The Family Enterprise Canada (FEC) Family Business Symposium was in Ottawa this year and Telfer’s Family Enterprise Legacy Institute (FELI) played a key role, hosting a day of a next-gen retreat and taking part in panel discussions.
The symposium is a unique opportunity for families to share important learning and experiences across generations. The event included speakers, panels and workshops led by family enterprise leaders, owners, educators experts and advisers.
Events kicked off on May 28 and 29 with the NextGen Retreat, followed by the main symposium on May 30 and 31.
NextGen Retreat at Telfer
As the preferred partner for the education of next-gen members of Family Enterprise Canada (FEC), the Family Enterprise Legacy Institute hosted the next-gen retreat May 29.
FELI director Peter Jaskiewicz and FELI visiting professor Sabine Rau, co-authors of the bestselling book Enabling Next Generation Legacies, offered two sessions to the nearly 40 attendees, all next-gen members of enterprising families from across Canada.
During the first session, questions from Jaskiewicz and Rau’s book were used to prompt conversations about experiences next gens have had in their families. In the second session, participants engaged in interactive roleplaying based on a family business case study entitled “For Money or Love?”
“Ask the Experts Anything!” Panel
On May 30, Jaskiewicz joined an “Ask the Experts Anything!” panel, along with David R. Beatty (David and Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation), author and adviser Kristin Keffeler (Illumination360) and Tom McCullough (chair and CEO of Northwood Family Office). It was a lively, engaging conversation, with the panel fielding a wide range of questions from the large audience.
Breakfast with FELI & ABFI
FELI and the Alberta Family Business Institute (ABFI) joined forces for a breakfast panel May 30 to discuss the role of postsecondary institutions and institutes, and how they can better support the family business community. Panellists included Telfer executive director James Price, FELI executive manager Katrina Barclay and ABFI executive director Matt Knight. The panel was moderated by family business member and FEC board member Naim Ali.
FELI and ABFI agreed that there needs to be more collaboration between postsecondary institutions and institutes, including on research and educational programs, to strengthen the family enterprise ecosystem. This was echoed in a poll in which audience members picked the top three ways universities and institutes can support the family enterprise community. They were 1) with training and learning programs, 2) researching new best practices and 3) disseminating new best practices.
Additionally, when asked about priority topics for universities and institutes, audience members mentioned engaging and preparing next gens and succession planning.