Engaging with family businesses

ERNOP Science and Society Seminar: Engaging with family businesses

By Professor Peter Vogel from the Debiopharm Chair for Family Philanthropy at IMD Business School

Discussant: Simona Biancu, Assif

April 20, 2021, 10.00-11.00 AM (CET)

About this seminar

Despite the fact that there exists a long tradition in family philanthropy, the field is now transforming towards being more effective and impactful. But each family is unique and every journey in giving is unique. What motivates enterprising families to engage in philanthropy? What are the benefits of philanthropy for enterprising families? How to engage with family philanthropists or continue an effective collaboration? Over the past two years, at the Debiopharm Chair for Family Philanthropy at IMD Business School, we had a pleasure to conduct in-depth interviews with 70 philanthropic families from around the world, who provided us with unique insights into the fascinating world of family philanthropy. The work has been translated into a practical guidebook for philanthropic families. We will present to you the findings from our research and what they could mean to the philanthropic sector.

The topic of family philanthropy is particularly relevant because the majority of firms around the world are classified as family firms (i.e., more than 60 percent) (FFI, 2017).  As a result, family businesses are uniquely positioned to make a real difference.  In this session we will tackle on the real impact of the enterprising families’ giving as well as the different philanthropic patterns and identities.

The key audience for this session is professionals working with foundations, fundraisers and relationship managers, philanthropy experts, aspiring and established philanthropists, families and business owners, individuals and entrepreneurs.

About the Debiopharm Chair for Family Philanthropy at IMD Business School

The aim of the chair is to increase the social and financial impact of family philanthropy. The chair will facilitate the creation of best practices and will be the source of methodology to strengthen the analysis, decision-making processes, evaluation criteria, and governance in the area of family philanthropy. Another objective is to build upon and transmit common values to businesses and across family generations through philanthropy. This chair will reinforce IMD’s teaching and research and will contribute to generating knowledge in the wider field of family philanthropy.

About Professor Peter Vogel

A national of both Austria and the United States, Professor Vogel holds degrees from the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Lausanne, where he completed his PhD in 2013, ETH Zurich as well as the Georgia Institute of Technology. He specializes in entrepreneurship, innovation and family business. He is the author of numerous academic, scientific and practitioner-oriented publications. A renowned public speaker, he is regularly invited to international events such as TEDx, the St. Gallen Symposium, HBR webinars, the Global Economic Symposium, the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit, the G20 Youth Forum, and many others. 

Previously, Peter Vogel was Director of Custom Programs and Business Development at the Executive School of Management, Technology and Law at the University of St. Gallen where he also was Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship Technology. In addition, he is Associate Partner at the Cambridge Family Enterprise Group and is Chairman of the Board at Delta Venture Partners AG.

About Simona Biancu

Fundraising and strategic philanthropy consultant and trainer, founder and CEO of ENGAGEDin,
a consultancy firm that works internationally in fundraising and strategic philanthropy.
Simona Biancu got a post-graduate Master in Fundraising at Università di Bologna and completed training
attending various courses all over Europe. With more than 10 years of experience on
fundraising strategies, major gifts, individual and corporate fundraising, strategic philanthropy
with Trusts and Foundations, legacy fundraising, Board development, she works with charities
both in Italy and abroad. She chairs conferences, seminars and trainings at an international level.

Besides, Simona is vice-president and delegate to internationalization of the Italian Association of Fundraisers (ASSIF) and member of both the European Fundraising Association (EFA) and European Lung
Foundation, she has many experiences as a Board member of Italian and international
organizations. Also she is co-author of the book “Board in prima fila” (2020), focussed on Board
development, and the blog “Welcome on Board”, focussed on experiences in consulting with
nonprofits governance and development.