The transfer of knowledge across generations and cultures has shaped our evolutionary trajectory and our interactions with each other and the natural world.
How might intergenerational dialogue inform a path that is simultaneously guided by a realism to see the world as it is and an optimism that there is hope and possibilities in a challenging and uncertain future?
This session was recorded live January 19, 2024 at the Annual Meeting in Davos Switzerland.
Watch the session here: https://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2024/sessions/earths-wisdom-keepers
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper, Manila Hub
Jane Goodall, Founder, Jane Goodall Institute; United Nations Messenger of Peace
Marie-Claire Graf, Global Shaper, Zurich Hub
Hosana Gomes da Silva, TV presenter, Rede Globo, Brazil
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This transcript has been generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors. Please check its accuracy against the audio.
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper, Manila Hub: Hello, I'd like to welcome everyone who's in the room here with us today, as well as those who are watching online, if you are online watching this conversation, please feel free to interact with us through #WEF24. I am Ann Dumaliang, I am a Global Shaper from the Philippines. I do restoration work, just an hour and a half away from metro Manila and what we do is ecosystem restoration, basically trying to overcome inertia for rehabilitation.
I'm excited and very curious about our discussion today because it is about topics that are very dear to me as an environment defender. Our relationship with nature, science, of course, and the kind of AI that we should really be talking about, which is ancestral intelligence.
So at yesterday's Nature and Climate dinner, we were reminded that human ingenuity is one of our greatest causes for hope in the unfolding sixth mass extinction caused by the climate and the biodiversity crisis. To overcome this challenge to humanity and our shared home, we must regain trust in each other, dialogue, work together and consciously lean into each other's strengths as different people and as different generations. Yet, to create genuine change and corrective systems, we need not just harmony with each other, but harmony really with the natural world.
For this to happen, we must collectively overcome our ecological amnesia and regain our rootedness in nature. And to do that, we must listen to those at the frontlines of the work. We must listen to environment defenders who are watching out for our most vital ecosystems, the science and to recognize indigenous forms of wisdom, that is wisdom really, that we have gained as a human race for hundreds and 1000s of years, about how to live with all the life around us and how to take care of our collective home. From here we can have even better dialogues that can lead to evidence-based action.
In the Philippines, our national hero, named José Rizal, is a writer and a naturalist and he has a popular phrase, which translated to English basically means that whoever doesn't look back into his roots will not be able to move into the future. And, I think that's very relevant for our discussion today.
So gaps in these really threaten our ability to jointly forge solutions at the pace that we need to. With the future of our planet in the balance, we need to bridge these kinds of divides. The question now is, how can we use these varied wisdoms and knowledge, traditional youthful innovation, indigenous knowledge and science, really to inform and create a genuine long-term strategy for our planet? How can these inform a plant path that is guided by a realism to see the world as it is and an optimism that there is hope and possibilities in a challenging and uncertain future?
And to start, of course, I would like to call on Dr. Jane Goodall, who really doesn't need any introduction for her opening remarks.
Jane Goodall, Founder, Jane Goodall Institute; United Nations Messenger of Peace: Well, good morning, everybody. Everybody here, everybody listening.
I grew up in a world that's different from any of those that you grew up in, because when I was a child, there was no television. It hadn't been invented. And I think young people today can't imagine a world like that. So I was born loving animals and loving nature. And I learned, by being out in nature – we had a big garden – and from books, those were the two things. We couldn't afford new books. This was during World War Two, so I used to haunt a secondhand bookshop. And one day I found this little book, I just had saved up enough pennies to buy it, and that was called Tarzan of the Apes. So, of course, I fell in love, as a 10-year-old child can, with this glorious Lord of the Jungle. And what did he do? He married the wrong Jane.
So, anyway, that's when I dreamed that I would go to Africa, live with wild animals and write books about them, no dream of being a scientist and everybody laughter at me. How will you do that? You don't have money. Africa's a dangerous place, full of wild fierce animals and you're just a girl.
