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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Five Levers to Boost AI Through Collaboration

Artificial Intelligence is key for any organisation seeking to create future economic and societal value – but many AI projects fail. Deep-rooted collaboration can help to propel those that want to use AI to advance society as a whole.

While a few large corporates such as Google and Alibaba are skyrocketing with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI), for the big majority of organisations around the globe AI is far from a success story. According to Gartner, those who have tried it mostly failed – either because projects were designed too big from the outset, delivered value too late, or didn’t have critical employee involvement. The overwhelming majority of those which didn’t even explore AI commonly think they are not ready for it, as the Austrian chamber of commerce finds. In sum, most organisations – especially in Europe – are falling behind on AI. And there is one underlying cause: a lack of profound, multifaceted and inherently human collaboration.

Not leveraging AI is not an option. It is paramount that value-drive corporates are at the forefront of this technology – to boost innovation, but also to understand and shape a technology that has its risks, too.

So how can we create success stories? Our finding is this: If we truly want to leverage AI to generate sustainable business value, to counter climate change with advanced predictions, to ramp up healthcare through hyper-personalization, and to proactively handle humanitarian crises, we don’t need more technical knowledge, we need to intensify collaboration in radically new ways. Here are five levers that will finally make AI a success story – ranging from your organization to the wider society:

“Fight with your Data Scientist!” Currently, Data Scientists and the rest of the organisation typically ignore each other. They speak different languages and think about challenges differently – making it easy to merely co-exist in this very situation. Yet, to create tangible value with AI, both crews need to be in touch, even if it is through productive conflict. Tension allows us to develop common ground for collaboration. Only then, interdisciplinary teams can shape a joint vision and deliver “wow” business value with AI, as research from the Kellogg School of Management shows.

“Leaders, make AI everyone’s endeavour!” AI needs strong momentum to become a success in spite of organisational inertia. This depends heavily on the use cases selected. In order to identify high impact use cases and to bring them to life, leaders must make AI a collaborative, fast-paced endeavour, bringing the relevant stakeholders and backgrounds together – techy and business-savvy, old and young, coders and designers, even shopfloor workers. AI needs more leadership, not less. I have personally experienced the e-commerce unicorn Berlin Brands Group as a prime example of building an AI Factory along a Community of Practice: From evaluating and productionizing use cases to enhancing AI capabilities across all levels of the company, they are accelerating their growth journey as a collective of AI change agents.

“Come up with radical new partnerships!” Why should an e-commerce unicorn and a mid-sized steel parts manufacturer collaborate around AI? Well, Machine Learning is a method that is not tied to an industry or sector. A Recommender System can take sales to the next level – irrespective of the industry. Similarly, churn prediction can help large international NGOs and telecommunications companies alike. We need more hubs like Germany’s Civic Innovation Platform that not only bring AI companies together but enable unconventional collaborative partnerships for breeding ideas and to learn from each other’s insights.

“Bring data to those who truly create impact!” The public sector, large corporates, health insurers – all of them have big data. Yet those who could innovate with this very data are often nimble AI start-ups that challenge the status quo of how we interact and deliver value. Yet, without data this effort is bound to fail. We need new forms of collaborative data sharing between ML researchers, big incumbents, start-ups, and the public sector – that treat each participant fairly. Kaggle or the European Health Data Space initiative are a solid start.

“Finally, deepen collaboration between AI and humans!” Yes, we must also rethink the way humans and AI interact. Only once we make this a mutually benefitting relationship, AI will become a success story. A recent study from Harvard with more than 1,500 firms finds that real impact is only achieved by combining “the leadership, teamwork, creativity, and social skills of humans, and the speed, scalability, and quantitative capabilities of AI.” Humans and AI need to collaborate as partners.

Deep-rooted collaboration will help us leapfrog the few large corporates and propel those ahead who want to advance society as a whole. Let’s unlock our collaborative capabilities to leverage innovative and responsible AI for the challenges and opportunities of this and coming decades.

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