The Voice of Family Business
We are at the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution where the concept of digitising everything is fast becoming reality. Emerging technologies are combining to deliver even higher value than they could on their own. With its potential to connect billions of people with unprecedented access to knowledge, this revolution has the promise to improve the lives of populations across the globe.
Yet to date, the largest beneficiaries tend to be the providers of intellectual and physical capital —the innovators, shareholders, and investors. The evidence thus far indicates that the benefits of the coming change will be concentrated among a relatively small elite, exacerbating the current trend towards greater levels of inequality.
This rising gap in wealth between those dependent on capital versus labour, represents a genuine and alarming economic, societal and ethical concern. At FBN our response is our Pledge for a Sustainable Future – a commitment and business model that will enable flourishing for people, community, the environment and generations to come.
We know that responsible capitalism is a marathon not a sprint and we must promote a business model that empowers rather than exploits and builds bridges and not walls.
This call to action by FBN has implications far beyond the network. Worldwide, family businesses account for two thirds of businesses, employ 60% of the work force and contribute over 70% to global GDP.
Given this predominance, family firms have the potential to lead responsible capitalism by educating employees, ensuring responsible production and engaging suppliers in ethical practices. With 4,000 Business Families across 65 countries, FBN is the largest network of family businesses and uniquely positioned to play a role in bringing this agenda to life. As a trust-based organisation that facilitates peer learning, we support members to create meaningful growth in their companies enabling positive change for all stakeholders.
To empower Family Businesses on the journey, FBN developed Polaris. Named for the North Star, Polaris is FBN’s framework to deliver on the Pledge. We have built tools for members to measure their impact, published close to 40 case studies on members delivering on the SDGs and created programmes to empower our global movement – Family Business as a Force for Good.