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The Purpose Economy, How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community is Changing the World

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A series of shifts are happening in our economy: Millennials are trading in conventional career paths to launch tech start-ups, start small businesses that are rooted in local communities, or freelance their expertise. We are sharing everything, from bikes and cars, to extra rooms in our homes. We now create, buy and sell handcrafted products in our local communities with A series of shifts are happening in our economy: Millennials are trading in conventional career paths to launch tech start-ups, start small businesses that are rooted in local communities, or freelance their expertise. We are sharing everything, from bikes and cars, to extra rooms in our homes. We now create, buy and sell handcrafted products in our local communities with ease. Globally recognized entrepreneur, founder of Taproot Foundation and CEO of Imperative, Aaron Hurst, argues in his latest book that while these developments seem unrelated at first, taken together they reveal a powerful pattern that points to purpose as the new driver of the American economy. Like the Information Economy, which has driven innovation and economic growth until now, Hurst argues that our new economic era is driven by connecting people to their purpose. It's an economy where value lies in establishing purpose for employees and customers through serving needs greater than their own, enabling personal growth and building community. Based on interviews with thousands of entrepreneurs, Hurst shows this new era is already fueling demand for a whole host of products and services and transforming how millennials view their careers. A new breed of startups like Etsy, Zaarly, Tough Mudder, Kickstarter, and Airbnb are finding new ways to create value by connecting us with our local communities. At the same time, companies like Tesla and Whole Foods are making the march from just appealing to affluent buyers to becoming mainstream brands. Hurst calls these companies, along with the pioneering entrepreneurs who founded them, the Purpose Economy's taste-makers. This book is at once a personal memoir of Aaron Hurst s own awakening as a purpose driven entrepreneur, when he left a well-paying tech job in 2001 to launch Taproot, creating a pathway for millions of professionals and Fortune 500 companies to volunteer for nonprofits. It's also a blueprint for a new economic era that is transforming companies, markets and our careers to better serve people and the world. Highlights: ECONOMIC EVOLUTION How did the Information Economy emerge and what does it tell us about what is next? PURPOSE AT WORK What have researchers in the last decade uncovered about what really creates purpose at work and how any job can generate purpose? CAPTAINS OF PURPOSE What are the keys to building and growing a successful organization in this new economy? MOVING PURPOSE MARKETS What do electric cars, organic food, same sex marriage and pro bono service have in


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A series of shifts are happening in our economy: Millennials are trading in conventional career paths to launch tech start-ups, start small businesses that are rooted in local communities, or freelance their expertise. We are sharing everything, from bikes and cars, to extra rooms in our homes. We now create, buy and sell handcrafted products in our local communities with A series of shifts are happening in our economy: Millennials are trading in conventional career paths to launch tech start-ups, start small businesses that are rooted in local communities, or freelance their expertise. We are sharing everything, from bikes and cars, to extra rooms in our homes. We now create, buy and sell handcrafted products in our local communities with ease. Globally recognized entrepreneur, founder of Taproot Foundation and CEO of Imperative, Aaron Hurst, argues in his latest book that while these developments seem unrelated at first, taken together they reveal a powerful pattern that points to purpose as the new driver of the American economy. Like the Information Economy, which has driven innovation and economic growth until now, Hurst argues that our new economic era is driven by connecting people to their purpose. It's an economy where value lies in establishing purpose for employees and customers through serving needs greater than their own, enabling personal growth and building community. Based on interviews with thousands of entrepreneurs, Hurst shows this new era is already fueling demand for a whole host of products and services and transforming how millennials view their careers. A new breed of startups like Etsy, Zaarly, Tough Mudder, Kickstarter, and Airbnb are finding new ways to create value by connecting us with our local communities. At the same time, companies like Tesla and Whole Foods are making the march from just appealing to affluent buyers to becoming mainstream brands. Hurst calls these companies, along with the pioneering entrepreneurs who founded them, the Purpose Economy's taste-makers. This book is at once a personal memoir of Aaron Hurst s own awakening as a purpose driven entrepreneur, when he left a well-paying tech job in 2001 to launch Taproot, creating a pathway for millions of professionals and Fortune 500 companies to volunteer for nonprofits. It's also a blueprint for a new economic era that is transforming companies, markets and our careers to better serve people and the world. Highlights: ECONOMIC EVOLUTION How did the Information Economy emerge and what does it tell us about what is next? PURPOSE AT WORK What have researchers in the last decade uncovered about what really creates purpose at work and how any job can generate purpose? CAPTAINS OF PURPOSE What are the keys to building and growing a successful organization in this new economy? MOVING PURPOSE MARKETS What do electric cars, organic food, same sex marriage and pro bono service have in

