COURT DIMON: All
right, everybody. Thank you for coming. I want to welcome you to this
[email protected] presentation with our guest
Aaron Hurst today. My name is Court
Dimon, and I’m very proud to welcome
Aaron to Google today to talk about his new book,
“The Purpose Economy.” I had the pleasure of
meeting Aaron in 2005, when I joined the
Taproot Foundation, which, Aaron, I believe
you started in 2001. And for those of
you who don’t know, the Taproot Foundation
is a wonderful nonprofit organization that really
was at the vanguard, and continues to be a leader,
in the pro bono service market. And if you’re interested
in volunteering for things beyond
general cleanup or supporting soup kitchens
and things of that like and you want to donate your
professional experience, I highly recommend you check
out the Taproot Foundation, their site,
taprootfoundation.org. But when I met Aaron
in 2005, it was sort of an electrical moment. You meet him, and you just
sense this high level of energy from Aaron. He’s incredibly bright, very
warm, and very friendly. But the thing that stood
out the most for me was that Aaron is
a frenetic thinker. And I mean that in all
senses of the word frenetic. It’s rapid fire. You get into a
conversation with him. And the topics seem to veer
left, right, and center. They touch on all sorts
of different things. And you’re kind of left
reeling for a moment, wondering where is
he going with this, how is he getting from point
A, to B, to C, to D, so fast. And what I ended
up finding out was, you know, an hour, or a
day, or a week later, he’d come back to you and have a
conversation about that topic, or he’d give a
presentation on something. And what you’d
realize is that he was busy connecting
all of these dots. He was making connections,
and dissecting relationships, and rebuilding relationships. And he’d come at you with this
very clear, on-point, concise presentation of an exposition
on what you were talking about. And it was just amazing. It’s amazing to see. And it’s that attribute
of Aaron’s that allowed him to foresee the
pro bono service market and kind of lay the foundation
for that with the Taproot Foundation. And again, he’s done something
amazing, using that skill set, by dissecting the difference
between cause and purpose as well as identifying
that we’re now entering this new economic
stage– the fourth economy stage, if we could call it that
after the information economy– one that’s driven by purpose. And what he’s here to talk about
today is the purpose economy, how he came to this realization
and what it means for us, and how we, as
individual Googlers, and together as Google,
can participate and help drive this new
purposeful economy. So give it up for Mr. Aaron
Hurst and “The Purpose Economy.” [APPLAUSE] AARON HURST: Thank you, Court. And thanks, Cliff, for
putting this together. I’m going to go
back and forth here. But it’s great to be
back in this room. I think I was here maybe five
years ago talking about Taproot and excited to be here
talking about my new book and new venture, Imperative. But before I begin, I want
to explain a little bit about the background
of writing this book. Because I think it speaks
to what you just mentioned, which is, I wrote this
book in a couple months and was about to publish
it and then decided, you know what, I don’t
like this book enough. Because it’s too
much of my book. I want to be in our book. And I got the publisher to
agree to print 2,000 copies and send them to 2,000
people in my network. On every page, I
marked it up, saying, like, do you have
a better example, do you have any other
data, et cetera, and sent it out all around
the world– in China, India, all around the
world– to friends and got back just, like,
reams and reams of feedback. And the book that you see today
is actually only about 20% the book that was
based on my thinking. 80% of it came from
getting all of this input from people around the world. But one of the
pieces of feedback, which I was really
challenging, was, one guy said, why are you
writing a book no one reads? And I struggled with
what to do about that. And it’s like developing a
car for people who don’t drive or a phone for people who
don’t talk, et cetera. And the solution came
in hiring a cartoonist. You’ll see, in the book,
before each section, there’s a cartoon the lays
out sort of the summary. So you don’t actually
have to read the book. Because I wanted to be
realistic about the fact that most people don’t read. Apparently, the
business books, only 20% of those even purchased
ever get read. So hopefully, at a minimum,
you can read the cartoons. And that’s me as a cartoon. You’ll notice one thing
that’s anatomically incorrect. Can anybody guess what it is? Seth? SETH: Fingers. AARON HURST: Fingers. I actually only
have two fingers. And there, you’ll
see, I have four. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. AARON HURST: So Court was
saying, I spent a lot of time over the last five
years trying to look at different patterns,
different relationships, different trends, different
innovations, to try to figure out what was going
on overall in our economy, as I saw Taproot taking off and
saw so much change happening, from even five or
10 years ago, when I used to work in
Silicon Valley, and trying to understand what
was the fundamental underlying trend of what we saw. And I came across my
uncle’s 1978 dissertation when he was an
economist at Stanford and coined the term
“information economy.” And he had this
nine-volume dissertation, which I honestly have
not read, because I think you have to
go to DC and find it in the Library of Congress
to actually read it. But I was lucky enough
to find a synopsis of it. And it was really
interesting to see what he had started to see
happening 50 years ago, which was a fundamental
evolution in our economy. And the best way to understand
is to go back to biology. And you think about how we
started off as apes, right? Is there anyone here
who disagrees with that? OK, so you got one. What was it, guy? We started off as dolphins, or– AUDIENCE: God made us. AARON HURST: God made us. There it is. So God made us, or we
started off as apes. And over millions of years, we
evolved from apes to humans. It took millions and
millions of years. But one thing that defines
who we are as humans is we’re impatient bastards, right? We’re incredibly impatient. We’re never going to
wait for anything. And as part of
that, we were really frustrated by how
slow evolution works. We didn’t want to wait another
20 million years to evolve. We wanted to take sort of our
own destiny into our own hands. And we started with
the agrarian economy, using the land, animals, to
increase our life expectancy, increase our quality of life. But again, we grew impatient. And after a few
thousand years, we created the industrial
economy, where we started learning how to
be stronger than evolution would have ever
allowed us to be. We started to be
able to manipulate large amounts of
rock and machines, to become incredibly strong. But that wasn’t
good enough, either. And what my uncle saw was the
start of another era, where we said, we want to
hack evolution again. We want to hack it to
become smarter and be able to access and
manipulate more information, to have relationships
with more people, to be able to access
content from more places. And the information economy
arose in the late ’60s, to become the dominant driver
of the American gross domestic product. So we’ve had this evolution
