Who we are 

NBV is a politically independent and religiously neutral study association with over 120 years of experience within non-formal adult education. We’re offering a broad range of activities like study circles and cultural events in approximately 265 of Sweden’s municipalities.  

As a study association, our goals are to minimize education inequalities and promote democracy, equality, culture, healthy lifestyles and sobriety. 

Our mission comes from our member organizations. Our activities are made possible thanks to the support by thousands of non-profit circle leaders and citizen associations – but also through support from the state, municipalities and county councils. 

Non-formal adult education  

The purpose of non-formal adult education is to get citizens in a democratic and equal way to gain new knowledge and new values through – for example – study circles and lectures outside the traditional school system.   

The principle is that it is always the participants themselves who control the content of their education. Non-formal adult education is characterized by the very important principle of "free and voluntary", which means that it is free of government control and that it should always be voluntary for the participants. 

Our values 

  • Our values are based on sobriety, democracy and citizen associations.
  • We believe that every human being, when in cooperation with others, evolve through popular education.
  • We offer people the opportunity to increase their knowledge, experience culture and meet the sobriety movements ideas in a welcoming environment.
  • Through our activities, we also want to strengthen equality, provide tools for freedom of association and the right for humans to express their views.

What is a study association? 

A study association is engaged in non-formal adult education, mainly through study circles which allows people to develop their ideas and interests. A study association is usually included in a popular movement together with its principals who share their ideology (and arrange courses that suit those involved in the movement). 

Study associations are not profitable. Money to operate the activities comes mainly from:  

  • Public funding (state/county council/municipality/region). 
  • Projects and assignments. 
  • Possible participatory fees. 

What is a study circle? 

The study circle is a special educational form that is used in non-formal adult education. A study circle consists of a group of people who want to learn something together. It is the groups own interests and their free will that is the foundation of the study circle. A study circle can be conducted with only physical meetings, a combination of physical meetings and distance studies or in their entirety at a distance.

A study circle can be about almost anything. There are groups that play music together, practice art or cook together – but it can also be classical study circles such as book circles, language circles, movie circles and craft circles.

In each study circle there is a circle leader. 

  • A study circle must consist of at least three participants.
  • Participants must be at least 13 years old. 
  • A study circle must include at least three results. 
  • Someone must be a circle leader and, among other things, responsible for the contact with NBV.