Start your own Junto

Start your own Junto
Back to Junto Welcome.

Being part of a Junto Group can be very informative, satisfying, and healthy. In today’s world of work, home duties, and family functions, with the distraction of the news, sports, and television, there is often little time for deep face-to-face learning and socializing. Socializing is important to a healthy mind and body. Social isolation has many negative health benefits.

Getting Started - Best To Keep It Simple
It can be as simple as meeting with two friends at someone’s patio or at a restaurant. Any location will do as long as somewhat private without too many distractions. It’s good to have a topic to start with, the meeting may diverge from the topic and this is fine. You might take turns selecting the topic for each meeting.

Growing Your Junto
Franklin limited the number of members to 12, and each member had to qualify.
The idea behind keeping the group small was to facilitate interaction among the members. In Franklin’s day, each member wrote and presented essays on a variety of topics. We found that at times 12 members can be a bit much and that perhaps 9 members makes a more effective group. The smaller number gives more time and voice for each person to do a deep-dive into topics.

As you invite more people to your meetings, you might find that a little structure helps. Otherwise, the meetings will devolve into lots of cross-talk, and long-winded-rants typically dominated by a few individuals. We recommend a team approach for each meeting, specifically each meeting has a Presenter, a Moderator and a Host. Rotating through these responsibilities each meeting helps everyone develop and round-out their skill sets. Someone in your group may be talented at moderating and you might hear "so and so is good at moderating, why don’t they moderate this week. This logic does not help everyone become stronger moderators. Reviewing the notes on how to Present, Moderate, or Host can help.

Formal Officers
You can operate your Junto for years without formal administration, but depending on the types of projects and community service your group chooses to take on, a few more roles can help. These include:

Position Duties
Operations Operates as a volunteer Chief Operating Officer
Communications Maintains group member list and sends announcements
Finance Keeps the group petty cash or account and produces regular group financial statements

About Communications
If you are happy with your group communications, by all means, keep doing what you are doing. Some users feel that the privacy and security of typical social media, SMS text, and email is lacking. For this reason, we created the Junto Cafe and chose the opensource technology.

By using the Junto Cafe, your group can have private discussions free from the prying eyes of big-tech. Your group members can choose to enable end-to-end encryption for personal messages.