Point Counter-Point

GreenBiz.com Executive Editor Joel Makower and psychologist and author Daniel Goleman explore some of the ideas presented in Goleman's new book, "Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything."
Will "radical transparency" -- the virtuous circle that develops when companies lift the veil of secrecy to reveal the ingredients and sources of their products, enabling consumers to make smarter choices -- end up moving markets toward less-harmful products, as Goleman argues? Or, in Makower's words, will it remain true that all of the data in the world won't get mainstream consumers -- the 80 percent or 90 percent who aren't true-blue green consumers -- to become part of the solution?

The first and central thread in this dialog on radical transparency is the question: "Will it be enough to yield/drive radical transformation for sustainability?" Here are a few thoughts and observations on the subject.

I can see how 20 years of watching the green marketplace would leave you a skeptic about the potential of radical transparency to move the green agenda in a substantial way. But I don’t believe the last 20 years offer apt data points for projecting the next 20. It’s the future I’m talking about, not the past.