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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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
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?
Compete in our Global Essay Competition and qualify for participation as a Leader of Tomorrow in the world’s premier opportunity for cross-generational debates: The St. Gallen Symposium.
Meet 300 of society’s brightest young minds. Present and debate your ideas with 600 senior leaders. Be inspired by some of the world’s most impressive speakers. Gain a unique and new perspective on this year’s topic. Become a member of a unique global community. Participate in the symposium with us. Win prize money of CHF 20,000 split amongst the three winners.
The best or worst legacy from previous generations: How to preserve or replace it?
A great deal of our lives is influenced by when we were born. As those currently alive, we have inherited the world which previous and older generations have built. We owe a great deal to the efforts of our forebears, but we also inherit problematic legacies.
For this year’s St. Gallen Symposium Global Essay Competition on the theme «A New Generational Contract», we are calling for students worldwide to provide their perspective on one of the following two questions:
A) What’s the best legacy your generation has inherited from those before you? And how can we preserve it?
Choose and briefly describe a major accomplishment which has only become possible through the efforts of older and previous generations. This can be from the realm of political governance, economic development, social norms and ethics, education, health, technology, ecology, arts or any other area you deem relevant. Of particular interest are ideas, institutions, technologies or norms which you believe are challenged by current developments. Describe how current developments challenge this major achievement by older and previous generations and offer a concrete and actionable idea of how it can be preserved for your generation as well as future ones.
B) What’s the worst legacy your generation has inherited from those before you? And how can we replace it?
Choose and briefly describe a major problematic legacy which has been passed on from older and previous generations to yours. This can be from political governance, economic development, social norms and ethics, education health, technology, ecology, arts or any other area you deem relevant. Of particular interest are ideas, institutions, technologies or norms at the core of how our world currently works. Describe a concrete and actionable idea of how we can get rid off this problematic legacy left by older and previous generations and what should replace it.
Meet our student representatives to learn how you can qualify for a participation in the 52nd St. Gallen Symposium. We will have physical presentations at your university again as well as regular webinars to answer your questions!
Past Winners & Essay Reviews
Out of approx. 1,000 annual contributions submitted by graduate and post-graduate students from all around the globe, the jury selects three winner essays every year. Meet our competition’s past winners and read their contributions.
Partaking in the competition was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only was I able to come to St. Gallen and meet incredible young entrepreneurs and leaders who I’m still in contact with, but it provided me the opportunity to develop and share ideas with key decision-makers. The main idea I submitted was for a new way to finance retraining and healthcare at no cost to individuals or governments. Given the COVID- 19 pandemic, this idea is needed now more than ever, so I’m currently implementing the idea through a new organization I’ve established called FORTE (Financing Of Return To Employment).
NAT WARE Founder & CEO of FORTE, Leader of Tomorrow at the 47th and 48th St. Gallen Symposium
Check your eligibility and prepare documents
To be eligible, you must fulfill all of the following criteria:
Enrolled in a graduate or postgraduate programme (master level or higher) in any field of study at a regular university
Born in 1993 or later
Make sure you can provide the following documents:
Copy of passport or other identification (in English for non-Roman languages)
Confirmation of matriculation/enrolment from your university which proves your enrollment in a graduate/postgraduate level programme as of 1 February 2023 (download sample document here)
Your contribution file with no indication of your name in the file name, the file metadata or the file itself
If problems occur during registration, please clear your cached images and files in your browsing history or consider using the browser Google Chrome. If you still cannot apply, use the following link. For any unanswered questions please contact us via e-mail at [email protected]
Accompanying a Leader of Tomorrow
Who can compete for a participation as a Leader of Tomorrow at the St. Gallen Symposium?
Students enrolled at a regular university, who are matriculated in a graduate or postgraduate programme.
What is the St. Gallen Global Essay Competition?
The St. Gallen Global Essay Competition is a global student essay competition, offering students who study at graduate or postgraduate level around the world the opportunity to apply for participation at the St. Gallen Symposium.
What is the Knowledge Pool?
The Knowledge Pool is a group of Leaders of Tomorrow with a strong affiliation to topics of relevance to the St. Gallen Symposium. They show outstanding track records in the particular fields they work or study. They are hand-selected by the International Students’ Committee. It is not possible to apply for membership in the Knowledge Pool.
How much does it cost to participate?
The participation in the symposium is free for all Leaders of Tomorrow. Moreover, expenses for travel, board and lodging are covered by the ISC. However, we recommend bringing a small amount of pocket money for your convenience.
Who is eligible for the 52nd St. Gallen Symposium?
