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Think Tank

The Purpose Economy

We only have one life to live--we have to make it count. No other generation has encompassed this conviction than Millennials. Sure, they get a lot of slack for perhaps having unrealistic expectations or impatience, but one thing they should get credit for is driving the purpose economy.

Today, young people want their careers to do more than just bring in a paycheck. They want to connect through their work to something larger than themselves. Having a purpose is essential in their lives and that's admirable.

But what is the purpose economy? Is it a serious shift disrupting industries, or is it just idealism? Aaron Hurst, the CEO of Imperative, a site that helps people connect to their purpose, has investigated the rise and impact of this phenomenon in his book The Purpose Economy.

“We’re already seeing that in the top innovations coming out of finance, education, healthcare, retail, all the top innovations are all around this need for purpose,” says Hurst. “As you look at the workplace all the changes we’re trying to make in the workplace, the things Google’s doing, the things top companies are doing, they’re all because, especially the millennial generation is demanding purpose in their work at a level never seen before. And that’s why I believe we’re in the early days of our fourth economy, a purpose economy.”

Hurst points out that the definition is still developing, but it encompasses a more localized economy and moving away from consumption to creation and experiences. For more on the purpose economy and where it’s headed, watch this clip from Big Think’s interview:

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