that took millions of years. And then we got better at it. And we started taking
just thousands of years, hundreds of years, and
then more recently, well less than 100 years. If you take nothing
else away from today, and you think nothing I
say makes any sense to you, the one thing I’d really
challenge you with is a question, which is,
is information economy the last stop in our process
of hacking evolution? Are we done? If you look at the trend
here, it’s very unlikely. It is very likely
that we’re done. It’s more likely
that there is going to be a fourth,
fifth, sixth, seventh. We will continue to evolve, and
to hack evolution, and to make it better meet our
needs as human beings. And it’s likely getting
shorter and shorter. Just like with Moore’s
law around computing, we’re finding that
each of these eras is getting shorter and shorter. And if you look at
that on a trend line, it basically means, in
the next 10 to 20 years, we’re likely to see
another economy become the dominant economy, not
the information economy. Are any of you
entrepreneurs or consider yourselves entrepreneurial? So a few of you. So I think, as an
entrepreneur, it’s one of the most exciting
questions, which is– we’ve seen so much
disruption in the last 50 years. In the last 50 years, we’ve
seen almost everything change. We are probably 10
to 20 years away from another change of that
order of magnitude happening, and we don’t yet have
a clear path on it. And it’s an opportunity for
the next set of entrepreneurs to really remake
every industry, based on whatever this
next economy is. So I think it’s just
an important thing to wrap your mind
around– is there going to be another economy? And, if so, based on what
you see in the world, what do you think it’s going to be? As I looked around and tried
to understand the changes I saw happening all around the
world– as I traveled in China, traveled in Europe, throughout
the US, South America– what was going on? What were the little signs of
evolution that were happening? Not just rare,
one-off anomalies, but where did you see
real trends happening? And the best way I could come
to explain this in a clear way was going back to Psychology 101
and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and looking at the fact that,
over time, what we’ve basically been doing is trying to
hack each of these levels to become able to be sort
of masters of our domain, where we first really focused
on biological and physiological needs. And we started moving up
to safety needs, et cetera. And as we moved up
this, we actually started focusing
on the next one. And as we look at the
millennial generation, and you look at what drives
the millennial generation, millennials around
the world– and this is not true of every
social economic class but those that are really at
the forefront of innovation– they’re no longer scared
of where is my next bed, where is my next meal,
how am I going to survive. The fear is, am I going to
have a life that matters? Am I going to have
a life with meaning? Does my work matter? It’s a fundamental
fear of not mattering, of not having made an impact. This is the thing that we’re
hearing over and over again. And we’re seeing innovation
around people wanting and being scared of a life
without meaning. And it’s changing labor. It’s changing products. It’s changing retail. This fundamental desire to
have a life that matters is a thing that is
defining this generation. So that, along with a
lot of other variables which I won’t bore you with, has
really led me to the conclusion that this next economy,
this fourth economy, is going to be one driven
by man’s quest for purpose. Now that we’ve hacked and become
faster, stronger, and smarter, we’re now hacking evolution
to become human beings again and to bring meaning
and human nature back to who we are and hacking all
of these great tools we’ve built so that they can actually
improve our quality of life on a much more meaningful level. So, as Court said, I founded
the Taproot Foundation in 2001, with the goal of making sure
that every nonprofit has access to the marketing,
technology, HR, strategy support they
need to be successful. Because I had worked
in the nonprofit sector and knew that these
organizations, without those resources,
are not set up for success. And so many corporate
volunteer programs were not focused on meeting
them with what they needed. They were just doing the
things that were easy, not the stuff that
actually made an impact. And over 12 years, we scaled the
organization around the world, working with dozens of
companies and really focusing on building
a marketplace for this new form of
philanthropy, parallel to cash, a marketplace for pro bono
services, for human capital, to meet these core needs. I mean, imagine Google
if you had no technology, HR, or marketing
department, right? It would be pretty
hard to survive. We built this out to the point
where, when I left Taproot, it was a $15 billion
marketplace for pro bono services around the US, and
then global markets around it, from schools, to
companies, et cetera. But ultimately, I left
because of exactly what you mentioned earlier. I started seeing a bigger trend
emerging, and a more important one, which was,
that when we talked to people who did
pro bono work, this is consistently what we heard. I find pro bono work
so much more rewarding than my paycheck job. And at first, we were,
like, hot damn, we did it. Ha! We created Disneyland for work. We created the ultimate,
funnest, awesomest, most rewarding form
of work there is. But then we took a step back and
realized we had done just that. We had created a Disneyland. We had created a place that you
go and have an amazing time, but when you come back, it’s
not even anything remotely close to Disneyland and that,
ultimately, the question is not how to create Disneyland. It’s how do you make sure
what you’re doing 40, 50, 60, 70 hours a week
fundamentally feels more like pro bono work and meets
our needs as human beings. We can’t continue to take
supplements to make up for work that no longer
meets the needs that we have as human beings. So my new goal,
of my new company, is no longer how
do we make pro bono accessible to every nonprofit. It’s a much scarier goal,
which is much more exciting, which is, how do we make all
work feel like pro bono work? How can we radically
redesign work so that all work feels
like pro bono work? So this sort of raises
the question, overall, of, like, what is purpose? What is meaning? And does anyone have an answer? What is the meaning
of life, anyone? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] 42? AARON HURST: 42. That’s the answer I
got from, I think, it was actually someone
from Google in Dublin a couple weeks ago. So clearly, “The
Hitchhiker’s Guide” is doing well in
the Google culture. So this is a tough question. And if you look
throughout history, back in the day,
when I was a caveman, we used to stay up late at
night, looking at the stars, wondering what the
meaning of life was. I was raised Buddhist. And it’s one of
many religions that spends its time contemplating
what is the meaning of life, why are we here,
what are we doing. The great philosophers
spent most of their time wondering
what is the meaning of life. And today, talk show
hosts, like Oprah, spend a lot of time pondering
what is the meaning of life. And I have great news for
you, which is I have no clue. That is not what I’m
talking about today. What I am going to share with
you is that, in the last 5 to 10 years, scientists
