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The second and final day of 43rd St. Gallen Symposium began with the conversation with General Stanley McChrystal of the US.  What I found most interesting among his comments was the need to understand the history and context BEFORE you go into the war.  I recall that my friend, history professor, mentioned that without the knowledge of the history, it is very difficult to fight the war.

It was followed by the panel on banking.  I moderated one of the work sessions in the morning entitled “Global Agenda in post Fukushima.”  The speaker was Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa who chaired the Fukushima Nuclear Accident International Investigative Commission. (NAIIC)  We had many questions raised during the session.

We then had a lunch with three winners of the student essay competition with the members of the final jury and some trustees.  Quite challenging and pointed questions were asked and it was a very good learning opportunity for me.   The afternoon began with one-on-one entitled “Whistleblowing with M. Woodford, former CEO of Olympus Corporation.  I will write a bit more about this session, as I am still reflecting on  it.

I watched two more panels which left me more things to think about.  The debate on the motion: “The leaders of tomorrow are selfish, shallow and demanding” was very interesting.  (The format was more streamlined and efficient than last year and was very good.)

The 2-day symposium ended with the closing remarks by the members of ISC, to whom we gave standing ovation.  It is quite amazing how this type of symposium  is planned & operated by the students.  During the international buffet, the last  item of the Symposium, I had  a chance to talk  with some alumni of St. Gallen who worked as members of ISC before.  They said that the work as members of ISC have helped them so much as you get to do marketing/selling of the symposium to business community, operations etc.  Though students take a year off for this work, they said, it was well worth it.

This year, two things stood out in my mind about the symposium.  One is the tendency (I believe) of European youth to limit their activities to Europe (and probably financial services).  I had always thought that the young people in Europe have global perspectives and are willing to work  anywhere.  It seems that I was wrong.  At least to my eyes, many students seem to feel that they want to work in Europe, though EU is NOT exactly the growing market with many new opportunities for the youth.  I was in fact quite surprised.

The other which caught my attention was the young Japanese who seem to feel more comfortable in  this type of setting. Majority of them seem to have no problem with English and they seem to be willing to interact with others.  I felt that the Japanese youth is definitely changing and changing for the better.   43rd St. Gallen Symposium left these two impressions on me.  I have some more impressions  which requires a bit more time to reflect.

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    • Francisco Valencia
    • May 7th, 2013

    I am also still reflecting on the insights of the personal story of Michael Woodford. It is still intriguing, is it an awareness? Definitely whistleblowing might have advantages and disadvantages.

    And I am also really please according to live stream, not only the Japanese but the International Youth representing Japan was more interactively involved and raising voice over there.

    I wish we could have a chance to discuss some feedbacks.

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