Events - 16.05.2011 - 00:00 

"Just Power" - Who holds power?

High achievers from trade and industry, academia and politics debated the topic of “Just Power” on the occasion of the 41st St. Gallen Symposium on 12 and 13 May. Who holds power? And how should it be exercised?
Source: HSG Newsroom


13 May 2011. The globalised, multipolar world of the 21st century calls for a new distribution and system of power – with a kind of “mega-diplomacy”. This is what the American researcher and author Parag Khanna conceives of his “new way to run the world”. He opened the second day of the Symposium with a well-receivede lecture in the fully occupied HSG Aula.

Megacities – “centres of power”
Students should no longer act out UN plenary sessions but think about new forms of diplomacy”, said Khanna. Today’s world order is multipolar, and there are substantially more actors than solely countries: “Countries, cities, companies, virtual communities...” He termed the megacities of the future as “centres of power” which could be more powerful than the countries in which they are situated.

Globalisation had decentralised power, he said. In today’s world, not even the G20 were in a position to exercise a central steering function. In his “mega-diplomacy”, Parag Khanna therefore calls for multipolar solutions in a spirit of partnership in which all notable actors are involved. These actors are determined by the requirements of a given issue rather than by obsolete power structures. It is necessary to form “inclusive partnerships”

From Riz Khan to Widmer-Schlumpf

Parag Khanna was in prominent company with his lecture. The Plenary Sessions at the 2011 St. Gallen Symposium united a number of personalities, among them the Al-Jazeera journalist Riz Khan, the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger, the Norwegian peace researcher Johan Galtung, Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, former Federal Councillor Moritz Leuenberger, as well as the CEOs of UBS (Oswald Grübel), McKinsey (Dominic Barton), Shell (Jorma Ollila) and BP (Robert Dudley).