have been able to determine, to a large degree, what is it
that actually defines meaning and purpose when
it comes to work. Not the rest of your life, but
at least when it comes to work, what drives purpose,
what drives meaning. And it’s been amazing. And it’s basically a
set of researchers, from Penn, the
University of Michigan, and Yale, have been behind
incredible breakthroughs in this work. I mean, I think of it
as like when we first were able to
commercialize the internet and what that enabled
in terms of change in the economy and
change in society. This new research is
just as break-through in my mind in terms of enabling
us to understand finally what actually generates
purpose at work. And I’m going to
share with you some of those highlights,
because I think that’s really critical
to the future. And as Court said, I
think the first thing I struggled with was that I
had been practicing malpractice for about 12 years and
giving terrible advice to professionals all around the
world about how to find purpose and meaning at work. And it wasn’t until I saw the
research that I was, like, uh, duh, I totally
missed the point here. And it was really,
really profound for me and I want to share with you,
before I define what generates purpose, to help
you understand some of these myths about purpose
that I had been holding and had been giving as bad
advice for about a decade. The most important is the myth
that purpose and cause are the same thing or that
they are even connected. Like when a 22-year-old
comes to me and says, I want more meaning
in my work, but I can’t figure out
what my cause is. Is it kittens? Is it dogs? Is it health care? Is it wells in Africa? Like, I haven’t been able
to find out my cause. And we tend to
think that cause is the thing we need to have
a career rich in purpose. This is incredibly prevalent. And the reality is,
much like this lady from the Upper East
Side in New York, many people have many causes
in their lives and no purpose. Does anybody know anybody
who has a lot of causes, like they go on
Facebook or LinkedIn, and they check off
all of their causes, but they don’t really
have any purpose? Anyone? Some nods? A couple. But similarly, do
you guys know anybody who has tremendous
purpose in their work but doesn’t have a single
cause that you could name? These things are not connected. And we can’t continue to rely
on causes as the way in which we connect with people of purpose. And as I’ve talked to
executives at large companies around the world,
I think they’re starting to realize that
cause marketing, like all of these things
we’ve been doing, aren’t actually addressing
what the core need is. And they tend to be fads. They tend to come and go. People can find
purpose in many causes. And having worked with
the nonprofit sector, many people at large
nonprofits actually do pro bono work at
small nonprofits, because they don’t find
any purpose working at a large nonprofit. It’s really fascinating
that nonprofits don’t generate necessarily any
more purpose than a company. It’s a complete
misunderstanding of the nature of how purpose works. The other two myths are that
purpose is a revelation. And this one sounds
ridiculous at first. But I’m guessing
most of you have this myth in your head,
which is that purpose is going to find you. You’re going to open up “The
New York Times Sunday Magazine” and read an article
and find purpose, or that you’re going
to go to Africa and see someone
struggling and be, like, I have found
my purpose, right? It’s amazing how much we think
purpose is something that happens to us and comes
to us by revelation. I was at Oxford a
couple weeks ago, talking to a bunch
of graduate students. It was a wonderful discussion. I shared this research. And they all looked
incredibly depressed. And I thought, OK, what’s
going on here, guys? This was people from
all around the world. And they said, without
exception, every one of them had gone to graduate
school, because they thought they would have a
revelation about purpose and that they would graduate
with a revelation about what their purpose in
their career was. And they had sort of
come to the realization through this, that,
wow, like, I’m probably not going to
graduate with a revelation. And I think so
many of us are sort of waiting for that revelation,
instead of realizing purpose is within us and that
we have to make purpose. We have to create
it in our lives, not wait for it to happen to
us, not go $150,000 in debt to get an MBA that we
think will give us purpose, when, in fact, it’s not how
we’re going to find purpose. And the third myth is
that purpose is a luxury. We tend to think
that purpose is only for those who can afford it. It’s only once you have
earned enough money or if you have a
certain level privilege or you’re middle-class that
you’re allowed to have purpose. And this myth is most common
among middle and upper-class folks, because they
project onto people who are of lesser
economic status and say, how could you
possibly have purpose if you’re poor, right? And it’s not meant
to be patronizing. It’s not meant to be insulting. But it’s a lack
of understanding. I would argue, often the
people with the least means have the most purpose. Most of the senior execs
I know have less purpose than the folks who are at the
entry level in most companies. I had the most
purpose in my career when I was probably
22, when I was actually able to have authentic
relationships, do coding myself, do
things that actually created a sense of progress. And it’s interesting. We were over at
LinkedIn, and we were talking to them the other day. And they were saying how one
of their most senior folks just demoted himself three
levels, because he was, like, I get so much more purpose
from working as a manager than I did as a VP. And if you think about
universities, among academics, it’s considered a demotion
to make dean, right? Like, everyone fights
to not be the dean. And yet, in
companies, everyone’s fighting to be the dean and
not realizing, actually, it’s much better to be the
professor than to be the dean. We tend to move ourselves out
of purpose and into these higher roles that are much harder
to generate purpose in. The best, I think, example of
the fact that purpose is not a luxury is Viktor Frankl. How many of you
know Viktor Frankl? So he’s one of the most sort of
famous writers about meaning. And he found that
it was purpose that enabled him to survive being a
slave in a concentration camp during World War II. It was finding purpose
every day as a slave. So I tend to think, unless
your work environment is worse than being a slave in
a concentration camp, there is really no excuse. It’s really on you, if
he was able to do that. And it really points to the fact
you don’t have to have a yacht, you don’t have to
have a private plane, you don’t even
have to own a home to have purpose in your work. So the next question
I looked at, sort of coming from
my Taproom lens, trying to get my head around
what is purpose actually, were these two scenarios. These are two women who
have the exact same job. And the cartoonist added a cat. I’m not sure why. But even the cat is much
happier in the second picture. So one is miserable
and has no purpose. The other one has
tremendous purpose. But they’re doing
the exact same job. It doesn’t make any sense. It shouldn’t be possible
that two people, in the exact same job, one
experiences tremendous purpose, the other one doesn’t. What’s going on here? The second one is my man, Dr.
