Peer learning circles


There is something about people who aim to improve the world and circles. Maybe its the camaraderie vs. the hierarchical structures of family, work, and school. Maybe its something else. Whatever the cause, I find myself sitting in a lot of circles in my work and life.

Today it was the Seattle Impact Investing Group’s offsite. I won’t tell you what we discussed, as the core purpose of that group is to allow its members to openly share their thoughts and worries, with no worry of rumor, politics, or other common social frictions that prevent such sharing.

What I will share is how powerful such structures are. Not only as a peer support group, to help people share and to feel supported, but also as a peer learning group, to be curious and to learn together.

This particular group has been meeting monthly for over six years, with a focus on understanding how to use our capital as a force of good in the world. A.k.a. impact investing.

Diving 70+ meetings deep into that particular topic isn’t normal. Having a peer learning group last through 70+ meetings isn’t normal. For those of us in the group, we’d not feel normal without it.

Many times along the way we expected other such groups to follow in our footsteps. So far, the only group we’ve ever seen like us is a second “cohort” of members who now also meet monthly, usually in the mornings on the days when we old-timers meet in the afternoon. The occasionally, like today, we meet all together.

I’ve given up trying to explain the power that comes from sitting in a circle of peers, discussing issues and learning together. If you’ve not tried it, I suggest you seek such a circle or if you can’t find one, create one yourself.

By "Luni"


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