November 20-22, 2020

The Monthly BarometerFamily Enterprise Foundation, and FBN Canada bring you the second edition of the Families Summit of Minds this November 20-22.

Families Summit of Minds:

  • Combines high-level content with experiential learning and well-being activities
  • Connects like-minded individuals: enterprising families and thought leaders
  • Draws on common wisdom, contrasting opinions and solution-driven ideas
  • Every participant is a contributor


Roundtables discussions will be running in parallel both digitally and in-person in Montréal and Calgary.

Join others in "walkshops" and experiential activities by enjoying the outdoors wherever you are.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the Families Summit of Minds 2020 will take place on November 20-22 in modified formats in Montreal and Calgary. Expect the same thought-provoking content, quality discussions, and inspired walkshops and experiential activities, yet in smaller live settings and via online videoconferencing where applicable. Join us. In safety. In person. And online!

Take a look at FSOM 2019

Quick jump to the Macro Updates Series 

The Family Updates Series

Businesses are influenced by geopolitical events that range from tax policies, social norms, immigration emergencies to trade wars and international health catastrophes. Economic factors dictate our appetite for risk, our investment choices, and how we trade. We will explore:

  1. how to mitigate the risk of future crises;
  2. how to build organizational resilience;
  3. how our purpose guides our interactions.

The Self
I, Change Agent (NxG)

As champions who promote new processes, new management structures or the transition to new business models, change agents are willing to ask tough questions and are open to new ideas. How best be a change agent, team player and healthy individual?

  1. How do we promote and reconcile collective change with individual aspirations?
  2. Are champions of change born or made?
  3. What are the risks of change resistance in aspirational entrepreneurial families?

The Self
Fighting Entitlement

Does making life easy for next gens undermine their drive to make significant inputs? It’s a question of entitlement versus contribution. Should children be treated fairly or equally? There’s a subtle difference and it’s often problematic. How does tolerating poor behaviour enable it? Herein lies the enable-versus-empower question. Who will be the next leader? The burden-versus-responsibility question is taxing. Families are fertile ground for entitlement, especially when there’s an expectation of automatic rewards. As we analyze tools to resist, we’ll ask:

  1. Why is behavioral risk of parents the biggest risk in a family business system?
  2. How should a family fight entitlement?
  3. What are common misconceptions of entitlement?
  4. What are the warning signs?

Register to the Summit

No participation fee for FBN Canada and MB100 members


The Family Enterprise
Crisis Modes: Redrafting the Social Contract

A risk-intelligent family enterprise can weather a crisis. How nimbly depends on the strength of its crisis response plan. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced entrepreneurial families to act decisively on family, ownership and business risks. Those capable of taking lucid systems-level views have an immediate advantage of acting rationally and sustaining organizational resilience. In a protracted crisis, the ability of an enterprise to anticipate, prepare, respond and adapt to sudden disruptions dictates the probability of its survival. We ask:

  1. How might family dynamics be affected by a crisis?
  2. Have might families adapt their existing governance tools in response to a crisis?
  3. How materially can a magnitude crisis impact family revenues?

The Family Enterprise
Meaning Making and Repurposing

There are families who believe their purpose is no less and no more than simply protecting their wealth. Others find meaning as contributors to economic development and employment. If purpose is the essential ingredient to entice next-gens to carry on the family business legacy, then a case could be made for its intangible value.

  1. Can a clear and stated “sense of purpose” bring value to an enterprise?
  2. Do family enterprises harbour more meaning than publicly business?
  3. Are businesses that embrace purpose on to something?

The Family Enterprise
Healthy vs Wealthy

A recent Harvard study posited that wealth brings happiness when it is earned rather than inherited. The journal Nature Human Behavior suggests the richer we get, the less happy we become. When did wealth become a threat? What is the meaning of wealth and health?

  1. How will the next generation define wealth in relation to family health?
  2. Is the “threat of wealth” real or an imaginary concept in a family?
  3. What are the effects of wealth on mental health?

The Family Enterprise
Siblings and Cousins Dynamics (NxG)

Some families are lucky enough to possess individuals with the acumen to champion and convey the intangible values of “family-ness” – up and down the generations and into the farthest of family branches. Yet others, in spite of well-intentioned governance and control mechanisms, can widen the scope for jealousy, conflict and disharmony.

  1. How should families streamline ownership and ownership processes?
  2. How should families approach notions of joint ownership?
  3. How best engage all family individuals in strategic ownership decisions that affect them?

The Family Enterprise
Do Good Then Do Well? (NxG)

There are those who believe that doing good can strengthen a family enterprise. It may be counterintuitive not to put shareholders first, and even the staunchest supporters of purposeful capitalism admit that hurdles exist.

  1. What does purpose mean in today’s family businesses?
  2. Who has primacy? Shareholders? Employees? Communities? Families?
  3. Are next-gens putting profit before purpose or the other way around?

