10 Break-Out Sessions

  • Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

A Demographic Revolution: Young India Takes Charge (with All India Management Association)
Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, OYO Rooms
Pranjal Sharma (Topic Leader), Economic Analyst, Advisor and Author, India

India is undergoing its economic, technological and demographic transition simultaneously. An old country is becoming youthful and adventurous with the passage of time. Young Indians like OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal are quietly taking charge of Indian ethos by becoming icons of audacious aspirations and tangible proofs of its potential, spawning startups that are becoming most valuable and famous than many legacy companies. How can young revolutionaries find ways to carry the older generation of investors, regulators, workers and consumers with them and what can other economies and founders learn from India’s momentous transition?

Collaborative Advantage Across Generations: Reflecting on the SGS Experience (ISC Alumni)
Former Members of the International Students' Comittee
Christoph Loos (Topic Leader), Chief ­Executive ­Offi­cer, Hilti AG
Vivian Bernet (Topic Leader), Head of the Organising Committe, International Students' Comittee
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For over 50 years teams of student have volunteered to organise the St. Gallen Symposium. They have written countless invitations, met thousands of partners, and welcomed some of the most important personalities of their time on stage. Together with former members of the ISC we will reflect on the St. Gallen Symposium experience of cross-generational dialogue and collaboration, the lessons they have learned for their lives and on how the symposium has evolved. This session is organised together with ISC Alumni.

Collective Genius? Cultivating Creativity in the Arts and Beyond
Susan Goldsworthy, Affiliate Professor of Leadership, Communications and Organizational Change, IMD Business School
Gerry Hofstetter, Light Artist & Film Producer Hofstetter Marketing
Javiera Estrada, Artist
Tatjana Rupp (Topic Leader), Member of the International Students' Committee

As the need for innovation is growing, the routinisation of well-structured creative processes within organizations is key for concurrent value creation. Prof. Susan Goldsworthy of IMD, this year's St. Gallen Symposium artist Javiera Estrada and Light Artist Gerry Hofstetter will discuss the role of collaboration in the creative process. Together, and in conversation with the audience, they’ll explore the way collaboration can drive creativity in various organisational contexts, and, on the other hand, the role of introversion and lone contemplation in creating something new.

Connecting Business with Purpose: The Potential of Skills-Based Volunteering
Curdin Duschletta, Head Community Impact Switzerland & Foundations, UBS
Christopher Jarvis, Executive Director, RWInstitute
Prof. Amanda Shantz (Topic Leader), MBA Director and Professor of Management, University of St.Gallen

Many employee volunteering and giving programs are presented as an employee perk, similar to casual Fridays or a team-building event. But treating workplace giving and volunteering this way fails to fully capitalise on the great potential of such programs: to foster employee personal growth, and address key societal challenges. The panel will particularly explore the potential of skills-based volunteering, its benefits, and the unique challenges that arise when moving from merely transactional volunteering to something far more transformative.

Financing the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs
Patrick Zhong, Founding Managing Partner, M31 Capital
Makram Azar, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Full Circle Capital
Prof. Julia Binder (Topic Leader), Professor of Sustainable Innovation and Business Transformation, IMD Business School

The investment landscape over the next twenty years will be radically different from previous generations. While there appears to be greater access to capital, there also appears to be much more volatility and debt with no clear dominant financing mechanism. Entrepreneurs, VC, Private Equity, and banks will have to find new ways to work together to create growth and stimulate innovation. How can investors and entrepreneurs better collaborate and find mutually beneficial agreements that balance risk and return?

Hacking the Fashion & Luxury Watchmaking Industry towards more Sustainability (with Condé Nast College)
Martina Bonnier, Editor-In-Chief, Vogue Scandinavia
Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO, Omega S.A
Carmen Jenny, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CLOTHESfriends AG
Johannes Reponen (Topic Leader), Director of Post-Graduate Programmes; Academic Affairs; Research & Knowledge Exchange, Condé Nast College

The fashion industry accounts for 10% of humanity’s annual carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. For long, the fashion and luxury watchmaking industry drove, together with the fashion media industry, unsustainable dynamics in the sector: generating more and more demand through an artificial cycle of new collections and seasonal trends. Businesses’ marketing, media as well as influencers thereby create a constant longing and demand for their products. How can designers, fashion houses and publishers exit this vicious cycle and, collaboratively, drive the transition towards more sustainable and ethical fashion and luxury watchmaking?

