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

Confronting Scarcity: The Role of Systemic Investing

Systemic investing is the application of systems thinking to addressing societal problems through the strategic deployment of diverse forms of capital, nested within a broader systems change program and intended to transform human and natural systems. It can be a key lever to emerge from an economy reliant on scarcity, argue Johannes Tschiderer and Tom Zamzow of the TransCap Initiative.

Commitments to combat scarcity are emanating from all centres of global power: governments, intergovernmental organisations, NGOs, start-ups, philanthropists, institutional investors, just to name a few. To this day however, scarcity remains a key organising principle of a mainly growth-oriented capitalism as our global economic model. Scarcity of a resource is rewarded with a positive market-based signal (i.e. a higher price) and promotes (mostly technological) innovation to overcome it, so as to continue the exploitation.

Yet, a dead-end approaches, as this model has severely destabilised Earth’s major biophysical systems, with tipping points approaching at great speed. Relying solely on technology and ignoring necessary changes in mental models and behaviour patterns in our societies now bears the risk of replacing one scarcity with another. The question must no longer be “How can we more efficiently use the scarce resources we have left?”, but rather “How can we transition towards thriving natural and human systems that are in line with planetary boundaries, and what is technology’s role in this?”.

Bridging the Worlds of Finance and Systems Thinking

Systemic investing is a new investment logic that explores ways to answer this question in order to transform systems from perpetuating scarcity to enabling a low-carbon, climate-resilient, just, and inclusive global society. It is an approach that allows us to understand a system as a network of interconnected leverage points. These leverage points, if jointly activated by capitals and other interventions, can unlock combinatorial effects and catalyse transformation towards a desired future.

This transformation represents a pathway, along which “climate technology” has a role to play. Yet if we aspire to deep and irreversible system transformation, we must look beyond innovation in technology and address the underlying paradigms that anchor a system in the status quo. Let’s illustrate these points based on a systemic investing prototype currently underway in the net-zero mobility space in Switzerland.

A Systemic Approach to Sustainable Mobility in Switzerland

Light-road traffic in Switzerland is the strongest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the overall transportation mix (which accounts for 41% of all GHG emissions in the country), as well as the sector with the greatest need for net-zero investment. If looked at without a systemic lens, a push towards the large-scale adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) for private car ownership (technology innovation and adoption) appears to be an obvious and viable solution to decarbonise the system. Yet, if all privately owned Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) were replaced with EVs, the end goal would inherently summon different forms of scarcity (e.g. raw materials for batteries or urban living and green spaces used for vehicles).

While it certainly forms a crucial pillar in the overall mix, a systemic mindset understands EVs for private mobility as a bridge solution in a wider System Transformation Strategy for the Swiss mobility sector.

Developing such a strategy has been the goal of months of stakeholder interviews and meticulous system analysis conducted by the TransCap Initiative (based in Zurich, Switzerland). The findings reveal that decarbonisation leveraging the private mobility system requires investment along two connected objectives:

  1. Accelerate the shift from ICEs to EVs for current car owners in an inclusive and just manner
  2. Reduce the importance of car ownership (and number of private held cars in general) through electrified shared solutions that eliminate their relative convenience advantage

To understand the role of privately owned EVs, we must look at an important factor. That factor is time.

The TransCap Initiative developed its System Transformation Strategy using a model from the world of Futuring, called the “3 Horizons Model”.

The 1st Horizon represents a system without change, reliant on ICEs that will inevitably perpetuate a future that is inefficient and polluting. A system from which we must depart as soon as possible, aided by investment capital that is systemically deployed at various leverage points. The 3rd Horizon is our desired, yet not immediately actionable, future. One of reduced car ownership, alternative electrified transportation solutions, and a low-carbon, climate-resilient, just, and inclusive Swiss mobility system.

The 2nd Horizon is where we see the critical role of increased adoption of EVs for private use come into play. We must account for a transition period, a period that is required to shift the societal mindset, as well as ready infrastructure, regulatory frameworks and economic conditions that allow for our 3rd Horizon to unfold. E-mobility is the bridge that allows us to counteract the negative consequences of a 1st Horizon system while the 3rd emerges.

The TransCap Initiative is now in the process of shaping a systemic investing strategy which aims for the transition from the 1st to the 2nd Horizon, while supporting the establishment of conditions that allow the 3rd Horizon and a future not reliant on scarcity to emerge.

Johannes Tschiderer is a Research & Investment Associate, focusing on the coordination and delivery of the TransCap Initiative’s prototyping activities around individual mobility in Switzerland. In addition to his role at the TransCap Initiative, he is engaged in the design and facilitation of novel course formats at the nexus of business and sustainability at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Tom Zamzow leads the communications and public relations at the TransCap Initiative. In addition to his work at the TCI, he also manages his own consulting firm, specialising in strategic communications and cross-sector partnerships to unlock new business opportunities for clients. Tom honed his communications and stakeholder engagement skills with a Fortune 100 multinational, where he worked in multiple roles related to marketing, commercial strategy, digital innovation, and corporate communications.

Share the article

Leave a Reply

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