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Aaron Hurst    

CEO, Imperative; Globally Recognized Social Entrepreneur; Author of "The Purpose Economy"

Aaron Hurst is the CEO of Imperative and a globally recognized social entrepreneur. He is a close adviser to many global brands and frequent speaker and writer on the development of the Purpose Economy.

He remains an active adviser to the Taproot Foundation where he has been the catalyst and lead architect of the $15 billion pro bono service market. He was the creative force behind the conception of the national Billion + Change campaign. Previously he worked in Silicon Valley developing the precursors to social media.

Widely known for his thought-leadership and a regular blogger for the Huffington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review and LinkedIn, Aaron is a member of the Nonprofit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50, and has been recognized as a top social entrepreneur by Fast Company, Ashoka, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Manhattan Institute and the CommonWealth Club. In 2009, he received the highest honor bestowed on an alumnus of the University of Michigan.

Aaron is the author of "The Purpose Economy" and co-author of the children's book "Mommy and Daddy do it Pro Bono" with his wife, Kara Hurst.

Aaron, Kara, and their two children live in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His favorite root vegetable is the radish.

Speech Topics


Finding Your Purpose

This informative and inspiring talk is designed equip the millennial workforce with the tools needed to be fully engaged and fulfilled at current and future work. Using groundbreaking research in positive psychology and his experience working with over 25,000 purpose-seeking professionals at Taproot, Aaron shows young professionals how to design their work to be rich in meaning and purpose. He draws on stories from professionals who have embraced purpose and meaning at work across all fields and occupations to paint a vivid picture of what purpose at work looks like for each of us. Each attendee will be guided in determining the who, why and how of their individual purposeful work journey and shown how to use this knowledge to craft a work experience in any job that is engaging, allows expression and creates meaning.

  • An overview of the myths that exist about purpose and what working purposefully actually means
  • An understanding of your individual Purpose ProfileTM and how to apply it to your work
  • Next steps to immediately begin crafting your current job into your calling

Optional: Small interactive workshop led by the Purpose Economy team on creating individual purpose statements.

Leading With Purpose

How your organization can attract and retain Millennials and other purpose-driven professionals who are motivated, engaged and committed to your mission.

Are you doing enough to attract and deeply engage purpose-driven employees? In the Purpose Economy, Aaron Hurst argues that purpose has overtaken information as the core driver of the global economy. Leaders from all industries who understand the new economy early are in the best position to capitalize on this huge market shift while fundamentally changing the nature of business. Referencing groundbreaking research in positive psychology, Aaron will first speak on attracting millennials and other purpose-driven professionals to your organization and motivating them to do their best work. Professionals who are focused on purpose and see their work as a calling have greater personal well-being and as a result are more productive and committed to their organizations. He will also address how to effectively guide your existing workforce in crafting their own jobs. A practice proven to significantly increase retention and well-being.

  • Learn what millennials are looking for at work and how to engage them
  • A guide on building community leaders within your organization
  • The three approaches to a purpose economy organization and which will work for you

Optional: Additional small interactive workshop led by the Imperative team on creating your own purpose statements and aiding your team to do the same.

Disrupting Markets

How to use the same tactics as Steve Jobs and Elon Musk to design and move a market to adopt your product, service or idea on a large scale.

Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and John Mackey didn’t just build products or even businesses. They designed and moved markets. New research combined with foundational innovation theory now make it possible for the rest of us to design strategies to do the same. Through case studies and new socio-economic research, Aaron gives leaders actionable advice on how to strategically shape any market to adopt a product or service on a large scale. As a lead architect of the pro bono movement as well as the Purpose Economy, Aaron uses his personal experience in moving global markets to provide an actionable guide on designing how an innovative idea, product or service gets adopted into mainstream culture.

  • Learn the five ways to move any market and which will work for you
  • What the adoption curve means for your idea and how to use it to your advantage
  • The step-by-step process entrepreneurs uses to engage the right users at the right time

Optional: Aaron will lead a 2-day retreat with your small group providing direct feedback on your idea and helping you craft your plan.

The Next Silicon Valley

Detroit was the hub of the Industrial Economy. Silicon Valley played the same key role in the Information Economy. What is the likely next economy and how can your city be position to be its hub and benefit from its rise? Citing breakthrough socio-economic research, Aaron Hurst argues that information is being replaced by purpose as the main driver of the global economy and the cities embracing this new economy early are positioned for economic boom. In this inspiring talk, Aaron will show government, non-profit organizations and private businesses how to spark meaningful local change with nationwide impact. The result for the city that decides to adopt the Purpose Economy as their movement will be a more engaged and fulfilled workforce, a more socially engaged citizenry and a surge in businesses that better serve people and the world.

  • Evidence and research behind the rise of the Purpose Economy
  • How the new economy will bring economic boom to your city
  • Using the five levers of social change to spark innovation and change locally

Optional: The Purpose Economy team will lead a workshop on designing a campaign to spark the change in your city.

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