ISSUE 2 FAMILY PERSPECTIVES The ‘New Enlightenment’ How Families Lead the Way in a New Age© FREDERICK METZ SHEPPERD CEO, Shepperd Investors AG, Zurich, Switzerland Published in “Families For Families,” Magazine, the official publication of the European Family Office Alliance, (, November 1, 2016 T he world is at a major crossroad in our history. It has happened before and will again. The economy of the world has been stalled for years. Growth is minimal. Job growth is equally stagnant. The central banks have tried to spur the global economy with little success. The people in much of the world are chafing under this stagnation wanting more and demanding more, yet, governments cannot simply deliver what is demanded. So the people demand change. Change in any form. With such unrest, the path can go two directions. It can continue a populist trend demanding change at any cost. We all know that trajectory as we saw brownshirted men marching in Germany, Long Island and elsewhere in the world during the Great Depression. However, the path can also take a new form, a positive way, a solid, new and inspiring path for people around the world. The focus by the media is on the negative trend. It sells papers and glues people to their televisions and mobile phone apps. The real development behind the scenes is quite positive and about to break out into the light! Behind the scenes, out of the camera lights, there is a radical new birth in technology, a focus again on innovation in what and how things are made. The manufacturers of the Midwest US did not disappear during the Great Recession, or the Great Depression. They sat at home, or in their garage and reinvented what they did to make it better, develop new products and innovative concepts for production! This is about making new products in traditional industries that the world wants to buy. You can market all you want on social media, but if you do not have a product to buy at the end of the day, all that chatting and tweeting does not bring much results! The rebirth is not just happening in the Midwest US. It is happening in other parts of the world. You find it In the North of England, where Brexit fever was so dominant. It is happening in many other parts of the world, where, “old industry,” laid dormant. It is not the end of Globalization. It is far from the end of the Global Era. It is something radically different and much more profound. That spark of innovation is about to be recognized around the world and lead to growth in the global economy, much needed jobs, a resurrection of many blighted parts of the industrialized world, higher wages and a brighter future for the coming generations. That spark also will spread from technology and the economy, to culture, the arts and a proper revision of the social contract. There is a new age dawning. A new, “Age of Enlightenment,” and families of the world play a key role, again, going forward. Families always have! The Medici family carried the burden to bring the world out of the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. The original, “Age of Enlightenment,” the Elizabethan and Victorian period in British History, the Belle Epoque in France, Vienna and its cultural and economic leadership in Europe and other celebrated periods of growth and inspiration in our civilized world had its foundation in active family involvement. The United States owes its economic engine not to Washington DC, or New York City, but to families in other parts of the country, who pioneered new products, new technology and the desire to make things that the world wants to buy. Just look at what currently goes on with Elon Musk and other great innovative families and their family offices to develop radically new technology and products. Families truly at work! Families really in action! How do you define families? Of course, at first it is families with the resources to make the changes and light the spark. They must lead the way, by example. However, it is really a grass roots, very decentralized movement of families regardless of whether you donate 10 dollars, or 10 million, or whether you fix up a rundown park in your neighborhood, or build a performing arts center for your community. It all makes a difference. We are all in this together! It is again time for families to play a role and be the source of the solution in these trying and very stressful times. Politicians and central bankers do not have any tools left to deal

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