Past Symposia

We've been bridging generations for 46 years.

Since it's inception in 1969, the St. Gallen Symposium has grown to become the world's premier opportunity for debate between generations with a clear focus on management, politics and civil society. Look back and relive history from past symposia.

A brief history of debates.

Apart from the St. Gallen Symposium, the International Students’ Committee (ISC) has always engaged in other endeavours as well. Since 1969, we've developed a track record of enabling debates across generations.

 2010 The ISC organised the Conference of the Council of Europe concluding Switzerland's Chairmanship.
 2006 Kofi Annan receives the Freedom Prize of the Max Schmidheiny Foundation and attends the award ceremony at the University of St. Gallen.
 2002 The Swiss government entrusts the ISC with the organisation of the International Conference on Federalism.
 1989 The student essay competition is introduced as a means to select the best students from around the world to attend the St. Gallen Symposium. 
 1972 The Club of Rome presents its ground-breaking study «Limits to Growth» at the St. Gallen Symposium.
 1969 Five students from the University of St. Gallen founded the International Students’ Committee (ISC) as a response to the student unrests of 1968, seeking dialogue and debate as a meaningful alternative to violent protest.


Did you know?

The first symposium in 1969 was held on the topic of «Tendencies in Management in Europe». In recent years, the topics have become more global:

  • Growth – the good, the bad, and the ugly
  • Proudly Small
  • The Clash of Generations
  • Rewarding Courage
  • Facing Risk
  • Just Power
  • Entrepreneurs – Agents of Change
Topic: «The dilemma of disruption»

The 47th St. Gallen Symposium, will look at the breeding grounds for radical change, assess the tough decisions that come with it and direct participants’ gaze beyond the strict business definition.

> read the topic briefing