What it is all about

A team of international journalists, photographers and illustrators covered the 47th St. Gallen Symposium. They have interviewed Leaders of Today and Tomorrow about #disruptiondilemma, written in-depth articles and captured the spirit of the event. Their stories appear in a print magazine that has been distributed exclusively to all the participants, and online – on this website.

We live in turbulent times where staying behind the microscope in the lab doesn’t guarantee success. Scientists nowadays have to battle on the same level as businesspeople.

Space race – A new generation of visionaries spreads enthusiasm about space that has not been seen since the moon landing – while also tackling problems like world hunger and climate change.

Fintech follies – Start-ups working to challenge the legacy companies of the finance industry are collectively known as “fintech” – short for financial technology. The rise of these challengers illustrates how it's possible to see disruption coming and yet struggle to deal with it.

Young guns – Journalism is going through a crisis: declining subscription rates, a US president ranting about fake news and failing business models are common concerns. Two young journalists, Heben Nigatu and Pia Frey, share their views on how to conquer this crisis through change and innovation.

A glimpse through the eyes (and the antenna) of Neil Harbisson, the first person to be officially recognised as a cyborg.

Bus stops and bridges–  Around the world, the work of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava is both admired and despised. He denies repeating his designs and believes that architects today “build in a very fragile way.”

Orange alert – Business leaders hold their breath as they wait for the American President’s next, unpredictable, move.

Reach out – Denmark will soon have a special technology ambassador to connect its government with private tech companies. Will it work? And what does it mean for other industries?

In 2011, revolutions later dubbed the "Arab Spring" disrupted life in over 20 countries. Across the region, young people are continue to work for a better future.

Gene genius – At the age of 32, Rachel Haurwitz runs one of the companies leading the push on CRISPR technology, considered by scientists to be the next big step in DNA manipulation.

Con or country – Czech politician Vít Jedlicka got so frustrated with what he considers sluggish, corrupt existing political frameworks that he wanted to disrupt the system with his own free state: Liberland. Whatever it will grow up to be, in design it is a place of great individual freedom.

Kacem El Ghazzali is a Moroccan atheist who fights for the freedom of speech and belief in the Arab world. A refugee in Switzerland since 2011, he works in the UN Human Right Council.

Governments, schools and teachers are approaching education from new perspectives. Fostering personal skills, using technology and being flexible are some of the top trends.

Illustration with sleeping man ©Katie Chappell

For many people, the internet and the smartphone have erased the division between work and private life. To find out how online communication has changed work-life balance and workforce expectations for others, we sat down with four super-busy people to get their points of view on the subject. These were their revelations:

Symone Sanders (27) was the press secretary for the Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (no relation). Currently, she is a political commentator for CNN. At the 47th St. Gallen Symposium, she spoke to us about her passion for politics, the challenges she encountered as a young woman of colour working on a presidential campaign and the disruptive election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America.

Men are rarely confronted with the same challenges and demands for sacrifice that women are, especially in the male-dominated business world. We spoke with women attending the St. Gallen Symposium to better understand the obstacles they face every day – and how they’ve succeeded in spite of them.

Are you an interesting individual with specific likes and dislikes searching for a date? Does personality matter to you? If the answer is yes, Brendan Alper, CEO and founder of the dating app Hater, has the solution for you.

Censor or saviour? ­– As accusations of “fake news” fly from both sides of the political spectrum, long-time journalists and politicians alike are searching for ways to educate people in media and digital literacy before public discourse is poisoned permanently.

Big Brother: Michal Kosinski contends that algorithms are now better than humans at recognizing emotion and personality traits. While trying to warn the world about this develop- ment, he is at the same time pushing forward with the new methods and seeing just how much artificial intelli- gence can discover about us just by analysing our faces.