Students enrolled at a regular university, who are matriculated in a graduate or postgraduate programme as of 1 February 2023, from any field of study, born in 1993 or later.
What is a “regular university”?
In the context of the Global Essay Competition, a regular university is defined as an institution of higher education that also conducts research and offers at least one PhD programme. Exceptions are possible and are granted on a case-by-case basis.
Can Bachelor students participate?
Unfortunately, students on bachelor level do not fulfil the eligibility criteria and therefore cannot enter the competition. There is no other way to apply for participation and we, therefore, encourage all students to join the competition once they pursue with their studies at a graduate level. You may, however, be eligible if the level of study in your current year is equivalent to international graduate level which must be confirmed in writing by your university.
Can teams participate?
Only individual submissions are allowed as we can only grant participation to one contender per contribution.
How long should the contribution be?
The maximum amount of words is 2,100 (excluding bibliography or graph descriptions and the like). There is no minimum word count. Please make sure to state the exact word count in your document. Also keep in mind that you must not state your name in the contribution.
Do I have to quote my sources?
All sources must be quoted and all essays are scanned for plagiarism. You must refer each source to the respective text passage. Please note that plagiarism is a serious offense and that we reserve the right to take further steps in case of deliberate fraud. Self-plagiarism will also result in disqualification, as the work has to be written exclusively for the Global Essay Competition of the St. Gallen Symposium.
Can I have a look at previous Winner Essays?
Yes, you can find winner essays as well as other publications from the Global Essay Competition here.
What file formats are accepted?
Please make sure to hand in your essay in either a doc, docx or pdf format. The document must allow to copy the text easily (no document protections).
What documents do I need to submit?
In addition to your contribution, make sure to upload
a copy of your passport (or any other official government ID but no driver’s license) to verify your age
a confirmation of matriculation from your university confirming your graduate or postgraduate student status as of February 2023
a short abstract (200–300 words) which can be entered in the registration form directly
in the applicable field of the registration form.
What happens after I submitted my application?
The ISC will verify your eligibility and check all submitted documents for completeness and readability. Due to the large amount of essays we receive, our response may take some time, so thank you for your patience. If the jury selects your essay in the top 100, you qualify as a Leader of Tomorrow for an expenses-paid participation in the 52nd St. Gallen Symposium (4-5 May 2023). The results will be announced via e-mail by mid-March 2023. The jury selects the three awardees based on the quality of the idea on paper. The award is endowed with a total prize money of CHF 20,000. In addition, there will be a chance for the very best competitors (including the awardees) to present their ideas on the big stage at the symposium. For this, the students will be asked to pitch their idea on video beforehand.
Who’s in the jury?
The Award Jury consists of leading executives, journalists and professors from all around the world. The Academic Jury is composed of young top academics from the University of St. Gallen and the ETH Zurich.
When will the results be announced?
The jury’s decision will be announced by mid-March at the latest.
How do the travel arrangements work?
The organizing committee will get in touch with you prior to the symposium to discuss your itinerary and to book your travel.
Can the organising committee help me get a visa?
All Leaders of Tomorrow are self-responsible to get a visa. However, we will inform the applicable Swiss embassy about the invitation and will provide you with the necessary documents. Should a problem arise anyway, we are happy to help. Expenses for visa application are borne by the Leaders of Tomorrow themselves.
Where am I accommodated during the symposium?
All Leaders of Tomorrow are accommodated at private student flats across the city. Please give us an early notice should you have any special requirements (e.g. female flatmates only).
What transport is provided?
We book flights or train tickets and provide shuttle service from and to the airport. Furthermore, all Leaders of Tomorrow receive a free ticket for the public transport in St. Gallen during the week of the symposium.
How much money do I need?
We recommend bringing some pocket money (CHF 100–200) for your convenience. Please note that depending on your time of arrival and departure, some meals might not be covered.
Can disabled people participate as well?
Yes, of course. Most of the symposium sites are wheelchair-accessible and we are more than happy to help where we can. Although our ability to provide personal assistance is very limited, we do our best to provide the necessary services.
Is there any touristic programme and do I have time for sightseeing?
During the symposium there will be no time for sightseeing. However, we may offer selected touristic programmes a day before or after the symposium. These days can, of course, also be used for individual sightseeing. Nearby sites include the old town of St. Gallen, the lake Constance and the mountain Säntis.
Can I extend my stay in Switzerland?
Yes, upon request we can move your return flight to a date of your choice. If the new flight is more expensive, we may ask you to cover the price difference. Please note that we are unable to provide any services such as accommodation or transportation after the end of the symposium week.
Can I bring a spouse?
Unfortunately, we cannot provide any services such as travel, room, board or symposium access to any additional person.