50th St. Gallen Symposium "Freedom Revisited": 7–8 May 2020





18.7.2019 | BY Elisabeth Burkhardt, Lia Hollenstein, Severin Schmugge

At the 49th St. Gallen Symposium the heads of the organising committee Elisabeth Burkhardt, Lia Hollenstein and Severin Schmugge held a speech on the topic “We need to talk”.

3.4.2019 | BY Haroon Yasin

Three years ago, I embarked on a journey to some of the most remote, cut off, and underserved areas of Pakistan. I grew up in Islamabad, the country’s capital, in many ways was shielded from the forces that the rest of the country was subjected to. After 16 hours of travelling, I arrived in a remote, dusty village. It was deep in the night, and there was no electricity. I was taken to visit a family under the light of mobile phone torches. There is little that could have prepared me for what I saw next.

27.3.2019 | BY Vijay Nayudu, Leader of Tomorrow, 31st and 32nd St. Gallen Symposium

I had the opportunity to visit the University of St. Gallen, as a finalist of the ISC Symposium (now St. Gallen Symposium) in 2001 and 2002. It was my first trip outside India, my home then, and a very memorable one at that.

15.3.2019 | BY Anuj Narayanan

“An exponential growth is a simple doubling. One becomes two becomes four”  - Peter Diamandis

This philosophy of compounded learning symbolizes my life post being Leader of Tomorrow at the St. Gallen Symposium about 3 years ago. The experience was the catalyst that set me on a path of intellectual curiosity, guiding my journey to becoming a digital innovator.

7.3.2019 | BY Jose Abad Puelles, Leader of Tomorrow, 29th, 30th and 32nd St. Gallen Symposium

I have attended the St. Gallen Symposium three times and without a doubt I can say that that experience changed my life, personally and professionally.

Capital for Purpose and Impact Measurement – A Critical Alliance
5.3.2019 | BY Wladimir Nikoluk, CEO ImmerLearn

Capitalism has had its share of victories. Technological progress, higher living standards, more meritocratic societal systems are but a few of its achievements. Yet today, capitalism is increasingly seen as a problem rather than a solution. 

28.2.2019 | BY Janina Inauen, member of the organising committee, 49th St. Gallen Symposium

Angela Lim – a 29-year-old doctor and entrepreneur from Auckland, New Zealand, was one of the 200 Leaders of Tomorrow at the 48th St. Gallen Symposium. This is where she met the man who would later become the investor of her start-up.

The diversity of capital
21.2.2019 | BY Andri Silberschmidt, President of the Young Freedom Party and Co-Founder of kaisin. GmbH

When one speaks of capital, one quickly speaks of globally active companies that see entrepreneurship as an end in itself rather than a meaningful undertaking.

We were not "just students"
10.2.2019 | BY Xin Dong, Leader of Tomorrow, 34th St. Gallen Symposium

It's hard to believe that 14 years have already passed since I joined my peers from all across the globe for those unforgettable "three days in May". I was a young student who had just commenced his postgraduate career in the language arts, and having come from a family of academics, I was on my way to pursue a career in academia.

21.1.2019 | BY Elena Kessler, Project Manager Content, St. Gallen Symposium

A recent article of Forbes has caught my attention and made me look at the issue of short-term thinking in a new way. 

Following a decade of the St. Gallen Symposium
10.1.2019 | BY Maria Alejandra Parreño, Leader of Tomorrow, 37th and 46th St. Gallen Symposium

My name is Alejandra and I am an Argentinian living in Switzerland, currently on exchange in the US. I was honored to be selected for the St. Gallen Symposium as a Leader of Tomorrow twice, once in 2007 and a second time in 2016

3.1.2019 | BY Kourosh Ziabari, Reporter and Correspondent Fair Observer

Governments have enormous and priceless resources available to them that make it possible for them to sustain themselves, keep the wheels of national economies running and fulfil their roadmap for the future of their nations. However, the difference between world countries in terms of economic power, military prowess, diplomatic influence, scientific progress and social development starts from the priorities: Where the governments want to invest their resources.

