Evolving the Conversation: The Future of Family Business Advising and Research
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Family enterprises have a unique advantage in that time horizons often span generations. With family enterprises estimated to generate between 70%-90% of the global GDP, they, and by extension their advisors and the academics who study them, are positioned to significantly impact the near future. But, how? In what ways should what has become “traditional” education be modified? What does “lifelong learning” in the field mean today?

Following recent FFI global conferences, we have learned much about the need to create new educational futures for professionals, academics, organizations, and governments as they face, adapt to, and improve the family enterprise ecosystems in which they operate. It is the 2023 Program Committee’s hope that by elevating the varieties and the intellectual rigor of conversations and research in the family enterprise field, we can improve and create dialog and action plans for and with our clients and change the educational face of the field.

With these goals in mind, the 2023 Program Committee requests proposals on the topics below. 

1. Education & Research 
New modes and frames of reference have emerged for professionals and academics over the last three years. Here are some topics to consider in proposals for this category:

  • Do advisors and researchers need to be educated differently than in the past? What are some new ideas and consistent ideals? How can more and different concepts be generated?
  • How can the field adapt to changing frames of references for advisors and researchers currently in the field?
  • How can professional education drive increased awareness and knowledge of values, demographics, identities, educational objectives and more across cultures, countries, and clients? 
  • What are the opportunities to further incorporate evidenced-based models and research into the work and mindset of advisors and researchers?

2. Work & Economic Growth 
We are hopefully coming out of a global pandemic that has left its mark on every aspect and facet of life and business. What does this mean for the future of work and economic growth? Here are some topics to consider in proposals for this category:

  • What are the implications for families whose focus on growth goes beyond the monetary, with emerging generations focused on a culture of societal and environmental purpose?
  • What does the economic landscape look like, and how do advisors and researchers improve their understandings of work patterns, economic growth and the impact of technology to better serve clients and advance the field? 
  • What kinds of service providers are needed today and the near future to improve practices/programs/research? Should there be more engagement of economists, the medical community, psychological/coaching communities, longevity researchers in the field? How would this happen?

3. Governance & Infrastructure 
Advisors, researchers, and the clients they serve are operating in an increasing complex environment. The factors driving complexity are both external (such as economic, technological and geopolitical influences) and internal (such as changing priorities, values, or objectives of rising generation family members. What are the implications on governance models and needed infrastructure? Here are some topics to consider in proposals for this category:

  • How does the field adapt to increasingly complete governance ecosystems, both internally and externally?
  • How do these developments impact the governance and infrastructure models advisors have historically advocated? 
  • What are new models for governance, infrastructure, research, and professional education?
  • Where should academic research on governance and succession planning be focused?
  • How are next gens focused on societal purpose, e.g., ethical, environmental and impact-based investment, incorporated into governance and infrastructure conversations, documents, etc.?

4. Partnerships & Collaborations 
Partnerships and collaborations seem inevitable and logical to meet the challenges ahead, but how they happen and under what circumstances and for what purposes is an open question – and one that has a vast number of answers. Here are some topics to consider in proposals for this category:

  • What is the evolving landscape for multi-disciplinary advising regarding partnership and collaborations?
  • What new tools, skillsets and knowledge do advisors need to continue to propose and evaluate partnership and collaborations with the professions as well as for their clients?
  • What collaborations and partnerships could help advisors and researchers to meet the challenges being faced now, e.g., partnerships with family enterprise communities that focus on younger next gen members?
  • How can the academic community move further beyond its current structuring of topics to engage more flexibly with the advisory community?

5. Your Choice
Up to you! Feel free to propose a topic beyond what the committee has delineated above!

2023 FFI Global Conference Program Committee
Chair: Belinda Sneddon, PwC (NYC)
Louisa Diana Brunner, FFI GEN Faculty, Coach and Independent Advisor (Italy)
Carolyn Greenspon, Relative Solutions (USA)
Gerry Meyer, Meyer Advisory Group (Canada)
Narayan Naik, London Business School (UK)
Paul Oliva, Geller Advisors (NYC)
Rodolfo Paiz, Fidelius (USA)
Sanjay Sharma, Grossman School of Business at the University of Vermont (USA)

  • Proposals should be designed for advisors, consultants, academics, and researchers and be planned for 60 minutes.
  • A variety of presentational formats will be considered, e.g., individual presentations, interviews, and small panels that address cross-cultural, multi-generational, and interdisciplinary topics. 
  • All submissions must be made online here. 
  • Late submissions will not be accepted or considered by the Program Committee. Deadline is January 31, 2023.