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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Trusted Marketplaces Are Key to Meeting the Climate Challenge

Businesses bring innovation and creativity to address the climate challenge. If designed in the right way, purpose-led market mechanisms will support those ideas to flow and accelerate their impact.

As countries around the world attempt to turn the corner on the COVID-19 crisis, the climate challenge looms ever larger as our next global reckoning. With the priority of economic repair and recovery across all major economies, it is heartening to see that vital momentum has been sustained in the transition towards a low-carbon future state.

The transition pathway requires solutions to an enormous collective action problem, riddled with difficult tradeoffs and leaps of faith. Internationally the immediate urgency (and solidarity of consequences) over the past year led to unprecedented collective actions to halt the spread of COVID-19. Similarly, commitment to the climate challenge demands sustained cooperation between governments, businesses and individuals. And mutual trust will be key to unlocking our collective resolve to develop sustainable solutions and deliver sustainable environmental outcomes.

In seeking to bind purposeful actions with outcomes through capital markets financing, the challenges are complex when it comes to meaningful disclosure of positive and negative externalities. Herein lies the power of the market mechanism in coordinating resources and syndicating change at a global scale. And hence harmonisation and comparability of data in environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting has emerged as a concern, with companies using different criteria to report on their most material issues to investors and other stakeholders. This undermines trust in the usefulness of ESG standard-making.

This is an acknowledged concern, and there is progress being made in consolidating ESG reporting standards. Finding consensus will take time; it took the accounting world decades to align on reporting standards. The International Financial Reporting Standards foundation, with support from leading global organisations such as IOSCO, recently stepped up efforts to address this issue and established a sustainability standards board.

Commitments and Tradeoffs

To be sure, a clear shift in environmental policymaking is signaling that governments understand the urgency to act. Chinese President Xi Jinping last September announced a national goal to attain carbon neutrality by 2060, making China the first major economy after the European Union to set its own deadline for such an ambitious target; the U.S. has also since announced a net-zero target by 2050. Support in Asia is particularly crucial, given the region’s growing heft in the world economy: Japan, South Korea and Singapore have all made pledges of net-zero emissions.

Every sustainability journey also comes with commitments and balancing of interests, and long-term solutions based on collective action can only be sustained by trust. There are inherent tradeoffs even in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with the quest for improvement in basic living conditions sometimes coming at the cost of environmental degradation.

In Southeast Asia, where the 10 ASEAN members collectively make up the world’s fifth-largest economy, there is constant calibration to balance economic development and carbon footprints. Singapore, with no natural resources of its own, faces a unique challenge in food and energy security. The country has set a goal of producing 30% of its nutritional needs locally by 2030 – an outcome that could also lead to an increase in carbon emissions. Real-world sustainability is formed within a complex calculus.

By 2050, the planet must satisfy the needs and desires of more than 9 billion people, of which over 5 billion are expected to reside in Asia. Building a global economy fit for the 21st century is a significant challenge and reshaping this sustainable future requires widespread social and political buy-in.

Purpose-Led Marketplaces

This is the context within which a purpose-led market operator makes the difference. As businesses bring innovation and creativity to solve problems, a quality market mechanism enables capital supporting those ideas to flow, to create impact. A purpose-led marketplace can pioneer pathways to achieve sustainability commitments and co-opt active citizenry through products, platforms and technology. Through its established regulatory and developmental functions, a trusted marketplace and exchange works to optimally resource against tradeoffs and objectives – both “green premia” and “brown discounts” are valuable coordinating signals in the action of the Invisible Hand.

With such existential stakes at the table, Singapore seeks to play its role in service of the Asia regional decarbonisation challenge. As an internationally trusted and recognised markets jurisdiction, Singapore recognises the importance of having in place the right frameworks and working with the right partners. We are building a carbon services and trading hub, bringing together green finance, sustainability consultancy, verification, credits trading and risk management.

Singapore Exchange, DBS Bank, Standard Chartered and Temasek will jointly launch Climate Impact X (CIX), an international marketplace guided by the core carbon principles of enhancing transparency, integrity and the quality of carbon credits. Even as companies actively seek to reduce their carbon footprint, the use of high-quality, large-scale carbon credits plays a key role in neutralising and compensating for emissions that companies are unable to fully eliminate.

Markets must be part of the climate-change solution, through sustainability-linked products and solutions to manage risk and return. A credible marketplace will enable companies to access funding and support for their transition efforts. Strengthening capacity building for the broader financial ecosystem is also vital to catalyse change and deliver growth in a sustainable manner.

Mutually Reinforcing

As a tiny coastal city-state, Singapore is among island nations susceptible to rising sea levels in the coming decades. Perhaps this vulnerability has honed our belief that economic growth and sustainability are not mutually exclusive but are in fact interdependent, mutually reinforcing and beneficial.

To balance growth and build a high-quality living space, the Singapore government is doubling efforts to be a leading centre for green finance in Asia and globally. It is supporting the financial sector’s resilience to environmental risks, developing green-finance solutions and markets, building knowledge and capabilities, and leveraging innovation and technology. And through an organised public market, we can further strengthen the international community’s efforts to deal with the impact of climate change.

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