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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Reflections as a Leader of Tomorrow

Abishek S Narayan, Doctoral Researcher at Eawag and ETH Zurich

A month has passed since the 50th St. Gallen Symposium, and my reflections are still as fresh as the symposium experience itself. When I first heard of the Symposium, I had a choice to apply either as a judge of the essays (ETH Zurich and University of St Gallen PhDs are invited), or write a winning essay on the topic of ‘trust’ to participate as a graduate student. Obviously writing one essay seemed easier than judging 50 others, and the honor of ‘Leader of Tomorrow’ was an exciting proposition. I had no idea that the experience was going to be even more exciting.

My essay was “The Trust Tripod:  Washing Trust in the WASH Sector”, which explored how the three legs of the tripod – public, government and businesses had to cooperate in order to deliver safe water and sanitation (WASH) for over half the world that’s currently left behind. It was selected, and I was invited to attend the symposium as a Leader of Tomorrow (LoT) along with 99 other winning entries. Unfortunately, the pandemic was showing no signs of retreat before May, for the event to happen at the same way as it used in last 49 years of the pre-COVID era. Despite living in Zurich, which was 59 minutes away by the punctual Swiss trains, I had to attend the much-awaited event, online.

On the four days of the symposium, my disappointment however turned to enthusiasm since the event was remarkably well organized and delivered all that it promised. Here is yet another tripod that captures my symposium experience.

The Virtual Switch:

The entire event switched onto the virtual platform, which offered a seamless simulation of the real setting; from coffee tables to strike random discussions with fellow participants, to morning yoga sessions in the Abbey Library. The screening of the plenary events and the discussions were done in television studio quality with rare glitches.
The virtual switch also increased the reach of the symposium with talks streamed live directly from the Microsoft CEO’s office in Seattle or a fantastic panel of diplomats, activists and educationalists from Accra. This switch ensured that all the integral aspects of the symposium experience including networking opportunities, great speakers and even a Swiss goody bag were all kept intact.

Intellectual Stimulation:

The reason people look forward to the three days of the symposium is for the sheer exposure it offers by way of thought provoking discussions, groundbreaking ideas and next-generation best practices. The symposium also did not fail to bring world-class thought leaders from all walks of life including business and political circles. Three of the most significant ideas of the future that stuck with me are (i) Roshni Nadar’s hyperpersonalization of post-pandemic work, (ii) Michael Sandel’s tyranny of inequitable merit and (iii) Vas Narsimhan’s increased spending in preventive medicine.

Peer Interaction :

The metric to judge to any conference is its participants. On that scale, the St Gallen Symposium would in no doubt be among the top. In this case, it is not just the speakers who were accomplished, but also the Leaders of Tomorrow, Aspiring Leaders and other delegates.  I had the opportunity to meaningfully connect with peers who were doing fascinating work; for example a PhD student who worked on creating edible food packaging, and an Indonesian entrepreneur who is working towards getting every graduate in her country employed. That is just two of many more inspiring young people that I met, who are all set to make a significant sustainable impact in the world. This peer network have been quite active post the Symposium on WhatsApp chats, LinkedIn groups, has regular Zoom calls, and even in-person meet ups, where that is possible.

While I might still want to experience the magic of the St. Gallen Symposium in person in 2022, the virtual symposium at the comfort of my couch, in the middle of a pandemic, did not disappoint. It is amazing how a set of students pull off organizing such a large-scale event that leaves everyone inspired. Kudos to the ISC team for curating this experience!

In any case, the dialogue continues, and I certainly trust that this will only get even better in a post-pandemic world.

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