Transform Your Life

Your Questions. Answered.

What Are The Ben Franklin Circles?

The Ben Franklin Circles are a fun, innovative way to build and strengthen community in an increasingly disconnected and digital world. They are about asking two simple questions:
How Can I improve Myself? How Can I improve 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 and fellow Philadelphia tradesmen 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.

Now, almost three centuries later, we’re equipping you with the tools to start your own Ben Franklin Circle and engage in the transformative conversations that will benefit individual lives and address the unique challenges of the 21st century.

What Are The 13 Virtues?

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“Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation.”


“Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.”


“Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.”


“Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.”


“Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.”


“Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.”


“Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”


“Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”


“Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”


“Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.”


“Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”


“Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”


“Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”


How Do I Get Started?

It’s really easy. Our toolkit will walk you through the process. Franklin has already offered us a clear framework for the meetings, so all you have to do is assemble your members and use the toolkit to get going.

I want to start one. Whom do I invite?

It’s up to you! Think of people with different experiences and perspectives. Mix ages and areas of expertise. Circles benefit from diversity!

How big is a Ben Franklin Circle?

Ben Franklin circles can vary in size, but we recommend that circles aim for no more than 12 members, to keep the conversation intimate and flowing.

How often do Ben Franklin Circles meet?

Franklin and his club met once a week, but you set your own schedule. We recommend meeting monthly, but it’s possible to meet more or less frequently. If you met daily, you could cover all 13 virtues in two weeks!

What if I can’t start my own Ben Franklin Circle, but I’d like to join one?

Contact us, and we can let you know if any Circles are forming in your city or town.