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Ben Franklin Circle in Boston

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Impact Hub Boston

50 Milk Street

15th Floor

Boston, MA 02109

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Impact Hub Boston is joining a 21st-century community-building initiative inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s “club for mutual improvement,” launched more than 200 years ago. Ben Franklin Circles gather people in conversation about shared values and common goals. Participants discuss 13 civic virtues championed by Ben Franklin—qualities like justice, humility, moderation and order—as a lens into self-improvement and civic engagement.

Impact Hub Boston will hold its second Ben Franklin Circle meeting on Tuesday, November 20 at 6:00pm, and we continue to welcome any who are interested in exploring this format for conversation and self-improvement as we get our local circle's rhythm going in our second meeting. We're a small, intentional groups of 8-12 people looking to improve themselves and the world around them. Feel free to bring your along own dinner and ideas to our casual first gathering to see who wants to join this circle.

For our second meeting, we will be focusing on the virtue "Silence." Watch this space (or your registration email) for reading resources on this topic ahead of our meeting.

The Circles will be moderated by Mette Kreutzmann, of the MA Office of Public Collaboration at UMass Boston. Mette heads-up their public dialogue initiative focused on introducing "deliberative dialogue” as a tool to help people address difficult issues affecting their community and move toward collective action.


How Ben Franklin Circles Work

Ben Franklin Circles meetings are dedicated to exploring the 13 virtues identified by Franklin: Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity and Humility. The suggested size for a group is 5-12 individuals. Together, they engage in conversations on what each of these virtues means today on both a personal and societal level. Circles meet regularly, often on a monthly basis, and use toolkits and guidelines developed by 92Y, Hoover Institution and Citizen University.

Watch the introductory video here.

Ben Franklin Circles are now running around the country in public libraries, community centers, cultural institutions and individual homes. The Circles initiative was started by world-class, nonprofit cultural and community center 92nd Street Y, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and Citizen University. “At 92Y, we are committed to thinking about new and creative ways to foster community and renew our values for the globally connected, digital world in which we live,” said Henry Timms, Executive Director of 92Y. “We are all inundated
with information, but what people crave are meaningful interactions and real connections. We hope the Circles will allow diverse groups of people to come together, to listen and better understand each other, and to create new connections that will enrich both their personal lives and their communities.”

Ben Franklin Circles is a program within the Mary Jo and Dick Kovacevich Initiative at the Hoover Institution, Educating Americans in Public Policy, which seeks to equip citizens with accurate facts, information, and a discerning analytical perspective, so they can better perform their civic duties, hold their elected leaders accountable, and “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

“Ben Franklin Circles offer people a chance to discuss their vital concerns and aspirations with fellow citizens,” said William Damon, a professor at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. “Research has shown that people from all walks of life, young and old alike, can benefit from opportunities to talk face-to-face about meaningful issues with others from their communities, and such opportunities have become all too rare at this time in our society.”


To learn more about The Ben Franklin Circles, visit: www.benfranklincircles.org

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Impact Hub Boston

50 Milk Street

15th Floor

Boston, MA 02109

View Map

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