Quick jump to the Families Update Series 

The Macro Updates Series

To a great extent, the pertinence of the professional and personal decisions we make depend on:

  1. a sense of context;
  2. the ability to anticipate emerging trends;
  3. the capacity to “connect the dots.”

Families Summit of Minds will act as your personal curator of “contextual intelligence” by holding at the Summit highly interactive workshops led by world experts on the most critical macro categories to better understand where the world is going.

Navigating the Pandemic’s Financial Crash

The pandemic has sparked the fastest sell-off across global markets on record and has plunged the global economy in a deep recession. The severity of the recession depends on the future path of the outbreak (a relapse with a possible second and third waves), which remains one of today’s greatest “known unknowns”. When the only certainty is uncertainty, we ask:

  1. What are the priorities for internationally focused entrepreneurial families and how will private market valuations adjust?
  2. What are the most plausible scenarios in terms of market recovery?
  3. How should capital-intensive family enterprises mitigate the risks?

Entering Frugality

Is frugality good? And might it be imposed upon us by the inevitable reduction in economic activity that will follow the period of confinement and lockdowns? Business owners need to acknowledge this new reality that may accelerate in the post-pandemic era. Frugality was already well entrenched in the notions of circular economy, low impact living, sustainability, net zero living and so on. Now it may well become a strategic imperative for family enterprises as the pandemic has turned the world upside down. The younger generation in particular has a deep desire for radical change that could make “frugality” the new normal.

  1. In the coming years, will the idea of frugality gain traction of will it remain a pipe dream?
  2. How can family enterprises adjust to the idea of frugality and how they can make it work?

Multilateralism and Trade in the Post-Pandemic Era

With the pandemic, international co-operation has largely broken down while borders have been re-erected with a vengeance. In an age of radical economic and geopolitical uncertainty, the world needs more than ever a neutral arbiter of inevitable trade disputes. But the WTO, with its commitment to international cooperation, was already struggling with headwinds of unilateralism and protectionism. If a way back to multilateralism in trade is not found, the entire trading system will be in jeopardy, with grievous economic consequences for the world. We ask:

  1. Will globalisation and multilateralism enter a period of prolonged decline?
  2. Will regionalism and ‘localism’ prevail? How will global families adjust to the new reality?
  3. Will entrepreneurial families be able to benefit from free trade?

Rethinking Education

If business must adapt to increasing and constant disruption, it stands to reason that business education must also evolve. How can we best transform education to produce capable leaders who possess the skills required to meet the demands of multi-stakeholders in an increasingly challenging world?

  1. What is the role of business in rethinking tomorrow’s business education?
  2. Can entrepreneurial families play a stronger role in business education?
  3. In family business spheres, do today’s business education options fall short?

The Role of Entrepreneurial Families in the New Social Contract

Countries’ responses to a disaster speak about their strengths and dysfunctions, and also the “quality” of their social contract – the often-implicit set of arrangements and expectations that govern the relations between individuals and institutions. Following the pandemic, social contracts are likely to be drastically altered in most countries around the world, leading to possibly radical economic, political and social change, like the return of big government and a massive transfer of resources. We ask:

  1. What particular form this change in our social contract may take in rich countries?
  2. How will it affect entrepreneurial families?

Science-Based Impact Measurement

Good science does not lie. The science of portfolio investing and fund management is now designed to generate a measurable social impact alongside a financial return. Will artificial intelligence help or hinder?

  1. How can we separate good data from bad data when making business decisions?
  2. Has the information age overwhelmed our abilities for deeper critical analysis?
  3. To what extent does science have a role to play when measuring impact?

Digital Citizenship (NxG)

The pace of technological change is accelerating. It will redefine industries and create new ones from scratch. Yet many family businesses are struggling to keep pace.

  1. Are families fully exploiting digitalization as a means to transform existing business models.
  2. Are families aware that digitalization goes beyond information systems and e-commerce?
  3. Are families capitalizing on digitalization to engage customers and communities?

Social Responsibility 2.0

Investors now know that adhering to ESG strategies pays off. How can families and their enterprises meet these challenges and while harnessing their potential?

  1. Will markets or governments lead the way in the next big environmental trends?
  2. How should businesses adapt to sustainability and purpose challenges?
  3. What tactics can family enterprises apply towards improving their CSR practices?

Climate Risks and the Green Economy

The economy that aims at reducing environmental risks and that promotes sustainable development is now worth as much as the fossil fuel sector. Because environmental and economic risks are inextricably linked, they cannot be considered in isolation.

  1. What role can businesses play towards integrated risk mitigation efforts.
  2. If the global risk landscape changes faster than our ability to manage, how can we prepare?
  3. Economic risks can be weathered; climate change cannot. Time to shift priorities?

Please fill out your participation form:

The Families Summit of Minds is an “exclusive” community event, by invitation only.
To participate, you must be a member of:

You can confirm your presence up to five (5) days before the Summit is due to begin.

The participation fee will be announced shortly. Please register and we will be in touch.

It does not include travel and accommodation.


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