Aaron Hurst is a widely recognized social entrepreneur and authority on social innovation and public private partnerships.
Aaron’s career is dedicated to challenging and empowering the public and private sectors as well as individuals and organizations to drive our collective social, environmental and economic progress. He is the founder of the Taproot Foundation–a nonprofit organization building a national pro bono marketplace and leading the global service movement–and is a creative force behind the conception of the national Billion + Change campaign.
A member of the Nonprofit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50, Aaron is widely known for his thought-leadership and is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review and LinkedIn. He has led several groundbreaking research projects on the transferability of business competencies into the nonprofit sector as well as studies on the levers of social change and scaling nonprofit impact. He is the co-author of the children’s book, Mommy & Daddy Do It Pro Bono, and Powered by Pro Bono. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities.
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. Upon graduating, he worked in inner-city education in Chicago before landing in Silicon Valley as an early employee at two venture-backed social venture companies.
Born in Aspen, Colo., Aaron has lived in Bisbee, Boulder, Halifax, Ann Arbor, Prague, Chicago, and San Francisco. He currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife Kara Hurst, their two children and dog.
2002 Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow
2005 Ashoka Fellow
2006 Fast Company Up & Coming Social Capitalist
2006 Manhattan Institute Social Entrepreneurship Award
2007 Commonwealth Club 21st Century Visionary Award
2007 Social Venture Network “What’s Next” Award
2008 Alliance for Nonprofit Management Innovator Award
2009 University of Michigan LS&A Humanitarian Award
2009 Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival Scholar
2010 California Social Innovation Spotlight Award
2010 BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt Young Global Leader
2011/2012 Nonprofit Times Power & Influence Top 50
2012 LinkedIn Influencer