laid if I stayed there, so I went to an empty henhouse, and I hid in the straw at the back, and I waited and I waited and I waited.

00:06:43 And the family had no idea where I was. They were all searching. It was getting dark. My mother sees this excited little creature rushing towards the house, all covered in straw, and instead of getting mad at me — "How dare you go off without telling us? Don’t you know how worried we’ve been? Don’t you dare do that again," which would have destroyed all the excitement — she saw my shining eyes and sat down to hear this wonderful story of how a hen lays an egg.

00:07:08 ALICE WINKLER: On the other hand, Jane Goodall didn’t have much of a relationship with her father at all.

00:07:13 JANE GOODALL: He went off, fighting in the war. My parents divorced before the end of the war, so I didn’t really know him. I think, from him, I inherited a very strong constitution, which has been perfect to enable me to live the kind of life that I’ve lived.

00:07:28 ALICE WINKLER: And it was her father, after all, who gave her a stuffed toy chimpanzee named Jubilee when she was a baby. It played music. It held a banana up to its mouth, and it was Jane Goodall’s very favorite toy. She still has him to this day. She has Jubilee, and she has all those books about explorers and animals that she devoured as a child.

00:07:52 JANE GOODALL: Always animals, animals, animals. I have a memory of a house that was always filled with books. It was after the war broke out when I went to live with my grandmother, and it was a whole household full of women, and every single room had a bookcase. My bedroom had a bookcase. Once a week, on Sunday, we were allowed to read at the table. It was a treat. The only book that normally we could bring to the table was — if the discussion led to an argument about something, we could go and fetch a dictionary or an encyclopedia.

00:08:25 But otherwise, it was a treat for Sunday. You know, books were always so important.

00:08:32 ALICE WINKLER: She was a great student, but she hated school. It was too indoors. In high school, she liked biology, but field biology didn’t exist yet, so she spent her time in the lab, dissecting fish and the like, while still dreaming of Africa.

00:08:50 JANE GOODALL: If I couldn’t go to Africa, then it would be Canada or it would be South America — somewhere in wilderness areas, and that was the dream. But there was — for girls, there was no career in that sort of thing. And when a career lady came to the school, and she heard that I wanted to go out and study animals in the wild, she just laughed and said, "That’s impossible." The best thing — it was my mother talking to her — or no, it was my headmistress, I think, because I was sick, and the headmistress questioned her.

00:09:21 And she said, "No, no. Tell this child that we can arrange a nice career for her photographing pet dogs and cats."

00:09:30 ALICE WINKLER: Chimpanzees in Africa? Yes. Dogs and cats in England? No, thanks. She graduated high school, but her family didn’t have enough money to send her to university. To get a scholarship in those days, you had to be good in a foreign language, which she wasn’t, and still isn’t, she says, even though she’s fairly fluent in Chimpanzee. As an 18-year-old, her dreams were looking out of reach, but as usual, her mom came through by suggesting that she take a secretarial course. Maybe that way she’d be able to qualify for some job in Africa.

00:10:06 JANE GOODALL: Then I got a letter from a school friend, inviting me to Kenya. Yes, opportunity! Because what my mother had always said to me when everybody else laughed at me and told me that I couldn’t achieve my dream — well, of course, I couldn’t achieve my dream. It was World War II raging when I had that dream, and Africa was still the Dark Continent. We didn’t know much about it. We had rumors of poisoned arrows and sinister drumbeats at night.

00:10:34 And as I’ve said, we didn’t have any money. There were no tourists going back and forth, but perhaps, most important of all, I was the wrong sex. I was just a girl, and girls didn’t do that sort of thing. But it was only my mother — and my entire family, actually: "If you really want something and you work hard and you take advantage of opportunity and you never give up, you find a way." That was how I was brought up. So here came the opportunity, the letter from my school friend. Off I went, but it wasn’t that easy because there wasn’t any money still.

00:11:05 So I worked as a waitress, and I saved up the wages and the tips, and it took a long time, but eventually I had enough for a return fare by boat. So I was 23 when I set off. Waved goodbye to my family and my friends and my country, and I set off on this amazing adventure.

00:11:31 I arrived off this boat, having made lots of friends, the way one does on boats, feeling really sad because, although a lot of us were going by train from Mombasa to Nairobi, it was kind of like the end of this very special little piece of magic, this voyage. It was longer than normal. We had to go all the way around the Cape because the Suez War was happening, so we couldn’t go through the Suez Canal.

