Summit of Minds

November 15-17, 2019 | Charlevoix, Canada

What if you had a better understanding of our world and our place in it? What if you had a sense of what tomorrow could bring? It follows that you would have enhanced capacity to make better personal, investment and strategic decisions.

Our world is increasingly complex. Leaders must now reflect upon the far-distant futures of their enterprises. Our immediate actions today have deeper and longer-term implications: decisions have multi-faceted economic, societal and environmental consequences.

How best to address these recurrent unknowns? The Monthly Barometer1 and Business Families Foundation have joined forces to tackle this question and many others in the inaugural Families Summit of Minds.

The Business Families Foundation’s DNA has long constituted bringing together thought leaders from enterprising families to act nimbly on their families’ futures. Since 2015, in a complementary fashion, the Monthly Barometer’s Summit of Minds has gathered exceptional thought leaders to address global issues through frank, open discussion in an inspired and inspirational, yet relaxed environment.

In this, a new rendering, the Families Summit of Minds (a natural progression of BFF’s Family Matters Forum, where debate is vigorous and polemic) makes its American debut.

The Families Summit of the Minds is articulated around three major themes: (1) family enterprise (2) macroeconomics and geopolitics
(3) well-being. It follows a four-player model where participants shift between roles of mover, opposer, follower or bystander — thus every time tapping into and capturing the deep and collective knowledge in the room.

Families Summit of the 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

1 The Monthly Barometer offers prescient analysis of world issues in a single-page format for time-starved decision makers.


Prominent and diverse thinkers and practitioners frame the conversations but all our participants are potential speakers. The program favours collective brainstorming and active guest participation. Frank, but always courteous, debates take place in an atmosphere of mutual trust. Here are examples of our topics:

1. Does purpose matter?

What are the current forces behind capitalism? Is more wealth or more meaning our goal?

Take a deep dive on why purpose matters deeply for professionals seeking growth and for (Family) businesses seeking a competitive edge.

Find out:

  • Why purpose is less about profit and more about benefits to customers
  • Why more purpose is essential to how companies should be governed

2. Socially responsible business

What are the new standards? How will the rising generation embrace them? Can they?

Join responsible owners and explore lessons learned from Volkswagen’s “dieselgate,” the precedent set by Vale Dam disaster in Brazil or the Odebrecht corruption case and whether corporate social responsibility needs redefining.

Find out:

  • Whether Millennials are as conscious of their social, economic and carbon footprints as they claim
  • Whether they can they avoid the same errors as their less well-informed and “short-sighted” predecessors

3. Mens sana in corpore sano

The “healthy mind in a healthy body” theory is espoused by many. What are the hidden effects of stress on corporate captains?

Engage with practitioners on the impact of isolation on leaders and why we should broaden our definition of success.

Find out:

  • Why putting work ahead of self-care spells disaster
  • How to keep fit and achieve more
  • Why good leaders foster good societies

4. A question of time

Is business longevity under threat in our time-starved digital world of instant gratification and disruptive innovation?

Explore generational questions and better understand why few family enterprises make it past three generations.

Find out:

  • Long-term plans versus short-term demands
  • Why life expectancies for family firms have fallen

5. Multilateral trade agreements… or discord?

Join international families and experts to explore the impact of shifting trade agreements on our personal lives and the wider economy.

Find out:

  • Whether US-China trade friction is the new normal
  • How might an EU-US trade war affect trade in the Americas
  • How to rebuild trust among former Alena treaty members

6. Turmoil, democracy and the Americas

Explore the causes and effects of current political and economic unrest in the Americas.

Find out:

  • The reason why unrest persists is Latin America
  • What are the impacts of US government shutdowns
  • Whether Venezuela’s turmoil could spread beyond its borders

7. Polarization and transcending borders

Migrants fill employment vacancies and create demand. So why are they so reviled?

Take a deep dive to better understand the impact of economic migration on the global economy and doing business today.

Find out:

  • Should western nations reduce or increase immigration?
  • Are refugee crises of our own making
  • Refugees Vs migrants?

8. Redefining cultural governance

In an age of globalization should we put a microscope on customs and beliefs before seeking growth through product, market and customer acquisition?

Engage with experts and your peers to learn why cultural issues can make or break business marriages.

Find out:

  • Whether due diligence can account for intangible social disparities in business deals
  • Why mergers and acquisitions can be so painful

9. Tech and the “Rise of the Rest”

Is pushing venture capital away from traditional heartlands madness or shrewd contrarian thinking?

Engage in an insightful conversation to better understand why it’s the latter and what the implications are.

Find out:

  • Whether the future of start-ups also lies beyond the tech hubs
  • Whether it can contribute to a more “conscious” form of capitalism

10. Build an intrapreneurial mindset

From the ground up and the inside out.

Across two generations of business leaders, learn why enterprising families must embrace intrapreneurial initiatives, tap existing resources, and develop all-new revenue streams from legacy operations.

Find out:

  • The value of mentoring next gens to develop new businesses within existing operations
  • How to allocate energy to new ventures as a complement to core business caretaking.


Fresh perspectives. Uncommon approaches. Exceptional settings. Families Summit of Minds will sharpen your sense of tomorrow in a vibrant atmosphere of collaboration, discovery and well-being.

Who can attend?

  • Monthly Barometer subscribers
  • Business Families Foundation supporters
  • FBN Canada members

What is included?

  • Valid for two people. We strongly believe in the power of two.
  • Includes all meals. Access to all sessions.
  • Includes all outdoor activities.
  • Every participant is a contributor.

*A Next-generation family member must be 30-years-old or younger.


$ 5000 CAD

Next-generation family member

$ 1500 CAD