Celebrating 100 leaders and their bold efforts to evolve our economy into one that generates purpose for people as employees, customers, community-members and citizens.
By Aaron Hurst, CEO, Imperative
The pioneers of the Information Economy, from David Packard to Steve Jobs helped catalyze the changes in our society necessary to make information the organizing principle of the economy.
Today, a new set of disruptive innovators, policy-setters, tastemakers and researchers are boldly enabling commercial applications to scale and adapt markets to quench our need for purpose. Together, they are transforming our innate need for purpose into an organizing principle for innovation and growth in the American economy.
These are the pioneers of the Purpose Economy, the fourth economy in American history. They span every sector of the U.S. economy, from startups, corporations and academia to government and nonprofits.
Purpose Economy organizations are emerging with incredibly diverse ways to emphasize purpose. Organizations that are thriving in the new economy integrate at least one of these three methods into their enterprise: 1) delivering purpose to customers, consumers or participants, 2) providing purpose to employees, and/or 3) building purpose throughout the supply chain.
Last fall we reached out to leaders across the country to identify the top 100 pioneers in the Purpose Economy – the Purpose Economy 100. From the hundreds of nominations that we received, we selected 100 inspiring professionals. They exemplify the bold efforts to evolve our economy into one that generates purpose for people as employees, customers, community-members and citizens.
Entrepreneurs and Organizers
Covering nearly 20 industries and cities around the country, the list spans from people of great notoriety to emerging innovators. It includes social entrepreneurs like Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard and Ben & Jerry's Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield to more recent market makers like the founders of Airbnb and Kickstarter.
From grassroots community organizers such as Sara Horowitz of Freelancers Union to corporate leaders such as Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo. From innovators in government such as Former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, all the way to academic thought leaders such as Brené Brown of University of Houston.
The emergence of purpose as the new organizing principle in our economy is a product of our current moment in time. It is based on where we stand in history today: our current culture, values, education, technological abilities, social organizations, political realities and the state of our natural environment. Each part of our world has gone through a radical transformation in the last few decades, and they are now converging into a new set of processes to change the way our society operates.
Celebrating the Leaders of a Changing Economy
The changes are happening in many ways through little things in our everyday lives, such as the food we’re eating and where we’re shopping. They are happening in how we live and how we work and they are empowering people to have rich and fulfilling careers by creating meaningful value for themselves and others.
In that backdrop, The Purpose Economy 100 are the pioneers who are accelerating and enabling this change. They are the ones who are helping us redesign our economy to better serve the needs of the people and the planet. And it isn't a moment too soon.
Stay tuned as we profile some of these pioneers in coming weeks not only as a celebration of all that they have accomplished but also as tip sheets and lessons in how we can join their movements, match their perseverance and together build an economy that serves us all.