Not my mother. She said if you want to do something like this, you're going to have to work really hard, take advantage of every opportunity and then, if you don't give up, hopefully, find a way. So as probably you will know I did find a way and there's no time to go into that, but I got lucky in being offered the opportunity to live with and learn from, not just any animal, but the one most like us, the chimpanzee. We share 98.6% of our DNA with chimps and it was amazing to find in their behaviour how like us, they are and nobody else had studied them in the wild before.
So, wasn't I lucky to discover all the ways that they communicate the same as us and that they use and make tools, that was something only humans were thought capable of. And anyway I eventually went to college. I mean, I was told I had to get a PhD, even though I've never been to college, because my mentor said, well, we've got no time for you to get an undergraduate degree, I've got you a place in Cambridge University in England to do a PhD in ethology. I didn't know what ethology meant, you know, I wanted to be a naturalist, not that scientist, anyway it's the study of behaviour.
So I got my PhD eventually and went back and I could have spent the rest of my life in the rainforest ecosystem, learning how every plant and animal in its amazing, rich biodiversity has a role to play.
And this is what's happening in the world today. We're destroying ecosystems, each time a species disappears from that ecosystem, it's like pulling a thread from a tapestry, until the ecosystem will collapse. And what we must realize is that we are part of the natural world. We are not separate from it, as so many people who have just grown up in the city, they don't realize that we depend on the natural world for food, water, clothing, everything. But what we depend on is healthy ecosystems and that's where we're going so very wrong.
The biggest difference between us, chimps and other animals, is the explosive development of our intellect. So yes, where animals are way, way, way more intelligent than used to be thought, they have emotions, like happiness and sadness, fear and despair, but you know only we are capable of developing a rocket that goes up to Planet Mars and a little robot crawls off and is taking photos. At one time, we thought we might be able to live on Mars, but now we know we can't. We've only got this one, beautiful planet.
So with this intellect we have, isn't it ridiculous that we're destroying the only home we have? And isn't it time, now we're faced with the threat of climate change, and it's not the threat anymore, is it, it's reality, to change weather patterns around the world last year, the hottest on record in human history.
So, the loss of biodiversity and climate change are interlinked absolutely and the storms, the hurricanes, the droughts, the fires, the heat waves are getting more often and more frequent and worse. So, now we're faced with how is it possible that so many people in government, in business, and even just the ordinary general public, are denying climate change. Oh the weather is changing as part of a natural cycle? Well, maybe it is, but we have changed that natural cycle so the world is heating up much faster than it did in the previous 1000s and 1000s of years ago, millions of years ago.
So I was travelling around the world in the late 1980s talking to young people like you and also governments, people and business people and big audiences. And even back then, I was meeting young people who were losing hope. And I asked them, you know, why do you feel angry or depressed or apathetic? Because you've compromised our future and there's nothing we can do about it. So if any of you think we older generations have compromised your future, you are so right, in fact, we've been stealing it, probably since the Industrial Revolution. We're still stealing it today. And that's why gatherings of people like you are so important.
I began our programme for young people, Roots and Shoots to try and help people get over this feeling of hopelessness. Because then Roots and Shoots every group they choose their own projects, one to help people, one to help animals, one to help the environment because of the interrelatedness. And the main message is, every single one of us matters, makes a difference, has a role to play.
And if you start working on a project that you choose, like some people are worried about litter, some people are worried about waste, some people are worried about poverty, these young people like you, and between you you're probably interested in every one of the problems we face. So that's my biggest hope for the future. Only young people around the world once you know and understand the problem, once you are empowered to take action, there's no stopping you.
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper: I guess at this point, and at this juncture, we can start the panel discussion. I'd like to introduce you to two more amazing women with me today. This is Marie Claire, who led and co-founded the Youth Negotiators Academy, she plays a pivotal role in bringing young voices to the COP to interact with decision-makers who will be deciding on our collective future.
And this is Hosana Gomes da Silva, a TV presenter in the largest Latin American network television and she is very passionate about climate justice and the impact that it has on vulnerable communities. So I'd like to turn the attention first on Marie Claire and Dr. Goodall please feel free to insert and then comment anytime you'd like.
You have been in a number of rooms with critical discussions, I'd like for you to share a story on when you know science-based information and knowledge have significantly influenced the outcome of these negotiations.
Marie-Claire Graf, Global Shaper, Zurich Hub: Thank you. Thank you so much and maybe just to start off, I think it's really disheartening to see that we are at the juncture where the science is actually challenged and it's the science from the scientists, but also the lived experience and the wisdom of indigenous peoples who are questioned on a daily basis, because this is our baseline, and that's what we should act upon. So, just to kind of to put it out there, because I was really frustrated to see that this happening here in Davos but also in the multilateral negotiations.
But in the climate negotiations we are mostly operating in, we have the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's assessment of all the scientists around the world and what I want to highlight is, it's really exciting that they came together now, in the sixth assessment cycle, to actually really strengthen the voices of female researchers, bring in young researchers, strengthen the Global South participation and also really looking into the data gap you're having in many parts of the world and so really trying to see how can we make the science more robust to ensure that the actions, which we're basing on the science, are actually informed by the right science, which is adequate to the local context, and I think that's a really important driver.
Also for all of us to be reminded how we are interacting with the science and that we have more and local scientists, and also that we take the indigenous wisdom into consideration when we are making decisions because very often, especially in this place, where there are very little data points and science, actually the wisdom keepers and, as you mentioned, also, all the generations have so much to share, which we really, really need to take into consideration.
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper: And then your experience thus far, are there any particular frameworks or models or engagement that have stood out for you? Be that when it comes to engaging young people or bringing science into the fore?
Marie-Claire Graf, Global Shaper, Zurich Hub: Yes, what I think is very important, is what you mentioned, is the capacity building, that we have to support the young people, because it can be really, really scary to go into these decision-making rooms. Many young people, including myself, suffer from impostor syndrome, meaning that you go into the rooms and you're suddenly not able to talk because you feel everyone else is so much more important and who am I to actually talk here?
So, having the science and the knowledge is a really crucial tool for us to actually, you know, start off this baseline. But it's not enough, right? We cannot just know the science, there's so many additional skills which we need to have. We need to have the courage and the will too, something that you can maybe talk about later. How can we, you know, be our true selves?
How can we be authentic in these spaces where it's sometimes very, very challenging to speak the true nature of what we want to talk about without kind of going down the rabbit hole of just, you know, perpetuating the system which we're seeing, mimicking the ones who have been, you know, negotiating for the last 30 years and frankly, haven't achieved what you have to achieve, haven't been listening to the science, haven't been listening to the indigenous voices and also listening to the voice of nature itself.
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper: Some of the sessions we've had, we've talked about acupressure points that could be alleviated you know to will enable the system. What are those pressure points that you've been seeing that need to be worked on? What would you say are the key bottlenecks when it comes to these things?
Marie-Claire Graf, Global Shaper, Zurich Hub: To me, the acupuncture points are really about representation in decision-making, because decision-making is guiding how we live in our society, how we live as humanity and if these decision-makers are taking decisions by leaving half the world's population out, which is actually the young people in this case and shortly before it was the women, and so many other voices were completely left out of this decision-making, we talked about vulnerable communities, frontline communities, Earth defenders, indigenous voices.
But let me focus on the young people for now. So young people make up more than half the world's population. Yet there are studies out there, only 2.8% of the elected officials around the world are actually under the age of 30 and 30% of the countries around the world have no young person in any elected position. I mean, that's a huge potential you're missing out right?
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper: It's ironic because we would be the main stakeholders of the future.
Marie-Claire Graf, Global Shaper: Exactly. And also we have just so much wisdom and energy and things to bring to the table, right? And, also when we have been seeing that the last 30 years didn't work, we should change our approach. So for me, it's about diversity, it's about inclusion, but it's also when we are recruiting these voices, we have to ensure that they're actually prepared well for that position, because otherwise it can be a really devastating experience. We can maybe go into this afterwards, when I was a negotiator myself.
