Rhett Butler – Hope is Sharing Knowledge to Empower (Jane Goodall Hopecast S2 EP3)


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Episode Summary

For this episode of the Hopecast, Dr. Jane Goodall meets with longtime collaborator and fellow storyteller, Rhett Butler! Rhett is the founder and CEO of Mongabay, a nonprofit environmental media organization that has often worked with JGI to amplify conservation messages and impact. Together, Rhett and Jane give their perspectives on the importance of sharing stories with the world. Rhett uses his skills in both writing and photography to inform and educate across hundreds of publication and channels, including the Mongabay podcast, and he was the first journalist to win the Field Museum’s Parker/Gentry Award from the Field Museum in Chicago. Another lifelong learner, the unique experiences he has had throughout his career have also put him in a position to advise a wide range of organizations and institutions. 

During this conversation, Rhett and Jane discuss what it takes to tell an engaging story, and the challenge of providing hope even while acknowledging some hard truths. Each speak about how they balance hard science with a more personal sense of wonder, and how faith plays a part in their work. They also converse about the role of media in spreading important messages, especially in this technological age where information is more accessible than ever before. This topic expands even outside of conservation, into the wider importance of journalistic integrity. Rhett and Jane emphasize the power of media as the bridge between citizens and world leaders, giving the public the information needed to hold leaders accountable and to create change themselves. With so much happening in the world, how can each of us utilize journalism and news media to make a positive impact? 

At the End of the Rainbow

Stay to the end of the episode to hear a clip of Jane speaking about how a different future awaits us, one where forests are prioritized and protected, and how we can be a part of creating that future.

Read this episode’s transcript here.

Stay tuned for Season Two Episode Four, our VERY FIRST Mailbag of the season featuring some of you, our Hopecasters!

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About Author

Scientist. Activist. Storyteller. Icon. Jane Goodall blazed the trail and changed the world. Now, she's studying new subjects – humans! This brand-new podcast will take listeners on a one-of-a-kind journey as they learn from Dr. Goodall's extraordinary life, hear from changemaking guests from every arena, and become awed by a growing movement sparked by Jane and fueled by hope. Join us as we get curious, grow compassion, and take action to build a better world for all. As we face some of the greatest challenges to humankind and the natural world, we have a unique opportunity: the power of technology to connect and share ideas. Now is the time to galvanize people around Jane’s message of hope in action and bring big thinkers together to change hearts and minds alike. The Jane Goodall Hopecast is produced by the Jane Goodall Institute by Dan DuPont, Shawn Sweeney, and Ashley Sullivan. Our production partner is FRQNCY Media. Michelle Khouri is our executive producer, Enna Garkusha is our producer, and Matthew Ernest Filler is our editor and sound designer. Our music is composed and performed by Ruth Mendelson with additional violin tracks from Angie Shyr. Sound design and music composition for the Conservation Chorus is by Matthew Ernest Filler.