If you’re interested by what you’ve read, you might be wondering how to sign-up.

Our philosophy is a little different from the “like and subscribe” that dominates the rest of the world.  We believe that people value the things that they contribute to.  We don’t ask for money, but we do believe that it’s important to pay a price for the things that we value.

There’s a sorting mechanism here, but there’s also a little cognitive dissonance at play: we ask people to contribute to the junto because it lets us know who is really interested, and also because it really builds peoples’ desire to be in the junto.  It’s also a simple and effective way to introduce people to what the junto is, and how it works.

If you’re interested in joining The Junto, we’ve detailed the process below:

Step 1: Get Sponsored

Your sponsor is someone who will introduce you to The Junto, show you around, and keep an eye on you until you get a feel for how things work.  We don’t have any morality requirements, or required character references, but we do ask that sponsors consider themselves responsible for new members.  If you’re wondering what it takes to get sponsored, check out the “Who we are looking for” page.

 

Step 2: Review and Reflect: Junto Rules

The Junto rules are always changing, and being revised.  In fact, before joining The Junto, we ask prospective members to read and reflect on the rules, and share the reflection with their sponsor (who will then share with The Junto).  The reflection should be short (1-5 pages) and should include some or all of the following:

  • Items that you agree with, or that particularly resonate with you
  • Items that need nuance, tweaking, or improvement (with suggestions)
  • Items that you disagree with
  • Items that are missing that you would suggest we consider adding

Please note that we will take such thoughts seriously, and will change the rules in accordance with submissions.  Also, while thinking critically about the rules of The Junto is encouraged, we also expect members to live by the rules of The Junto as best they can—in both letter, and spirit.

 

Step 3:  Review and Reflect: Recommended Readings

The Junto has begun to use two hashtags that broadly define the kinds of readings you’ll encounter: #howajunto and #whyajunto.  Our recommended readings come from various authors (including Junto members).  Before joining, we ask that a prospective member read one article (or listen to one podcast, etc.) and write a reflection that includes some or all of the following (these components probably look familiar):

  • Items that you agree with, or that particularly resonate with you
  • Items that need nuance, tweaking, or improvement (with suggestions)
  • Items that you disagree with
  • Items that are missing that you would suggest we consider adding

 

Step 4: Take the Pledge

When Benjamin Franklin created his Leather Apron Junto, he asked members to take a pledge before joining.  We use his original pledge, with a couple of our own additions. For more information regarding the pledge, navigate to our page on the history of the pledge.  (Note: there’s no formal way to sign the pledge; rather, by joining The Junto, you agree to the pledge.)

The Pledge (changes from Franklin’s original in italics):

  • Have you any particular disrespect to any present members?
  • Do you sincerely declare that you love mankind in general, of what profession, ideology or religion soever?
  • Do you think any person ought to be harmed in his body, name, or goods, for mere speculative opinions, or his external way of worship?
  • Do you love truth for truth’s sake, and will you endeavor impartially to find and receive it yourself, and communicate it to others?
  • Will you seek self-improvement as a matter of principle, and correction independent of source?
  • Do you believe in the importance of civility, broadly defined, and will you strive to advocate for and live by its precepts, both in the junto and out? 

 

Provisional Status:

Upon completing the steps above, we welcome folks to The Junto.  We encourage folks to take a couple of weeks and feel out the conversation before diving in, and doing so carefully at the start.  Welcome to the fray!