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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“How are you feeling today, human?”

Data analytics have begun to transform the world of medicine. An algorithm that can scan databases of randomised controlled trials, as well as actual patient outcomes, is something pretty revolutionary, if you think about it. If the whole world used data analytics, then a doctor’s visit could potentially leave you with more answers than questions and concrete treatment plans rather than the usual “we could try you on this.”

Rather than destroying healthcare jobs, in other words, AI has the potential to create the time and tools needed to make doctors more “human” again. “Data analytics and deep learning, transfer learning, machine learning, all these algorithms, are means for me to make best use of the existing data,” says Claudia Süssmuth Dyckerhoff, a member of the board of directors for Roche Pharmaceuticals who holds a PhD in business administration from the University of St. Gallen.

Receiving a whole stream of data, including information collected by at-home wearable devices that will feed back to the hospital and track a patient’s progress, means that a doctor’s job will include a lot less uncertainty. “It’s not about replacing jobs,” Süssmuth Dyckerhoff explains, but “rather about using analytics to improve support.”

But here’s the fear: if AI can scan databases of every treatment plan, every randomised controlled trial, every case study ever, will certain jobs in healthcare become meaningless? Can a robot do a better job of diagnosis and treatment plans than a human ever could?

The answer is not so clear cut. Radiologists, for example, may be at risk, but according to Süssmuth Dyckerhoff radiologists are in short supply in countries like China to begin with. “What is important is training your own people to be ready,” she says. “Some people need to be retrained. More data could even create jobs.”

Technology is already making significant inroads. A team at Stanford University recently introduced an AI therapist dubbed “Ellie.” The programme uses voice recognition, image recognition, and can scan hundreds of databases to provide appropriate responses to the patient. “Machine learning has been going on for years, but it’s still early in terms of its use in healthcare,” says Harvard University medical student Joshua Onyango. “If this is what it can do so far, in terms of providing very personalised healthcare, what can we imagine it doing in 20 or 25 years?”

Eventually, experts think robots might even allow doctors to be more human, so to speak. When it comes to the innate uncertainty that surrounds disease, treatment, side-effects, and mental health, sometimes a patient really needs a person to talk to. But physicians in today’s overburdened healthcare system struggle with that task. Sometimes doctors simply just do not have the resources or time to be as holistic as we want them to be.

Joshua Onyango

Orest Firsov, an entrepreneur at New Body Technology, a digital healthcare service that tracks posture for users – many who have chronic health conditions – points out the  fundamental benefit of AI in medicine. Automation that takes away the burden of “routine checkups and assessments” means doctors have more free time to be both more  competent and more caring. Understaffing has left healthcare workers unavoidably robotic in practice, and perhaps we need AI to relieve the burden of routine work as a way to restore humanity to medicine.

Not to be taken lightly, this time to humanise the patient could save healthcare jobs in the age of AI. “One thing that machines are going to have a very difficult time doing,” Onyango says, “is understanding the cultural and emotional nuances that make us human.” Tasks such as navigating social norms, symbolism, body language and empathy – all the little things that make us human and separate us from AI – will be difficult for robots to accomplish.

According to Valeriia Kasatkina, a Leader of Tomorrow researching the connectedness of Australia’s social support systems for domestic abuse victims, AI could also help  mobilise policy and care. If we have data analytics to help improve communication between the healthcare and social work sectors, then the role of the social care worker will become more efficient.

“On the organisational level, using data collection and information sharing platforms could provide relevant information about victims,” Kasatkina says. This is vitally important for issues in cases of domestic violence. “Victims could have mental health issues, a child, or problems with drug addiction,” Kasatkina says. “Drawing connections means all of their health and social care services could be coordinated.”

The world of medicine and healthcare is changing, but for now, it seems that the changes are for the better. As long as doctors, healthcare providers and carers can fill the gaps left by machines, providing patients with the human touch, then there really is room for both man and machine in the future of healthcare. “The hospital will always be a space with a human touch,” Süssmuth Dyckerhoff says. “Health is so human.”Image

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