To Design and Advocate

Those of you who frequent our website might have noticed that recently we made a shift to our mission. This is not a change that will alter what you see or experience in the space, but a shift that recognizes that these issues Purpl is working to address—of how we lead in the world of independent work, how we teach and facilitate for the competencies of self-direction and ownership, how we create social capital through shared learning journeys and dialogue—are fundamental to some of the biggest crises and issues our community is facing: a huge and growing population of free agents needing to grow and sustain their livelihoods; college retention rates nearing 50%; widespread employee disengagement; rapid job and career changes; rising anxiety and depression rates; the pandemic of loneliness, now the chief preventable health issue in the country. 

Over the past few months of visiting exciting places, people, and ideas, from TED (the talk is coming soon; you all will be among the first to know!) to the White House, I have often felt like a speck—a lone thinker and actor in a sea of big machines and power. But inevitably in conversation and interaction with these larger organisms, I reach the same conclusion—what we’re building at Purpl is fundamentally important. There’s no question—there’s a growing momentum around the zeitgeist of the new world of work, and really, the new world, and what happens inside these walls is at the heart of it.

At Purpl, our mission is to design and advocate for self-direction and engagement. Where leadership used to be something that someone else did to manage and inspire us, it’s now something we need to do for ourselves as well as for others, and there are certain skills and muscles we can develop that will help each of us take this on. Self-directed leadership affects our ability to grow and advance, to persist and make good choices, to thrive and be satisfied, in school, in work, and in life, and we want to spread what we know about this to as many contexts as possible. Because the world needs it.

Stay tuned for more on this topic, but for now, I wanted to share our vision and insights, let you know where we are and where we’re headed, and thank you who have engaged with us during our first five years for being part of this journey. It’s an exciting road we’re on together—here’s to traveling it together!