30 review for The Purpose Economy, How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community is Changing the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Natalia Coscodan

    Boring. I couldn't finish it: after reading the first half, leafed through the second. The book is a listing of standard thoughts'n'facts about the sharing economy, which the author insists on coining "The Purpose Economy". I just don't like when authors sell their philosophy as a revolutionary system, a panacea for our society. Maybe ok for the around-the-office-cooler talk. Boring. I couldn't finish it: after reading the first half, leafed through the second. The book is a listing of standard thoughts'n'facts about the sharing economy, which the author insists on coining "The Purpose Economy". I just don't like when authors sell their philosophy as a revolutionary system, a panacea for our society. Maybe ok for the around-the-office-cooler talk.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joel

    This book reinvigorated me in my pursuit of purpose and meaning in work, and reaffirmed that pursuit of purpose shouldn't mean sacrificing financial stability. Admittedly parts of the book felt like reiterations of earlier sections and kind of dragged. But there were parts that deeply resonated with me and my desires (and I suspect those of most of my generation). This book reinvigorated me in my pursuit of purpose and meaning in work, and reaffirmed that pursuit of purpose shouldn't mean sacrificing financial stability. Admittedly parts of the book felt like reiterations of earlier sections and kind of dragged. But there were parts that deeply resonated with me and my desires (and I suspect those of most of my generation).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    I think this is a great example of the attitudes of my peers. I'm excited for implementing these attitudes in my work and I'm hopeful to teach others as well. I think this is a great example of the attitudes of my peers. I'm excited for implementing these attitudes in my work and I'm hopeful to teach others as well.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Soundview Executive Book Summaries

    The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst was chosen by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the Top 30 Business Books of 2014. THE SOUNDVIEW REVIEW: Over the past decade in the American economy, many people have been turning their innovative ideas into big businesses. Millennials have been ignoring conventional career paths to start their own companies, freelance, or help our local communities. From these ventures, The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst was chosen by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the Top 30 Business Books of 2014. THE SOUNDVIEW REVIEW: Over the past decade in the American economy, many people have been turning their innovative ideas into big businesses. Millennials have been ignoring conventional career paths to start their own companies, freelance, or help our local communities. From these ventures, millennials feel a great deal of purpose in their careers. In The Purpose Economy, entrepreneur Aaron Hurst, points out that purpose is the new driver in the American economy. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary. As Hurst writes, “The Purpose Economy describes the new context and set of ways in which people and organizations are focused on creating value, and it defines the organizing principle for innovation and growth. It is an economy where value lies in establishing purpose for employees and customers — through serving needs greater than their own, enabling personal growth and building community.” Hurst presents to us the three types of purpose that represent the needs the Purpose Economy addresses: personal purpose, social purpose, and societal purpose. The Purpose Economy also offers insight on how to achieve and manage purpose for yourself and your organization. Hurst writes that before you can create purpose, you must first be self-aware. The first approach to maintaining purpose is task-focused purpose, meaning that you first need to overcome task-related challenges. The other approaches include impact-focused by seeing how your work impacts others, focus on your own identity, and financial drivers of purpose. Readers will also learn how other companies are creating value and purpose within their businesses. The Purpose Economy will help not only build a successful organization but also human-centered markets to create purpose for employees and customers alike. Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of The Purpose Economy is available here.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tony Loyd

    There is a fundamental shift, a mega-trend if you will, in our culture. The rate of change is accelerating to unfathomable speed. Technological breakthroughs compound and react to one another creating disruptions in our businesses, economy, society and even in the environment. In the midst of this wild rocket ride, a counter trend has arisen - one based on connection, humanity, purpose and meaning. Aaron Hurst has placed his finger squarely on this trend, documenting the existence of the purpose There is a fundamental shift, a mega-trend if you will, in our culture. The rate of change is accelerating to unfathomable speed. Technological breakthroughs compound and react to one another creating disruptions in our businesses, economy, society and even in the environment. In the midst of this wild rocket ride, a counter trend has arisen - one based on connection, humanity, purpose and meaning. Aaron Hurst has placed his finger squarely on this trend, documenting the existence of the purpose economy, tying personal purpose with social purpose and instructing organizations on working on purpose. Corporations spend millions of dollars per year to measure and improve employee engagement. Engagement is not a mystery. When individuals tap into their purpose, they find a passion that drives their efforts. Business leaders would be well served to read this important book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jose Papo

    This book gives a good overview to understand the new sharing economy and its present and future impacts in the Economy and in our lives

