Thriving in a Changing World Course Content

Make an Impact with today’s most innovative strategies

Thriving in a Changing World: Strategies for Family Business implies being able to lead and support business families in their efforts to not only develop and commercialize ideas to create and capture economic value, but also to become impact-driven enterprises.

This certification course will cover key learnings and strategic approaches to help you identify, analyze and respond to the socioeconomic and environmental issues affecting your family enterprise or your family enterprise clients.



What will you learn?

Key learning outcomes include:

  • Learning how to recognize current global trends and how they may impact the strategic and operational aspects of  the family business.
  • Exploring the pain points and key opportunities for family enterprises that shift entrepreneurial objectives towards solving socio-environmental challenges in addition to wealth creation.
  • Discovering what and where changes may need to occur in a family business system that will help drive innovation on sustainability, value creation, diversity, equity and inclusion.

Learning outcomes for each course topic are outlined below…


Global Trends, Social Impact

The Social Context of Family Enterprising: Family firms do not exist in an economic vacuum but are embedded within social and cultural systems. The expectations of family firms both from external stakeholders and their own next generation are rapidly evolving. In this module, we will discuss frameworks for evaluating today’s complicated global landscape and grapple with social issues that are becoming critical new topics in family enterprise leadership. We will provide tools for how to recognize and analyze changes in today’s environment and provide advice that helps families to organize their entire family enterprise system in response.

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Understanding trends and how to impact they impact the strategic and operational aspects of family enterprises
  • Learn frameworks and approaches to evaluate today’s complicated global landscape in a both systemic and systematic way
  • Understand what new mindsets, goals, and strategies might be required for family enterprises to survive and thrive in today’s turbulent times with rising and pressing social issues.

Impact Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Due to their social capital and unique resources, family enterprises and their constituencies have the potential to exert a major ripple effect in both local and global economies. Advising with impact implies being able to encourage and support family enterprises’ efforts not only to develop and commercialize ideas to create and capture economic value, but also to become impact-driven enterprises. This module provides you with actionable frameworks to help family enterprises leverage their unique values and resources—with particular attention to their social capital and tradition—for the formation, development, and commercialization of solutions aimed at extending a family enterprise’s domain of competence. This simultaneously generates opportunity for social and economic value creation.

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Explore key challenges and opportunities for family enterprises to engage in entrepreneurial activities that prioritize solving socio-environmental challenges over wealth creation
  • Gain insights into how to foster, organize, and sustain impact entrepreneurship within a family enterprise


Recent Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) movements have made several companies increase their commitment to DEI. While consistent evidence suggests that inclusive and diverse organizations outperform their competitors due to the different perspectives represented, structural and cultural factors continue to limit opportunities for diverse talent. These barriers are particularly salient in family enterprises. Indeed, while on the one hand, changing demographics are creating new roles and leadership opportunities for diverse talent in family businesses; on the other hand, external factors such as prejudice, unconscious bias and family traditions are preventing family enterprises from harnessing the benefits of a diverse workforce and inclusive work culture. Even when committed to increasing workforce diversity and inclusion, family enterprises seem to lack a clear and consistent strategy to address the root causes of inequities. Furthermore, in family enterprises, beyond the business, diversity becomes salient also in the family, and in the ownership, where it may be experienced among the same members, making it even more complex and potentially hurtful. This module blends theory, practice and real-world testimonies to increase your awareness of unconscious bias and your ability to assess whether business practices may create disparities in opportunity and/or outcomes for family enterprise employees, family members, shareholders and other stakeholders, thereby making you better prepared to support family enterprise commitments and efforts toward DEI, in the business and beyond.

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Learn implicit assumptions and unconscious bias that hamper diversity and inclusion in family enterprises
  • Broaden and deepen our understanding of DEI as it relates to family and ownership in family enterprises
  • Discover the extent to which diversity impacts family enterprises, and how your influential role as an advisor can be
  • Explore new approaches to managing two critical aspects of diversity in family enterprises: inter-generational and neurodiversity


This module addresses how and why the rapid changes in the natural environment are our greatest threat or opportunity for the survival and longevity of family firms. We examine how the meaning of sustainability has evolved over time and how family businesses are unlocking the economic, social and ecological opportunities presented by the rapidly unfolding sustainability revolution. Examples of new entrepreneurial firms designed with sustainability principles embedded into their business models are compared with pathways adopted by legacy family enterprises to transform their companies for longevity and continuity.

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize why business families are uniquely positioned to reap economic and social benefits from the rapid changes in the natural environment
  • Identify the motivations and the deterrents of family businesses to embark on the environmental sustainability journey
  • Learn about the new entrepreneurial ventures designed to minimize the environmental impact of operations while generating robust economic outcomes
  • Understand the pathways being adopted by legacy firms to transform a business built on economic principles to one that embeds environmental values in core operations


Traditional business thinking has made a strict separation between an organization’s profit-making activities and its social and environmental impact. We suggest that such a divide is no longer tenable and explore how families need to rethink both how they make and spend profit. We structure this conversation around three O’s of family social impact – family’s orientation towards social impact, how they organize social impact, and how they operationalize social impact. We advocate for a holistic approach to social impact that infuses social performance into business strategy and governance, allowing different generations to work together to use family business as a force for good.

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the need to think differently about profit – both its creation and its use
  • Explore the differences of how family enterprises orient towards and organize their social value creation activities
  • Learn how to initiate conversation about social impact with family enterprise clients
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    Thriving in a Changing World — VANCOUVER
    November 25 to 27, 2024
    Apply here