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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Collaborative Advantage

To foster dialogue and responsible decision-making at a crucial moment in history, the 51st St. Gallen Symposium will explore current dilemmas and new, more impactful models of collective action to address our shared challenges.

With war having returned to the European continent, finding effective mechanisms of collaboration between businesses, governments, and across generations seems more relevant, but also more difficult than ever. Climate change, global economic shocks, and pandemics all extend beyond borders and disciplines – eluding solutions by one individual, organisation, or country alone. Indeed, during the past two years, one of the key learnings has been that the spread of an epidemic in any one country endangers all of humanity – and that currently, no one will be safe unless a large majority of the world population has access to vaccines and other protective measures.

Inter-generational challenges such as inclusive education systems and a sustainable welfare state equally require a collaborative effort: the idea of a “generational contract” embodies the principle that generations rely on each other to provide mutual support at different stages of their lives.

Collaborative advantage is the benefit achieved when individuals, organisations, or societies attain more than they would have independently, by working effectively with others. As sociologist Richard Sennett notes, “cooperation oils the machinery of getting things done, and sharing with others can make up for what we may individually lack.” Cooperation is also embedded in our genes. In his book “Sapiens”, historian Yuval Noah Harari argues that what made humanity stand out as a species in evolution was its ability to “cooperate in extremely flexible ways with countless numbers of strangers.”

Balancing Independence and Interdependence

While the stakes are high, leveraging collaboration to address shared challenges has become increasingly difficult. The return of war to Europe, eroding trust, and mounting intergenerational frictions all aggravate the potential for collective action, while key questions and controversies of our time debate the case for working together over going it alone.

What this shows is that, in shaping the ties that bind us to others, we encounter real dilemmas: Oftentimes, cooperation tries to join individuals and institutions with conflicting interests, diverse values and distinct histories. Working together while upholding one’s own convictions and commitments can be a daunting task – but will be key to sustain, for instance, political and economic ties between the US and China in areas of common interest. Collaboration can equally require to forego short-term self-interests to realise long-term, shared gains – the slow pace at which climate action was pursued for decades demonstrates the difficulties this entails across generations. It can also make us vulnerable to the fate and intentions of those we partner with – and come at the expense of efficiency, autonomy, and control. Recurrent debates around European integration and global supply chain deficiencies demonstrate the difficulty of striking a reasonable balance between independence and interdependence.

The St. Gallen Agenda

The St. Gallen Symposium’s unique platform of leaders of today and tomorrow from business, politics, academia, and civil society will explore current dilemmas and new, more effective models of collective action. In light of diverse interests and values, how should we strike a balance between independence and interdependence in addressing our most pressing challenges? And what are the skills, values and frameworks needed to work together more effectively? Our year-round dialogue and research projects, and the 51st St. Gallen Symposium from 5-6 May 2022 at the University of St. Gallen address these questions in five key areas:

Resilient Economies and Businesses: Crafting rewarding partnerships – with global suppliers, in technology-driven ecosystems or through joint ventures – is increasingly key to sustain business success. Yet, the more businesses reach out and partner up, the more they experience the downsides of interdependence. The pandemic and geopolitical upheavals have shone a spotlight on the vulnerabilities and risks associated with a densely connected global economy – from chip shortages shuttering car plants for weeks to shipping delays and soaring costs. How can businesses rewire the ties that bind them to partners and stakeholders and benefit from collaboration in an uncertain environment?

Effective Global Governance: Our most pressing challenges extend beyond borders and elude solutions by one government alone. However, reaching agreements between diverging state interests and values has become increasingly difficult, and the war in Ukraine reconfigures the European security architecture. Mirroring the tense international environment, domestic political controversies often focus on the trade-offs between national sovereignty and global responsibilities in areas such as global trade, health, and migration. How can governments strike a balance between independence and interdependence and develop more effective models of collective action?

A Sustainable Transformation: An environment which sustains human life within planetary boundaries is a global public good, but climate change and other ecological crises have long been characterised by failures to organise collective action. As the world’s largest economies have now outlined decarbonisation roadmaps, there is hope this might catalyse the world towards a more ambitious trajectory. How do we leverage our environmental and economic interdependence to accelerate a sustainable transformation?

Responsible Innovation and Technology: Emerging technologies allow us to reimagine collaboration across organisations and locations, while human cooperation is key to reap their unique benefits and manage their profound risks. Nevertheless, because technological capabilities are a fundamental component of companies’ competitive advantage and countries hope to gain a strategic edge through technological leadership, collaborative innovation and data-sharing are hard to come by. How should we balance a collaborative and competitive approach to innovation and technology?

A New Social and Generational Contract: As captured in the idea of a generational and social contract, generations and societal groups depend on each other to provide mutual support.  Yet societies, particularly in the West, have seen years of mounting polarisation, which increasingly run along generational lines. Therefore, what are ways to re-emphasise common ground and mutual interests in contemporary societies, particularly between generations?

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