Pickle, who is in Brooklyn. He’s a local pickle merchant. He makes pickles,
and he sells pickles, and he smells like pickles. This guy’s job sucks, right? And he has so much
purpose and is so happy. So my question was,
what’s wrong with him? How can this guy have
purpose and be happy, probably making not that much
money, smelling like vinegar and hawking pickles
all day, right? Again, what’s going on here? What do we actually understand
about the science of purpose? This guy doesn’t work at Google. Like, how could he
be happy, right? The research really
shows that there are three ways
people look at work. And this is an
important distinction I want to make sure is clear. And it’s not like every day. It has to do with if somewhat
interviewed you and said, what is the purpose
of work itself? People tend to fall into
one of three categories around how they have a mental
construct in their head, that they carry usually
throughout their entire lives about what the rule of work
is, that largely comes out of their childhood and
adolescence when it’s formed. The first is job. I work so that I can afford to
have a life outside of work. It’s a necessary evil. These people tend
to be coin-operated. They tend to be people who
work as a necessary evil. They just do it for the money. It’s an ability to
generate resources. And that’s the contract. What is work for? It pays the bills. The second one is career. These people tie work to ego. They tie it to their identity. Like, when they go back to
their high school reunion, they want to be able to
say, I worked at Google, I am a doctor, I am
whatever it is, and know that they’ll be thought of well. They want their mommy and daddy
to be able to be proud of them. And that’s the story. It’s tied to identity. And the third is calling, which
are people who fundamentally see work as something that
adds value to the world. They see the act of work
itself to be something of value and something
of purpose and meaning. It’s sort of the easiest
way to understand this. Does that make sense? So what’s fascinating about
this is, first of all, the researchers find
that those with a calling have higher satisfaction
with their lives and with their work. And in most regards,
they’re better employees. They’re more loyal. They’re more collaborative,
dot, dot, dot. So this is not necessarily
like diversity. Oh, isn’t it wonderful,
we have some people here that were into jobs,
some were into career, some were into calling. Calling is a better place
to be as an individual and for a company to have
employees of this mindset. What’s fascinating
is, in the research they’ve done so far, in the
United States, roughly a third of Americans see
their work as a job. A third see it as a career. And a third see it as a calling. It breaks down roughly to
a third, a third, a third. But what’s more interesting
is that it doesn’t really matter what the job is. So for doctors, roughly a third
of doctors see it as a job. It’s really good, regular pay. It pays well. It’s stable. Like, I know I’m going to
be set for life by just being able to be a doctor. A third see it as a career. Mommy and Daddy are so
proud that I’m a doctor. I’m going to go to
a cocktail party. I’m a doctor. No one’s going to be
like, oh, sorry to hear that, such a failure. And a third see it as a calling. And they actually see
the act of medicine and doing the work
as fundamental, like adding value
to the world is the primary driver
of what they do. But the same thing is true
of this guy depicted here, who is an executive assistant. A third of executive
assistants see work as a job, a third as a career, and
a third as a calling. So it’s fascinating,
and it leads only to one strong conclusion,
which is, purpose is a choice. If you can have
the exact same job, like those two
women with the cat, and have one that has tremendous
purpose and one who doesn’t, the only conclusion
you can really draw is it’s a choice, especially
if it doesn’t really depend what the
career is, et cetera. And I guess an incredibly
important thing to understand as individuals. As we tend to externalize
our need for purpose, we tend to look for
others to give us permission to have purpose,
for others to hand us purpose, when, in fact, the only
conclusion you can really draw is that it’s up to you. That doesn’t mean certain jobs
aren’t a better fit for you. It doesn’t mean certain
jobs don’t give you more purpose than others. But at the end of
the day, at the core is whether or not you
see work fundamentally as about adding value, and
how do you optimize that? So what is purpose? Purpose is relationships. It’s about working
with other people. You can generate purpose on your
own, but not for a long, right? Purpose is something that we get
from working with other people, interacting with other
people, serving other people. It’s about doing something
greater than yourself. But that doesn’t
mean it’s a cause. You don’t have to have a cause. It could just be
helping a friend. It could be helping a co-worker. It could be working
on a product that makes a few people’s
lives a little bit easier. It doesn’t have to be
this grandiose vision. It’s fundamentally
just about doing something that’s
not just about you. And the third is personal
growth and challenge, right? We get purpose when we
grow, when we stretch, when we lean into our fear. That is something that
generates purpose for us. These are the three things
that general purpose. And it is fascinating. We’re doing this whole project
around what’s the next Silicon Valley? Because Silicon Valley has
been the hub of the information economy, just like Detroit was
for the industrial economy. And as Silicon Valley
potentially becomes more like Detroit, another
Silicon Valley will likely emerge
around this new economy, if you look at
historic trending. So we have been going
around the world helping cities think
about how can you become this hub of
the new economy. And last week, we
were in Dallas. And we went out and, on the
street, just interviewed 200 random people–
taxi drivers, policemen, bankers,
across the board– and asked them, when
was the last thing that you remember that you
got purpose in your lives around, right? And this was a warm-up exercise
for the people involved in this conference we did. And it was fascinating,
just to hear, everything fit into these
three categories yet again. And no matter what the diversity
was, what part of world they came from, purpose
is driven and created out of these three things. So how do you act on this? How do you, as an individual,
build purpose into your work? But also, how do you, as a
company, organization manager, help others generate purpose? And I think this is
an early-day science. This is like the web back when
I worked in technology in 1997, where it was just static images. This was like the early days. But here is what we
understand about how to generate purpose
for yourself. All of the research
points to self-awareness as being the most
critical first step. You need to understand what
generates purpose for you. Because not everyone gets
purpose from the same things. And that’s why the first
thing we did at Imperative, my company, was create
the first-ever purpose diagnostic that, in
about 15 minutes, can help you determine which
of sort of 24 different purpose types you are, so you can
start to actually become more self-aware about what actually
generates purpose for you. Because not everyone’s the same. The second one is
to craft your job around what gives you purpose. And I think Google is one
of the great companies when it comes to this. Not to say it’s perfect–
it’s never perfect– but I think you guys are
often cited in this way. And I’ll talk more about this. But we often think
about jobs like we do clothes, where you go and
you just buy stuff off the rack. You don’t necessarily tailor
it to actually fit you well. And I think the same
thing with jobs. We tend to take the
job description, but we don’t tailor
it to actually fit us. We think of the
job description as, like, the final product
instead of the start of the conversation,
that needs to be tailored to meet our own
individual purpose needs to make that work. The third is to connect
personal purpose to organizational purpose. So we’re working right now
with a large company that has 10,000 new employees
starting in September. And what we’re doing
with them is making sure every employee, when they
start at that company, has an understanding of what
generates purpose for them but then also a translation
of their personal purpose into the organization’s
purpose, so they can understand how they