00:12:00 And seeing — looking out of the train window, seeing giraffes and, I think, a couple of elephants, seemed unreal. Then I was met by my school friend and her parents, and we went straight up to where they lived in the White Islands, and it was getting dark, but I remember, very close to the road, a giraffe, and giraffes are completely unreal creatures.

00:12:25 And when you see one for the first time in the wild, close up, it’s totally magic. And, gosh, I was in Africa! And we saw an aardvark, which is very rare to see in the wild. In fact, I’ve only seen one other since, but this one just wandered across the road. I didn’t realize how rare it was. And then got up to this farmhouse and the very next morning was woken up, and they said, "Come out. There’s a footprint in the mud of this big leopard." And he’d taken one of their dogs. So it was a real introduction to wild, savage Africa.

00:13:02 ALICE WINKLER: It wasn’t all nonstop excitement, though. She did have to start that boring secretarial job in Nairobi, but luckily, it didn’t last long because soon enough, she heard about the famous paleoanthropologist working nearby, Louis Leakey.

00:13:18 JANE GOODALL: Somebody said, "Jane, if you care about animals, you should meet Louis." So I went to meet him at the Natural History Museum. He asked me many, many questions. I think he was impressed that a young girl, straight from England, with no degree of any sort, could answer so many of his questions about animals. And he gave me the opportunity to go to Olduvai Gorge with himself, his wife, and one other young English girl.

00:13:45 At that time, Olduvai was totally unspoiled. No human fossils had been found. It was just a few animal fossils. All the animals were there, the antelopes, the zebra. One evening, Gillian and I, who were allowed to walk on the plains, we met a young lion, a young male lion, two years old, little bits of tufty hair of his mane growing, utterly curious. He’d never seen two people like Gillian and me before, and he followed us, at least from here to the far back.

00:14:16 And it was scary, but it was also very exciting, and I think that was when Louis Leakey decided this was the person he’d been looking for to go and try and learn about our closest living relatives living in the wild. And it took two years to get — or nearly two years — before he could get the money for me to go. Because who was going to give money to this young girl going off into the bush with no degree?

00:14:44 ALICE WINKLER: I want to pause here for a moment to give you a little background on Louis Leakey. He was trying to establish the origins of humankind in Africa, and he hoped that understanding the behavior of great apes in the wild would give him clues about what he was pretty sure was our common ancestor. And his plan worked. Jane Goodall was the first of three young women Leakey handpicked during the 1960s to observe the great apes.

00:15:12 After Jane Goodall came Dian Fossey, who famously studied gorillas, and then Birutė Galdikas, who studied orangutans. He had a nickname for the three women, the Trimates. But in the beginning, for Louis Leakey’s vision to succeed, he was either going to have to head into the forest himself or convince someone that Jane Goodall was up to the job.

00:15:36 JANE GOODALL: And finally, a wealthy American businessman gave the money for six months, just six months. He said, "We’ll see how she does." But then — what was then Tanganyika — the British authorities said they would not take responsibility for such a crazy idea. But eventually — Louis never gave up — and they said, "All right, but she must have a companion." So the volunteer who came for the first four of those six months was none other than that same remarkable mother.

00:16:03 ALICE WINKLER: Jane’s mother, Van Goodall, packed up in England and came to meet her daughter in Nairobi.

00:16:14 ALICE WINKLER: Together they took a bumpy, cramped, three-day drive in a Land Rover to Kigoma in Western Tanzania. But when they arrived, there was total chaos. Just over the border, the Congo had erupted in a war over independence, and refugees were flowing in. So instead of heading to Gombe Stream Park, they stayed and fed the refugees. Eventually, they were allowed to reach their destination, and they set up camp, mother and daughter.

00:16:43 JANE GOODALL: We had — I mean we had so little money for this expedition — a couple of tin plates and cups, food in tins, very little at that, one cook. We had to have somebody out there, an ex-army tent. No sewn-in ground sheet, like all the fancy tents have today, just a piece of canvas on the ground and the flaps at the bottom you rolled up and tied with strings. All the centipedes and spiders and snakes could come in.

