Daniel Goleman Lobbies for Radical Transparency
Daniel Goleman is a psychologist, lecturer, and science journalist who has reported on the brain and behavioral sciences for The New York Times for many years. His 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence (Bantam Books) was on The New York Times bestseller list for a year and a half.
Goleman is also the author of Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything. The book argues that new information technologies will create “radical transparency,” allowing us to know the environmental, health, and social consequences of what we buy. As shoppers use point-of-purchase ecological comparisons to guide their purchases, market share will shift to support steady, incremental upgrades in how products are made – changing every thing for the better.
His latest book is Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body, which he has co-authored with Richard Davidson reveals the science of what meditation can really do for us, as well as exactly how to get the most out of it.
Question: What is the most transformational idea in ecological intelligence?
Daniel Goleman: Well, I think that in terms of ecological intelligence, the big idea is radical transparency. Radical transparency is presenting to individuals the previously hidden impacts of the things they buy and do and giving them choice at that moment. And it’s radical because it traces those impacts across the multitude of environmental, health, and social impacts. And also, does it in a way where you can pair choices and can make a choice that makes a difference. So I think radical transparency is the big idea. Good Guide is an example of radical transparency, Skin Deep also. That’s the big idea there. I think the big idea in emotional intelligence is, you know, that there’s another very important way to be smart in life.
The author sees radical transparency as a sustainable way forward in a smart consumer economy.
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