Connected Conversations

business family ownership

Open to all.

The Smith Family Business Initiative hosts Connected Conversations, an on-going and evolving webinar series highlighting current issues in family, business, and leadership. Allow yourself time to connect, learn, and engage— these conversations are free and open to all. Registration is required.


REGISTER June 3, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET

Next Gen Now: Reflections and Reactions

A panel of current students and alumni, including Sabrina Co MBA ’18, Lauren Turner MBA ’21, and Param Kandhari MBA ‘21, will share their perspectives on the future of their family enterprises.

REGISTER June 17, 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET

Leadership Lessons for a VUCA World

General George Casey, Jr., Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Cornell University

REGISTER July 15, 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET

Why Family Governance Matters During Times of Crisis

Ann Dugan, Senior Managing Director, Family Office Exchange

REGISTER August 12, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET

Leadership on the Frontline: Reflections and Lessons from an Italian Entrepreneur

Michael Cortelletti, MMH/MBA ’99, owner and “Guardian Angel,” Food Democracy


Leadership Agility in a Complex, Chaotic, and Global World

Cornell Family Business Scholar Greg McCann shares how to grow self-awareness, hone the ability to insightfully understand others, identify the approach best suited for the circumstance, distill complex issues for multiple stakeholders, and create value from change.

Level-Setting Bitcoin, Blockchain and Digital Currencies

Susan Joseph, CALS, Managing Partner of SusanJosephLLC, and Barry Seeman ’83, MEng ’86 and MBA ’87, Managing Partner at Bear Run Partners, LLC, shared their perspectives on the operational and investment opportunities for family enterprises as it relates to blockchain technology and digital currencies.

Managing the Future of Uncertainty

Cornell Family Business Scholar Holly Isdale ’86, shares strategies for balancing long-term perspective with immediate action steps each of us can take.

Taming Anxiety and Building Maturity

Cornell Family Business Scholar and leadership coach John Engels explores the effects of anxiety on work and family relationships, and how parents and business leaders can bring greater maturity, clarity and poise to “twitchy situations.”

Revisiting the Responsible Company

In his landmark book, The Responsible Company, co-authored with Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia, Vincent Stanley, draws on their 40 years’ experience – and knowledge of current efforts by other companies – to articulate the elements of responsible business for our time. Look towards the future with Vincent, explore the many levels of a “responsible company,” and examine why this approach matters with increasing importance.