12.6.2018 | BY Ruediger Stroh, Executive Vice President & Member of the International Board of Management NXP Semiconductors

Why the human factor is key in the fourth industrial revolution...

17.4.2018 | BY Tomáš Sedláček, Economist, Manouchehr Shamsrizi, Founder gamelab.berlin

In line with Nietzsche, it has to be said and it cannot be repeated often enough: The God of economics is dead. This God is non-existent. There is no invisible hand. There are only our hands, right hand and left hand, and they can do good and evil.

27.2.2018 | BY Nazmus Sadat Khan, Leader of Tomorrow

The economic success of the Asian tigers reveals a common pattern of development. After the Second World War countries like Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore started exporting labor intensive products to rest of the world. But robots were never really thought of as an alternative to human in making labor intensive products although they could influence how these countries will develop economically in the future.

8.2.2018 | BY St. Gallen Symposium

Given the rising concern of redundancy and an unequal distribution of wealth in a world beyond the end of work, many researchers and politicians advocate the idea of basic income. Might UBI be a possible solution for unemployment?

5.2.2018 | BY Marie Kitano, Leader of Tomorrow

It seems like the emerge of AI M.D. is not that far away. Being a good doctor requires two skills: knowledge and experience. Facing a new patient, he instantly integrates what he knows from textbooks with what he experienced in the past, making the best decision. AI would be too good at this game.

29.1.2018 | BY Anuj Narayanan Kannankutty, Leader of Tomorrow

Longer-term forecasts suggest that today’s developing and emerging countries are likely to account for nearly 60% of world GDP by 2030. An integral driver of these markets is the shadow economy, which is work done for cash, where taxes aren’t usually paid, and regulations aren’t strictly followed.

23.1.2018 | BY Tamsin Nicholson, Leader of Tomorrow

With the rise in AI and automation, the million-dollar question is ‘what will we do, if not work?’ Around the world, many people find their sense of purpose through work. People ask us ‘what do you do?’ and we answer only with our jobs, not our hobbies or anything else.

15.1.2018 | BY Conor McGlynn, Leader of Tomorrow

What comes after the end of work? The optimistic answer to this question is that, if we did not have to work, we would spend our days bettering ourselves and our communities: reading philosophy, learning new skills, and increasing our understanding of the universe.

8.1.2018 | BY Martina Fuchs, TV anchor at CNNMoney Switzerland, Leader of Tomorrow

Workers worldwide are fearing for their jobs as the rise of the machine is well underway, and journalists are surely no exception.

6.9.2017 | BY Dominic Baumann, St. Gallen Symposium

Fears that new technologies will eliminate everyone’s jobs for the benefit of only a few are familiar. Similar concerns led to furious arguments two centuries ago, as industrialisation took hold in Great Britain. Today the machine question is back, with a new twist.

15.8.2017 | BY Rishi Jaggernauth, semi-finalist St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award 2017, Leader of Tomorrow

Antibiotic resistance is one of the defining challenges of the 21st Century. This article presents Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) as a possible solution to revolutionize the treatment of bacterial infections and refortify our existing supply of antibiotics.


Ever since the end of the Second World War, Western liberal democracies have widely been regarded as the most advanced form of national states. Open societies based on economic liberalization, representative governments and a diverse civil engagement have been praised as leading to prosperity, security and well-being for all citizens. However, today, the underlying principles of established democracies are increasingly called into question, even in former liberal role models such as the US, the UK or Germany

14.7.2017 | BY Joshua Powell, National Geographic Explorer and member of the St. Gallen Symposium’s global Leaders of Tomorrow Community

Disruption is not something we usually associate with exploration and fieldwork. This article shows that exploration is indeed facing radical changes. 

12.7.2017 | BY Tamsin Nicholson, Semi-Finalist St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award 2017, Leader of Tomorrow

A newly designed medical programme could have the impact of solving inequality regarding access to medicine, which the majority of people in developing countries are dealing with. By using placebo as medium of effect after a certain point of time, less medication is needed, which then can be distributed more equally.

15.6.2017 | BY Markus Ott, Finalist of the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award 2017, Leader of Tomorrow

This essay argues that although new digital technologies may change the way financial institutions operate, these developments do not necessarily alter the status quo of the financial system as a whole. 

Start-up Nations: Disrupting Modern Governance

Trust in the institutions of government and faith in democracy are on the decline. At the same time, society has become more risk-averse, with innovation suppressed by the accumulation of obsolete regulations and the influence of vested interests. What if it were possible to readily form entirely new quasi-states, and thereby to experiment with different models of governance? 

Disruptive renovation: Reducing e-waste in Africa through repair
19.5.2017 | BY Declan Murray, Finalist St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award 2017 and Leader of Tomorrow Community

In the last ten years small-scale solar power has taken off across Africa: 221 million people previously living without electricity are now able to watch TV and light their homes in the evening. But when these systems break users are left in the dark and more electronic waste piles up in rural areas. What if there was a way to change that?


When talking about the theory of disruption across various sectors, one cannot help but agree that the technology sector is the most susceptible to the management theory propounded by Clayton Christensen.

27.3.2017 | BY Thanigai Muthusamy Adhavan, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

Disruption is nothing but change and innovation at its best. It cannot be done without risking big failure; and to risk big failure is to be vulnerable. After all, Brene Brown did say, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”

22.3.2017 | BY Clayton Christensen & Scott D. Anthony, Leaders of Today

Disruption. The word tends to inspire fear among business and political leaders. Executives in incumbent firms worry about the upstart that will emerge, seemingly out of nowhere, and disembowel their business. Political leaders worry about economic and social dislocations from disruption. Even saying the word disruption causes one’s mouth to contort uncomfortably.

12.3.2017 | BY Thanigai Muthusamy Adhavan, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

Disruption, this word may bring with it a rare sense of unease and hope simultaneously. For those of us entrenched in the current way of life - socially, politically, economically and culturally, it may raise anxieties. For those suffering under the yoke of injustices of the present, disruption may mean hope; it may be a group fighting for civil rights, a city struggling for power and water, or a start-up waiting to take off and grow healthily.

6.3.2017 | BY Grégoire Roos, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

Grégoire Roos, Member of the symposium's global Leaders of Tomorrow community, interviews Dr Olivier Giscard D’Estaing, founder of INSEAD, on the understanding of our surrounding environment as an essential asset in times of uncertainty and disruption

27.2.2017 | BY Conor McGlynn, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

Over the last few years, a phenomenon with perhaps the greatest potential to disrupt the global political and economic system has gained an increasingly prominent position in public discourse. This phenomenon is "international migration”.

21.2.2017 | BY Pallavi Roy, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

Disruption is a word in vogue right now, synonymous with successful startups, the tech scene, companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Youtube. A term many aspire for, but few truly manage. Numerous innovations have made our lives easier. However, only some have disrupted markets and changed the dominant business model of the time.

Sanyal Row of the Disruption
13.2.2017 | BY Palash Ranjan Sanyal, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

Technology has changed the way we think; the way we function, especially in the last three decades. The change in business, politics, science, or society is so abrupt now that people have stopped foretelling.


The Disruptive Leader
6.2.2017 | BY Tim Robert Schleicher, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

On June 4, 2009 the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama stepped up to the podium at Cairo University in Egypt. To that day, war had overshadowed the Middle East and tensions between the US on the one hand, and states of the Middle East on the other hand, had hardened. That day, Obama was so disruptive as to create a new leadership style.

