iD8 Strategies



What was Ben Franklin doing nearly 300 years ago?

In the fall of 1727 Benjamin Franklin and a group of friends founded the Junto Club (from the Spanish word junta, or assembly) also known as the Leather Apron Club. The 12 members were tradesmen and artisans from diverse backgrounds who met on Friday evenings to discuss issues of morals, politics, or natural philosophy.


They all shared a spirit of inquiry and a desire to improve themselves, their community, and to help others.

Franklin organized this group to provide a structured form of mutual improvement. Franklin proposed that the group be formed of “ingenious men –a physician, a mathematician, a geographer, a natural philosopher, a botanist, a chemist, and a mechanician (engineer).”


The club led to innovations such as volunteer fire-fighting organizations (Union Fire Company), improved security through night watchmen, The University of Pennsylvania, a public hospital (Pennsylvania Hospital), and the first public library.

By any measure, Benjamin Franklin was an amazing entrepreneur!


The club lasted for 38 years.

A branch of the Junto Club was the American Philosophical Society created in 1743 to “promote useful knowledge”.


This Society still exists and is known for its excellence and scholarly research and publications.


Today, what Ben Franklin created are referred to as Peer Groups, Masterminds, Forum’s (EO – Entrepreneurs Organization & YPO – Young Presidents Organization), Advisory Boards, Accountability Groups, Peer Networks, Discussion Groups, Roundtables, PEG’s (Peer Exchange Groups) along with other derivations, each effectively serving a similar purpose.


A gathering of people with a common purpose, goals of mutuality, shared support, and learning. The basic constructs revolve around trust, respect, and confidentiality.


Many of these groups are member-run, depending on that individual to continually provide value, energy, implementing new techniques, and best practices.


Paul Berman has been facilitating peer groups & company retreats since 2004. The skills learned initially through the Entrepreneurs Organization have been further developed through practice, experience, and advanced learnings.