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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Capital for Purpose

Capital, as defined by economists, has been applied to various purposes for the past four hundred years. It has served as the foundation for many of humankind’s most extraordinary achievements, including economic prosperity and social improvements. Thanks in part to capital, today’s society enjoys technological and medical progress, as well as declining poverty and hunger. Yet, the world still faces complex challenges and is constantly changing. The use of capital, too, must be adapted to new factors such as climate change and the cultural shifts brought by millennials. In this context, individuals, civil society, businesses and governments may recalibrate the purposes for which capital is used in an effort to mitigate unwanted externalities. Focusing capital on long-term purposes has the potential to address many of today’s challenges, from data privacy scandals to the calamity of plastic waste. The time has come to counter excessive short-termism and start doing business as unusual: we invite you to revisit and expand the purposes to which capital is applied.

Rethinking Social Contracts

Certain interest groups are bringing forward new trends as individuals rethink social contracts and demand new commitments from governments, from businesses, and from each other. As citizens, they are pushing for transparency and trustworthiness. When social media empowers individuals and society with new platforms for engagement, collective action emerges. As workers, people face fast-changing conditions due to factors like increased workplace diversity, the gig economy, demographic shifts, and automation. Hence, clarity about continuing education, benefits, and career paths becomes a priority. Meanwhile consumers no longer tolerate greenwashing or irresponsible management of personal data. Their relationship with businesses has become a vehicle for value-based activism and lifestyle expression. For businesses, reputations — and sales — are at stake.

Evolving Capitalism

Business leaders today are bombarded with expectations from stakeholders on issues like conscious capitalism, truth, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social and environmental impact, and responsible investment. Still, there are no bulletproof, objective criteria for generating inclusive growth. In fact, taking a long-term view of the relevant interests and values may lead to positive results for all stakeholders. Some leaders propose a Hippocratic oath type of solution for businesses, with a new checks-and-balances system. Others are averse to any form of (self-) regulation. Traditionally, businesses have contributed to society largely by creating jobs and generating tax revenues. Now, an increasing number of young entrepreneurs and employees give equal weight to their economic, social and environmental missions. Finally, they are working to revitalise a vision of capitalism based on values and enlightened self-interest.

Policy-Making for Collective Prosperity

While some blame capitalism for the evils of the world, we may choose another approach. Markets can function to solve problems and shape an economy that melds profits with collective prosperity. Politicians can play a fundamental part in this pursuit: Countries have developed various approaches to creating the right incentives for individuals, society and businesses. On one side of the Atlantic, a focus on data protection has evolved. On the other, the United States promotes innovation with regulations creating so-called benefit corporations. The Chinese securities exchange commission is looking at instituting environmental reporting obligations. And in South Africa, pension fund regulations allow for impact investments. Policy-makers must design progressive policies that can adapt to the world’s fast-changing scenarios. Technological advancements, unequal opportunity, political polarisation, and protectionist trade policies are challenges that require adequate responses.

Walking the Talk

Studies conducted by renowned universities, global consulting companies, and financial institutions all pro-vide good evidence for expanding the way capital is used. In times of crisis of trust, investing in shared purpose bolsters reputations and public confidence. Talent retention and productivity increase when employees iden-tify impact, meaning, and purpose in their work. Moreover, purpose-oriented action can mitigate the costs resulting from short-term conduct. To ensure sustainability, the capital system should incorporate the long-term interests of all stakeholders. To remain credible, leaders, in particular, need to walk the talk in all they do. How will individuals, civil society, businesses and governments use capital? This important question deserves more than a debate. An action plan for impact within our communities is required.

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