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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Following a decade of the St. Gallen Symposium

My name is Alejandra and I am an Argentinian living in Switzerland. I was honored to be selected for the St. Gallen Symposium as a Leader of Tomorrow twice, once in 2007 and a second time in 2016, so at very different moments in my life. Also, I participated in the WTO Model associated with the University of St. Gallen in 2008. Thus, I was lucky to see the development of the symposium for a whole of its three decades. Every time I visited St. Gallen, it has had a huge impact on my personal life and in my career. I wanted to share this with you today.

The first time I participated, in 2007, I was just starting my career in Biology. At that time undergraduates were still invited to the symposium, so I was around 20 years old. The topic was “The Power of Natural Resources”, a mixture between Ecology and Economics, which fitted me well as I was exploring my interests at that time. I had never been outside Latin America, and we were just coming out of a big crisis in Argentina, so I wouldn’t even think about travelling to Europe, until I saw the advertisement in the newspaper and thought: “I‘ll put all those English examinations to use and give this essay a try”. The symposium is one of a kind in providing equal opportunities to people from developing countries and I am proof that this changes lives.

Impressions of the 37th St. Gallen Symposium

For the essay, I didn’t limit myself to a literature review; I figured that I could connect with my community and get some real data to draw conclusions from. So I started a mini-research project to find out how much food waste was being produced in our local restaurants. After a month of hard work I came up with an essay that not only got me into the St. Gallen Symposium but also provided important information for my community. It was showcased together with my trip at the local newspaper and at my former high school.

About the trip itself, it was one of the best in my life. First time in Europe, first trip on my own, first time in a snow storm during the excursion to Appenzell, first time I had a Starbucks Frappuccino! The best part was the international buffet dinner night (besides the amazing, insightful talks of course!). I met awesome people that remain in my life until now, and some that I came across in job applications, other symposia or that simply continue to inspire me just by being connected through social media.

This initial trip, together with a following one to the WTO in 2008, gave me a glimpse of a different type of education than the one I was used to; more international, trans-disciplinary and entrepreneurial. So, when I was finishing my bachelor’s degree and started looking for new horizons, the first thing that came to my mind was this experience, the international and challenging environment of St. Gallen and of course the beauty of the Swiss mountains. Applying somewhere in Switzerland was the first thing that appeared obvious to me as a next step. 

Based on my area of expertise and the type of scholarship I was looking for, Lausanne was my first choice and when I got the grant, a good friend of mine, a former member of the ISC-Team was my guide for the first weeks until I got settled. A part of being a member of the Leaders of Tomorrow community is that somehow you always come across someone that is connected to you in a way. And the ideas that are exposed and discussed during the course of the symposium, both during and after the talks will always resonate with you when you need them the most. This would be the first time living abroad, with a salary of my own and doing what I really love. Now it has been almost five years since I moved to in Switzerland; after I finished my Master’s degree in Lausanne I moved to Zurich to focus on conservation about biodiversity and natural resources. I am now in the USA for 6 months on an SNF scholarship.

Before crossing the age limit of 30 years, I applied with an essay one last time in 2016 and got the chance to be part of the community again, this time being among the oldest Leaders of Tomorrow, as opposed to the youngest, like I was in 2007. The topic was once more related to resource use, which is my strength now, framed as “Growth: the good, the bad and the ugly”.

My career and my life path are tightly linked to the experiences i made at the St. Gallen Symposium. Hopefully I get the chance to be part of it once more for the anniversary and celebrate with old friends in this moment of transition that I am in, maybe until I get to be a Leader of Today!

I was thrilled to have the chance to see how much the symposium has grown in these almost 10 years, how many lives it has touched, how many new sponsors support it and exciting activities are being held. Also, how much it has improved in terms of diversity and equality of opportunities for students from around the globe. It was refreshing to participate in the new networking activities at SwissRe, the one-on-one talks with CEOs, the boat trip with entrepreneurs and the community “unconference” at the end of the three days in May, all things we didn’t have before. Although, the basic spirit of camaraderie and excellence, and the courtesy and commitment of the students involved remains as high as it always was. 

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