Events - 12.04.2013 - 00:00 

Courage instead of mediocrity

On Thursday, 2 May 2013, the 43rd St. Gallen Symposium will be opened on the campus of the University of St.Gallen on the topic of “Rewarding Courage”. The speakers will include Christine Lagarde and Guido Westerwelle.<br/>


12 April 2013. Organised by the HSG’s International Students’ Committee (ISC), the Symposium will unite decision-makers from trade and industry, politics, society and academia with 200 students and young achievers, the “Leaders of Tomorrow”, from over 60 nations on 2 and 3 May. In a survey conducted by the ISC and Credit Suisse, these young people will talk about courage, globalisation and the role of social people.

Guests include Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Sergio P. Ermotti (Switzerland), Group Chief Executive Officer of UBS AG, Douglas J. Flint (UK), Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings plc, Christine Lagarde (France), Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Guido Westerwelle, Foreign Minister of Germany, and Michael C. Woodford (GB), former Chief Executive Officer of the Olympus Corporation. 200 students from all over the world will enter into a constructive dialogue with the guests at the 43rd St. Gallen Symposium. More information about the programme and the speakers can be found at

Courage as a debating point
In the context of the topic of “Rewarding Courage”, a tendency towards conformity, mediocrity and a culture of unsatisfactory compromises will be criticised. What is called for instead is an independent way of thinking, responsible action, civil courage, excellence in all aspects of our society, and a discussion culture which provides room for a diversity of opinions. First and foremost, the topic of “Rewarding Courage” stands for responsible thought and action against the mainstream.

The 43rd St. Gallen Symposium will shed light on various aspects of courage, among them the question as to the extent to which our institutions, particularly international organisations, enable unconventional thought and courageous action.

Students will ask whether our systems create incentives for courage and are compatible with today’s idea of justice. The challenges confronting our society cannot be mastered by means of conventional solution models.

Panel discussion about the market economy
The question as to whether the global market economy provides the right incentives to safeguard a more stable economy will be discussed by Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Laurence D. Fink (US), Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock, Luc Frieden, Finance Minister of Luxembourg, Michael Noonan, Finance Minister of Ireland, Sachin Pilot, the Indian Minister of Corporate Affairs. In the work session “Mogadishu now and then”, Mohamoud Ahmed Nur, the Mayor of Mogadishu, will be talking about the social and economic situation in Somalia’s capital.

Global Perspectives Barometer 2013 survey
In the run-up to the Symposium, the ISC conducted a survey among 1,233 students, young academics and entrepreneurs together with Credit Suisse and the polling firm gfs.bern. The survey among the so-called “Leaders of Tomorrow” allows for the following conclusions: the critical economic situation in parts of Western Europe is leaving its mark on the Leaders of Tomorrow.

However, they are optimistic about the future economic situation. Leaders of Tomorrow primarily obtain their information through the internet. It must be assumed that they will have an influence on digital developments. Thus they may drive forward the interlinkage of politics and health, eGovernment and eHealth.

Photo: Photocase / Gregepperson

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