30.1.2017 | BY Gerry Botchoukova-Farkova, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

If anything, we should be more disturbed by what may appear to be constant, rather than by what changes and evolves.

Whose turnis it to disrupt
23.1.2017 | BY Mark O’Brien, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

However with our current leap in communication ability and the rise of Industry 4.0, the current climate has become far more time dependent. New technologies are invented and brought to market in a matter of months. This decrease in time between concept and reality has led to a growing panic.

John Babak Soroushian A recipe for disruption
17.1.2017 | BY John Babak Soroushian, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

Entrepreneurship is the engine of economic growth but sadly it has been in decline. The number of new firms created each year has been decreasing for the last three decades. This means less innovation and disruptive new products. But we can reverse this trend with the following policies.

11.1.2017 | BY Gys Hough, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

In this blog it will be described how blockchain technology, in all of its different manifestations, is emblematic of disruption but also faces the dilemma of being disruptive.

9.1.2017 | BY Dominic Baumann, St. Gallen Symposium

The 2nd St. Gallen Symposium Singapore Forum and the 10th St. Gallen Symposium Singapore Reception addressed Singapore’s ability to deal with a changing environment on various levels and discussed the topic of the upcoming St. Gallen Symposium – The dilemma of disruption – from various perspectives.

4.1.2017 | BY Tobias Rordorf, St. Gallen Symposium

Never before has social media played such a pivotal role for opinion-forming and in a way, it has been the surrogate for the cracker-barrel-talks. In contrast to turning to traditional news stations, people value the ostensibly unfiltered and unbiased way of their social media streams.

Diplomacy disrupted
23.12.2016 | BY Grégoire Roos, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

Grégoire Roos, Member of the symposium's global Leaders of Tomorrow community, interviews Lord Peter Ricketts, a renowned retired senior British diplomat, on the origins of political disruption, diplomacy 2.0 and why diplomats have to change, and on BREXIT and the future of Europe.

Disruption Innovation Buzzword
19.12.2016 | BY Noam Lhote, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

The words "disruption" and "innovation" have long made their way into popular dictionaries. Noam Lhote argues, however, that both phenomena don’t occur at the push of a button. He warns of their usage as marketing buzzwords.

Palash Ranjan Sanyal Trump Disruption Why I am not surprised
14.12.2016 | BY Palash Ranjan Sanyal, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

So, when some analyst came up and told the media that Trump has a good chance of winning, they were mocked, laughed at and were told, "I don't think you seriously mean that."

Yavnika Khanna Disrupt or get disrupted
12.12.2016 | BY Yavnika Khanna, Leaders of Tomorrow Community

Change affects everyone, but disruptions re-define the rules of the game and alter the competitive landscape forever. In a world where the changes happen at a dazzling pace, disruptions can be both a challenge and opportunity. The notion of disruption has become a buzzword, but not without a reason.  Humanity is facing an imminent face-off with technology.

5.12.2016 | BY Rolf Bachmann & Johannes Kempf, St. Gallen Symposium

Last Wednesday, almost 100 of Beijing’s most outstanding current and future business and academic leaders gathered to discuss China’s approach on disruptive innovation at the 8th St. Gallen Symposium Beijing Reception. The outcome was exciting on the business innovation side, though, the question if disruptive innovation solves greater challenges in other fields remained fairly open.

5.12.2016 | BY St. Gallen Symposium

The time has come for us to take our “digital symposium” a step further by launching a new blog. We invite our community members and followers to write thought-provoking pieces on our annual theme – #disruptiondilemma for the #47sgs.

28.11.2016 | BY Dominic Baumann, St. Gallen Symposium

In one way or another, we are all affected by disruption, a term introduced by Clayton Christensen in the 1997 book The Innovator's Dilemma. Two decades later, Christensen’s theoretical framework is by no means unchallenged. But even critics acknowledge that the sudden demise of industry leaders and political systems is occurring with growing frequency.