Events - 03.05.2017 - 00:00 

"The most important thing is listening"

At the start of the 47th St. Gallen Symposium, a panel discussion addressed the topic "Politics in a disruptive world". Denmark’s Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen, Singapore’s Education Minister Ong Ye Kung and Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann shared their views on the topic.
ISC Morning Session

May 4 2017. "The most important thing is listening", Anders Samuelsen replied to moderator Mehdi Hasan’s (Al Jazeera) question about what the most important feature for a politician in a disruptive world is: decisiveness, sense of responsibility or adaptability? Samuelsen not only meant listening to other politicians but also to entrepreneurs, family members or young people, in general: "People who are more clever than we are." In a disruptive world, a changing world, the exchange of information is especially important, said the Danish foreign minister. Succeeding as a society today and in the future requires learning from others and maintaining an open mind.

"Sense of humour"

Ong Ye Kung referred to the "sense of humour" politicians surely need today, as well. The world is changing and has always been changing. "Disruption destroys jobs, disruption creates jobs; it always has." Obviously, nothing will change the fact that the world is continuously changing, but in the future, it will happen with even greater speed than today. That means that a good sense of humour can help politicians when they try things out and sometimes fail – and are occasionally laughed at because of this. In reference to Singapore, the education minister said that he would like to incorporate even more elements from the successful dual-education systems in countries like Switzerland, Denmark and Germany. In Asia, education is generally very important but strongly focussed academically.

"First-rate education"

Switzerland’s Business Minister Johann Schneider-Amman also mentioned education as a central element in a disruptive world. "First-rate education" will always be a key factor for being successful as a country and being able to react to changes quickly. In his welcoming speech at the opening of the symposium, Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann had already emphasised that it is eminently important to integrate as many people as possible into our increasingly digitalised world via education. "Life means change – and change starts in everyday life", he said. He noted that in a rapidly changing world, the Swiss economy must support entrepreneurial risks to guarantee jobs for future generations.

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