But this is, I think, the crucial acupuncture point, because once we actually bring in new people and diverse voices, I do believe that actually these institutions where the trust is eroding – many young people don't believe in the governments anymore. We have tonnes of studies. They don't believe in the UN, they don't believe in so many of these institutions. And I think it's really dangerous and I also sometimes tend to lose hope. But I do believe that if we have an influx of new diverse voices, we can actually regain and rebuild this trust in the institutions and make them meaningful again and make them effective again, and out of this the actions come which then spark the hope.
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper: Okay, now I'm going turn to you Hosana and you know, the indigenous voices are also very important here to have represented. I'm curious about an example as well, of indigenous knowledge that has created a massive impact when it comes to you know, maybe biotechnology or fixing social issues, environmental issues that we have today.
Hosana Gomes da Silva, Latin American TV presenter: You know actually, I'm from Brazil. So everybody that thinks about Brazil thinks about the Amazon. There's a lot of conversation going on, during this week about the Amazon rainforest and I think one of the key points is we have so much potential, but we also have so much vulnerabilities. And everybody talks about traditional communities and indigenous communities as this main stakeholder that actually is not getting the access of decision-making in an effective way.
What I mean is, is the financing going to these communities, directly to these communities? In my experience, what I observe, I'm not an indigenous person, I have to point this out. I'm from a favela and I'm a black person from Brazil, which is important to point out too, in my observations, what I see is that we talk about, we got indigenous communities in the conversation, but we are not actually including the value that they have. We bring them here, they are staying away from their communities, which is a really important thing, their connection with their communities. They are doing this big work and they're not being valued enough. They're not being paid enough.
We have to keep this going. We have to keep this conversation going. Because yes, we put so much value on the scientist part and I'm a researcher myself, but the indigenous wisdom this knowledge, it has to be paid for too. They have to have proper work too and what I observed today is indigenous communities unfortunately depending on donations.
We actually had an episode, a really sad episode, a few months ago in Brazil, we have a really intense dry season in the Amazon and this community got isolated. They had a hard time getting proper food, proper water and these are the communities that we so have to talk about. And they weren't able to get access to health for several weeks.
Another thing that I would love to point out, is the Amazon rainforest, especially the Amazonas state in Brazil, passed through a horrifying episode just recently, a few months ago with this big, polluted air that just covered a really large territory in Amazon. So people actually breathed a really dense polluted air for more than three weeks. Imagine this, you open the window in the morning and you can't see the sky, only grey. For several weeks, for more than three weeks, that this was the reality of people living in the northern region of Brazil and no one talks about this.
I didn't hear about this once in this Davos week. And yet we're still talking about the Amazon and how Brazil has so much potential, when actually the population that lives in it is suffering today. We talk about climate change as this huge distance thing like this big dinosaur that is still coming right? And we talk about how we are not going to get proper access to food, to water. But guess what, people are living this today.
I come from a similar living experience, because I'm from a favela, and we had to live with hunger, with no access to food, no access to sanitation, no access to proper health care. And we're still when it goes to these meetings with big CEOs and big decision makers, they're like we have to take care of the planet otherwise we're not going to be able to access proper food and I was like that, I lived that like 10 years ago. How are we supposed to be talking about this like a future thing and not get this conversation going about poverty today? About no access to proper health care today, about pollution. No one talks about pollution anymore. What happened? What happened about the quality of water?
We have this joke about like it's only AI, right? But where is the conversation going about who is dying today? Brazil is currently dealing with a huge environmental disaster right now.
The last week, we had to deal with people who are homeless right now. Actually, my phone is ringing this whole week about this. I had to get a donation to deal with this and I'm only 26. Come on! I should be focused on this huge opportunity, right? I should be focused on my Master's degree. And I have to do with people dying. And I don't see the decision-makers, these big, huge figures coming in and saying yes, let's go let's go with this.
