Local Builders Groups

Local groups are organized and administered by individuals in communities. Although local groups are not a legal part of Builders Network, the charitable corporation that runs Starts With Us, our vision for local groups is that they operate informally to discuss and promote the goals of Starts With Us. Group activities can be as simple as a quarterly gathering with a handful of (intellectually, politically, etc.) diverse people to discuss a current issue using curiosity, compassion, and courage to seek viable solutions together across lines of difference.

Getting Started

  • Finding a network. With 87% of Americans frustrated with extreme political and cultural divisions, your local community very likely includes individuals who share Starts With Us’s values and are interested in working across divides to find solutions to problems. To find them:
    • Use social media. Share about our mission and work on your own channels and in local groups, and offer to speak or meet with anyone interested in forming a group. 
    • Contact us. We’ll connect you with other community members in your area. Email info@startswith.us to get started.
  • Connecting the group. Once you’ve identified participants, bring them together. Meetings can occur anywhere: community meeting rooms, local cafés, or virtual meeting spaces. The foundation of this work is simply connecting and discussing difficult or divisive issues using curiosity, compassion, and courage for productive conversations. Some ideas for ways to connect:
    • Discuss each participant’s reasons for joining the group and agree on how you will work together
    • In each conversation, go around the room and have everyone share one thing you’ve reflected on since the last experience, one thing you’re concerned about, and one thing you’re hopeful about
    • Work through the Polarization Detox Challenge together
    • Read and discuss an article or video posted on The Feed
    • Have a roundtable discussion about a challenging local issue while practicing respectful dialogue and active listening

Working with SWU

By forming a Local Builders Group, you commit to operating with curiosity, compassion, and courage and in accordance with the Starts With Us values and core principles. Groups that agree to this are welcome to become Local Builders Groups use our branded materials (see more below), access our team’s resources, and proudly spread the word about our movement. If you’ve formed a group, please reach out to our team:

  • Connect with us. If you’ve started a local group, please reach out to us so we can coordinate with you! Our team is eager to share toolkits and resources with your local group. If you’re already active or want to join with others in your area, please reach out to info@startswith.us
  • Share your success. Keep our team in the loop on your group’s interests, and be sure to share photos and stories from your group. We may highlight you in an upcoming issue of The Human Standard or on our social channels to inspire others to get involved! Contact info@startswith.us to share your stories.


Using Our Brand

  • Starts With Us is a program of Builders Network, Inc., which has purposes that include fostering empathy and critical thinking to build resilient democracies and safeguard humanity. By using the Starts With Us name and/or logo and/or marks, you agree to operate your group solely in furtherance of these purposes. If you operate for other purposes, we reserve the right to revoke your authorization to use the Starts With Us name and to identify you publicly as a group that is not affiliated with Starts With Us or Builders Network, Inc.
  • To request permission to use and access to our trademarked intellectual property, such as our name and/or logo and/or marks, please contact us at info@startswith.us

Join us on our global mission to overcome extremist thinking and toxic polarization to solve our toughest problems together!

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