St. Gallen Symposium

As a speaker at the last two St. Gallen Symposium, I cannot recommend enough how valuable an experience it is to attend this event. If you are a graduate student who understands the importance of interacting in a global community and discussing very current issues with your peers from around the world, this is the event for you.

The St. Gallen Symposium, a conference organised by the International Students’ Committee (ISC), a student initiative of the University of St. Gallen, is the world’s premier conference for intergenerational, interdisciplinary and intercultural debates. The 42nd St. Gallen Symposium will be held under the topic “Facing Risk” from 3 – 4 May 2012 at the University of St. Gallen.

Two hundred Leaders of Tomorrow engage in challenging debates with 600 Leaders of Today from all over the world. In the past, these distinguished personalities contributed to the intergenerational dialogue with the Leaders of Tomorrow and included Dr Josef Ackermann, Deutsche Bank AG; Robert John Aumann, Nobel laureate; Robert Dudley, BP plc; Prof Niall Ferguson, Harvard University; Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund (IMF); and Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister of Finance of Singapore. Notable past Japanese speakers were Fujio Cho, Toyota Motor Company; Toshiki Kaifu, Former Prime Minister of Japan; Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten; and many others.

One hundred graduate and postgraduate students have the opportunity to qualify as “Leader of Tomorrow” for participation in the St. Gallen Symposium by submitting a contribution to the student essay competition. The three most outstanding pieces of work will receive the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award, endowed with EUR 20,000, and will be presented to the audience by their authors. Detailed information can be found on

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Johannes, the ISC Representative for Japan through

William Saito
Special Advisor at Cabinet Office (Govt. of Japan)
Named by Nikkei as one of the “100 Most Influential People for Japan,” Saito began software programming at an early age and started his own company in high school. By the time he was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today), he was recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on encryption, biometric authentication and cyber security.

After selling his business to Microsoft, he moved to Tokyo in 2005 and founded InTecur, a venture capital firm and consultancy that identifies innovative technologies, develops global talent and helps entrepreneurs become successful. In 2013, Saito was appointed a Special Advisor to the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan.

Similarly, in 2012 he served as a council member on national strategy for the Cabinet-level National Policy Unit, and prior to that, was named as the Chief Technology Officer for the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC). He is a Foundation Board Member at the World Economic Forum (WEF), and has been named by the WEF as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member.

Saito also advises several national governments around the globe. In Japan, he has also served as an advisor to METI, MIC, MEXT, MLIT, AIST, IPA and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), among others.

He teaches at multiple universities, serves on several corporate boards, appears as a commentator on national TV and is the author of numerous publications in addition to writing a weekly column for a prominent Japanese business newspaper. His best-selling management book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan, was published by Nikkei BP in 2012, his follow-on book, Is Your Thinking up to Global Standards?, was published by Daiwa Shobo in late 2013 and his autobiography, An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur, was published in 2011 by John Wiley & Sons.

Posted by whsaito

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