Ben Franklin Circles bring people together face-to-face to improve ourselves and our communities. Start A Circle of your own anytime or sign up now for a free online class.
- Classes + Workshops
A project of the 92nd Street Y (92Y), the Hoover Institution, and Citizen University.
Ben Franklin Circles meet regularly, using Franklin’s classic 13 virtues to spark discussion about members’ goals and aspirations —who they want to be, and what they want to contribute to the world.
Close to 300 years ago, Benjamin Franklin started what he called a “club for mutual improvement.” He gathered a group of his peers to discuss 13 core virtues and explore how to better incorporate them in their lives – and use them as a foundation for enriching the world. The club became the launching pad for all sorts of civic initiatives: projects like the post office and the volunteer fire department, which have had a lasting impact on society.
Today, Circles are self-organized groups across the US and around the world that hold conversations around each of Franklin’s 13 virtues. Groups meet in libraries, community centers, workplaces, and private homes, using resources — including toolkits, meeting guides, original writings, and webinars.
“Ben Franklin Circles give me an opportunity to reflect on important values in a constructive fashion and to develop a special community in my life.” Katherine, Phoenix AZ
To learn more about how to start a Circle, join our monthly Information Session
Excited to get started? Join a free class (register by July 19th). This 6-session course – beginning on July 25 – will walk through all the steps of forming a Circle and hosting your first meeting. You’ll connect with other new hosts and get support all along the way. We hope you’ll join us!