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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Can Technology Succeed Without Trust?

The increasing use of technology in all areas of life makes it all the more important to focus on security as an essential part of innovation.

We all enjoy the benefits of innovation and are quick to embrace new ways of making life better. Our world is increasingly filled with technology, as we make mobile phones a central part of daily life, do business in the cloud, and rely on intelligent cars to keep us safe, comfortable, and entertained. 

Despite all the ways we’ve welcomed technology, though, we are still slow to trust. If a new product or service doesn’t perform the way we expect it to, even in small ways that might impact security or convenience or quality, we can lose faith and look elsewhere. 

Building Trust Takes Time

Recent trends in the smart-home market are a good example of how trust can take time to develop. New, cloud-connected appliances make it easier than ever to experience entertainment, stay informed, and control our living environments. Consumers saw the benefits early on and rushed in, but growing concerns over security, with smart speakers and TVs that might listen in on our conversations and smart thermostats that might be hacked, have slowed adoption and made people wary. We may crave convenience, but only if we can trust it to protect our privacy and security.

In automotive, on the other hand, time and careful evaluation have helped establish trust. Each new addition to the car – airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), anti-theft immobilizers, electronic stability programs (ESPs) – is introduced only after extensive study. What were once new concepts have now become indispensable features, because we trust what has proven itself reliable and safe. In fact, the automotive industry has so effectively gained our confidence that we now allow vehicles to intervene on our behalf, letting automation take over in moments of inattention that can put lives at risk. 

Maintaining Trust is an Ongoing Challenge

The challenge of establishing trust starts as a simple problem of numbers, because the more technologies we use, the greater the chances that something will fail. The increasing use of technology makes it all the more important to focus on building and maintaining trust.

How we deliver technology has a role to play. The pace of innovation, spurred on by growing competition in every technology arena, places pressure on companies and raises the risk that development teams will take shortcuts or miss a potential problem. It’s hard to be both rigorous and fast.

Big data has an impact on trust as well. Today’s technology can yield an astonishing amount of information about the world and our lives in it. We’re still exploring how best to use that information in positive ways, without violating privacy or damaging the trust of those who provide the data.

Any number of things can trigger a loss of trust. It might be something you, yourself, experienced while using a technology, or it could be learning about someone else’s bad experience. History can influence perceptions about security and quality, whether it’s a particular company that delivered a poorly made product or an entire country that, as a whole, is thought to be less concerned with standards for safety and reliability. A questionable move by one company can endanger the reputation of an entire market segment. News from the hacker community, whether it’s a story about ethical hackers uncovering a security flaw or unethical ones exploiting a loophole, can influence opinion, too. 

Trust Starts at the Core

The tight connection between technology and trust is making trust a key differentiator for products and services, and that creates a compelling reason for companies and brands to focus on security and quality at every point, whether it’s in the supply chain or as part of the consumer experience. 

This is something that we, in the semiconductor industry, know well. Innovation is at the heart of our business. We are keenly aware that our products are essential building blocks for technological advances of all kinds, and that means trust is, by necessity, a vital part of what we do.

When we look to the future of driving, for example, we see opportunities to add innovation throughout the vehicle. We know that features like higher processing power, improved connectivity, and increased energy efficiency are all things that Tier-1 companies are interested in having. But we also know that car manufacturers won’t move ahead with new features unless they are trustworthy. 

To ensure trust, we as engineers must ask ourselves, at every point of development, if we’ve done all we can to meet industry requirements, protect information, and keep people safe. That means putting tighter controls on processes such as product design, qualification, and manufacturing, and striving for continual improvement. 

It’s also important to identify areas that need protection and implement tested, certified security mechanisms that prevent attacks in the virtual and physical worlds. Being proactive, with customer education along the supply chain, participation in regulatory initiatives, and clear communication with government agencies, is another aspect of building trust in our products.

Perhaps most important, though, is creating a company culture where every employee feels responsible for the products the company provides. When everyone makes trust a top priority, our customers can be confident that we’re delivering the highest levels of security, quality, and reliability – and that helps spur innovation.

The Future Depends on Us

The pace of innovation will continue to accelerate, which means the future is not as far away as we might think. Those of us in the semiconductor industry can already see the day when the car is the driver, the cloud is where we keep all our digital keys, and our homes are more intuitive and efficient while being more personal and sustainable. We have the ability to bring these systems to life – but we will only succeed in doing so if we can prove to everyone that technology-driven innovations deserve our trust.

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