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  • Writer's pictureAmi Kassar

AmiSight 7/26: A Conversation With A Legend of Forums

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

This past week, I had the opportunity to talk to quite the Forum Legend. Mo Fathelbab, founder and president of Forum Resources Network, LLC and co-founder of Harvard Business School Alumni Forums. He is also the author of two best-selling books: Forum: The Secret Advantage of Successful Leaders and The Friendship Advantage: 7 Keys to Building Relationships that Transform Culture and Drive Productivity. Born and raised in Egypt, Mo did not move to the states until 1978, when he migrated with his mother. He studied finance at the University of Maryland and, in his last year while dabbling in entrepreneurship studies, came across Verne Harnish, renowned entrepreneur and founder of Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

In 1991, Mo was soon introduced to the forum and peer groups concept. Forums, as Mo describes them, are confidential peer-to-peer meetings for members to connect but also be honest and become vulnerable in a space full of peers who understand each other's struggles. Recently, Mo's company was asked by Google to help create peer groups for underrepresented minorities of their company to encourage resolve and refuge within their work environment.

Despite Mo's success with the Google peer groups, he says that forums are not absolved from struggle. Many forums struggle with a lack of commitment from members as people have a hard time giving such a time commitment and see it as a waste of time. Although they require a certain time commitment, Mo advocates that forums give people a way to connect on a meaningful level and allow a sanctuary for shared understanding which helps many people find aid for problem-solving or just peace of mind in finding solidarity. Rather than thinking of these spaces as something that takes your time, Mo urges those in forums to think of them as spaces and communities that give you back your time.

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