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
Watch Here

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
Watch Here

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?

Sign up for our Newsletter

Sign up for our Newsletter

Artificial Intelligence and Algorithmic Paternalism – The End of Human Choice?

Respondents surveyed for this year’s Voices of the Leaders of Tomorrow Report criticize algorithms for limiting freedom of information and freedom of choice – but seem open to delegating various tasks to Artificial Intelligence. In short, they struggle with trade-offs between convenience and control.

Sophisticated algorithms and artificial intelligence are some of the most important and promising technological developments of our time, especially in a business context. Algorithms can improve the targeting of communication and offerings of companies and platforms, often even to the point of individualization.

AI is a branch of computer science that deals with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers or the ability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior. In other words, it can not only support human work and decision- making processes but could eventually replace them altogether. Thus, AI is the first field that threatens to compete with humanity in a domain long considered unreachable for machines: making intelligent decisions.

Most people are already used to social networks applying algorithms to filter content for users, online shops track order history and user behavior to make product suggestions, and search engines tailor results to stored individual profiles. The basis for that is data, very often on a level of detail and in amounts that many people are not aware of, which is analyzed and used for predictions by algorithms that most people do not understand.

Many algorithms are aimed at influencing online search and shopping decisions (which ultimately also impacts offline behavior). They do not exert control through authoritarian power, do not impose prohibitions or laws, but they subtly create different realities (bubbles) and thus influence human decisions.

How do the Leaders of Tomorrow – many of whom can be expected to lead start-ups or join top management of companies in the future – see the issue of freedom in the context of this new technology? Do they consider algorithms that filter the content they see on the Internet more as a tool of convenience, more as a patronizing instrument, or both? This year’s Voices of the Leaders of Tomorrow Report – a collaboration of the Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions and the St. Gallen Symposium – provides answers.

First and foremost, they see restrictions in their freedom of information and freedom of choice in algorithms that filter content, a kind of “algorithmic paternalism”. Two thirds of them agree to corresponding statements, just 20% disagree. In contrast, convenience aspects such as decision support by preselection and customized suggestions polarize clearly: Half of the respondents seem to distrust the quality of the algorithm-based preselection or do not consider them to be really helpful.

Concerning the intentional delegation of tasks to AI, the Leaders of Tomorrow were asked to recommend which of various tasks should be delegated fully or partially to AI by companies. The following response options were available: 1) Humans decide without input from AI, 2) AI develops a number of options and humans decide between these options, 3) humans develop a number of options and AI decides among them, or 4) AI decides without input from humans.

The variation of the answers is very high. The AI is granted least authority in matters of personnel and human resources. Especially the hiring decision itself should be made by only a person – at least according to about half of the Leaders of Tomorrow. However, more than 40% think that AI can preselect options. The power of influence by creating options seems to be perceived as smaller than by making the final decision. But as the development of options creates a shortlist and narrows the scope of possibilities, the perceived level of control exerted by making the final decision may be overestimated or – to put it bluntly – be only an illusion of control.

When it comes to the task of developing products, far more Leaders of Tomorrow suggest that AI should be granted influence. Just a quarter of the respondents would do this creative task without the support of artificial intelligence, while nearly 60% would use it for the development of options. So, creating the shortlist is the preferred type of AI assistance again.

The greatest extent of AI involvement is recommended for a third task, granting discounts or setting surcharges or customers. Every fifth participant even thinks that these decisions should be left entirely to AI. And similar percentages think that AI should select among human-developed options (34%), or that humans should select among AI-developed options (36%). Thus, 9 out of 10 respondents would rely on the AI for this task. Maybe the high level of overall agreement that AI should be involved in decision making in this case can be explained by the fact that AI is already widely – and successfully – applied in a similar task, namely for programmatic buying in online advertising.

Thus, it does not need much imagination to conceive of applying AI solutions to automatic pricing. The interesting questions for the future will be to see which decision tasks are best left to humans, which to AI, and in which ways the two can best cooperate.

Read the full Voices of the Leaders of Tomorrow Report here for all findings and detailed analysis.

Share the article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *