What’s Ecological Intelligence? Daniel Goleman Explains

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On this week’s Sea Change Radio, Host Bill Baue speaks with Daniel Goleman about his new book, Ecological Intelligence — the followup to his bestselling Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence series.  And this week’s NewsAnalysis comes from Tania Haldar Hart, who looks at two treaties competing for adoption at the COP15 Climate Conference coming up in Copenhagen in December.

Recently, my good friend Sanford Lewis, who composed the Sea Change Radio themesong, posted a heads-up to search the terms #sustainability and #risk on Twitter.  When I did, scores of tweets linked back to the same Harvard Business Press blog, written by Dan Goleman.  The blog hit on many of the issues Dan and I had just discussed in our interview.  This example illustrates Goleman’s skill at identifying issues at that hit core concerns, as he did with his landmark books, Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence.

His latest book, Ecological Intelligence, proposes a paradigm shift — from consumerism as environmentally destructive, to using our purchasing power to push for products that benefit society and the environment.  Goleman met Baue at the WMUA studios recently for a broad-ranging conversation about the book.

The conversation started with Baue asking Goleman how the notion of ecological intelligence relates to, and differs from, emotional and social intelligence.  Goleman explains how radical transparency (a notion he developed based on research by Archon Fung of the Harvard Kennedy School) through new information systems can provide detailed information on products’ ecological impacts. Goleman cited the example of the GoodGuide website, which ranks the social and environmental performance of thousands of products.

After the main interview ended, Baue remembered the specific example of Hannaford’s Supermarkets, which devised its own “Guiding Stars” nutrition labeling for the foods it sells. Goleman was gracious enough to spend a few extra minutes describing this example and its broader significance in this WebExtra.

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