Shopping lethargy? An essay by the retail expert Thomas Rudolph about consumer behaviour in Switzerland is the cover story of the HSGBlatt. Further topics include the demographic challenges and the crisis. 19 December 2011. “The Swiss retail trade has just gone through one of its most difficult years. Is the dramatic drop in turnover going to continue or will consumption increase further?” asks Prof.Dr. Thomas Rudolph in the introduction to his essay. Meanwhile, the political scientist Silvano Moeckli is looking into the demographic challenges: “Despite the low fertility rate of 1.5 children per woman, Switzerland’s population is still going to grow in the next 50 years – thanks to immigration. A panacea?” Someone who does not shirk the “donkey work” In a brief portrait, the economist Prof. Dr. Gebhard Kirchgässner has a chance to speak. The University of Fribourg awarded an honorary doctorate to him for his life’s work to date. Vice-President Ulrike Landfester comments on the internationalisation of the University of St.Gallen and its roots in the region – not a simple balancing act, but the HSG masters it well. Reflections on the current crisis Our University does not only educate students. Two young women talk about how they acquired their professional skills as trainees at the HSG. In the big interview, the philosopher Dieter Thomä finally answers questions about the crisis but also about our understanding of responsibility and about “philosophising at the HSG”.