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper: I'm going play devil's advocate for a bit. A lot of people sometimes do not recognize indigenous wisdom and knowledge as data to be taken seriously. Frontline environmentalists experienced the same thing, right? Lived experiences are discounted if they cannot be transformed into a report then it doesn't get the content far, but we can't afford to have this disjoint, because, well, we are in a climate crisis, we need to get moving faster than the pace we're currently moving in.
What would be your pitch to people who still have this perspective? If you have to pitch indigenous wisdom to them, how would you do that?
Hosana Gomes da Silva, TV presenter: Yes, that's a really hard question. You know, I actually have like one pretty good example, we have the the cosmetic market, which is growing and growing and growing based on the Amazon biodiversity right? But we need the indigenous community, the traditional community as well, to get proper access to this type of science. Otherwise, you're going to be spending a lot of money trying to find out the meaning of, for example, one fruit, the property of like one fruit, when people already know about this for like hundreds of years right now.
So the thing is that we actually try to get in touch with nature from a market point of view. And we have this shortcut, if we have this proper conversation with the traditional communities who actually live in the forest currently. So we can see this in the hole in a lot of different markets. If you go in and say hey, I want to develop these types of products, do you know any natural resources that have this type of properties? We actually know that they can identify that more easily.
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper: This is something I also experienced actually being in tourism on the ground, whenever we asked naturalists to try to educate our rangers within 20 minutes, you can be sure that the conversations will change. The scientists and politicians are asking questions to our indigenous people, the rangers. And I've also realized that across different indigenous cultures there are also certain forms of wisdom, certain kinds of principles, that they do hold dear across the line. Would you have any knowledge or insight when it comes to that?
Marie-Claire Graf, Global Shaper: Maybe just responding to your question before, quickly. I think that it's very important to kind of, you know, value them at the same point. That's why it's so important to, especially when I'm talking about climate justice, that we bring this justice, I know that very often doesn't really get a lot of attention in research, because we maybe measured the CO2 level, we can measure a lot of different things, but very often we forget to put humans and nature at the centre of our decision makings.
I think it's so important to then have the other forms of wisdoms kind of next to it and to see those overlap to kind of just map it all out and then look at it and say, okay, what kind of mapping do we have and then base our decision on it. And I do very strongly believe that we will change our decisions, and also our actions, if we actually would map this as a baseline.
But also, I think it's very important, how we are taking the decisions, because we still see in a lot of rooms, in the United Nations, but also in governments, and also here, we see a few dominant voices. Very often, it comes from a specific subgroup of people living on this planet, a tiny minority who overrule the whole rest. And, also like looking into how groups of people take decisions and I think that we also have a lot to learn from the elders, from indigenous communities, but also, you know, from nature, just looking into nature, how does nature work.
So for me, mycelium is just such a fascinating structure, how it's kind of all on the ground and suddenly the rain comes and then the mushrooms are just, you know, coming up, and it's not about decision making, but just kind of to see like, how much beauty is out there and how much interconnectedness is there. And then how are we trying to solve the crisis we are seeing today and how fragmented we are looking at this, how often you're just siloing in different rooms.
And I think there's just so much more to learn, but this really requires a lot of courage on a personal level to be different. But if there is something we need, it's to be different, right? Because business as usual hasn't worked. So we need to do something different and this needs a lot of courage because you have to get out of your comfort zone. You have to challenge people who prefer to just keep going because they benefit from the system as it is currently. They are not benefiting the majority of the people and it's definitely also not benefiting the indigenous communities and the frontline communities, but also it doesn't benefit nature itself.
And, so how can we change his approach and I do believe this is again, something where young people, together with other generations, the ones who are billing, can actually change. You have to work together to to drive the change on how we're coming to conclusions and how we're actually driving these actions, because what I'm seeing, unfortunately, that very often we do take action, but we leave a lot of people out, so the actions are actually not to climate and are not human nature centred. And that's another aspect going beyond the science itself, but more into the decision making and how we are arriving at the action itself.