are generating purpose at that organization and
connect those dots, which is so critical to understand
the context in which you work. The fourth is to celebrate
and connect around purpose. Most companies celebrate the
jobs mentality and the career mentality, right? Our company just made our
quarterly earnings report. We just got featured in
“The New York Times.” Like, these are the things that
are about ego and resources. They’re not about purpose. Cultures that actually celebrate
the generation of purpose are much more likely to then
build a culture and support people around purpose. We’re also doing some
incredible experimentation around the role of purpose
in social networks. And what we’ve
done internally is we asked people on our
team to identify someone in our database who has the
exact same purpose type as them but has a job that they would
never want and thinks sucks. Like, pick someone over
there who was doing something that you would never want to do. And shoot them an
email, and say, hey, can we get together and talk
about what you do for a living? I’m really curious
to hear how you generate purpose in that job. And two things
consistently happen. The first is they
become immediate BFFs. They’re, like, oh, my god. Me, too. I totally love that, right? Because they’re of
the same purpose type, and they connect on a totally
different level than they do with other people. The second thing
we’ve heard almost always is, that sounds
like such an awesome job. I would totally
love to do that job. This is a job that
they decided and they picked because they thought
it would suck, right? And the reason this is, is,
one, our social networks today don’t connect us based
on the things that matter. They connect us
around universities. They connect is around
jobs, gender, ethnicity. They don’t connect us on who
we are as human beings, right? So social networks are
incredibly shallow. The second thing
is, we tend to get career advice from
the wrong people. We get career
advice from someone who is of a different
purpose type, and they describe
what that job is like for someone of
their purpose type. They don’t describe it from
the perspective of someone who shares a purpose
type and therefore looks at it through the same lens. So when we talk to our parents,
coworkers, our parents’ friends, someone we
meet at a conference, we’re getting it through
the filter of how they find purpose, not how
you find purpose. And therefore, it’s incredibly
misleading data, right? It’s bad data. And this, we’re finding, is
an incredibly powerful way to change the way we
do social networking. So I want to talk a little bit
about this job crafting, which has been studied, again, by
those three universities. And I think it’s really
important in understanding how work needs to change. And work is going to change. I mean, by the end of this
decade, 40% of the work force is going to be freelancers, 40%. The average job tenure
now is two years. People are working
in portfolio careers. Like, work is
radically different than I knew it when
I came out of college and insanely radically
different than my parents. Job crafting, to me, is like
the most promising sort of wave approaching this. And I mentioned it earlier. So I wanted to go through a
little bit of the case study and what the researchers saw. This is a hospital orderly
or cleaning person. Does anyone know anyone
who is in that profession? Not one. So I can make up complete
lies, and none of you will know any different. Awesome. So this is one of the worst
jobs out there for two reasons. You’re literally
cleaning up shit, and you’re treated like shit. So these people
literally are having to clean up after dead bodies,
people who have just thrown up everywhere, people who
have, like, wounds. I mean, they’re
literally doing, like, fundamentally dirty work, right? Secondly, nurses and doctors–
and in reading this research, like, I came to tears
several times– treat these people worse
than any career I’ve ever heard, in terms of
treating them as subhuman– and that language is
literally used– treating them like furniture, disrespecting
them in so many different ways. And the next time you’re
at a hospital, watch. You’ll see how they’re not
even thought of as human beings and how they’re treated
around the hospital. But again, a third of these
people roughly love their jobs and find them incredibly
full of purpose. So the question
became, what the hell was wrong with these people? How dare they like their jobs,
given how awful they are, right? What were they doing
to make this viable? And what was interesting
was, when the doctors and nurses weren’t looking,
they were singing to patients. They were dancing with patients. And many of them were
telling jokes, not part of their job description. They were crafting it
in a different way. They described their work
as, as important as doctors and nurses. And if you asked
them, what’s your job, they take care of patients. They don’t see patients solely
as someone to clean up after. They actually saw it that
way, even though that was not part of their job description. And the most moving thing I
read was, in a long-term care facility, they actually
move art around so that patients wouldn’t
have to look at the same art. They frequently were
doing things, way more than doctors or nurses, to help
people’s family and friends connect with them and to help
provide emotional support to them, because doctors
and nurses were too busy and didn’t care. They were often like the
front-line social workers. They were the ones helping to
provide connections for folks. They had made themselves
into a vital part of the caring
institution, not just someone who cleans
up a mess, right? They had not changed their job. None of them stopped cleaning. None of them stopped
doing their job. But they changed that 10%
to 20% that fundamentally went from being a bad
job into a great job, because they crafted it, they
tailored it to their needs and their need for purpose. They did this around
three things, the tasks that they actually
did– so it was not one of their tasks to sing. It was not in their
job description. No one tested them
when they took the job to see what jokes they
could tell– relationships– they changed fundamentally the
relationship with a patient from someone who makes a
mess to someone I care for– and they changed perception. Their job was not just cleaning. Their job was to be
the human being that’s connecting with these patients,
because doctors and nurses were most often not acting
like human beings, right? They had crafted the job
to make it rich in purpose. And again, if they can
do this in a job that’s that dirty and
that disrespected, again, there’s
very little excuse for how we can’t, in any
job we have in this room, figure out how we can do the
equivalent of singing, dancing, and telling jokes, caring for
families, moving art around. There is so much more we
can do to optimize purpose. And I think this is
the key for managers– it’s the key for, like,
the next generation of HR– to try to help us all
do that 10% to 20% crafting to really make it ours,
instead of just taking a job description as
off-the-rack clothing that just kind of fits, right? I saw this happen somewhere
that I would least expect it. I went into this company,
Cornerstone Capital, in Midtown in New York. And it’s all people wearing
black suits, investment bankers. And I was, like,
finally, I found a place where there’s no chance there
is purpose in this place, right? There’s no way, right? And I walk in the
door, and, like, you could literally
feel waves of purpose coming out of the office. And I was, like, what the
hell is going on here? This is not right. How dare there be purpose
in Midtown, right? So I went and met with the
CEO, and I asked her, like, what’s going on? Your culture is insane. It’s so awesome. These folks are,
like, so incredible. What is your secret recipe? And what I found out was,
that, without technology, without academics,
without anything, she had naturally,
organically, created a culture of job crafting,
of exactly what I had just described. And she did it in a really
simple but profound way. She asked people regularly,
hey, how are you doing? How many of you ask
that of other people? And how many of you
actually mean it? So I’m one of those people
who usually doesn’t. I’m usually, hey, what’s up? It’s like you’re
just in passing. Hey, what’s going on? They’re like, hey,
good to see you, right? She actually asks,
and she really wants to know the answer. And if someone says, oh I’m
having a good day, she says, that’s not good enough. You need to tell me what