00:17:11 My mother was amazing. And she kept camp, and I think she played two really important roles. One, she boosted my morale because in those early days the chimpanzees ran away as soon as they saw me. They’d never seen a white ape before. They’re very conservative. They would vanish. And she would say, in the evening, when I was a bit despondent, "But think what you are learning, what they're feeding on, the kind of size groups they travel in, how they make beds at night, bending down the branches” — all the things I had seen through my binoculars.

00:17:47 And so she boosted my morale. And then, secondly, she started a little clinic. She wasn't a doctor or a nurse, but my whole family was very medical, and her brother had given her masses of simple aspirins and bandages and things like that. So she would treat the fishermen who were camped along the lakeshore. And because she would spend hours with them, doing a saline drip on a tropical ulcer, she became known as a white witch doctor. And she established, for me and all my students, this great relationship with all the local people.

00:18:20 ALICE WINKLER: Jane Goodall’s mother had a lasting impact on the work, but sadly, she went back to England just before Jane Goodall made her breakthrough discovery, that Chimpanzees not only use tools, they actually make them.

00:18:35 JANE GOODALL: So on this one day — which I can never forget — walking back through the long grass, it had been raining; it was wet; it was cold. And I suddenly saw this dark shape hunched over the golden soil of a termite mound and a black hand reaching out and pushing a straw piece of grass down into the termite mound and withdrawing it. That first time, I couldn’t see properly. The chimp had his back to me.

00:19:02 When he walked away, I saw it was David Greybeard, which is probably why he hadn’t run away, and I went over to the heap, and there were grasses lying around and termites kind of on the surface. So I picked a grass and pushed it down a hole like he had, pulled it out, and low and behold, termites gripping on it.

00:19:19 I thought, "That’s tool-using." But it was so surprising because somebody had said to me, "If you see tool-using, the whole study is worthwhile." And the next day — it was the rainy season, beginning of the season. The termites were flying. This is when they eat them, mostly, so the next day, I actually saw David Greybeard again. I had a much better view. He was with Goliath, and I could see not only the whole of the use of the straw as a tool but breaking off a leafy twig, stripping off the leaves, which is the beginning of toolmaking, and that was the thing.

00:19:57 We were defined as man, the toolmaker. That made us more different than anything else from the rest of the animal kingdom. We were man, the toolmaker, when I was growing up. And so, it was after Louis Leakey got my telegram that he sent one back, saying, "We shall now have to redefine tool, redefine man, or accept chimpanzees as humans."

00:20:20 ALICE WINKLER: It was a groundbreaking discovery, but did Jane Goodall realize right away just how groundbreaking?

00:20:28 JANE GOODALL: Quite honestly, when I first saw that tool-using and toolmaking, it was exciting. I wished Mum was there to share it with, but it wasn’t surprising to me. It didn’t surprise me that chimpanzees could behave this way. I mean they were so obviously intelligent. They were so obviously so like us. So the full scientific impact of it didn’t really dawn on me until I got back and heard the response of other scientists, some of whom said, "Well, why should we believe what this young, untrained girl says?” And pooh-poohed it, basically.

00:21:03 But then the National Geographic Society gave money because of that observation and sent out Hugo Van Lawick, the photographer, and it was his pictures and film that convinced everybody, "Well, yeah, she actually, you know, has seen this. Chimps actually do use and make tools." And then some of them said, "Well, she taught them," and I'm thinking, "Gosh, that would’ve been clever to teach them to do something."

00:21:28 ALICE WINKLER: Then came another breakthrough. People had always believed chimpanzees were vegetarians, but there was David Greybeard again, this time up in a tree, with something pink in his hand. Through her binoculars, Jane Goodall was able to make it out. Meat. A couple of months after that, she first witnessed the chimps hunting a monkey and sharing it amongst themselves.

00:21:52 JANE GOODALL: When I first got to Gombe, we knew nothing, really, about chimpanzees in the world, nothing at all. Not that much about them in captivity but nothing in the wild, and so everything I found was new. Everything was important, everything I wrote down, long journals. I would write it up every night, take out my little field books, field notebook. And it was after I’d been collecting information in this way for about 18 months that I got this letter from Louis Leakey saying that he wouldn’t always be around.

00:22:25 He wouldn’t always be able to get money for me. I would have to stand on my own two feet, and that meant I had to get a degree, and there wasn’t time to mess with a BA. I would have to go straight for a Ph.D., and he’d gotten me permission to do a Ph.D. in ethology at Cambridge University in England.