And it wasn't answering exactly your question, but it's a very important point to add.
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper: Absolutely, and then all of this is really important to fostering understanding and collaboration across the lines, not just when it comes to indigenous groups.
Jane Goodall, Founder, Jane Goodall Institute; United Nations Messenger of Peace: Can I say something? Just going back to what I was saying earlier, about the fact that we all depend on Mother Nature.
Science is important. I had to become a scientist. I didn't want to and I did just as well without it. but it's important. And there's so much talk now about technology solving the climate crisis, but there's a much cheaper, and a very age-old way of solving, at least a major part of the climate crisis: protect our forests.
This is really important to fostering understanding and collaboration across the lines, not just when it comes to indigenous groups.
Plant trees, trees are going to take a long time to get the full carbon capture capacity of an old forest. That's why protecting the Amazon is so important now and the Congo basin and Indonesia and Malaysia. And I think one good thing about Brazil, I was just there two months ago, was that there has been about 50% less destruction of forests since Lula came into power. And that's 2,000 square miles of forest that would have been cut down.
And it's not easy and it's hard to police and all the rest of it, but this is such a very important part. And nature's been doing it for millions of years, long before we came onto the scene. We're just a new little species with this intellect that we do have, how stupid we're being, how utterly ridiculous we're being.
And you said another thing that's really important. Poverty.
When I first got to Gombe in Tanzania to study chimps it was 1960 and Gombe was part of a huge forest that stretched right across Africa. By the late 1980s, I looked down from a little plane and it was just a small island of forest in the National Park and around there the hills were bare.
There were more people living there that the land could support, too poor to buy food from elsewhere, struggling to survive. So why were they destroying the forest? To get money from charcoal or timber or to get more land from which to grow food to feed their families. And that's when it hit me, if we don't find ways for these people to make a living without destroying the environment, then we can't save the chimps, the forests or anything else.
So on the one hand, we've got to alleviate poverty. On the other hand, we've got to work to reduce the unrealistic, unsustainable lifestyle of so many people on the planet.
We also, and here's the thing for all of you young people, a nightmare that you're presented with: already there are 8 billion of us on the planet. Already, we're beginning to run out of some natural resources faster than nature can replenish them. By 2050, it's estimated we will be 10 billion. And people are saying, well if everybody acquires the standard of living of just a normal person, you know, not the super wealthy with all their private jets and blah, blah, blah, then we would need four new planets. We haven't got four new planets, unless Elon Musk's discovered some that we don't know about. But so anyway, this is why I'm spending as many years as I have left, developing this programme for young people, because it's so unfair, the world that you've all been born into, it just is not fair. In fact, life isn't fair, is it?
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper: I'm always speechless after Dr. Goodall talks.
I guess one aspect of discussion also that I'd like to bring would just be how we can all work together across generations, young and old. What do we have to bring to the table? How can we leverage on each other's strengths? What can young people learn? From those who've already had experiences interacting with people in positions of power? And, what can we as young people, learn from them, when it comes to forwarding all of these advocacies we have.
Hosana Gomes da Silva, TV presenter: I think actually, as, again, a black person from Brazil and actually, my name is da Silva. I was just commenting that Silva is the most common name in Brazil, because it was the name given for a majority of enslaved people there were captured from Africa. So they gave like this name to everybody. So I really interconnected with that history as an Afro-Brazilian.
And how we are actually valuing the ancestors' knowledge. How we are really interconnected. There's this huge percentage of young people, they're actually grabbing this and saying, I am a black person, I am an indigenous person. I am the future. So I need to know where am I going.
So we go to the ancestors, that we are linked to. So actually doing this process of going back to give meaningful reasons to where we are today in the present, I actually got connected with some traditional communities in Brazil. So I have a little quick example of how this knowledge can transform every space we are in.
We have a traditional community in Brazil called quilombo. I know you haven't heard of this, I don't expect you to. So it seems that since the 15th century a community based on Afro Brazilians was first established by enslaved people who resisted slavery, who escaped from slavery. So they get together in this rural area, and they had to survive, right.
