Zuckerberg Joins Call for Universal Purpose

Yesterday, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg delivered a visionary commencement address at Harvard, the school where he attended before dropping out to start Facebook. The focus of his address – PURPOSE.

“The challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose.”

“Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for. Purpose is what creates true happiness.”

The research clearly backs up Zuckerberg’s assertion. In the studies by leading academics as well as our research at Imperative we have found that when people embrace purpose in their careers it is transformational. Higher performance. Higher wellbeing. Stronger relationships. The list goes on and on.

Zuckerberg, in his Harvard address, lays out a three point plan for creating a world in which everyone finds purpose in their work and lives.

“First, let’s take on big meaningful projects.”

“The second is redefining equality to give everyone the freedom they need to pursue purpose.”

“The third way we can create a sense of purpose for everyone is by building community.”

I wrote the Purpose Economy and co-founded Imperative to make purpose universal. We have to make this vision a reality to achieve our next major step forward as a society.

It is possible and within reach.

  1. We have the science now to understand what it takes to unlock meaning in work for everyone.
  2. We have the data and predictive analytics to redesign our management and educational systems to empower people to embrace purpose.
  3. We have the CEO desire to create this change at leading organizations in every sector and industry.

At Imperative we are working with over 50 courageous and visionary employers to begin to realize the vision we share with Zuckerberg. We can do this and we must do this to create the future we want for the next generation.

That is, at the end of the day, my motivation. When my 9 and 11 year old kids enter the workforce, it must not resemble the workforce I entered in 1997 or the one we see today with 66% of people unfulfilled.

There is no change that we can make in society that would have a greater impact. Universal purpose would radically improve our health. It would take our economy to new and sustained heights. It would give us the agency and resilience to address any challenge we face now and in the future.

Please join us and become part of the movement for universal purpose.

Aaron Hurst is an Ashoka Fellow, award-winning entrepreneur and globally recognized leader in fields of purpose at work and social innovation. He is the CEO of Imperative and founder of the Taproot Foundation which he led for a dozen years. Aaron is the author of the Purpose Economy and has written for or been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg TV and is the author of the Fast Company Purposeful CEO series.

Aaron Hurst, CPL
The Purpose Economist, CEO of Imperative
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