Dr. Jane Goodall on the Potential of Social Media

Kevin Powers, Former Senior Digital Strategist

Article Category: #Strategy

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I recently attended the Wildlife Conservation Network Expo in San Francisco, where the legendary Dr. Jane Goodall gave the keynote address. Prior to the expo, she also participated in a small-group Q&A of which I was a part. During this conversation, Dr. Goodall touched on the power of social media, saying:

I find [social media] very inspiring … I was in last year's climate march and they expected 80,000 people and it was close to 400,000 people. And in major cities around the world everyone was tweeting and twittering and using Facebook and cell phones and telling their friends "come and join us". So it was the biggest gathering of people demonstrating in the streets … In the old days we might have been able to muster up, you know, about a couple thousand of our supports. But now it can go out virally. And it does.

… Now with social media we have a voice and we can use it. And we must use it.  

It’s inspiring to be reminded that our efforts in the digital space (e.g., the 96 Elephants campaign or the relaunch of SavingPlaces.org) do, in fact, reach real people. And these people (including ourselves) possess the potential for bringing about real change and impact.

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