The 40th St. Gallen Symposium, Switzerland : YourStory Exclusive Coverage


The St. Gallen Symposium is the world’s leading platform for dialogue on key issues in management, the entrepreneurial environment and the interfaces between business, politics and civil society. Every year in May for 40 years, it has brought together a global target group of entrepreneurs, top managers, politicians, academics, decision-makers from civil society and students at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, providing an inspirational setting for open, interdisciplinary discussions across boundaries of cultures and generations. For the 40th anniversary, the St. Gallen Symposium will take up a theme that has pointed the way throughout its history. “Entrepreneurs – Agents of Change” is not just a theme that has been specially chosen for the year 2010. YourStory is attending the symposium to bring interviews from global entrepreneurs and to write about the panel discussions and other events that are part of the event.

As an entrepreneurial initiative of the International Students' Committee (ISC) St. Gallen, the aim of the St. Gallen Symposium is to stimulate thought and action for the sustained success of companies and societies in a globalised world.

The sessions that are held as part of the symposium are

Background Sessions

The Background Sessions aim to convey background information on issues not directly related to the annual theme of the St. Gallen Symposium. They address both current events and questions from ongoing debates in the field of economics. The Background Sessions give participants the opportunity to acquire knowledge in a compact form. 

Plenary Sessions

On both days of the symposium, plenary sessions will be held in which prominent speakers will introduce the major topics, discuss controversial issues and provide impetus for the upcoming sessions. A distinction is made between the keynote address, keynote panel and one-on-one sessions. The sessions will be moderated by a chairman to ensure the participants are constantly involved in the discussion. 

Work Sessions

The Work Sessions are the core element of the St. Gallen Symposium and are held under the motto “Contribute – Debate – Create”. They complement and expand on the plenary sessions and allow participants to directly exchange opinions and experiences. In manageable groups of 25–30 participants, the Work Sessions provide the opportunity to take part in intense debates with the aim of developing concrete proposals for solutions

Today's plenary session included


Chairman's Statement

Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach (GB)

Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs International 


Welcome Address

Dr. Josef Ackermann (CH)

Chairman of the Management Board, Deutsche Bank AG 


Getting the debate started

Impulse Address by

Angad Paul (GB)

Chief Executive Officer, Caparo plc 


The entrepreneur: visionary, innovator, superman?

Panel with


Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach (GB)

Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs International


M. Shafik Gabr (EG) 

Chairman & Managing Director, ARTOC Group for Investment & Development 

Christian von Koenigsegg (SE)

Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Koenigsegg Automotive AB 

Hiroshi Mikitani (JP)

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Rakuten Inc. 



Whose business is it?

The BBC Debate with


Dr. h.c. Peter Day (GB)

Business Correspondent, BBC News



Prof. Kishore Mahbubani (SG)

Dean & Professor in the Practice of Public Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore


Faisel Rahman (GB)

Founder & Managing Director, Fair Finance


Shane Frith (GB)

Director, Progressive Vision


Gautam Thapar (IN)

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Avantha Group