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


My Leader of Tomorrow Alumni Story

“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.

The symposium experience influenced me in three significant areas. My Leader of Tomorrow story is best viewed through the lens of these three facets of life.

1. Intellectual stimulation
I am a Product Manager at KPMG Smart Tech Solutions in in Amsterdam. My team works on best utilizing digital innovation to transform businesses, scale impact and future-proof the organization.
While new technology such as Machine Learning is touted to change the world, I am more of an innovation optimist than a technology optimist. I believe in the power of human ingenuity in solving complex problems and in-general improving the future prospects of our planet. This spark was set off during my time at the symposium, interacting with phenomenal young people from different domains, industries and knowledge hubs across the world.
I distinctly remember having intense conversations with some leaders of tomorrow on various topics during the symposium. One particular discussion stands out – the future of work in a post AI world. Being a part of the symposium put me ahead of the curve on the knowledge level on these topics, which would later emerge in the mainstream.

This spark was set off during my time at the symposium.

2. Becoming a serious writer
I’d always been a casual writer and had previously written small pieces for my university magazine. I wrote my St. Gallen essay on ‘​Purpose Driven Economic Growth’ which is incidentally similar to the topic of this symposium - ‘​Capital for Purpose’.
In the essay I describe the emergence of purpose driven people centered movements influencing social and economic policy, the success of purpose driven businesses such as SpaceX and Tesla in redefining capitalism and the increasing need for strategic philanthropy in unleashing human potential.
The process helped discover a serious writer in me. My essay being selected for the symposium was a much needed nudge to invest more of my time and energy in writing. Since then I actively write about innovation, technology and society in my blog on LinkedIn. More recently, I wrote a piece on ​‘The future of jobs and the shadow economy’ for the previous edition of the symposium. A writer needs inspiration and being a part of the community provides food for thought and a platform to bounce these thoughts off highly knowledgeable people.

Being a part of the community provides food for thought.

3. Connecting the dots
Innovation is not about re-creating the wheel from scratch. It is about bring together people, ideas and inspiration to create solutions that make a difference.
As Matt Ridley famously stated ​"Intelligence will become more and more collective. Innovation will become more and more bottom up".
​Since meeting the incredible people I did at the symposium, I have increasingly believed in the power of collective intelligence. There is knowledge and potential spread across the globe. Platforms like St. Gallen bring together intelligence, previously unconnected, and potentially creating powerful nervous systems of knowledge and connections.

I have increasingly believed in the power of collective intelligence.

Through the Leader of Tomorrow alumni community, I was invited to an expert round table discussion on legitimacy in governments and public policy in Brussels. I spoke about the role of technology, and specifically decentralization and crypto-economics in challenging the relevance of institutions. Through the event, I am now part of a new knowledge community consisting of policy makers, researchers, technologists and think thanks. Connecting the dots in this manner create interesting new neural pathways for ideas.

This in short is my St. Gallen story. I live by the quote - "If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done". Being a part of the Leader of Tomorrow community compliments this philosophy by constantly keeping me on my toes with the latest knowledge from the movers and shakers of today while providing opportunities to contribute back to the community.

I hope to play my part in enhancing this collective intelligence and pushing the needle towards a more prosperous, knowledge driven world.

"If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done".