A Message to Recent Graduates
A globally recognized entrepreneur Aaron Hurst is the CEO of Imperative, a technology platform that enables people to discover, connect and act on what gives them purpose in their work. Aaron is a close advisor to many global brands and frequent speaker and writer on the development of the Purpose Economy.
He is the founder and an active advisor to the Taproot Foundation where he was the catalyst and lead architect of the $15 billion pro bono service market. He was the creative force behind the conception of the national Billion + Change campaign. Previously he worked in Silicon Valley developing the precursors to social media.
Widely known for his thought-leadership and a regular blogger for the Huffington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review and LinkedIn, Aaron is a member of the Nonprofit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50, and has been recognized as a top social entrepreneur by Fast Company,Ashoka, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Manhattan Institute and theCommonWealth Club. In 2009, he received the highest honor bestowed on an alumnus of the University of Michigan.
Aaron Hurst: So as the economy evolves out of an information economy into a purpose economy which is really the future of work and it’s the future of our economy and society, it’s an incredible opportunity. I’m so jealous of people graduating from college right now. It’s an opportunity to be in an economy and to be an innovator in this new economy where you’re able to both do good and do well and to really do that in a really authentic way. So my advice to folks graduating now – I mean first and foremost is to spend your twenties getting to know yourself. I think too often we look to outside influences. We look at what people expect of us instead of just trying to really figure out who we are, what drives purpose for us, what matters to us. And to spend our twenties just rubbing up against the world and getting to know ourselves so that we can figure out once we have that strong core, that strong sense of purpose how we can then go out and create value in the world. And I think unfortunately universities do a pretty poor job of doing that. So in some sense you’re twenties is about getting your real college degree by going out there and learning in the real world and learning about yourself.
In my experience the most important thing is to get to know yourself and you get to know yourself most often by putting yourself in different circumstances and trying different things. And I think in education we tend to go through the same experience over and over again for four years instead of having a diversity of experiences. Taking English and then math is not really that different an experience. When I was in college the things that were different were studying abroad. I did a lot of work in a local prison as a teacher. These are the things that actually teach you who you are. And those are the things that we really need to invest in in our twenties.
Directed/Produced by Jonathan Fowler and Dillon Fitton
Imperative CEO Aaron Hurst offers some advice to recent graduates. Hurst is the author of The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth, and Community Is Changing the World
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