May 13, 2014

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Leaders of Tomorrow and Leaders of Today

St.Gallen Symposium is an annual global conference taking place at the University of St.Gallen in Switzerland which aims to foster intergenerational and intercultural dialogues of many change makers from all over the world. The participants of the conference consists of selected 200 Leaders of Tomorrow and 600 Leaders of Today. CEO/Founder of Active Connector,Asami Matsumoto, was selected as one of the 200 Leaders of Tomorrow this year and she was invited to Switzerland.

Leaders of Tomorrow represent the young talents who are active in various fields: politics, start ups, to academics and they are under the age of 30. Leaders of tomorrow are expected to exchange their views actively with Leaders of Today who are current decision makers from all over the world.

Theme on ‘Clash of Generations’

This year theme was on ‘Clash of Generations’. The symposium covers various kinds of topics on what different generations tend to face as ‘issues’, such as issues on social contracts and environment. There was a panel discussion on ‘Clash of Generations: views from the world’ and one of the panels was Dr.Inoguchi, Kuniko, who shared her view on how Japan is facing such inter-generational issues and also focusing strongly on the issues of women participation in its context.

It is very open dialogue that is very unique intergenerational dialogue which allows participants to have a discussion in smaller and more informal settings. Asami participated in several working sessions and contributed her ideas actively in the discussion.

japan night

Japan Night: 150th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Switzerland

This year, Switzerland and Japan celebrated its 150th year of their diplomacy. The event featured its memorable year at one of the evenings during the symposium. There were about 300 guests to enjoy enchanting world of the Japanese culture.

The event entertained the guests not only with world-famous Sushi, but also with opening of a sake barrel by breaking its lid with a wooden hammer. Gold medalist of 2004 Athens Games and World Hammer Throw champion, Dr.Murofushi also came to celebrate the event. He shared one of the interesting stories of how a previous medalist from Tokyo Olympic experienced Japanese ‘Omotenashi’ ( “to entertain guests wholeheartedly”).


Takeaways from the Symposium: Some thoughts of Active Connector CEO


CEO of Active Connector shared her thoughts on St.Gallen Symposium as follows: ‘It was fantastic experience for me: whoever I met during the symposiums, I could talk anything, everything on social and economic issues from all over the world. I got inspired from every single person I met. They are all active in their own field, business, politics, social, and academics and so on… I am seeing that these leaders of tomorrow I met will be surely the leaders of today someday. I am also hoping that I can be the one with our startup initiative that aims to transform Japan and the rest of the world through creating more innovation through diversity.’ We hope that the experience of St.Gallen Symposium will not be only a personal experience of Active Connector CEO, but will be spread through our, Active Connect

or, activity as a whole.


St.Gallen Symposium


‘The St. Gallen Symposium is a global gathering of Leaders of Today and Tomorrow that takes place annually in May at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. It is organised by the International Students’ Committee (ISC), a team of students from the university. Our goal is to provide a setting for relevant debates between Leaders of Today and Tomorrow on topics of management, politics and civil society. To this end, our student team builds and maintains lasting relationships with hundreds of leaders from around the globe. We do our best to choose the right people for the right topics, and bring them together in an environment that encourages debates, friction and a healthy exchange amongst our participants. We provide leaders and young talents around the globe with fresh insights into the most relevant issues concerning our world in order to create meaningful change in the lives of key decision makers. We believe in and promote a liberal paradigm.’ (From St.Gallen Symposium official website)

*Photos credited to:

Mr.Tanaka, Kazuya: Ph.D Candidate from University of Tokyo, involved in Development Japan and TED X Todai

Mr.Nakatani, Kazuma: Global Shapers at World Economic Forum and Assembly Member of Kanagawa Prefecture Website