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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AI Knowledge Place – Questioning the role of AI in the future

For the Leaders of Tomorrow (LoT), the St. Gallen Symposium started on the Wednesday with a full day dedicated to their ideas. Entitled “AI Knowledge place”, the day was centred around the ideas of the essayists that did not make the final cut but deserved to be put forward. Along with the three Main Partners for this day – ABB, Accenture, and Swiss Re – the LoTs spent the day brainstorming, debating and discussing the growing influence of AI and the impact on the labour market.

Sessions were firstly held by executives of ABB, Accenture and Swiss Re on different topics related to AI and its effect on their own branch. From talks on policy-makers’ approach to new technology to marketing in the robot age, the venue was flooding with ideas and fascinating discussions inspiring the LoTs for the afternoon’s session held by their peers. Indeed, 9 essayists had the privilege to hold their own session on their answer to the question “Robots are coming for your job: how do you augment yourself to stay economically relevant?” At the end of the afternoon, the nine finalists pitched their ideas in front of the crowd, where the three bests were rewarded with the chance to present their ideas in a unique setting as well as in front of the panellists of the Closing Session.

Matthew Hinson (US), Master Candidate in Law and Politics at Columbia University, challenged the current diplomacy system following the idea developed in his essay “Augmented Human Diplomacy: Adapting to Artificial Intelligence in Global Politics”. His bold statements on how to address the two major global crisis that are international migration and the threat of a multipolar world were followed by the presentation of his solution of “Augmented Human Diplomacy” to solve them.

Daniel Sawyer (US), a California Institute of Technology student pursuing a PhD in Science, imagined his future as a scientist and what it would take to safeguard his chosen profession against creative AI in his essay “Saving scientific creativity by enhancing human empathy”. Citing empathy and creative collaboration as the main tool to avoid workforce obsolescence, he discussed his strategy to teach those two skills with the help of a device that facilitates reliable communication of subjective human experience using relational frame theory.

In his essay “Self-Sufficient Agriculture in the Age of Automation”, Rico Joey Massa (CA), Master Candidate in Engineering at McGill University, addressed the matter of food security and how to tackle it. His sharp comment on the benefits of agriculture self-sufficiency as a result of the increasing technology and knowledge on the subject, could be an alternative to people losing their job to machines.

The three young men convinced the public with their innovative approach of the future of work and the development of their ideas. Watch below the other ideas discussed throughout the day and some of the key takeaway.

The best pitchers had the chance to present their ideas in front of a jury in a very special place to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award. Kept as a surprise until the very last, the closing session of the day took place at the Kybun Park, the football stadium home of the St. Gallen Football Club (see above). Sawyer, Hinson, and Massa presented their ideas in front of a jury constituted of Grant Allen (US), Managing Director and Head of Venture at ABB Technology Venture, Nigel Fretwell (GB), Chief Human Resources Officer of Swiss Re, Dileep George (US), Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Vicarious Inc., and Ruchika Sachdeva (IN), Managing Director of Data Science Practice and Applied Intelligence at Accenture. The night was filled with inspiring ideas and discussions on the future of work and the role if AI in it.

Artificial intelligence holds tremendous potential for solving pressing social issues. Humans need to learn to adapt to it and start working with new technologies in order to increase the likelihood of a friendly future cohabitation. Education and Policies, among other, need to be adapted and awareness has to be raised on the potential negative effect of such technology. There are many steps left before we reach level of intelligence as seen in the movie Ex-Machina but right now, AI should not be feared but rather met with open arms since it holds the greatest potential to solve some of the challenges society is bound to face in the future. This year’s edition of the LoT programme raised great expectations and hope about the future, while maintaining the reality that there are darker aspects to the question. The LoT were ready to face the next two intense days of the St. Gallen Symposium inspired by a day of fascinating debates and ideas brought forward by their fellow colleagues.

We would like to thank ABB, Accenture, and Swiss Re for supporting our initiative and enabling us to organise years after years, an inspirational and unique days for the Leaders of Tomorrow.

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