Events - 02.05.2012 - 00:00 

Discussion about “Facing Risk”

On Thursday, 3 May 2012, the 42nd St. Gallen Symposium on the topic of “Facing Risk” will be opened on the campus of the University of St.Gallen (HSG). The speakers will include H.E. George A. Papandreou (Greece).


25 April 2012. Organised by the HSG’s International Students’ Committee (ISC) to take place on 3 and 4 May, it will unite 600 decision-makers from trade and industry, politics, society and academia with 200 students and young top performers, the “Leaders of Tomorrow”, from over 60 nations. In a survey conducted by the ISC and Credit Suisse, they will provide information about the willingness to run risks, globalisation and the role of the social media.

Personalities such as Dr. Nikolaus von Bomhard (Germany), Chairman of the Board of Munich Re, Douglas J. Flint (UK), Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings plc, Kumi Naidoo (South Africa), Executive Director at Greenpeace International, H.E. George A. Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece, and Jean-Claude Trichet (France), former President of the European Central Bank (ECB), will conduct an exchange with young people from all over the world at the 42nd St. Gallen Symposium. More information about the programme and the speakers can be found at

A risk dialogue between generations

With the topic of “Facing Risk”, the St. Gallen Symposium pleads for a positive attitude towards risk and the willingness to run risks. The ISC conceives of risks as part of every activity and every entrepreneurial process. There is great potential in dealing with risks in a healthy manner, which is why risks should neither be denied nor systematically avoided. Debates about the notion of risk often occur in public when the consequences of a disaster are palpable, as for instance during the financial crisis or after the Fukushima worst-case scenario. In the topic blocks “Detecting Risks”, “Risk Aversion”, “Emerging Risks” and “Managing Risk”, participants in the Symposium will discuss various aspects of risk.

The programme is made up of discussions, workshops and lectures. In the “Wild Cards” work session, for example, John Petersen (US), the Founder and President of the Arlington Institute, will discuss the definition and significance of so-called “wild cards” with the guests at the Symposium. With his method, the futurologist reveals signals for events that bring about great changes for people all over the world.

Results of the Global Perspectives Barometer 2012 survey

In the run-up to the Symposium, the International Students’ Committee, in cooperation with Credit Suisse and the polling firm gfs.bern, conducted a survey among 876 students, young academics and entrepreneurs. The survey among the so-called “Leaders of Tomorrow” is intended to reflect the mood of young people worldwide.

The survey yielded the following results: East Europeans feel more unsettled by the financial crisis than interviewees in Western Europe. Here, economic and political problems combine to result in a highly critical assessment of the overall situation. Asked about the impact of the social media, a large number of the interviewees indicated that they regarded the networks as trendsetters among the information and consumer media. In societies with a “poorly developed civil society”, their significance is rated higher, but the social media are not considered to be the sole drivers for a more active civil society.

Photo: Photocase / Bisgleich

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