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
Watch Here

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?

Sign up for our Newsletter

Sign up for our Newsletter

How Can Governments Build Trust in AI-Driven Public Services?

Governments increasingly use AI to tackle policy challenges. To preserve the public’s trust, we need better communication and greater transparency.

Why do you not trust your government? Only 45% of citizens in OECD countries trusted their government in 2019. Based on this finding, some of you reading this article may be reluctant to trust your government to respond to crises such as economic inequality, racial injustice, climate change, and a widespread pandemic. One has to wonder – how are government responses to the Covid-19 pandemic going to influence public trust in 2020? 

AI-Driven Public Services Often Come at the Expense of Data Privacy

Study after study has shown that a government’s values, such as responsiveness, integrity, and the fairness and openness of institutions are drivers of public trust in government. That more than half of citizens question their trust in governments is a telling metric of the delivery of public services – or the communication of the delivery of these services. Often, entrenched processes make it difficult for institutions to deliver the services – and above all, security – demanded by their citizens. From contact tracing in SwitzerlandSouth Korea, and Australia to ensuring social distancing in Belgium and Singapore, the increased use of artificial intelligence in various government responses to Covid-19 raises the question of whether AI can be a vehicle through which to rebuild trust in government – or completely tear it down. 

In a recent study I conducted during confinement earlier this year, I found that security, public, industry, non-profit, and academic professionals all agreed on the risk of not using AI placing their nation at a competitive disadvantage to others. Whether the technology is to be used for offensive, defensive – or paradoxically, as a classic deterrence mechanism, citizens seem to agree that AI comprises an important set of technologies that nations need to build to protect their systems – and themselves. The problem however, arises with the misuse of these emerging technologies, that can be used to disrupt our current systems. 

Data is the food that drives all AI-driven algorithms. With the default currently set to policy instruments working to retroactively catch up with the economic incentivization of the development of these technologies, the privacy of our citizens seems to be constantly undermined as we aim to deliver better products for our citizens. In developing solutions to better protect our citizens – through managing cyber risk, contact tracing, and innovations in healthcare, we are at the same time undermining the privacy concerns and protections of our citizens. We are misidentifying marginalised populations in the training datasets fed into AI-driven systems and skewing outcomes. We are sharing our data with companies that sell this precious and deeply personal commodity to those who run influence campaigns, build conspiracy theories, and sow disinformation. 

Should We Have to Read the Fine Print?

A few days ago, my friend bought a toaster oven. She was excited – she said that it was a state-of-the-art toaster oven, with several built-in capabilities to deliver what she promised was perfectly toasted bread. It was innovative – it had various settings for the different ingredients you planned to use on the sandwich, so that your end result wouldn’t be too soggy etc. It was supposed to make my friend’s life easier – she often made sandwiches to go, and this was supposed to require minimal effort. A few days into taking the toaster for a spin, my friend complained to me, “I will never trust this brand again. They were supposed to deliver good products but – my bread is burned too quickly. I also saw somewhere that this toaster is not very good for your health – something about oils in the toaster that can be poisonous over time.” 

“Did you read the manual?” I asked her. I thought it may be a technical problem, something with regard to the various, fancy settings. “Where did you read about the oil issue?” 

“I was frustrated and was looking up problems with this toaster online. I saw a few reviews by people who were frustrated too. Funny – I only saw positive things when I first looked it up. I didn’t read the manual. Too long and boring!”

What do we do when the manual for our AI products is too long and boring – or simply not there? 

AI-driven technologies, like most other products, have assistive capacities that are already revolutionising our ways of life. However, it is very easy to erode our trust in these technologies if the default is to deliver convoluted, opaque statements on the purpose and functionality of the technologies. The ways in which our data is protected should be clearly communicated, keeping human biases in mind. We don’t like to read the fine print. Companies should not be taking advantage of this fact – leading to an erosion of our trust in automated products used by governments to keep our citizens safe, fuel innovation, and maximize productivity. 

Trust in Governments’ Use of AI Builds on Transparency and Information

The classic 5W “Who is doing what, where, when, and why?” when it comes to these technologies should not require a doctoral dissertation to unpack. Regulations to protect citizen data in the aftermath of electoral influence campaigns should make use of nudges for good – setting up a choice architecture that doesn’t set the default to share all, but share the basics only. Citizens should not have to opt-in to actively learn about where their data is going – if it’s possible at all – but opt-out only if they do not wish to do so. The default matters – it can determine whether you are targeted by far-right extremist groups if you are a swing voter and whether you see fact or fiction. 

So, why do we not trust our governments? Why do we trust our public services sometimes more than the governments that enact and fund these services? Is it because it’s difficult to understand – a legislative black box that keeps the non-experienced professional out, much like AI algorithms and technologies themselves? Humans find things that are difficult to understand aversive. Classic studies have demonstrated how a lack of information can lead to rumours and exploitation by those working this information deficit, confusion, instinctive dislike, and gossip to their advantage. In the same way, governments ill-communicating their use of AI, where the data is going, and how purpose-limited this data is, can cause rampant speculation and an erosion of trust in the initiatives they build to serve the interests of their own citizens. Trust is built on transparency and information. The harder it is to read the toaster manual, the more likely it will be thrown away.

Share the article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *