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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Transforming Capitalism for the Common Good?

Stakeholder capitalism provides an agenda for businesses to reimagine their role within their community, argues Michael Tang of SGX RegCo in his St. Gallen Symposium Brief.

Many conversations about business sustainability come back to a more fundamental question of the role of corporations. Are corporations pure money-making instruments, or do they serve a larger purpose?

The rise of corporations as a business vehicle enables mankind to pool different forms of capital together to achieve common objectives.

A separate legal personality means that the corporation can enter into contracts and sue in its own right, while perpetual succession means that the corporation can long outlive any of its initial subscribers. Limited liability allows for more calculated risk-taking – an entrepreneur can segregate the liabilities of the corporation from his or her own, and have more confidence in taking business risks.

As businesses become more complex, corporations become more sophisticated and a specialised model for governance emerges. There arises the segregation of the roles of the board of directors and management, to achieve bigger endeavours.

In many jurisdictions, the board of directors works for the best interest of the corporation. But the corporation is an inanimate legal fiction – ultimately, people and lives stand behind the corporate form. To paraphrase Hemingway, for whom does the corporation toil?

From Shareholder vs. State Capitalism Towards Stakeholder Capitalism?

As Klaus Schwab and Peter Vanham elaborate in their book “Stakeholder Capitalism: A Global Economy that Works for Progress, People and Planet”, there are two prevailing economic systems in the world today: shareholder capitalism and state capitalism.

Shareholder capitalism places shareholders’ interests at the centre of the economic endeavours, as the driving force for the allocation of factors of production. It has as its mantra the maximisation of shareholder value, and Milton Friedman as its key proponent.

State capitalism, on the other hand, considers the state as the dominant force, which controls the distribution of resources. What this means is that the interests of individual entities are subservient to the greater good of the state.

In recent times, a third form has gained prominence – that of stakeholder capitalism.

This refers to a system which places attention on all private actors in society. It seeks to protect and guide their economic activities to ensure that the overall direction of economic development is beneficial to society, and no actor can freeride on the efforts of others.

A key proponent is the Business Roundtable, a group comprising of 200 chief executives of the largest corporations. In 2019, the Business Roundtable called on corporates to embrace the goal of managing companies for the benefit of all stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders.

Transforming the Common Good

But stakeholder capitalism is not itself a new idea. Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means, in their 1932 seminal text “The Modern Corporation and Private Property”, advocated that public companies should have professional managers who would balance the needs of different stakeholders, taking into account public policy considerations.

Further, managers need to watch how such needs and considerations change over time.

Take climate change as an example. The understanding of its impact on businesses has evolved tremendously in the last five years. In addition to the physical risks of climate change, the business community is also asked to consider transition risks. For example, changing consumer preferences, emerging new technologies, and new regulatory policies on companies to take responsibility for climate impacts.

Notably, a legal opinion commissioned by the Commonwealth Climate and Law Institute opined that directors must understand what climate change entails and how it would impact on their corporation’s activities, strategies and financial planning. Directors must also consider steps to prevent legal challenges to business practices, especially given the risk of climate litigation. In New Zealand, for example, a court has raised the possibility of expanding the existing law of torts, to include an inchoate duty to minimise greenhouse gas emissions.

The best interests of a corporation, properly understood, naturally extend beyond just shareholders’ interest. it also encompasses the interests of stakeholders in the communities in which the corporation operates. The duty of the director therefore involves the balance in serving all of a corporation’s stakeholders, to reach a suitable compromise.

Many of today’s problems – including climate change – are seemingly intractable, with critics on all sides of the debate. Part of the problem lies in existing entrenched power dynamics, which prevent or restrict us from changing the status quo. Another part lies in how some view the tactics of change advocates as provocative and radical.

The better way is to engage in conversation with all stakeholders about our respective interests and focus on how we can transform the common good.

About the Author:
Michael Tang

Executive Director and Head, Listing Policy & Product Admission and Sustainable Development Office, Singapore Exchange Regulation

Michael Tang is the Head of Listing Policy & Product Admission at Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo), a subsidiary of Singapore Exchange (SGX Group) that undertakes frontline regulatory functions. He also heads the Sustainable Development Office at SGX RegCo. In his two roles Michael oversees listing policy and rules development, administers the admission of securities products, coordinates sustainability-related issues on the regulatory front as well as leads efforts to promote sustainability across stakeholder groups. Michael graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) with a Bachelor of Laws degree and is admitted to the Singapore bar. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the NUS Business School’s Centre for Governance and Sustainability (CGS), a Management Committee member of Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS) and a member of the Environmental, Social and Governance Committee of the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID).

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