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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Climate Education Project “GALE” Wins the Global Leadership Challenge 2021

100 young leaders from over 30 countries collaborated to create impact projects addressing the UN
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a joint initiative of the St. Gallen Symposium and the
University of Oxford.

Between 9th-15th December, the Global Leadership Challenge (GLC) convened 100 young leaders
from over 30 countries in a hybrid conference advancing responsible leadership that makes a
difference in the world – leadership that doesn’t simply seek to fulfil personal ambition but furthers
societies’ sustainable development. The participants were tasked with creating impact projects
focused on one of four Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health and Well-Being (SDG3), Quality
Education (SD4), Gender Equality (SDG5) and Climate Action (SDG13). Throughout GLC week,
participants joined design thinking sessions, responsible leadership workshops and global fireside
chats. In cross-generational dialogues, they engaged with more than 20 Senior Advisors from the
realms of business, policy and academia, including, among many others, Prof. Ngaire Woods,
founding Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford, Christian Mumenthaler, Group CEO
of Swiss Re, and Bogolo Kenewendo, African Economist and former Minister of Trade & Industry of
the Republic of Botswana.

During a live-streamed Closing Ceremony, three finalist teams pitched their projects to the judging
panel, highlighting how their idea could help to promote responsible leadership. A team of students
from the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge won the challenge for their Climate
Education project titled Global Access for Learning about the Environment (GALE), which uses
WhatsApp to make Climate Education accessible to those most affected by it.
The winning team members were Ben James (University of Cambridge – Master of Engineering),
Ruby-Anne Birin (University of Oxford – DPhil Archaeological Science), Arrey Bate (ARREYB Media –
Founder) and Duong Vu (University of Oxford – MPhil in Development Studies). In his final pitch, Ben
James, who founded the Cambridge Climate Society, emphasised that “The most adverse effects of
climate change have fallen on those who are least educated about it”. Their project aimed to meet the
needs of local communities and empower them with the knowledge “to engage, explore and develop
their own solutions to local problems”.

The two other finalist teams were Medorum – A Medical Knowledge Transfer Platform enabling HCP
in developing countries to access relevant knowledge and “Become a Wife for a Day” – an idea
recognising the consequences of unpaid domestic care work and promoting a new social narrative in
African countries. All three teams integrated the theme of GLC 2021 – “Power of Purpose” in their
projects, carefully considering their aim, audience and impact in the local communities. The winning
team members will be participating in the 51st St. Gallen Symposium in May 2022 as Leaders of
and all three teams will receive an exclusive mentorship opportunity offered by the Oxford
Character Project

The Jury Members were Alexander Betts, Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs and
Associate Head (Doctoral and Research Training) of the Social Science Division, at the University of
Oxford, Kim Polman, Co-Founder and Chair of Reboot the Future, and Amanda Shantz, Professor of
Management and MBA Director at the University of St.Gallen. Prof. Alexander Betts reflected on the
value of the GLC: “Universities should be measured by their ability to put the greatest minds at the
service of humanity and the GLC I think encapsulates that idea. People who have skills and talents
from across the world, who have the privilege of university education can do more than just stay within
academia. They can reach out, work together, collaborate and have an impact on some of the defining
challenges of this time.”

Kim Polman added: “I hope that all of the participants have enjoyed working on their projects and
especially learning about the SDG’s and how important they are to embed in your work. We will
definitely have a changed world if such intelligent and ambitious people as you embrace them in your
work going forward.”

The winning team was praised for leveraging the diversity of the group to come up with an impactful
project and generate local solutions to global problems. This project was particularly innovative for
empowering local people to contextualise knowledge and create bespoke solutions for their own

“The GLC is an incredible event that brings together young, incredibly intelligent people and throws
them together in a week and gets them to think together, learn together and implement together,” said
Prof. Amanda Shantz. In her final remarks, she said, “A really important part about leadership,
something that we often forget when we’re educators, professors or students, is that leadership is
really about the action so I love all of the plans that I’ve heard today.”

The Global Leadership Challenge is an annual week-long programme jointly organised by the
University of Oxford (Social Sciences Division and the Oxford Character Project) and the St. Gallen
Symposium, supported by the Lemann Foundation and the Templeton World Charity Foundation. To
learn more about the GLC, please visit https://www.leadership-challenge.org/.

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