Events - 02.02.2017 - 00:00 

47th St.Gallen Symposium: The dilemma of disruption

The 47th St.Gallen Symposium of 3-5 May 2017 will focus on issues concerning "The dilemma of disruption". Who profits from changes caused by disruption, and who suffers from predominantly negative effects? The first guests have already confirmed their participation in the debate.
Source: HSG Newsroom

3 February 2017. In the 21st century, globalisation has placed constant change on the agenda. What was regarded as the status quo only yesterday is being disrupted at an increasingly faster rate. Politics, business, academia and society are facing great challenges at ever shorter intervals. But where do these disruptions come from? Who profits from changes caused by disruption, and who suffers from predominantly negative effects? What decisions are relevant to dealing with disruption, who has to make them, and how can they succeed in attaining the best result when they implement these decisions?

The first guests have already confirmed their participation in the debate, among them Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia, which is one of the most advanced countries with regard to e-governance and cyber security and is situated in a geopolitically volatile position. Christoph Franz, Chairman of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, will provide an insight into the future of the rapidly changing health sector. Controversial perspectives on the conference topic of disruption will be offered by further speakers, who include John B. Rodgers, Jr., CEO of Local Motors, a pioneer in the field of mobility. And it will be exciting to listen to the President of the self-proclaimed "Free Republic of Liberland", Vít Jedlička.

Disruptions are on the increase

Disruption, a term that was introduced by Clayton Christensen in his 1997 book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, concerns us all. Despite the fact that Christensen’s proposition is not without controversy, even critics recognise today – two decades later – that abrupt declines of market leaders and political institutions are happening more frequently. Few management theories have had such a great impact on the business world and our society as the concept of disruption. Under the heading of "The dilemma of disruption", the 47th St.Gallen Symposium will zoom in on this issue in an integrative and diverse manner.

Besides a discussion about the breeding grounds of radical change, approaches to solutions will be worked out which are indispensable for positive further development under enormous pressure. However, management is not the only area which is exposed to disruption. The effects of disruption are manifold and frequently cannot simply be allocated to individual spheres of life.

Radical change through technological progress

Whereas technological change continuously creates new winners and losers all over the world, the way in which the refugee crisis is being handled has rocked established political systems. The conviction of a united Europe is crumbling, democracy in the United States is undergoing an identity crisis, and China is taking on the lead in driving globalisation forward – all of these are radical developments. The consequences of wrong decisions are far-reaching in today’s interlinked world and often set an unalterable course for subsequent generations. It is exactly for this reason that the St.Gallen Symposium will unite decision-makers of today and tomorrow on the HSG’s campus for a dialogue between generations and areas of expertise.

The plenary programme of the Symposium will be broadcast live through video stream at; the debate is already up and running digitally under #disruptiondilemma. The hashtag pools blog contributions from the global community of the St.Gallen Symposium.