Vision & Mission

Lead with the next generation in mind.

The St. Gallen Symposium promotes cross-generational dialogue to foster mutual understanding and joint action.

Our way to go

Our Mission

  • We aim to connect all generations around relevant cross-generational issues to find best possible ideas and solutions.
  • We work to be recognized as the leading seismographof the next generations.
  • We pursue meaningful, constructive and contested debates on pressing global issues between current and future leaders
  • We aspire to be a globally recognized year-round initiative for cross-generational dialogue.
The values we live by

Our Values

Courage

Have bold ideas to inspire the status quo while being honest, open and fair.

Passion

Live along our vision and continuously innovate, improve and move forward.

Integrity

Enable authentic and principled debates promoting liberal values.

Responsibility

Act professionally, sustainably and impactfully.

Founded in 1969, the St. Gallen Symposium is the world’s most longstanding and relevant platform for cross-generational dialogue. By bringing together leaders of today and tomorrow on key questions of our time, we aim to inspire current decision-makers to lead with the next generation in mind.

More than 50 years ago, the St. Gallen Symposium was initiated by a group of students at the University of St.Gallen at a time of upheaval. Racial segregation in the US, the Vietnam War, and struggles to come to terms with the German past fuelled conflicts among generations. Today, in light of the climate crisis, rising inequalities, and rapid technological change, younger generations are again raising their voices as they reflect on the ways their futures are being compromised by current developments.

The St. Gallen Symposium aims to serve as the seismograph of the issues that divide and those that unite generations and as the key platform, where cross-generational dialogue fosters mutual understanding and joint action. We works towards our vision and mission by actively bringing together the key voices and concerns of all generations, through our annual main symposium each May at the University of St.Gallen, our year-round dialogue initiatives, as well as cutting-edge research and publications on next generation concerns and ways to renew the ties that bind generations.

What makes us unique is the fact that the symposium is driven by the next generation itself: the International Students’ Committee (ISC) is a group of around 30 students at the University of St.Gallen who pause their studies for a year to fully devote themselves to our initiative. Every year, they travel the world to engage in ca. 1300 cross-generational meetings with our more than 350 partners, recruit our Leaders of Tomorrow who represent the next generation at our annual symposium, and engage in the communication, operations and digital innovation of our work.

The ISC is supported and strategically guided by the St. Gallen Foundation of International Studies, a team of professionals and student project managers . Our Board of Trustees ensures the impactful use of our resources towards our mission. With this unique cross-generational set-up with our own organisation, the St. Gallen Symposium promotes dialogue across generations on the most pressing issues of our time.

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