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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Local Issues, Global Solutions: Lessons From War in Ukraine

Over the past few months, the tremendous impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the lives of ordinary Ukrainians, as well as Russians, has become clear. But as discussions at the St. Gallen Symposium showed, the war affects food security, energy supply patterns, and political alliances across the globe as well. Since global issues require global solutions, reflection on the implications of the war may be helpful to avoid similar crises in the future.

The worldwide economic, social and political repercussions of the ongoing war in Ukraine demonstrate how interconnected the modern world is. But, as the ramifications of the war play out, it is increasingly evident that close ties sometimes come at a price. Take rising wheat prices around the world as an example.

Ukraine is a major food—including wheat, corn and sunflower oil—producer for 400 million people internationally, most of whom live in the poorest regions of the planet. But over the past two and a half months, Russian aggression in Ukraine has been disrupting vital food exports and, as a result, the world faces a tangible risk of food insecurity.

Apart from food-related repercussions, the war gave rise to a monumental shift in global fossil fuel supply patterns, exposing the growing need for a switch to sustainable energy sources. Notably, those Western European countries that remain highly dependent on Russian oil and gas today are diversifying their energy imports in order to avoid future political pressure from the Russian government.

In light of such negative outcomes of global interdependence, learning the right lessons from the war and the ensuing international reaction can help overcome the negative impact of the ongoing invasion as soon as possible, avert future armed conflicts and improve international cooperation going forward.

Lesson 1:
Violating the integrity of a sovereign nation will not be tolerated by the international community

“It is often said that Vladimir Putin doesn’t think Western Europe is willing to pay the price to defend freedom,” said Simon Evenett, a professor of international trade and economic development at the University of St. Gallen. According to Evenett, it is too early to conclude whether the international community has passed Putin’s test. Positive shifts in global collaboration against the blatant attack on Ukrainian sovereignty are apparent, though: Over 40 national governments declared the Russian invasion unacceptable and backed their words with economic sanctions.

On the other hand, according to Lisa Yasko, member of the parliament of Ukraine and a speaker at the 51st St. Gallen Symposium, preemptive international assistance could have helped to avoid the war altogether. “The international cooperation that we had for many years is not under threat—it’s actually quite dysfunctional,” Yasko said. “We need to make a real change in such organisations as the United Nations and the Council of Europe. We need to have real tools that can protect peace and security.”

Picture: Fabiano Mancesti

On the other hand, according to Lisa Yasko, member of the parliament of Ukraine and a speaker at the 51st St. Gallen Symposium, preemptive international assistance could have helped to avoid the war altogether. “The international cooperation that we had for many years is not under threat—it’s actually quite dysfunctional,” Yasko said. “We need to make a real change in such organisations as the United Nations and the Council of Europe. We need to have real tools that can protect peace and security.”

Lesson 2:
Collaboration between governments is significantly stronger in the political domain than in international trade and prevention of global food crises.

“As Egypt and Lebanon struggle to sustain necessary imports of wheat from Ukraine and Russia, Indonesia is banning palm oil exports to protect the domestic market from rising prices. To make things worse, the disruption of fertilizer imports from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus due to the war will begin to have real consequences by the second half of 2022, according to Evenett.

Cross-country collaboration will be crucial in the months to come as part of the effort to combat food shortages as the poor and vulnerable continue to suffer from the actions of the powerful. Western politicians seem to have reached a consensus about the attack on democracy and sovereignty, but the looming threat of food insecurity is at least as menacing and perhaps much more palpable.

Lesson 3:
Weaponisation of interdependence may limit globalisation.

Globalisation is often regarded as a great opportunity for business and people, especially younger generations. “So much mutual understanding is developed as people cross borders, study and party abroad,” Evenett said. “This helps tie us all together.”

But globalisation also creates interdependence, which powerful political actors or parties may utilise to exert their influence over others, as in the case of Russia’s recent threats to cut gas exports to Bulgaria and Poland.

So does war in Ukraine spell the end of an era of globalization? Evenett said he predicts that the world is likely experiencing “selective fragmentation of the global economy” rather than a full-fledged deglobalisation. In some realms, including food and energy security, governments may seek to limit their dependence on foreign parties. “I see an evolution of globalisation, rather than deglobalisation,” Evenett said.

In a similar vein, Oksana Matiias, CEO of Teach for Ukraine and Leader of Tomorrow at the 51st St. Gallen Symposium, said that global collaboration motivated governments to reduce their dependence on Russian energy sources. However, according to Matiias, this does not signal complete erosion of globalisation. Instead, it may represent a necessary step on the road to better globalisation, where power imbalance is counterbalanced by global collaboration to avoid abuse of interdependence by powerful political actors.

Lesson 4:
Reception of Ukrainians in Western Europe contrasts with the treatment of refugees from the Middle East,

Africa and other parts of the globe.

Evenett says Ukrainians fleeing the war westwardly were met with “quite incredible generosity,” whereas hostile treatment of Syrian, Palestinian, Yemeni and Afghani refugees, among others, remains commonplace on the continent. Whether this contrast represents a long-awaited shift in European attitude toward immigrants or simply the latest manifestation of racial prejudices is another open question and an opportunity to learn an additional lesson: wars can happen anywhere, including Europe, and people fleeing from death and destruction should be accommodated regardless of their skin colour or citizenship.


While there are many lessons we can learn from global response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, one conclusion seems clear: Global issues require global solutions given the contemporary interdependent context, since seemingly distant local perturbations will often reverberate across borders.

That’s where the St. Gallen Symposium comes in. “I think that now it’s time for rethinking the world order,” Yasko said. “And such countries as Switzerland and platforms like this symposium can really make a change.”

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