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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Towards an Era of Selective Collaboration?

Even before the war on Ukraine, the idea that economic interdependence would reduce mistrust and facilitate cooperation had been challenged. In light of current events, “selective collaboration” based on common security and economic concerns and shared values might be the most effective – and pragmatic – way forward.

As Russia continues its war of aggression in Ukraine, the news from the battlefield and the horrific images of the human costs of this war continue to dominate the headlines. Looking beyond these headlines, a number of important questions arise. When, for example, will this war end? What will a peace deal entail? And what will a post-war world look like?

At present, it’s impossible to answer these questions with any degree of certainty. At the same time, several longer-term implications of the war are already evident. It’s safe to predict, for example, that so much of what one might call “global collaboration” will change substantially, or even disappear. And to maintain peace and prosperity in this changed world, new forms of collaboration will be necessary.

Independence or Interdependence?

Even before the war, the idea that economic interdependence would reduce mistrust and promote prosperity everywhere had already fallen out of favour in many countries. Growing distrust between the United States and China fuelled a belief that economic interdependence can actually pose a threat to national security, especially in high-tech sectors that will drive global prosperity in the future. COVID uncovered the hidden vulnerabilities of deeply integrated global supply chains in a time of crisis. The unequal outcomes of globalisation led to political polarisation, populism, and a broad backlash against globalisation more generally.

Russia’s aggression has only accelerated these trends. Even if peace comes quickly in Ukraine – a highly unlikely event – Europe will continue to reduce its dependency on Russian fossil fuels. Bans on high-tech exports to Russia will likely remain in place. Western trepidation towards China, exacerbated by its refusal to condemn Russia’s invasion, will only grow. Economic ties will be viewed even more intensely through the prism of national security, and supply chains will come under greater scrutiny. Comparative advantage, a concept which drove so much of global economic policy in recent decades, will be subordinated even more to a view that equates economic security to national security.

How Selective Collaboration Can Succeed

This doesn’t mean that globalisation is dead, since so much of global trade and investment is indeed beneficial for all parties involved and innocuous from a national security perspective. Instead, global collaboration is giving way to more selective collaboration based on common security and economic concerns and shared values. The swiftness with which the democracies of the West responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is one such example of selective collaboration. Another is the U.S./EU Trade and Tech Council, which aims to coordinate Transatlantic approaches to national and economic security challenges. Originally created in 2021 with China in mind, the Council has gained additional relevance as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Looking forward, such collaboration among Western democracies based on shared values, economic interests and national security concerns will likely become even more institutionalised. To be truly effective, however, such selective collaboration should adhere to certain principles.

First of all, it should not forsake the concept of comparative advantage. Whatever problems globalisation may have caused, it lowered production costs dramatically, and re-prioritising economic and national security will raise costs again. As the West defines common boundaries around high tech trade or strengthens supply chain resilience, for example, it should also deepen economic integration to capture the advantages of globalisation while minimising its negative consequences. This includes having the political courage to pursue high-standard understandings to liberalise trade and investment between like-minded countries while protecting labour rights and accelerating the transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

Secondly, selective collaboration should be inclusive. Governments should view their private sector as partners, and not as part of the problem, in their efforts to promote economic and national security. Efforts to deepen economic integration among the West should be open to other countries willing to commit to high standards. This is especially true for countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, even if their views on Russia do not perfectly align with those of the West. Excluding them from the opportunities of a more closely integrated West only makes China or Russia a more attractive partner over the longer term. The West should also not principally exclude China if it is truly prepared to accept the high standards any common arrangements, or a different Russia in a post-war scenario.

Finally, selective collaboration should promote cross-generational dialogue and people-to-people ties, as that fosters understanding for different points of view and will help bridge the invariable diversity of interests that can stand in the way of deeper overall collaboration. Collaboration must also protect the open and free flow of information that is the lifeblood of democracy. Governments must collaborate to strengthen the institutions protecting freedom of speech, and everyone working in communications – be it corporations, consultancies or the media – has the responsibility to communicate fact based, evaluate sources carefully and support the free flow of correct information.

About the Author:

As a Consulting Partner in the Berlin office of Finsbury Glover Hering’s Government Affairs, Policy & Advocacy Division, William “Bill” Klein brings over three decades of experience leading diverse multinational teams in both the public and private sectors. He helps international corporates and investors assess geopolitical uncertainties and complexities and advises them on how to navigate political and regulatory environments at the national and global level.

Prior to joining the firm, he spent a total of over 20 years in the diplomatic service of the United States, representing its diplomatic, economic and security interests in China, Taiwan, Ukraine, Israel, India, Qatar and Washington, DC. Earlier, he built and led profitable capital markets teams for German banks in Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig. He is also a non-resident senior associate at the Freeman Chair in China Studies of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

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