today made it a good day. What was that purpose moment? What was that moment that
made it a good day, right? And she asks this over a
couple weeks or a month. And she starts to
see patterns emerge. And based on that, she
starts to change their jobs. She starts to find them projects
that she knows would likely create those moments she saw. She crafts their jobs around
who they are as human beings, based on a process of job
crafting in real time. And this is something
that we can all do for each other, right,
just by asking each other, how was your day, and asking
for moments that matter to them, and helping them recognize
moments of purpose, and finding ways, when we come
across our product, to say, hey, that looks like a great
project for this person, because I know these are the
kind of things that are going to generate purpose for them. You don’t have to be a CEO. You don’t even have
to be the manager. You can do this for
co-workers, by simply helping them become aware
of what’s generating purpose for them, and helping
push them, and helping them get to access
these other things. From my point of view, and
what I’ve seen and heard reinforced as I’ve traveled
across the world talking about this book and
the work at Imperative, is that the purpose
economy is coming. In the next 10 to
20 years, we’re likely to see a major
shift in every industry. And we’re already seeing it in
retail, finance, health care. We’re seeing radical changes
that are all around humanizing industry again, bringing
it back to purpose. And there are really
two choices you have. You can bust out an umbrella,
or you can bust out a surfboard. And if you bust out
a surfboard, you have a much greater chance of
not only surviving but also having a great time
in the process. And that’s my core
message, which is, this change is happening. How can you anticipate
it, grab your surfboard and enjoy it, and
make the most of it? Because I think it’s going to
be an incredibly thrilling time. It’s going to be a time of
great innovation and innovation that’s fundamentally about
our needs as human beings. You know, I think
it’s interesting, as Google– because
you guys are, you know, an 800-pound
gorilla in the information economy right now–
to think about, how does this company
continue to thrive that way but, at the same time,
prepare for the next economy and not do what
Detroit did, which was assume that what
got them there was going to be what keeps
them there, right? That was Detroit’s hubris. And the question is,
will Silicon Valley have the same hubris of
thinking– the information economy is the last stop
on the train– or will they fundamentally see whether
or not this is just one step and a need to constantly
evolve and not just rest on what worked in the past. So with that, I want to
open it up for discussion. I also wanted to share
my email address. It’s really important to
me to always be accessible. As you saw in writing my
book, all the work I do is done by a community. And I’m really
excited to have you guys as part of that community,
helping me to identify, as Court said, these different
trends that are going on and opportunities
in this new economy so that we can really,
together, build an economy that’s
built for human beings. So with that, if
there’s any questions, I would love to open it up. AUDIENCE: So the
purpose diagnostic you mentioned, is that
available to the public, anyone can go on your site and take it? AARON HURST: Yeah,
yeah, it’s a free tool that we built on the website
as sort of our first step in the building out of our
platform, which is really going to be about helping
you discover purpose and then connect to people,
jobs, opportunities, projects that will
generate a purpose for you based on who you are. AUDIENCE: OK, great. That’s terrific. AARON HURST: Yeah. So yeah, check it out. The price is right. [LAUGHTER] AARON HURST: Yeah? AUDIENCE: Earlier you mentioned
the three different areas, whether it’s calling or
career, and you said something like it’s kind of instilled
early on and how you’re raised. Do you have any best
tactics to maybe fight against if you think you
might have been raised one way or your parents
were kind of on one side but you feel like the
calling purpose is really what’s going to elevate
how you do your daily work and everything? AARON HURST: Yeah,
there hasn’t been a lot of research on
how to actually shift it once it’s set in
your adolescence. So I think the first
thing I would say– is anyone a parent in
this room, anyone aspiring to be a parent at some
point in their lives– I think it’s so
important as a parent to understand what role
you play in imprinting this on your kids, especially
in their adolescence, around how do you
model for them. It doesn’t have
to be what you do, but it’s what they
perceive, right? So even if you, deep
down, really are this job, but you recognize for your kid
to be better to be calling, see if you can trick them. They need to perceive
you as thinking about work as something
that adds value and not practicing coming
home from work complaining about work and how awful it
is, instead bringing home the questions and seeing
work as an integrated part of your life. So that’s the most
important thing, is just to be parents who
model this the right way. I think if you haven’t
been raised that way and you’re trying to
figure out how do you change that, my sense of
it, from what I’ve read, is that the first step is you
have to let go of that story. Because we each walk
around with stories that make our life workable. They’re the things that
help explain our behavior, explain the way the world works. And it’s incredibly scary
to let go of those things, because those are
the things that make us feel comfortable
operating in the world. So before you can build
a new perspective, you have to, to some
degree, let go and tear down that old model. And that’s a really hard
and scary thing to do. And I think it’s
probably something that requires something
like a boot camp to get yourself to
just let go of that and to feel like you’re still
OK naked without that story. And then starting to
become self-aware– and I think the best
practice is just daily journaling of nothing
longer than a tweet, like just a sentence or two,
of what was a moment today that brought you purpose–
and starting to build self-awareness
about the fact that purpose is in
your job already. It’s all around you. But you have to build up an
appreciation, a consciousness of it and not just take
that all for granted. We had someone take this
purpose diagnostic on our site. And he emailed us and said,
shit, I just quit my job. And I just realized, by
taking this diagnostic, I shouldn’t have quit my job. I was getting so much
purpose, but I was taking it for granted and just assumed
you could get that in any job. And I realize now how much I
love the people I worked with, how I was doing something
greater than myself, and how much opportunity
I had for growth. But it just sort of was always,
like, the grass was always greener. So it’s so important
just to take stock of what you already have. AUDIENCE: So it
sounds really great, if the purpose
economy is coming. But why do you have such a
rosy forecast for the future? Because I think,
you know, there’s plenty of kind of cynicism and
dehumanization in the world and in all of the
future forecasts. AARON HURST: Yeah. AUDIENCE: So why are
you so optimistic that that will change? AARON HURST: I’m an optimist. So I’ll start with that. Like, if this was AA, I’d
be, like, my name is Aaron, and I’m an optimist. I have found that, first of
all, optimism tends to breed results, whereas
pessimism doesn’t. So in building this case,
building this story, building a community
of people around it, it’s infinitely more
likely to happen. So first of all. I think, second of all, is I
look at, again, health care. I look at finance. I look at retail. I look at education. And I look at where the
innovation’s happening. And there are a lot of
things we have to overcome. But I look at where
the innovation is. There’s a lot of
reason for hope. And I think there
are a lot of trends that are happening around
the world around us that point to purpose and point to
these innovations as what’s happening. And I see in the
millennial generation the greatest reason for hope. And I think the millennial
generation values purpose more than any previous generation. Because, again, it’s
a generation that’s about relationships, it’s
about doing something greater than themselves, and it’s
about personal growth. So I feel like, with
this generation, there is so much reason for
