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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Theme of the 52nd St. Gallen Symposium: A New Generational Contract

The need to simultaneously face immediate crises and pursue long-term transformations is a defining feature of our time. How can we deal with current, urgent challenges in a way that also sets the path for a more resilient, sustainable future?

At the 76th United Nations General Assembly session in 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned governments and businesses of a growing intergenerational divide. Young people, he said, will “inherit the consequences – good and bad” of decisions made by today’s leaders in politics and business.

The generational contract captures this principle: that young and old depend on each other and are bound my mutual responsibilities. It reminds us of the importance to be good ancestors and of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of young and future generations to meet their own needs.

How to Deal with the Perfect Storm?

Today, living up this principle through our actions is more relevant – but also more challenging – than ever.

The world is facing an urgent, multidimensional crisis, which can be expected to intensify even further. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused immense suffering, and further widened geopolitical divisions. The war has equally infected an economy still recovering from the Covid pandemic – causing energy shortages, soaring inflation, and supply chain disruptions. Tremendous uncertainty requires immediate action and crisis management through learning by doing.

At the same time, the current crisis overlaps with an acceleration of long-term developments that will define the world future generations will inherit. Labour shortages, floods and droughts are only some of their effects already visible today. Technological, demographic and climate change all require profound changes across organisations and systems. Such transformations in business, government or education cannot wait any longer and major steps are needed in every year of this decade.

A New Generational Contract as a Framework for Action

This need to simultaneously face immediate crises and pursue long-term transformations is a defining feature of our time. So far, we have rarely been able to bring both perspectives together. For too long, a focus on immediate challenges has trumped our concern for longer-term developments. This reinforces a vicious cycle, where short-sighted responses lay the seeds for subsequent crises and urgent structural change is continuously postponed. As a result, the generational contract has been broken.

Yet, we know that crises can also serve as a catalyst for transformative change. The coming year and decade will require us to think, decide and act on multiple timescales simultaneously – and to face inherent trade-offs between current and future costs and benefits. To inspire such leadership at a moment of great uncertainty, the 52nd St. Gallen Symposium in May 2023 will develop “A New Generational Contract”: What are core responsibilities between generations, and our duties to future ones? How can we advance long-term transformations while effectively responding to immediate crises?

Year-round and from 4-5 May 2023, leaders of today and tomorrow will explore these questions across five key areas:

Resilient Businesses and Economies: At a moment of great uncertainty, businesses face the challenge of combining crisis management and structural transformation. Soaring prices and supply chain disruptions call for immediate responses. The shift towards digital and sustainable business models requires long-term investments and commitment to change. How can businesses advance transformation in an age of turbulence?

Equitable and Effective Governance: Reforms to education, health and pension systems, as well as climate action, are crucial to meet future challenges. Yet, they incur costs today, while benefits are realised only after years. In the midst of an urgent geopolitical and economic crisis, governments need to make hard choices and confront trade-offs. We will explore policies that effectively respond to current crises without losing sight of long-term issues.

A Sustainable Transformation: The responsibility of those currently alive to leave young and future generations a healthy environment is an essential component of the generational contract. Climate change poses severe existential risks – but governments and businesses remain far off track to make the ambitious changes needed. How can we accelerate action to safeguard a healthy environment for the next generation?

Future Education and Learning: The Covid-19 pandemic has wiped out 20 years of global education gains. While still coping with the crisis’ impact, educational institutions are challenged to prepare for a technology-driven future of work where required skills and competencies will be largely different from today. We will explore how schools, universities and employers can enable the workforce and the next generation to thrive in the coming decades.

Responsible Innovation and Technology: Emerging technologies such as AI are transforming how we live, work and do business. In light of their immense future potential and considerable risks, it’s up to us to shape how we aim to use technologies and what it means to be human for future generations. How might we leverage innovation to bridge generational divides and shape a responsible use of disruptive technologies?

The discussions towards and at the 52nd St. Gallen Symposium will directly inform a recently launched, global initiative for “A New Generational Contract”. Convened by the St. Gallen Symposium and the Club of Rome, the initiative will define core principles and priorities, and launch tangible projects, to foster equity and mutual support between generations.

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