The Jane Goodall Rules: Acting Upon Reasons for Hope (UNXD-364)

Why Take This Course?

Dr. Jane Goodall, the international environmental icon who is literally the woman who redefined our notion of man through her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees, thinks deeply about these questions. She responds with a simple, yet provocative philosophy that has become the signature of her work: the need to have reasons for hope and then to act upon them.

Dr. Goodall has five reasons: the determination of young people, the resilience of nature, the human brain, the indomitable human spirit and the power of social media (her latest). As she reminds us, “the greatest danger to our planet is that we lose hope. Because, if we have no hope, we give up and stop trying to do our bit to make a difference.”

Using her book, Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey, as a guide, students will explore Dr. Goodall’s framework and be challenged to interact with tangible examples in their everyday lives that illuminate each reason. They will then reflect deeply on their own values to create their personal reasons for hope, along with a plan for how to activate them as they proceed to the next stage of their life’s journey.

Along the way, students will also meet change makers leading with a hope mindset while they apply lessons from Dr. Goodall’s remarkable life story, the instructor’s personal experience working for her, and even the famous chimpanzees themselves.



12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Registration opens in MyAccess at 3 PM on Monday, November 30 for all seniors.


John Trybus is the director of Georgetown’s Center for Social Impact Communication within the School of Continuing Studies. An applied research and action center, our work is dedicated to increasing social impact through the belief that organizations and teams must blur the lines across sectors, functions, departments and human strengths especially through communication. He also teaches several social impact related classes across the University, primarily at the graduate and executive-level.

Before Georgetown, among the roles he held included the opportunity of a lifetime to work with the one and only Dr. Jane Goodall. He traveled with the chimpanzee expert and United Nations Messenger of Peace around the world for four years helping her to spread a message of peace and hope among hundreds of thousands of people. To say the experience was life changing and informed how he looked at the world is the definition of an understatement.