00:22:46 Ethology, what did that mean? I hadn’t a clue. I’d never been to college. No emails in those days, so I eventually found out it meant studying animal behavior. And so I got to Cambridge, and I was quite excited but a bit nervous. I mean, you know, going in straight, with never having been to college before, to do a Ph.D. And to my horror, I was told I’d done everything wrong. I shouldn’t have given the chimpanzees names.

00:23:14 They should’ve had numbers. I couldn’t talk about personality, mind, and thought, and certainly not emotions, because they were confined only to the human — no animal. So why didn’t I capitulate? Why didn’t I go back and call David Graybeard “Number One” and Flo “Number Six” and Fifi “Number Twelve” and so on? Because I thought back to my childhood, and there were two things which made a big difference to how I reacted to the professors at Cambridge.

00:23:53 First, my mother. She always taught us that, “If you meet somebody who disagrees with you, the first thing to do is listen. Then you think, and you really try and see whether what they’ve said is more true than what you have believed. And if you still feel that you’re right, or partly right, then you must have the courage of your conviction.” That’s one. Secondly, I thought of the teacher I had as a child who taught me absolutely that animals have personalities, minds, and feelings, and that was my dog, Rusty.

00:24:28 So I had a wonderful supervisor, Robert Hind, and although, at first, he was my sternest critic, he came out to Gombe. He actually met the chimpanzees. He realized very quickly that this way of thinking about nonhuman animals was — of the time, was very reductionist and didn’t explain complex behavior at all. And he really taught me how to write in such a way that I couldn’t be torn apart by all these erudite scientists, this poor little naïve Jane, who had no degree at all.

00:25:04 And he taught me something which I tell all the students that I come in contact with because it’s so clever. I had written that Fifi, Flo’s daughter, loved her new baby brother, and she was very jealous because when the others would come, she would bristle up and chase them away, making angry noises. And he said, "Jane, you can’t say she was jealous because you can’t prove it."

00:25:26 So I said, "Well, no, I can’t, but I’m sure she was, so what shall I say?" He said, "I suggest you say, ‘Fifi behaved in such a way that, had she been a human child, we would say she was jealous.’" That is very, very clever. It’s gotten me through my whole life.

00:25:44 ALICE WINKLER: And let’s see if it helps me get through this next sentence. Early in Jane Goodall's study, the chimp she called David Greybeard behaved in such a way that, had he been a human, we would say he came to trust Jane Goodall.

00:26:00 JANE GOODALL: He visited my camp one day to eat palm nuts, saw some bananas lying around, took them, and then came back for more. So I would wait down in the camp instead of getting up at half-past-five every day, and one day David took a banana from my hand. That was just after my mother had left. And on this particular day, I remember — can never forget — holding out a banana in my hand to David, and he came up, and he was nervous. He hesitated, but then he took the banana.

00:26:36 So after that, if I met a group of chimps out in the forest, and they were ready to run, as usual — if David was there, then they would sit: "Well, she can’t be so scary after all."

00:26:49 ALICE WINKLER: That contact was amazing, but it was also important. It allowed Goodall to get closer to her subjects and observe them without as much risk of being attacked.

00:27:06 Jane Goodall’s discoveries drew a lot of attention from scientists and from the general public. She was on the cover of National Geographic, and in fact, she was the subject of their second-ever special for television. It was called Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees, and it was narrated by Orson Welles.

00:27:28 ORSON WELLES: In the morning, Jane Goodall, armed only with binoculars, departs for the first time into the African forest, where earliest-known man probably lived more than a million years ago.

00:27:41 Leopards, bushbuck, and buffalo seem more readily found, but any thought of personal danger is diminished by Jane's determination to find and study the elusive chimpanzees.

00:27:53 ALICE WINKLER: Throughout the next quarter of a century, Jane Goodall worked in the field and brought the lives of chimps into the spotlight worldwide. There were crises along the way: a polio outbreak in 1966 that devastated the chimp population of Gombe Stream Park, a kidnapping of university students under her watch by rebels in Congo. They were eventually released. And then there were the discoveries that she made about chimpanzees that were just kind of hard to take.

