The Purpose Economist

  • Founder of Imperative, a venture-backed start-up connecting people to each other and purpose on a massive scale
  • 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
Linkedin Influencer
  • K12 Purpose Mindset: How can we enable teachers and parents to cultivate a purpose mindset in people before they enter the workforce?
  • New NPO Board Roles: How can we standardize human capital, technology and brand governance roles that become widely adopted in nonprofits?
  • ESG Corporate Board Role: Can we standardize an ESG role that all corporate boards adopt?
  • Purpose Economy: The 4th economic era in history in which our quest for meaning drives value creation and market forces.
  • Purpose Mindset: A set of beliefs that enables someone to optimize their life to be fulfilled and in service to people and the planet.
  • Individual Purpose Profile: Online assessment that can predict the purpose of anyone in under 10 minutes.
  • Team Purpose Profile: Online assessment that predicts the purpose and dynamics of a team based on the individual purposes of its members.
  • Peer Coaching: Online platform that enables peers to serve as coaches for each other without training; replaces the need for most professional coaching.
  • ONA Network Builder: Algorithms that match employees within a company based on predictive ONA research to drive system change in culture based on.
  • Service Grant: Packaged pro bono services that are awarded like a philanthropic grant.
  • Scope-A-Thon: Events where business executives help nonprofit leaders do consulting hours to diagnose the root cause of issues for nonprofit leaders.

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

Aaron speaks at companies, universities, and conferences around the world. We would love to learn about you event and how he can bring purpose to conversation.

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 serial social entrepreneur and a leading expert on the science of purpose and fulfillment at work. He is the founding CEO of Imperative, a venture-backed start-up, that developed the first employee purpose profiling technology that has enabled hundreds of thousand of people to discover and own their purpose at work. In 2020, he re-launched the company, creating the first enterprise peer coaching platform which has become a critical way to connect and develop employees in the hybrid workplace. By accelerating trust through meaningful conversation, the platform is emerging as one of the most promising solutions for building belonging and breaking down barriers insides companies and society.

In 2001, he founded the Taproot Foundation, where he catalyzed the $15 billion pro bono service market in the US and helped establish markets in over 30 countries. The nonprofit was one of the pioneers in building cross-sector partnerships and helped accelerate the growth of corporate social responsibility.

Aaron’s best selling 2014 book, the Purpose Economy, predicted the rise of purpose as a leading driver of economic growth and innovation. He coined the term ‘Purpose Mindset’ and in partnership with NYU developed the first commercial measure of employee fulfillment. He has led national and global studies on purpose in the workplace and in higher education in partnership with leading corporations and universities.

Aaron was one of the first Ashoka, Draper Richards Kaplan, and Manhattan Institute fellows. He has written multiple books and developed and authored Fast Company’s ‘Purposeful CEO’ series. He has written for or been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg TV, Newsweek, MIT Management Review, and Stanford Social Innovation Review. He is a TED Prize finalist and a LinkedIn Influencer. Aaron frequently keynotes corporate events and conferences. He is a third-generation graduate of the University of Michigan, where he received the Humanitarian Award.

Aaron currently lives in Seattle with his two teenage children and wife, Kara, Amazon’s head of sustainability and co-author of their children’s book, ‘Mommy and Daddy Do It Pro Bono.’

Get in Touch with Aaron



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