So they learn how to deal with the forests. They learned how to get food to produce and not destroy it. So right now they're at one of the points of the biggest producers of food in Brazil, that is actually based on agro forest, which is something that I actually heard this week as this big new technology. And I was like, we know that for about 100 years now, they actually have been doing this like for years. And now, science, science and companies are getting to this, because we are actually getting to the point that okay, we can't continue this way. So let's find solutions. And one of the solutions is agroforestry systems to produce food. And they are actually doing this for years now.
So this got me thinking, are they going to be part of the conversation? Are they going to be seated on the boards? Are they going to be in panels in the plenary hall of the World Economic Forum, actually doing opening speeches and saying we knew that was coming, we know the solutions. We don't have the university degrees, but we know the solutions. We actually have most of us, because we need the degree to access some spaces. But we need to turn this around. We need to get mostly young people willing to fight for this and turn this around and say yes, we know the solution. We need to talk how we can escalate the solutions to another reality.
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper: Okay, we have about five minutes left, but I want to ask you also very quickly, we talked about technology that we can gain from indigenous knowledge and indigenous practices. Are there any forms of technology today that you are finding optimism for, when it comes to just scaling the amount of knowledge that everyone else knows about our indigenous practices?
Hosana Gomes da Silva, TV presenter: It seems like I'm repeating myself, but for me, the biggest technology we have is people, talking to people, doing what Miss Goodall just did. Go in there, knowing the territory, living in the reality and then coming back and saying, okay, with all this knowledge let's, right now, let's talk.
Because what we heard most is trying to debate Amazon rainforest, poverty, etc. And we actually didn't live the reality. I did live the reality of a favela in northeastern Brazil. So if I go to the southeast and someone asked me, let's do a project on Rio's favelas, I'm gonna say I'm not the right person for this. Please call someone from Rio's favela. Because the lived experience will make you prevent errors and make you prevent wasting money trying to build this solution and then when we go to the streets, you see that actually it's not going to work.
So living experience, this knowledge that comes from the bottom up is a new thing needed. It's so needed, in most of our government space, we need bottom-up policies to be built today because they are mostly top-down, because we still have this feeling that we need the degree and stuff to build this type of solutions. So we need bottom-up solutions because people for me is the biggest technology we have.
Marie-Claire Graf, Global Shaper: As you also mentioned, nature itself is also the solution and we have to yes, value it much more and give it the space it needs, without constantly trying to find these quick fixes in technology, which are very often far off what is actually needed.
And I think also here in Davos for many of us, we need to have more representation of nature in the rooms as well. At least try to bring the voices of the forests, of the mountains, of the water reserves you talked about, of the rivers to the rooms, because I do believe that then the discussions will change. If we bring these representatives to the room and if also we can all acknowledge them in our everyday decisions.
Okay, what impact does my behaviour or our collective behaviour have on these ecosystems? And how can we all become defenders of these ecosystems, to respect them, because ultimately, as you also opened, we cannot live with out them. And it's an illusion that we can make it without. That's why, to me, it's so strange that we're actually not taking them into consideration when we're talking. So I do hope that we can all become stewards of these variety of ecosystems and bring them into our discussion and centre them in all the decisions you're taking for our personal live, but also for our institutions, for our research, and maybe even making governmental decisions.
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper: I have a last question, and we'll just be very quick. What gives you hope?
Marie-Claire Graf, Global Shaper: Maybe the willingness and the courage to do things differently, and I see how it's happening. I also see the barriers and the struggles and all of it together, but I very, very strongly believe that we have to have a lot of courageous people who are willing to stand up, get out of their comfort zone and do things because they believe in it, because they have a passion and ultimately because it's driven by love and solidarity and compassion for our common home.
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper: I think that is something we tend to miss sometimes, right? We can be talking about knowledge and data, but what also makes us unique as humans is our capability for empathy and relating to each other and if we can extend that to the natural world, all the better, we can reach a better balance.
