Campus - 03.05.2024 - 13:46 

Cheesecake and the apocalypse: St.Gallen Symposium in Town offers a variety of topics

Tabloid journalism, climate migration, women's football and nuclear fusion: international experts discussed these topics at the "St.Gallen Symposium in Town" series in the heart of St.Gallen.

Kai Diekmann tweeted himself warming up the day before his appearance in St.Gallen: the former edtor-in-chief of "BILD" published photos of Lake of Constance and spring meadows - and also of Wladimir Klitschko's appearance at the opening of the St.Gallen Symposium.

The next day, Diekmann himself sat on a small stage at the St.Gallen restaurant 1733. As part of the "Symposium in Town" series, he spoke at one of five public events in St.Gallen. "This is my second time in St.Gallen, I think the off-campus discussion format is a great idea," he said and then lived up to his reputation as a "story machine" (the name of his PR agency): swimming in the sea with Putin, a chaotic interview with Trump and threatening phone calls from former German President Wulff were just some of the anecdotes he told from his 16 years as the editor of Germany's biggest tabloid newspaper. Around 100 listeners - including several local journalists - came to the 1733 pub in the historic city centre to hear Diekmann's stories. 

International experts become tangible

With "Symposium in Town", the people of St.Gallen had the opportunity to meet international experts in a relaxed setting and ask them questions. The range of topics covered was broad: A few hours before Diekmann's appearance, nuclear fusion was discussed. The technology could one day provide mankind with safe and clean energy, but there are still many unanswered questions. Heike Freund from the German company Marvel Fusion talked to science journalist Martin Läubli for around an hour, giving an insight into the technology, its development and financing as well as the global race to realise it. 

At another session students from the St.Gallen Kantonsschule am Burggraben (KSBG) were also on site. The Symposium in Town events enabled pupils to meet people who are helping to shape their future," said class teacher Stefan Strasser. "The young people also realise that it is exciting to take responsibility for themselves and society." In addition to Strasser, the class's physics teacher was also present. "The topics discussed today about nuclear fusion can be used as practical examples in physics as well as in economics and law," said Strasser, who is also the KSBG headmaster.     

Cheesecake and the apocalypse

Another event took place the Restaurant National zum Goldenen Leuen, a picturesque timber-framed building directly next to St.Gallen Cathedral. While the restaurant's famous cheesecakes were served there, HSG political scientist Christoph Frei and British author Gaia Vince discussed global challenges on stage. In her latest book "The Nomadic Century", Vince describes how climate change is influencing global migration flows. Vince's description of the sometimes apocalyptic consequences of climate change and the cosy interior of the traditional St.Gallen pub contrasted each other.

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