M100 Sanssouci Colloquium@St. Gallen: Media’s New Power: More Impact Through Collaborative Journalism
Mathias Müller von Blumencron, Journalist, Member of the Board, Tagesanzeiger and Advisory Board Member M100 Sanssouci Colloquium
Joanna Krawczyk, Chairwoman, Leading European Newspaper Alliance
Paul Radu, Investigative Journalist, Co-Founder OCCRP
Astrid Frohloff (Topic Leader), TV Presenter and Journalist, Advisory Board Member M100 Sanssouci Colloquium

Media diversity, freedom of the press and freedom of expression in Europe are currently under threat. Journalists and independent media companies are increasingly joining forces across borders to respond to such challenges as well as to be able to continue to offer independent quality journalism in the future. This session will identify learnings from new media partnerships such as the Leading European Newspaper Alliance (LENA) and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to identify how media can most effectively work together.

Democratizing Access to the next Generation of Technology and Innovation: Communities and Radical Transformation
Gina Loften, Member of the Board of Trustees, TIAA
Luzius Meisser, Chairman, Bitcoin Suisse
Tycho Onnasch, General Manager, Trust Machines
Shuo Chen (Topic Leader), General Partner, IOVC

Technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship are key drivers of the modern economy and social mobility. Given their importance, we should strive to improve accessibility to tech, education and entrepreneurship across all backgrounds. Creating open and inclusive communities, especially with tech is important to accomplishing this goal, but it is easier said that done. Simultaneously, a third iteration of the internet – Web3 – has the potential to radically transform the internet of things and reduce barriers to access. How can these forces be effectively harnessed and directed for the benefit of all people and move the world forward?

Varieties of Tech Capitalism: Europe's Approach to Innovation and Regulation in a Global Context
Julian Teicke, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, wefox
Lisa-Marie Fassl, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Female Founders
Christoph Keese (Topic Leader), Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, hy

Over the past decades, the tech sector, especially the internet of things, has become a central component of modern economies. Trying to catch up with the exponential pace of technological development, the US, China, and Europe are crafting rules of the game on digital markets. What are the emerging characteristic differences between regulatory regimes of digital markets, in the US, Europe and beyond, and how do they balance innovation and regulation? In light of strategic competition over tech dominance between the US and China, what are the opportunities and challenges for Europe in particular?

Changed for Good? Engaging with the New World of Work
Petra von Strombeck, Chief Executive Officer, New Work SE
Jean-Christophe Deslarzes, Chair of the Board, Adecco Group
Nat Ware, Founder & CEO Forte
Prof. Heike Bruch (Topic Leader), Director, Institute for Leadership and Human Resources Management, University of St. Gallen
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The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world of work forever. The fast and widespread adoption of remote work and an ever-increasing concern of employees with purpose and meaning on their job have intensified the war for talents. Reaching out to and concurrently engaging employees is key for businesses across sectors and regions. What learnings can be drawn from the pandemic as regards our approach to work? Has the world of work changed for the better? And what role does leadership culture and a new approach to hiring play going forward?

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A New Generational Contract: Visions for Business, Politics and Society

Topic leaders at the 2022 St.Gallen Symposium gathered to discuss intergenerational fairness, government reform and a younger voting age.

6 May 2022. Focusing on the intergenerational contract and asking what generations owe each other, an international and intergenerational panel gathered on the stage at the St.Gallen Symposium. Considering changes in demographics, unprecedented debt levels, and environmental concerns, how can leaders once again start a dialogue between the generations and promote intergenerational fairness?

Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of St.Gallen Christoph Frei immediately set the scene by pointing out that with issues like war, pandemics and other headlines grabbing topics of the day, there are other imperative issues that societies seem to pass over. The topic of an intergenerational contract at its core deals with what generations give and what generations take from each other… but what is the responsibility of one generation to the next?

Joining Frei on stage were the Co-President of Club of Rome Mamphela Ramphele and the State Secretary for Youth, for Austria Claudia Plakolm. The Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Friedrich Merz joined discussions digitally.

Before turning questions to the panel on intergenerational cooperation, Frei was quick to point out that for most, and especially politicians, words come easy… but the deeds that back up promises are more difficult.

Short-term focus

Frei first turned to Mamphela Ramphele, who is a South African activist and medical doctor and a political thought leader. Ramphele perceives the greatest challenge to intergenerational cooperation as short-termism. This excessive focus on short-term results at the expense of the longer term is displayed in the way we overconsume and have little regard for the next generations. This also has an effect on business—where many keep their eyes on profits and stock prices but perhaps not on the overall health of the company.

She also pointed out that Indigenous wisdom points to a value system that looks always at the future. Reverence for life and nature needs to passed on from one generation to another. She believes that we have lost this belief system and believes that we need to have the willingness to change our mindset. “We have to become human in a new way.” She is convinced that by changing how we value each generation will change our short-term thinking to longer term.

Friedrich Merz is not only the chairmen of one of the largest political parties in Germany, he also works to create and enhance more cross border cooperation in Europe. When asked about intergenerational equity, Merz first pointed out that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is the start of a new world order. He stated that this invasion is not just a regional event in East Ukraine, but that it is a global event that will affect us all.

Merz agreed with Mamphela Ramphele and thinks that we need new priorities that need to be reflected in government investments. He argues that we need to consume less and we need to revamp our pension system. Currently in Germany, 1/4th of the German federal budget is spent on pensions, and not on other expenditures that would help the next generation like education, sustainability and infrastructure. He continued, saying that the priorities of the federal budget need to change.

Better off than the one before

The State Secretary for Youth in Austria Claudia Plakolm, who was first elected to Austrian Parliament at the age of 22 pointed out that the same challenges facing Germany are also facing Austria. She noted that the average Austrian in 1970’s was retired for 7 years, and now they enjoy a pension for an average of 22 years. The assumption previously was that every generation was better off than the one before. This notion no longer seems to be true.

Moderator Christoph Frei confronted Ramphele on her philosophical approach to generational change asking her to specifically respond to war in Ukraine and how Africa is dealing with intergenerational challenges. In response to Ukraine, Ramphele quoted an African proverb: When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. She sees Ukraine as affecting us all globally. She then quoted fellow South African Desmond Tutu who said, “If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

Leaders clinging to power

Dealing with the next question, Ramphele stated that Africa is blessed with the youngest population but has the oldest government leaderships… After serving their time, African leaders did not or have not stepped aside and let the next generation lead. She said that the beauty of being young is not being afraid of change. The younger generation are the change makers… each generation much find its mission to free the future. She appealed to the young people to start a human revolution that seeks to change mindsets. But in the end, we are in this together.

Setting his focus on Merz, Frei pointed out that German governments seem to prioritize austerity before acting boldly on issues such as climate change.
Merz pushed back noting that he believes the German government focuses on fiscal responsibility not austerity. Being disciplined, gives us the flexibility to maneuver. To focus on new priorities, we need to first spend responsibly. He is convinced that consumption needs to slow down and that a re-priortisation would give them the path to being able to invest in education, infrastructure, etc.

Suffrage at 16

To wrap up the discussion, Plakolm noted that Austria is one of two European nations that have set their voting age at 16. She believes that this has changed a focus for Austrian governments to include the perspective of the new generation when designing policy. In dealing with the coronavirus pandemic for example, many lockdown measures were primarily implemented to protect the older generations. Now we are seeing that these measures had a negative effect on the younger generations such as distant learning and mental health. She sees Austria as leading the recognition of these maladies that the younger generation are now facing.

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