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

COVID-19 Has Created Trust Winners and Losers

The pandemic has been a make-or-break moment for institutional trust. Among the young leaders surveyed for this year’s Voices of the Leaders of Tomorrow Report, governments and journalists have lost, while scientists and doctors gained trust in light of COVID-19.

With a bang, the COVID-19 pandemic bluntly revealed the vulnerabilities of our globalized world. Governments and private institutions, organizations and people in all countries had to start an ongoing fight against the virus and its spread across the globe at lightning speed. Trust plays a crucial role in this fight: Trust in published facts and science as well as trust in the competence and goodwill of lawmakers and those in power. Recent studies have shown that, in general, greater trust in governments and public institutions leads to a higher level of compliance with guidelines to contain the spread of the virus (Bargain & Aminjonov, 2020Pak, McBryde & Adegboye, 2021).

At the same time, in many countries parts of the population refused to follow the newly imposed rules and loudly expressed their doubts in the goodwill and competence of politicians and scientists. Some groups even questioned the existence of a pandemic. Conspiracy theories spread like wildfire, forcing health officials to not only fight the virus but to additionally contain harm from misinformation, leading the WHO (2020) to declare an “infodemic” alongside the pandemic itself. Both traditional and social media gave megaphones to self-declared “experts” with provocative and polarizing statements, often drowning out more balanced voices.

On the other hand, the pandemic has put scientists and health experts in particular in the spotlight.  Often, politicians rely on them in their decision-making regarding preventive measures, so their work suddenly affects the lives of everyone. In response, some people seem to experience a sort of “shoot the messenger” impulse, and frontline scientists report being exposed to hate speech and even death threats. In the USA, chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci had to increase security for himself and his family very early in the pandemic (Bennett & Perez, 2020) and still needs protection to this day.  Sweden just recently announced greater protections for scientists after one prominent COVID-19 researcher quit over social media attacks (Torjesen, 2021) – just to mention two prominent examples.  We investigated how the Leaders of Tomorrow’s level of trust for these and other professions and institutions was affected by the pandemic.

Major Changes in Trust in Various Actors

Whether or not to trust the various parties involved has become a question that people discuss and reflect upon every day. The perceptions have changed with the experiences throughout the challenging situation in which we find ourselves. The Leaders of Tomorrow surveyed for this year’s Voices of the Leaders of Tomorrow Report – a collaboration of the Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions (NIM) and the St. Gallen Symposium – are no exception here. For them, too, the experience of the pandemic has left its mark – in both positive and negative ways. The pandemic has undoubtedly caused great damage to people, society and the economy. But some actors in society have gained trust. According to the Leaders of Tomorrow survey, there are three explicit winners and four losers: Governments, social media, journalists and the press, as well as fellow citizens, lost trust.

A particular danger here: A lack of trust in the press – and perhaps even in the basic facts of a shared reality – is leading to a fracturing of societies, which can take on characteristics of fanatical, quasi-religious battles, including dogma and claims of heresy or gullibility from opposing sides. On average, the reputation of companies remained the same, while NGOs slightly gained trust. The real trust winners, however, according to the Leaders of Tomorrow (and perhaps not only them), are scientists and medical professionals. Both have had to shoulder great burdens in recent months, and this is apparently seen and acknowledged.

The biggest trust winners – remote working technologies – are not quite comparable with the other actors, as they are a means rather than an actor in their own right: It is technology that has made working, meeting and learning at a distance possible during these difficult times. COVID-19 has therefore given this technology a “confidence boost,” even if its use may not have been immediately desired and welcomed by everyone. The positive experience will almost certainly have a long-term, practical impact.

What else will remain from the pandemic and affect our trust in various entities in the future? Respondents could share their views on this in an open-ended question.Image

Many learned that transparent and honest communication including admission of mistakes is vital for trust. For example, one respondent noted: “Making mistakes in public decision-making during uncertain times is human, but it will only be accepted by others if you are willing to be transparent about it, take responsibility, and set out an action plan for change. Key learning for trust has been the importance of transparency and clear communication. Institutions that gave out prompt and true information would garner trust and credibility over time.” Another Leader of Tomorrow emphasized the importance of trust in science: “Science has the power to rapidly change the lives of all. Trust in science is imperative to foster its ability to bring solutions to the world‘s biggest problems.”

Read the full Voices of the Leaders of Tomorrow Report here for all findings and detailed analysis.

Share the article

Leave a Reply

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