Values to Action Study Circles
A key component of the Values to Action strategy is the creation of Values to Action Study Circles. A study circle is a small group of people who come together to study a problem in an effort to devise a solution to that problem. Study circles have played an important role in the development of social democracy in Sweden 8 It continues to be a vital part of maintaining that nation’s commitment to egalitarian goals. There are about 300,000 study circles operating in Sweden as of 2010.
This approach is ideal for efficiently activating both behavioral scientists and concerned citizens who have limited time, less knowledge than they would like about what is wrong and what is needed, and no clarity about what they can do to make a difference.
The details of how study circles will operate are not fully developed because one of the first tasks of the initial study circles will be study and articulate the principles for how the groups will operate.
Study circles will consist of 5 to 10 people who commit a limited amount of time over a limited period to study one aspect of a larger problem and produce a product that contributes to its solution. Each product is a brick for building the foundation for a more nurturing society.
Our experience with study circles grows out of the work of the climate change and strengthening families task forces that the Coalition of Behavioral Science Organizations created. They have taught us that there are many early career behavior scientists who are eager to work on projects that address the major problems in our current society.