The Purpose Economy
An excerpt from the new book “The Purpose Economy”. Lots of explore here.
Little of this is truly new, of course. Farmers’ markets existed long before chain stores. Social impact bonds appeared in Israel in the midcentury. During the 1960s in the United States and Europe, there existed several large-scale experiments with communal ownership. Mother Jones magazine has reported on social problems and impact for decades. But what we are seeing now is the acceleration and the commercialization of those activities, fueled by new forms of capital, that allow these developments to move from the fringe to the mainstream. We are approaching the tipping point, where the Purpose Economy has matured enough to move from the fringes of society to the heart of the U.S. economy and, increasingly, to those around the globe.
To understand the Purpose Economy, it is critical to understand purpose and how it is created for people. The definition and nature of purpose is often misunderstood. There are three well-researched, core categories that consistently echo through the words of the professionals who applied to the Taproot Foundation: personal purpose, social purpose, and societal purpose. Together, they represent the needs that the new Purpose Economy addresses.
1. Personal Purpose
For Warren, the pursuit of purpose was deeply personal. It began with him recognizing a problem, cultivating the self-awareness to understand what needed to change, and pushing himself to make the necessary changes so that he could grow. It’s no different for our generation.
We find purpose when we are do things we love, attempt new challenges, and express our voice to the world.
2. Social Purpose
Kristine decided to call the vineyard Entre Nous, French for “between us”. Kristine explained her motivation to create the vineyard: “The connections between us bring the greatest joy, the highest passion, and the most authentic satisfaction in our frequently impassive, impersonal, and impatient world.” The work of winemaking was rewarding and pushed her to her limits, but it was the ability to share that work with the people she loved that made it truly meaningful and gave her such a strong sense of purpose.
3. Societal Purpose
“Two years later, at the tender age of 22, this thirst [to find purpose in my life] led me to my boss’s office, to let her know I was leaving the company to start a nonprofit for kids who had lost a parent or sibling.” Kate left NASCAR to start Kate’s Club. For the next ten years she expanded it, and it became a well-established community for children and teens in Atlanta navigating life after the death of a parent or sibling. It was with Kate’s Club that her personality manifested, both as a survivor of loss and as a kid who just wanted to know that grief changed her life but did not end it. She learned that your darkest moment can become your biggest gift, if you are able to make it about something beyond yourself.