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 to Rebuild Lost Trust Among Younger Generations?

This year’s Voices of the Leaders of Tomorrow Report finds a lack of trust in the older generation of leaders regarding their decisions in the interest of younger generations – and outlines ways to restore it.

A certain level of scepticism seems to have always belonged to intergenerational etiquette. In the 1960s, activist Jack Weinberg coined the saying “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” When following the sometimes intense online battles between members of different generations – in particular between so-called boomers and millennials – two things can be observed: The saying works both ways, and the issue has lost none of its immediacy.

In this year’s Voices of the Leaders of Tomorrow Report – a collaboration of the Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions (NIM) and the St. Gallen Symposium – we examined how much trust the Leaders of Tomorrow place in representatives of today’s – relatively speaking – older generation in power. The specific question was to what extent they trust these leaders to act in the best interests of the younger generations. The respondents were asked to evaluate two classic components of trust: Competence and goodwill. These components are considered to be indispensable for trustworthiness, regardless of whether we talk about interpersonal relationships or trust in institutions and organizations. If a person or entity wants to be considered trustworthy, she or he must have the skills and the intention to fulfil the expectations of the one who puts trust in her or him.

The Leaders of Tomorrow have differentiated perceptions of political and economic leaders in general and also regarding their competence and goodwill. All in all, business leaders are viewed more positively. However, an urgent need for improvement applies to both.

While political leaders are considered to be competent to make the best possible decisions for the younger generations by just under 40%, business leaders achieve 50%. The assessment of their willingness to prioritize the interests of the younger generations is even lower for both groups. Just 22% believe that politicians are willing to prioritize the interests of the younger generations, while business leaders reach 36%.

When the assessments of competence and goodwill are analyzed in a cross evaluation, it turns out that only 15% of the Leaders of Tomorrow think that the political leaders of today are both competent and willing to prioritize and make decisions in the best interests of the younger generations, and 26% state that the business leaders of today are both competent and willing to do so. Of course, one can question whether politicians or economic leaders should put the interests of the younger generations at the center of their actions. However, obviously many respondents doubt that they have appropriate competence in the first place.

“We need leaders from all generations to partner with each other in imagining and advancing solutions that bring benefit to our people and planet”, said Tommy Koh, a young civil servant from Singapore.  “Pathfinders such as shadow management committees comprising young leaders can help expand the overall pool of ideas, increasing the likelihood of finding solutions that work.”

Ways to Strengthen the Trust of the Younger Generation

Indeed, stabilizing and strengthening trust in society and institutions is an important task for leaders of today, regardless of which generation they belong to. And according to our results, action is necessary. We asked what measures the Leaders of Tomorrow expect from the current leaders to strengthen or regain the trust of the younger generation in institutions and society. We used a list of 10 different options from which respondents could select a maximum of 5. A standout front-runner did not emerge, but two options reached more than 60% consent.

Environmental issues are enormously important for the younger generation. This was also clearly evident in last year’s Voices of the Leaders of Tomorrow report (Gaspar, Dieckmann & Neus, 2020). Obviously, the topic plays a key role in fostering the younger generation’s trust in society and institutions. A total of 64% of respondents ranked greater prioritization of climate and environmental issues as one of the most relevant measures. Increasing transparency in institutional decision-making comes in second with 61% in favor. Another four measures were chosen by around 50% of respondents for strengthening or increasing the trust of the younger generation: Measures against economic inequality (e.g., redistribution of income and wealth), listening more to scientists on issues of great relevance for the future, promoting dialogue between people with different viewpoints or lifestyles, and a greater role of ethical values in leadership. By some margin, each of the following measures was named by about one-third of the survey participants:

Greater focus on driving the digital transformation of the economy, regulation of social media platforms to prevent hate speech and fake news, and quotas for young leaders in institutional decision-making. Given the respondents’ critical attitude toward social media that will be discussed later in the report, the percentage of mentions for social media regulation is surprisingly low. At the bottom of the list, selected by only 17%, is the option “Greater investments in public security and law and order“. The Leaders of Tomorrow’s preferred set of measures therefore appears to focus on ecologically responsible behavior, societal openness, and values rather than regulation or direct empowerment of the younger generation. Thus, the Leaders of Tomorrow are much more in favor of transparency – allowing the current leaders to make choices but providing visibility in the decision-making process – than of introducing quotas of young leaders to force their voice to be heard in the decision-making process.

Read the full Voices of the Leaders of Tomorrow Report here for all findings and detailed analysis.

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