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jens Rinnelt

    We are in a paradigm shift towards a new economy - one that is built on purpose and meaning. The new economy is naturally building on previous economies. First there was the Agrarian economy. People learned to master agriculture and this led to settling down instead of wandering around in search for food. The development of the steam machine meant the beginning of the Industrial revolution. Mass production provided many people with a higher quality of life. With the development of personal compu We are in a paradigm shift towards a new economy - one that is built on purpose and meaning. The new economy is naturally building on previous economies. First there was the Agrarian economy. People learned to master agriculture and this led to settling down instead of wandering around in search for food. The development of the steam machine meant the beginning of the Industrial revolution. Mass production provided many people with a higher quality of life. With the development of personal computers and the internet the Information economy was entered. Access to information and being able to measure and analyze big data brought many new insights. The now evolving Purpose economy focuses on finding meaning and connection. This paradigm shift can be described as a human-centered revolution. The focus on output and efficiency during the Industrial economy came at the cost of the natural world. The technology used in the Information economy has led to social comparison and isolation. In the Purpose economy the existing foundation is used to reconnect to each other and the planet by using the technology that made us disconnect in the first place. Aaron Hurst provides a big picture overview of the current paradigm shift in the economy, that explains the longing for more meaning, personal growth and connection to oneself, others and the planet. The implications of this shift will have fundamental impact on businesses, through the way we work and do business. More information about the Purpose Economy on my blog: http://www.humanbusiness.eu/purpose-e...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Geert Hofman

    The book is well written and there are very good passages that can help build your purposeful entrepreneurial spirit. There are however also several drawbacks, which made me even doubt the current 4 stars I gave. First of all, I really am not convinced that a purpose based economy is the real change that we are currently confronted with. The purpose economy has always existed and has regained some focus now due to other changes. The fundamental change is the digital revolution and the way it has The book is well written and there are very good passages that can help build your purposeful entrepreneurial spirit. There are however also several drawbacks, which made me even doubt the current 4 stars I gave. First of all, I really am not convinced that a purpose based economy is the real change that we are currently confronted with. The purpose economy has always existed and has regained some focus now due to other changes. The fundamental change is the digital revolution and the way it has impacted our way of communicating. I think Hurst would classify this as the "information economy" and a stage before the current uprise of the purpose economy, but I for one have real doubts about that. Second there are some editorial errors in the book in place that are quite important. For example when summarizing the who, why and how of a purposeful organization (rather central to the understanding of the book) the how is partly a copy of the who. This is very sloppy. Thirdly, the intermezzo drawings don't really add much clarity to the content. They are a simplification that doesn't get truly reflect the nuances in the text. It would have been better if the drawings weren't there. Despite these drawbacks, it's still an interesting enough book to read and use when doing business and it stresses an aspect of current entrepreneurship that is often underestimated.

  9. 4 out of 5

    yeabsira

    Nothing groundbreaking here - if you've been learning about or working in social entrepreneurship, do-good sectors. However, if you are new to this space it's a good introduction to how the world is shifting from an industrial economy to a purpose economy where people do work that matters to them. It contains a good blend of anecdotes, some research and potential tools to assist individuals and organizations shift towards a purpose driven mindset. Personally, it was a refresher but also provided Nothing groundbreaking here - if you've been learning about or working in social entrepreneurship, do-good sectors. However, if you are new to this space it's a good introduction to how the world is shifting from an industrial economy to a purpose economy where people do work that matters to them. It contains a good blend of anecdotes, some research and potential tools to assist individuals and organizations shift towards a purpose driven mindset. Personally, it was a refresher but also provided a much needed quick burst of inspiration/reminding. Finally, I found it a bit odd that the book was shelved under self-help but I suppose I can see how... (There are mini-sections providing guiding questions in some of the chapters and at the end.) (if this book was intended for individuals already in this space, I'd give it 3 stars) Short read - 6-7 hours.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maron

    Unique book that I felt got better/more engaging towards the end. Although section one was interesting, it was a little long and I didn't find the content to be that "new." I started to get interested in the book by the time The Who, HOW and Why of Purpose in chapter six came around. I really like this model and like how it's applied in chapter ten across various well known organizations, which totally helped the distinctions come to life. I also really liked chapter twelve - The Five Ways to Mo Unique book that I felt got better/more engaging towards the end. Although section one was interesting, it was a little long and I didn't find the content to be that "new." I started to get interested in the book by the time The Who, HOW and Why of Purpose in chapter six came around. I really like this model and like how it's applied in chapter ten across various well known organizations, which totally helped the distinctions come to life. I also really liked chapter twelve - The Five Ways to Move a Market. The description of these five levers was familiar, but something about it felt very new and provided a unique lens. Not sure how I can use these five levers in my work, but I will certainly try to.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Doug Della pietra

    Excellent book! Intriguing idea that we are currently transitioning from an Information Economy primarily organized around and driven by technology to a Purpose Economy in which meaning, personal growth, strengthening relationships and connections are primary. Easy, informative, inspiring and thought-provoking read!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dara

    3.5. I found his focus on how different people are attracted to different types of purpose, very helpful. Most of what I thought useful in the book could be condensed into an article. Others might find other elements the book useful if they are thinking in terms of creating a purpose oriented business.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paige Doherty

    main concepts explored: do you serve at a society, organization, or individual level? people focus on legacy, mastery, and freedom people enjoy volunteering - but pro bono service fills both pleasure and meaning **

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kah Shanna

    Hurst makes a compelling argument for those rediscovering work/life balance. An important read for reformed corporate executives and those entering the workforce who have an aversion to cubicle life.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jakey

    Great book from Aaron Hurst, founder of the Taproot foundation. The purpose economy is a very real thing for millennials and being apart of it myself, this book helps illustrate this new era.

  16. 5 out of 5

    KT

    Worth a skim. His concept of levers of change is a useful shorthand to apply to lots of topics. Good way to sound thoughtful and smart in a pinch!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Charles River

    Becky Wilson - I hope this book helps you find purpose in your work

  18. 5 out of 5

    Filipe Charters

    a great idea but the fundamentals are aspirations. the field work is sherry picking and based in facts with *style*. nevertheless, because of the idea it's pioneering it deserves a read. a great idea but the fundamentals are aspirations. the field work is sherry picking and based in facts with *style*. nevertheless, because of the idea it's pioneering it deserves a read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Casey

    This fantastic book offers insight into what is going on, and why, with the current shift towards purpose-filled careers. Offering explanation, justification, insight and data, you would be hard-pressed to deny this shift (which many do) once you're done with the book. The last section of the book offers some useful, practical frameworks within which to progress your own organisation's goals. The first three sections of the book focus, respectively, on the purpose economy in general, its applicat This fantastic book offers insight into what is going on, and why, with the current shift towards purpose-filled careers. Offering explanation, justification, insight and data, you would be hard-pressed to deny this shift (which many do) once you're done with the book. The last section of the book offers some useful, practical frameworks within which to progress your own organisation's goals. The first three sections of the book focus, respectively, on the purpose economy in general, its application at an individual level and then at an organisational level.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Deane Barker

    I read every word of this book and I still don't understand what the author was trying to say. He's clearly trying to start a movement of some kind -- he puts "the purpose economy" up there with "the industrial economy" and "the information economy," for example -- but I can't figure out for what. The book is seemingly focused on exalting liberal-leaning millennials. The cynic in me would say that it feeds a certain type of narcissism in that respect. I read every word of this book and I still don't understand what the author was trying to say. He's clearly trying to start a movement of some kind -- he puts "the purpose economy" up there with "the industrial economy" and "the information economy," for example -- but I can't figure out for what. The book is seemingly focused on exalting liberal-leaning millennials. The cynic in me would say that it feeds a certain type of narcissism in that respect.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Yahany

    Hubiera sido excelente si el último capítulo hubiera sido más descriptivo. El modelo realmente es una lista de características y las métricas no están muy definidas. El resto es bueno, la economía está cambiando y para eso se necesitan empresas con consciencia y propósito. (Aunque me sirvió para definir mi propósito personal).

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sylvain

    Not really sure how to rank this book. The theory of an emerging Purpose Economy is interesting, but the framework used to map it is too complex, and too many new theories are crammed together. It is a visionary topic lacking a visionary and sticky writing style.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gereon Kåver

    He found an interesting trend but has problem keeping the story together

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle H Finnigan

    A fabulous "value proposition" I recommend this book to Baby Boomers that want to understand why Gen X'ers and Millennial's believe that they can change the way we do business. A fabulous "value proposition" I recommend this book to Baby Boomers that want to understand why Gen X'ers and Millennial's believe that they can change the way we do business.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anne Bradley

    This is good stuff, but it reads rather like a doctoral thesis, so I can't quite make myself recommend it for the office book club. This is good stuff, but it reads rather like a doctoral thesis, so I can't quite make myself recommend it for the office book club.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Baltazar Hernández

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marissa

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sebelius

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dewi Lammerding

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jane

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