Soundview Executive Book Summaries

A Gulf Between “All Clear” and “All Safe”

The concerns related to the recent oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico aren’t limited to the immediate task of cleaning up the mess. The far-reaching ecological impact will play out over the next several years, particularly as it applies to the wildlife in the area. From a business standpoint, the commercial fishing industry in the region is bracing itself for major problems.

I was fascinated by this article in The New York Times that examines the detrimental effect of the leak on species at every spot on the food chain. While I’m sure everything will be done to return the Gulf region to “business as usual” as quickly as possible, one has to consider the repercussions for the animal that sits at the top of the food chain: the human.

One person whose insights I’d like to hear on the long-term impact of the leak is Daniel Goleman, author of Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything, a book summarized by Soundview in 2010. Goleman writes about a system for labeling products with information about the impact on the planet involved in the creation of the product. I’d like to take that concept a step farther when thinking about the situation for fisheries in the Gulf. At the point of the “all-clear,” whether it be from the EPA, FDA or other regulatory body, how quickly will consumers return to seafood products from the Gulf region? Goleman writes that consumers continue to increase their interest in a product’s background. This knowledge informs their purchasing decisions. Will the average seafood lover order a soft-shell crab if he or she is told it was recently caught along the Gulf coast?

Fortunately, I’ll have the opportunity to ask Goleman about this issue … and so will YOU! Daniel Goleman is the next guest on Soundview Live, our exclusive Webinar series. He will be presenting “Making Ecological Intelligence a Competitive Advantage” on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at Noon (Eastern). Make sure to sign up soon, and remember, subscribers attend the event FREE.


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