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
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?

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Global Leadership Challenge

Global Leadership Challenge

Ben James is a member of the team that won the Global Leadership Challenge, a joint initiative of the University of Oxford and the University of St.Gallen. With the support of the the Lemann Foundation and the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the challenge focuses on the power of purpose. How can we incorporate it into our actions, careers and decisions? Ben, Arrey and their team mates Ruby-Anne Birin from South Africa, and Duong Vu from Vietnam were among the 100 promising young people from 30 countries that were selected for the GLC, a week-long hybrid conference with 20 senior leaders, coming together to find solutions following four UN sustainable developement goals (health and well-being, quality education, climate action and gender equality). 

GLC over delivered for me and brought me much more than I anticipated in leadership growth.

Ben James,
Founder of the Cambridge Society, Cambridge (UK)

Ben and Arrey’s group was the one among 20 groups that won the challenge and was therefore awarded the GLC prize in St.Gallen during the Symposium. “With our group, we were able to have an intimate kind of team perspective,” said James. “We wouldn’t have won without that, for sure”. His team member Arrey says: “GLC over delivered for me and brought me much more than I anticipated in leadership growth”

The program focuses on leadership and purpose: “it was such a direct tackling of what it means to be a leader that I hadn’t encountered anywhere else. So that was fantastic” says Ben. Arrey adds: “Leading a growing community as ours comes with challenges of managing people of different cultures, conflicts and doing all these on strong personal values and skills. As a young person building the future, sharing not just to my community but to thousands online, my goal in joining the global leadership challenge was to responsibly explore my influence as a leader to serve & plan more action projects and that’s exactly what I gained from it.”

James, whose background is in software engineering, is also the founder of the Cambridge Climate Society. “When I started …I felt the power of joining a community. Before that, I had never been exposed to such an energetic and pragmatic group of people,” he says. “For me, that was when I realized I could really help people and make a difference.” 

Arrey Bate
Cameroonian internet entrepreneur and journalist, founder, ARREYB Media

Bate instead is a young African internet entrepreneur and journalist, that also connected to a flourishing community: “In 2019, as an extension of my journalism and entrepreneurial work, I started a community of entrepreneurs in Africa. Fast forward to today, our community has over 20,000+ entrepreneurs on the email list. Once a year we host a grand gathering of 600+ entrepreneurs with mentorship events within the year.”. The power of connecting professionals, students, and entrepreneurs has been the spark in both Ben and Arrey’s lives, allowing them to come together and tackle possible solutions to climate change. 

Arrey says: “As we were asked to try and co-create an action project that contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, our 4-man team created a project called GALE (Global Access for Learning about the Environment)”. He further explains: “GALE utilizes a WhatsApp bot to make Climate Education accessible to those most affected by it. It came from the observation that the most adverse effects of climate change have fallen on those who are least educated about it. So with GALE, we aimed to meet the needs of local communities and empower them with the knowledge to engage, explore and develop their own solutions to local problems.” 

The challenge presented them with some surprises. “I thought at the beginning that we would work in climate, but we were actually put in education,” Ben says. “That forced us to be more diverse in our thought process – for example, our solution ended up being a climate education solution.” Speaking challenges, Arrey says: “They were such an opportunity to bond with other leaders from diverse backgrounds, listen to their stories and see in real-time what other challenges they were facing. That to me was a blessing as I found myself constantly reflecting on those conversations each time I faced a similar challenge”.

Photo: Thomas Betschart

Thinking broadly, and expanding the realm of solutions, could be the key factor when tackling climate change. For example, James suggests the importance of financial disclosure: “Once we have better data on what climate risks our portfolios hold, and where our capital is allocated, and what emissions that’s funding, that enables us to have a much clearer picture of how we can redirect capital more efficiently.”

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