Hosana Gomes da Silva, TV presenter: Young people give me hope. Being here with these 50 amazing young people that the World Economic Forum just gathered is what gives me hope.
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper: Okay, what I gathered today, that was a lot of great insights and information.
Number one, rights of nature, very important.
Number two, making sure that minorities are also represented in decision-making, given the capacity to take action, making sure that there's not a single minority group that's leading all of these discussions that will determine the future of our world.
Number three, technology and just how we perceive it. There's technology coming from nature, technology from looking back into our history.
Now, I'd like to turn it over again to Dr. Jane, if you would have a few closing remarks.
Jane Goodall, Jane Goodall Institute: Well, first of all, you asked a question that I didn't think was answered, and that is how do we change the minds of the decision makers of today? And the way that I found is really hard to understand that when people change, it isn't because fingers are pointed at them. It isn't because people shout at them. It isn't because people tell them they're bad and wicked. You've got to reach their heart.
They must change from within. And as I think I said, well maybe I didn't. I've given so many talks this week. But for me telling stories. And if you tell the right story, that means you've got to spend a few moments finding out who you're talking to, who are they, do you have anything in common? Maybe you both love dogs or something like that? And, then try and find a way to reach into the heart.
And it works. Because I've seen again and again young people can be absolutely correct in what they're saying. They're quite right to be angry. But it doesn't work usually. There may be lip service paid to them, but it's, it's you got to get in here. So that's that's one thing.
And then you ask about what gives hope. Well, I already said at the beginning, it's all of you young people that give me hope, because of what you're doing and how you're doing it and how it's courage and persistence and determination. I've seen it in children of six and I've seen it, we're now including adults in Roots and Shoots and it's a programme that's changing people's lives. I get told every day. And now because we began in '91,there are some of our early members in decision-making positions and they hang on to the values they acquired and what are the values of Roots and Shoot? Compassion, respect. These are so important. Love, you can't love everybody, but you could respect who they are.
And then my next reason for hope is nature's resilience. I talked about the bare hills around Gombe they're not bare anymore, because the people have understood that protecting nature isn't just the wildlife, it's for their own future. And so they're our partners in conservation. And nature is so resilient that seeds left from the trees that were there and sometimes even the roots even after 10 or 15 years. There's a magic life in those seeds that new trees will spring out, helped with a little planting of the right trees in the right place at the right time.
Animals on the brink of extinction can be and have been given another chance because people care. Because people know that we need nature. We need the resilience of an ecosystem.
And then yes, technology, used in the right way. But the scary thing to me about AI, is if it's in the hands of some of these people out there in big positions in the world, it's a very dangerous thing. And that's going to be another problem to be tackled by the young people of today. How do we use this AI that's let loose on the world when it can so easily fall into hands to make all this fake news so much easier.
And then finally, there's the indomitable spirit, the people who tackle what seems absolutely impossible and won't give up and very often succeed. And if they don't, they inspire others around them to carry on the fight when they've gone.
And that's why, in case some of you are wondering, that's why I carry around, he's called Mr. H. because he was given to me by a man called Gary Horn. Gary went blind when he was 21. He decided to become a magician. He was told, well, how can you be a magician if you're blind? He said, well, I can try.
If he was standing here, if it was a normal audience of young people, you probably wouldn't notice he was blind. And then he will tell the children, if things go wrong in your life, don't give up. There's always a way forward.
He taught himself to paint. He never painted before. He painted a picture of Mr. H. He gave me Mr. H 32 years ago for my birthday, thinking he was a chimpanzee. But of course, I made him hold the tail. Chimpanzees don't have tails. He said never mind, take him with you where you go, you know I'm with you in spirit.
So he's been with me to 62 countries, and he's probably been touched by, I don't know, millions of people, because I say, when you touch him that this amazing spirit of determination rubs off on you.
Ann Adeline Dumaliang, Global Shaper: Who gets to touch it first among the audience wins a prize!
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