hope and to clean up so many of the messes that have been
made by previous generations, to be candid. And I think that that
generation in and of itself is probably the one that gives
me the greatest hope for this. You know, I’m a
Jewish New Yorker, and I can paint you a really
horrible picture the world. And I can, right now,
tell you the perfect case for why I don’t even think
the human race will be here in five years, if you
wanted to go down that path and think about a
doomsday scenario. But I think there’s a lot
more reason for optimism than pessimism right now. And every time I meet
with a millennial, and every time I meet with
one of these companies or nonprofits or
governments that’s innovating in this
space, it’s hard to not walk away incredibly optimistic. AUDIENCE: So is this sort
of another way of saying, purpose-driven
people and companies out-compete other
people in companies, and so they’re going to
gain market mindshare in the world over the next year? AARON HURST: Yeah. So this is what I
think will happen. I’m already seeing
this in the data. From a workforce point
of view, employers that aren’t able
to provide purpose to their employees and
individual employees who are not purpose-oriented
are going to find that the market is
not as responsive to them. So it is going to become
economically in your best interests to be purpose-driven
as an individual and as an organization
to be able to create the place those
people want to work. Because it’s going to
be increasingly obvious, those are the people you
want in your company. So that’s sort of one,
which goes to that data. And you see that, by the way. Like, all the major
consulting firms now, they lead almost
entirely with purpose as what they’re selling. And, in fact, their
big conference is around marketing purpose. Like, that’s what
consulting firms are now having to sell to get the
best talent into their firms and not just about pro bono. And I think the other big
piece is around retail, right? And you see what’s
happening with retail and the fundamental shifts. And you see that in
the maker economy. You see it in the
sharing economy, across all these
different innovations. More and more of
these industries are being disrupted
by disintermediated, purpose-oriented businesses. And that’s going to
also create that change. So you have it both
from the workplace and from a retail perspective
seeing that change. Is it guaranteed? No. I would guarantee
that there will be another economy
after this one. I think it’s going
to be purpose. I, again, very sincerely say,
to a group of very smart people, think about it, and tell me what
you think the next economy is, if you think it’s
something else. AUDIENCE: Do you see this as
a US phenomenon or global? Or how is it in
different countries? AARON HURST: Good to see you. I have experienced it globally
as I have travelled around the world. And I haven’t traveled
to every country. I haven’t even traveled
to every state. I think it will evolve
in different ways. And I’m struggling
somewhat, honestly, with this question because
the sort of one narrative is, each country and culture
has to go through this rise from agrarian,
industrial, information, and purpose, right? And there are some economies
that are still agrarian. So you could just say, from an
innovation curve standpoint, they’re going to have to go
through those different steps. To be able to get to the
point where their economy is fundamentally driven
by purpose, they’re going to need to have the
industrial infrastructure, then the information economy
infrastructure, then they’ll get there. And I’ve already
seen it in China. I’ve seen it throughout Europe. Purpose economy businesses are
disrupting the marketplace. And China’s one of the
most fascinating examples. Because there, you’ve got
an incredible challenge– when I was talking to business
students there– at one hand, they’ve got capitalism,
an incredible excitement of capitalism. But they all were raised on
a belief in a collective good and trying to figure out
how to reconcile those two things, and looking to
the US for examples, largely in Europe, of how
do you create businesses, how do you create
approaches that can reconcile those
two sets of beliefs. And I think a lot of the ideas
behind this really resonate with the next generation
of entrepreneurs in China, around how do we create
things that both represent the old values of China and
the new values of China. The piece I struggle with is,
I think purpose is universal. And I think, obviously,
people experience purpose in every culture,
in every country, no matter what the poverty is,
what the economic reality is. But in terms of being
an economic driver, I don’t think it likely
will emerge as dominant until companies have gone
through these other economic stages. AUDIENCE: I’m wondering if you
can talk more about guidance you would give to
parents in the room. And then, the other
question I have is, can you cite some examples
of this where it’s happening? I mean, I can think of a few,
like Teach for America, NGOs, and other things like this. Even open-source software
is, I think, another one. So guidance for parents of young
kids and more examples, please. AARON HURST: So I’ll start
with the parents piece. And I’ll tell you a
little bit about what I do as sort of
the best example. I don’t like to give
advice I don’t take myself, because that’s cheap. I think one is just the way you
talk to your kids about work and the role of work in your
life is really important. And actually, the
last time I was here, when my kids’ book came
out, “Mommy and Daddy do it Pro Bono,” which
I wrote with my wife, which is all about the impact of
work in different professions. And I just find it so
important to talk to our kids about why we work. Why is it we’re away from
them for 50 hours a week? What are we doing? What value are we creating? And it’s also really
important to bring your kids to work regularly. So I think that’s another thing
that the research has started pointing to, is how important
it is for them not to see work as this black box that you go to
but actually be able to relate to and understand work as a
real thing with real people and understand why you love it
and enjoy it and why you work. The other thing I
would say, which I do as best I can– but one
of your Googlers, actually, was the key researcher on this
when she was at Michigan– really points to the
fact that mothers matter a whole hell of
a lot more than fathers when it comes to
this imprinting. And they haven’t done research
yet on same-sex couples. They haven’t done it
on single parents. But in the context of,
like, a quote, unquote, “traditional family,” if
you have a good relationship with your mother,
there’s almost no chance you will grow up with
a jobs orientation. In that research,
I don’t believe, they didn’t find a
single person who had a jobs mentality, who saw
work only as about money, who also had a good relationship
with their mother, which is pretty interesting, right? So there’s clearly something
about the role of mothers in a family setting that’s
incredibly important. And I’ve written
a lot about this, just how important it is for
workplaces to really embrace mothers bringing
their kids to work. And traditionally,
what I’ve seen, for myself, is when I
bring my kids to work or I bring them
on speaking tours like this– which I
do as often as I can– everyone’s like, that’s so
awesome, you love your kids, you’re incorporating
them into work, it’s so great to see
a dad doing that. But if my wife did
the same thing, it would more likely
be a story of, like, why can’t you
get your act together? Why can’t you control your kids? Why do you need to
bring your kids to work? Couldn’t you find childcare? We tend to have a double
standard around people bringing kids to work. So I think it’s really important
to embrace and encourage mothers to bring
their kids to work. And then, the second
question was around examples. So, you know, I
think, in real estate, seeing the rise of shared office
space– like in New York now, there are so many
shared office spaces, where people are working as
freelancers amongst each other in these more collective
environments instead of just being, like, in monolithic
corporate cultures– and you see just sort of
this whole sharing economy overall hitting
workspace in a big way. And I saw it all
around Europe, as well. In retail, you see
companies like Etsy, that you’re enabling
individual makers to find a market
for their goods. I just did a call the
other day with IKEA. And IKEA actually
runs whole malls in Europe and in Asia, not