00:28:24 JANE GOODALL: One of the real shocks for me in this whole long-term study was finding out that, whereas I thought chimps were very much like us but nicer, that in certain situations they can be just as brutal, just as violent as we can. And they have this very aggressive territoriality so that the males will patrol the boundaries of their territory in groups of three or more quite regularly.

00:28:52 And if they see a "stranger" — “stranger” in quotes: that’s an individual from a neighboring social group — usually, if it’s one by him or herself, they chase. If they catch the unfortunate victim, subject them to really, really serious brutal gang attacks, leave them to die of their injuries. And there was one four-year period where the males of one community systematically attacked and left to die the members of a smaller neighboring community — annihilated the whole group, except for young females that they encouraged to come into their community.

00:29:32 It was what I call the Four-Year War. And then they took over the now vacated territory to the south — very humanlike. But the sort of cold, calculated wars in which we use weapons of mass destruction, they’re far beyond the capabilities of a chimpanzee. It doesn’t have the intellect. But I hate to say, if they did, they would be the same as us.

00:29:55 ALICE WINKLER: On the other hand, she also encountered many acts of chimpanzee altruism, and one of her favorite things was learning about chimp maternal behavior.

00:30:06 JANE GOODALL: Because we find, just as in human society, that there are good mothers and bad mothers. And the good mothers are affectionate. They’re tolerant. They’re protective but not overprotective. But most importantly, they’re supportive. So they’re prepared to risk being bashed themselves to go and support their child if that child gets into social difficulties. And those young ones tend to grow up to be assertive and to play an important role in the reproductive history of their community.

00:30:38 The mothers have more offspring. The males tend to reach high rank.

00:30:43 ALICE WINKLER: Early on, Jane Goodall began writing articles and books about her findings, and she started giving lectures, but she never had any intention of leaving the forest behind her. Then, in the mid-1980s, her calling shifted. One of the books she’d written inspired a conference in Chicago where chimpanzee researchers of all stripes came together.

00:31:05 JANE GOODALL: And during that four days, we had one session on conservation and one on conditions in some captive situations. And those two sessions changed me totally. So I went to the conference planning to carry on with my blissfully idyllic life out in the field, learning about these incredible beings, doing what I love to do, doing some analysis of the data, a bit of lecturing. Perfect.

00:31:35 But I came out as an activist because in that session on conservation, seeing right across Africa the destruction of habitat; seeing the beginning of the bush meat trade; the commercial hunting of wild animals, including chimps for food; the session on the secretly filmed footage in some of the medical research labs; utterly shocking. I came out as an activist, and since that day, I haven’t spent more than three weeks in any one place, except once when I tore the ligaments on both ankles, and I needed an extra week or so to get better.

00:32:13 And since then, I’ve been traveling the world, going in wider and wider circles, trying to raise awareness about the situation we’ve plunged the planet into — starting with the plight of the chimpanzees; learning more about the plight of the forest; realizing more about the problems of Africa; realizing how many of those could be laid at the door of the developed world, and our unsustainable lifestyles, and our greed in taking more of the resources than is our fair share, and the other elite communities around the world, including in Africa.

00:32:50 Learning how everything is interrelated, learning more that made me realize, "Well, I have to spend time in the U.S. I have to spend time in Europe. I must spend more time in Asia." So it’s become a ridiculous lifestyle, traveling 300 days a year. And I wouldn’t do it if it didn’t appear to be having an impact on the people who come to listen to my talks. I could go back to living in the forest, which is what I love, but how can I go and live in the forest when it’s disappearing?

00:33:29 And I feel that maybe there’s something I can do by inspiring others to take action so that we create, hopefully, a critical mass of people who think differently.

00:33:43 ALICE WINKLER: I want to end by going back to the chimpanzees, where Jane Goodall began her life’s work. In 1960, when she arrived at Gombe Stream National Park, there were an estimated one to two million chimps in the world. There are now between 200,000 and 300,000. They’re spread over 21 countries in little pockets of forest. Their chance of survival as a species is grim, but they’ve got Jane Goodall as their ally, and she is formidable.

00:34:14 This is What It Takes from the Academy of Achievement. I’m Alice Winkler. Funding for What It Takes is made possible by the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation.


What It Takes is a podcast of conversations with well-known people in almost every field. The interviews have been recorded over the past 25 years by the American Academy of Achievement. They offer life stories of people who have had a huge impact on the world. They offer insights you can apply to your own life.