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
Watch Here

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
Watch Here

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?

Sign up for our Newsletter

Sign up for our Newsletter

“We can only restore trust by emphasising our common vulnerability as human beings”

An In-depth Conversation with Prof. Martha Nussbaum (Part 2 of 2)

Prof. Martha Nussbaum is one of America’s most distinguished philosophers. In this exclusive interview with Leader of Tomorrow Grégoire Roos, Prof. Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor for Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, discusses the ideas underlying the storming of the U.S. Capitol, ways to rebuild trust in polarised democracies and how acting has helped her philosophical understanding of emotions.

This is the continuation of the first part of this interview.

Roos: You have a very intimate personal experience with Ancient Greek philosophy and tragedy, not that common amongst philosophers and social scientists… you are also a professional actress! Aeschylus and Sophocles have no secret for you. As we stressed earlier on, insofar as it provides us with a possibly unexplored variety of emotions, literature (fiction) makes us more human, and brings us closer to our neighbour and more sympathetic towards their suffering. 

This actually reminds me of a discussion I had with Lech Wałęsa a little while ago, regarding the repression in Poland under the communist rule. I asked him whether having suffered made you a better leader. He reflected for a moment and said: to the extent that suffering reveals to you what’s really important in life and what isn’t, that it makes you assess the value of empathy to overcome fear and anger, then yes, having suffered may be important. Should we stop looking for the iron leader, and turn instead to people who acknowledge their vulnerability and can therefore better understand the distress, fear and anger of those who suffer? In other words, is a leader who’s suffered more worthy of our trust (Joe Biden seems to be a good example)?

Nussbaum: Yes, I do think that acting helped me understand emotions better, but I am a better actor now than I was then (I often act in amateur productions), because I have life-experience. I sing too, and it just happens that my voice, a dramatic soprano, is suited to roles that often express anger and a desire for revenge. I learn a lot about those destructive emotions by embodying those roles. Just this morning I was working on two arias of Elettra from Mozart’s Idomeneo, and what is fascinating is that underneath her mad fury she is a person of love, but she tries to get rid of that vulnerability and rise above it through anger. She says a sad farewell to “amor, mercè, pieta”, and then turns the full fury of her high note over to “vendetta e crudeltà.” But Mozart shows you in his brilliantly insightful depiction exactly what price she is paying.

As of Joe Biden, I have already discussed his example, and I hope this will be a new beginning in our country.

Roos: For Plato (for whom, by the way, you don’t seem to have particular affinity…), the highest moral good is happiness. And happiness can only be attained by means of specific dispositions he calls virtues. In The Fragility of Goodness (1986), you argue that Platonic virtue ethics presupposes the need for contemplation. Contemplation (taken in the sense of inner reflection, as its etymology indicates: contemplor = looking at the space and sky in the hope of an omen), however, is allowed only by a form of isolation from the shocks and shudders of the external world. Without such isolation or retreat, contemplation becomes more challenging, and goodness even more fragile. 

Has technique, as criticised by Heidegger and the anti-Moderns, with its corollary speed, noise, and the whole tumult of the Industrial Revolution, by depriving the modern man of the time and silence necessary to contemplation, diverted him from his route to goodness? “We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in…” (Charles Chaplin, The Great Dictator, 1940).

Nussbaum: You saw that I am not a fan of Plato! He is an elitist who favours people who are good at math over other people. I don’t think such people are better at understanding human life, so the type of contemplation I favour is the type the Stoics talk about, contemplation of human nature and human emotions. And no, I don’t think that this requires isolation from the shocks of real life. 

I lost my beloved daughter to a tragic death last year, involving a flawed donor organ and a drug-resistant infection, and I kept a journal then and have kept one ever since, concerning grief, tragedy, repair. It will much later become a book on grief, but it is too soon now. And I also really needed to write and work in order to keep going. While she was in the hospital I wrote part of a book on sexual assault that is coming out soon, and it was comforting to denounce malefactors of great selfishness, in order to pay tribute to her gentleness and her loving character. I have also been writing a large book on animal rights, which was my daughter’s great cause. She was an attorney for an animal welfare organisation, and we co-authored four articles together. So it gives me fulfilment to think that I make her cause and her ideas live on.

I think Heidegger’s critique of technē is elitist hogwash. It’s all a matter of one’s choices: but well-chosen technology is a huge help. I love my computer, and I love my kitchen equipment. I bet Heidegger never had to cook his own dinner…

This was the second part of the interview. You can find the first part here.

Martha C. Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago (jointly appointed in the Law School and Philosophy department) and one of America’s most distinguished philosophers. 

Prof. Nussbaum’s research interests span several fields of philosophy, classics and social sciences, covering Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, political philosophy and sciences, ethics and philosophy of law. The author of over twenty books -amongst which: The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy (1986), Poetic Justice (1996), Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education (1997), From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law (2010), The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis (2018)- Prof. Nussbaum is currently working on a book on justice for non-human animals. Her next book, Citadels of Pride: Sexual Abuse, Accountability, and Reconciliation, will be published in 2021.

The recipient of over sixty honorary doctorates, Prof. Nussbaum is a fellow and associate member of numerous academies of art and sciences (she’s a Fellow of the British Academy and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences) and has received many awards acknowledging her exceptional contribution to the fields of philosophy, ethics, culture and science. 

Share the article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *