Nature and Biodiversity

Ideas for change: your environmental handprint

Daniel Goleman
Co-Director, Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
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Future of the Environment

The biggest challenge facing those seeking to achieve environmental sustainability through behavioural change is apathy.

Daniel Goleman argues that we are engaging the wrong part of the brain by focusing on the environmental footprint – a negative measure of what we are doing wrong.

He believes we would trigger a positive and enthusiastic response by instead talking about the environmental handprint – a measure of what we are doing right – such as cycling instead of driving or eating locally produced food.

By scaling this concept and encouraging whole communities to enlarge their environmental handprint, we could harness entrepreneurial and competitive spirit and create a market-changing drive to sustainability.

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Author: Psychologist Daniel Goleman’s seminal book, Emotional Intelligence, spent 18 months on the New York Times bestseller list. Goleman has used the concept of emotional intelligence – that IQ is not an indicator of success or abilities – to explore topics including leadership, creativity, transparency, meditation and the ecological crisis.

He is widely regarded as one of the most influential business writers and science journalists of our time and has been recognized with many awards. From his lifetime of research, Goleman’s practical lesson for us comes down to enjoying simple pleasures and “nourishing your social connections”

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