The Purpose Economist

  • Co-founder and CEO of Imperative, the peer coaching platform
  • Founder of the Taproot Foundation and catalyst of $15 billion pro bono service market
  • Author of the groundbreaking book and top rated Amazon book, “The Purpose Economy”
  • Producer of the Annual Workforce Purpose Index
  • Recipient of highest honor of University of Michigan alumnus


The Information Economy radically reshaped every industry and corner of society. A new economic era is now emerging that again is reshaping everything from what we buy to how we work. Those cities, organizations and leaders who embrace it will be the ones that thrive in this exciting next chapter.

Working in Silicon Valley in the 1990’s, Aaron saw first hand how technology was a powerful disruptor. 20 years later, technology has commoditized nearly every product and service as we strive to make everything cheaper, more scalable and more efficient. The leaders who are standing out today are differentiating on purpose – helping their customers deepen their relationships, make an impact and grow as human beings.
Aaron’s breakthrough research enables us to understand the science of purpose at work and the powerful implications for the workforce. It has become clear that Purpose-Oriented Workers outperform their peers across all key indicators. The sciences points us to key insights on how to compete for this extraordinary talent and how to empower them to thrive.

Reach Out

To Discuss having Aaron speak at your next event...feel free to reach out. We promise lots of cartoons, Post-its and PURPOSE.

Aaron’s imperative is to empower everyone to work with purpose and in the process become positive agents for social change.

Aaron Hurst is a globally recognized systems entrepreneur who has used the science of purpose to change the way we work and service. He is the CEO and Founder of Imperative, a venture-backed startup that is reconnecting us as human beings in the workplace through peer coaching.

Widely known for his thought leadership, he is the author of The Purpose Economy (2014) and a regular advisor and thought partner for many global brands. He has written for or been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg TV, Fast Company and was named a LinkedIn Influencer.

Aaron is the founder and an active advisor to the Taproot Foundation where he was the catalyst and lead architect of the $15 billion pro bono service market. He was the creative force behind the conception of the White House’s Billion + Change campaign.

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.

An entrepreneur since 16, Aaron began his career as a social innovator at the University of Michigan, where he designed and led an educational program for local correctional facilities, subsequently becoming the first student to receive the Michigan Campus Compact Award.

Born in Aspen, Aaron has lived in Bisbee, Boulder, Brooklyn, Halifax, Ann Arbor, Prague, Chicago, and San Francisco. He currently resides in Seattle with his wife Kara Hurst (Worldwide Director of Sustainability for, their two children and dog.

Get in Touch with Aaron


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Aaron Hurst’s keynote and Imperative program have played a critical role in the culture transformation at West Elm. The content is unique, timely, accessible and actionable.  He creatively engaged the audience and his delivery was both energetic and entertaining. I can’t recommend him enough.”

Jim Brett – President West Elm