just the standalone stores. And they’re trying to figure
out what does a shopping mall in the purpose
economy look like. And they’re sort of seeing it
as this mash-up between an IKEA and an Etsy studio in one
place, environments for makers. And that’s really
sort of like how a lot of these large developers
are thinking about the shopping malls of the future, as if
they’re actually places where you’re making, not
just buying, right? So that’s a fundamental shift. In health care, you look
at Kaiser Permanente. It’s one of the biggest
health care providers. They’re trying to return
to an old model, which is, it used to be– and
I thought this was, like, thousands of years ago– but
even, like, 50 years ago, the majority of times you saw
a doctor were in your home. They came to you, which right
now sounds fricking crazy, right? Like, that would never happen. But if you think
about it rationally, who’s the sick one,
you or the doctor? Like, do you ask the
sick person to get out of bed or the healthy person
to get out of bed, right? We go and spend a
bunch of time when we’re sick– getting out of
bed, getting to a hospital room or a doctor’s room
full of other sick people– to see a doctor
for a few minutes. It’s not the right model. And we need to have it
fundamentally where, when you’re sick or you need
attention, it comes do you. And Kaiser has made
it their 10-year goal, to flip that whole
model on it’s head, to make relationship-based,
human-centered health care the norm in its model. So that’s sort of
another example. In education, you
see a major shift toward customized,
personalized education and away from an industrial
education model. The fastest-growing segment of
the US educational population right now is homeschooling,
not because homeschooling is the model but because people
are realizing that they need to be able to
customize education. And homeschooling’s
producing much better results than classrooms, right? We’re starting to see
where we can actually innovate to make this work. Those are some examples. I can go on forever. AUDIENCE: Aaron– AARON HURST: Yeah? What’s up? AUDIENCE: First off,
thank you for the talk. AARON HURST: Yeah, of course. AUDIENCE: It was really
inspiring and eye-opening. But I had a question. Can purpose change? Or what are your views on
purpose as an individual and from a cultural perspective? And, if so, how would
we adapt to that? AARON HURST: In terms of
what generates purpose for us individually? So I have not seen
a longitudinal study overall of that question. I can only speak to having
worked with thousands of professionals at
Taproot and other places. And I have never seen a change. What I have seen
is people becoming more and more self-aware. So they start off with
thinking purpose is here. But as they work in the world
and become more self-aware, they start to peel
layers of the onion, getting closer and closer to
who they are at their core. So that’s what I’ve seen. Every time I’ve see
it, it’s actually been a manifestation
of them simply becoming more self-aware
and more awake, and not just taking what
they see from their friends. Most of younger people
early in their career, where their sense of
purpose comes from, they often perceive
it as being about what they see on the web, what they
see on TV, what they read, what their friends are doing. Like, everyone’s into
water all of a sudden, and they think that’s
what’s purpose for them. It’s much more of
a social construct. And then, I think,
as you get older, you start to get
rid of those things and start realizing
who you actually are, not what your social
environment says you are. And therefore, it
appears to change. But actually, you’re just
becoming more self-aware. AUDIENCE: Cool. Thank you. AARON HURST: Yeah. AUDIENCE: Thank you. It’s such a very interesting,
fundamental concept that you present, job,
career, and calling. I just wonder whether
you have historical data to show in the past that
this makes changes over time? Are we at the low
point of calling, or are we at the high point
of calling [INAUDIBLE] future? AARON HURST: Yeah, yeah,
and that’s a great question. So all of this
research is so new. So your question would
be, like, how fast was the internet in the 1960s? It wasn’t, right? So I think the challenge
is this research is so new, there hasn’t been a longitudinal
look at, like, 10, 20, or 30 years ago. And it’s also been
US-centric, right? So, I mean, one
of the areas where I would love to see
additional research investment is in longitudinal but
then also going and seeing, in different countries,
how does this change with different cultures, right,
to see how that plays out, and across different
generations. Like, do boomers tend to
have a different distribution than Gen X or
millennials, right? Again, we’re just at the
tip of this research, right? There are so many
awesome questions, which is the perfect
time for somebody like me to get involved. Because you can still
look smart asking really simple basic
questions, because we’re not yet at those little
minutia questions, where we are with a
lot of other places. You can still ask
really simple questions, and no one’s answered them. And it’s a chance to go
out there and really make an impact. So keep on asking the question. And I know Google does a lot
of great research on work and has the largest,
most robust team looking at the analytics and
research of work. I think these are the
questions that we collectively need to answer. COURT DIMON: Thank
you very much, Aaron. Great speech. AARON HURST: Yeah, thank you. It was great. Thank you, guys. [APPLAUSE]

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3 thoughts on “Aaron Hurst: “The Purpose Economy” | Talks at Google”

  1. In short, life has whatever meaning you give it, and that includes meaning in one's work.

    I find it to be helpful to realize that in the free market (government and government collusive business is frequently a different story) any exchange of service for dollars (or other barter) is voluntary. Each side of the trade values what the other is giving more than they value what they are giving, else no trade would be made. In such a free exchange, both parties gain more value than they otherwise would have without the trade. The same goes for when someone is trading their service (employment) for wages. Any such free market work is contributing value to the world in direct proportion to how much people pay for the service. Someone who bakes bread for a living is feeding people. Someone who washes dishes is keeping people healthy. All free market work is inherently noble, in that it is contributing a real value to the world.

  2. When he brought evolution into the talk he lost all credibility to me. No matter how smart his theory may be with economics, everything just cratered and I lost interest.

  3. What a wonderful vision, seeing the evolution to a new future human economy – a Purpose-Driven Economy, where individuals and their employers custom-design their work to match their personal ‘calling.’ Not just a job or a career, but a ‘calling’ purpose, which answers the “Why?”about the most fulfilling meaning of each individual’s life. I see a Purpose-Driven Economy as an Economics of Compassion, where each person’s ‘calling’ matches what he loves and enjoys most, and shares that love and joy with others.

    I believe this is a very realistic vision. Also, I believe that more than only the self-awareness of one’s ‘calling’ is needed, for each person, and each corporation, to reach their full purpose-driven potential, within a Purpose-Driven Economy.

    I believe our current monetary currency system cripples humanity’s best co-creative potential. I believe we need to co-create a second universally-accepted currency system, which compliments (not replaces) our current monetary system,. This co-created complimentary currency needs to have the capacity to purposefully support nature’s living energy currency, which powers our highest human and environmental potential.

    This complimentary currency design should also strengthen (not weaken) the value of our current monetary system. It could be co-created to be a biomimicry of our body’s individually initiated currency at a cellular level. For example, our body’s main currencies of oxygen, water, and food, generate a complimentary living energy currency of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) generated for purpose-driven cellular functions by the mitochondria in each cell, according to the energy needed, for the cell to fulfill it’s purpose.

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