Babson College is the convener of the STEP Project that explores "best practices" of family businesses around the world.

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More than 80 academics and family business owners from 22 affiliate countries (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Thailand, UK, USA, Venezuela) participated in the 2013 Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices (STEP) Global Summit at ESADE, Barcelona November 14-16, 2013.

The Global STEP Project is an applied research initiative that explores the entrepreneurial process within business families and generates solutions that have immediate application for family leaders. Babson College is the convener of the Project. More information on the STEP Project>

Families who participate in the STEP Project are invited to join with academics every three years for a STEP Global Summit. The Summit is a distinctive part of the STEP Project's applied research design, allowing the families to receive immediate value from the findings and the academics to better understand the needs of the families. In a unique live learning model leveraging the research foundation of the event, session topics are designed based on themes emerging from the research and cross-regional teams are assigned to develop and deliver each session. Twenty of ESADE’s graduate students participated and contributed to the conference by acting as personal hosts for visiting family members & conference participants.

On Thursday, November 14, the ESADE team hosted a Welcome dinner for all the families and STEP teams at the Fábrica Moritz. Attendees not only enjoyed delicious native tapas dishes throughout the evening, guests were entertained by a duo of move for fun dancers! These instructors were dedicated to teaching guests how to move and dance with each other collectively as a group and to enjoy the sounds and movements! The guests happily participated with much laughter, and were very creative! The Summit kicked off the events with Dean Alfons Sauquet Rovira, ESADE, In addition, the guests enjoyed keynote speeches from two very distinguished gentlemen: Secretary General Jesús Casado from European Family Businesses and Dr. Jörg Mittelsten Scheid, from Vorwerk, Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board and member of the Vorwerk owner family.

The interactive sessions on Friday and Saturday, November 15th and 16th, evolved around five inspiring themes allowing for thought provoking parallel sessions, some including the family businesses discussing their own experiences:

New Ideas for the New World

  • When Outsiders Bring New Ideas
  • When the Only Son Wants to Start His Own Business
  • Fostering Innovation in Uncertain Environments
  • Technological Innovation and Corporate Venturing

Developing Resources & Capabilities

  • How Family Businesses Can Develop Entrepreneurial Resources
  • Top Management Teams: Developing a Highly Competent Group of Siblings
  • Family Values: Building Organizational Capabilities and Corporate Identities

Developing Next Generations

  • Tools and Practices for Developing Next Generations
  • Developing Next Generation Entrepreneurial Capabilities
  • Developing Shareholder Competence

Entrepreneurial Mindsets Around the World

  • Pursuing Happiness
  • Collaborating Globally: As Only Business Families Can!
  • Creating an Entrepreneurial Family Team

Best Practices from Around the World

  • Functional Ways of Dealing with Differences & Full Resource Utilization

On Friday evening, ESADE hosted an elegant Gala dinner at La Torre dels Lleons for all of the families and STEP members to celebrate the 2nd annual Global Summit and show gratitude for the many families that travelled from all over the world to attend. The ESADE hosts surprised the 80 guests with a traditional performance building castells--a Catalan custom of creating human towers, a tradition dating back to the early 18th century! 

The motto of Castellers is "Força, equilibri, valor i seny" (Strength, balance, courage and common sense). The Castellars performance was amazing and exemplified how teamwork, perseverance, physical and mental strength all come together to complete one goal. Some of our members were fortunate enough to participate in the cultural building of this human tower!

Also, at the 2013 STEP Global Summit, Pramodita Sharma, UVM/Babson College, announced the release of the 4th Elgar STEP Book: Exploring Transgenerational Entrepreneurship: The Role of Resources and Capabilities, edited by STEP scholars Pramodita Sharma, Philipp Sieger, Robert S. Nason, Ana Cristina González L. and Kavil Ramachandran.

The warm and friendly hospitality of Alberto Gimeno, Maria Jose Parada, and their dedicated team at ESADE created a friendly, warm, family like atmosphere for all attendees, which in turn resulted in a successful and satisfying event for all.

About Babson

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The College is a dynamic living and learning laboratory, where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society -- while at the same time evolving our methods and advancing our programs. We shape the leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to create economic and social value. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value. For information, visit

By Barbara Spies Blair, , 781-239-4621 | 12/09/2013 06:00