22. DocNet Symposium

21. November 2024, 4.00 pm

SQUARE @ St. Gallen

22. DocNet Symposium

Rethinking Growth: 
Perspectives on social and economic prosperity

The topic ‘Rethinking Growth’ critically explores the traditional growth paradigm, which has both positive and negative impacts on our economy, society and environment. The topic recognises the need to question existing growth models and explores new metrics that measure prosperity more holistically. This approach acknowledges the benefits of economic growth, but calls for a reflective consideration of its limits and the associated socio-economic and environmental impacts. Through this discussion, we will open up a dialogue on how new technologies and innovative economic practices can help to make growth more sustainable and inclusive, while simultaneously tackling the challenges of a decelerating economy and unequal distribution of resources.

We look forward to seeing you!








What to expect this year

Past DocNet Symposia

What is the DocNet Symposium?

The 22. DocNet Symposium

What to expect


During a brief introductory session starting at 4.00 pm, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with other participants and set the tone for an exciting day. We look forward to welcoming you to an inspiring afternoon and evening.


Look forward to interesting keynotes where we will delve deeper into the topic of “Rethinking Growth”. Hear what leading experts have to say and bring your questions and ideas into an open discussion.


Use short networking sessions to exchange ideas and get to know each other. In a relaxed atmosphere, you can reflect on the initial aspects of the earlier talk.


In our panels, we will explore various aspects around the topic of growth and for instance discuss how technologies, including AI, can support sustainable practices and help address the challenges of transitioning to a post-growth society.


During a relaxed aperitif, you’ll have the chance to further explore the day’s discussions. This informal part of the evening provides the perfect opportunity to discuss new perspectives and engage in inspiring conversations.

After Party

The formal part is over, now it’s time for some drinks and party! A perfect way to wrap up our event.

The Speakers of the 22. DocNet Symposium

Our Speakers

Stay tuned! We’re excited to soon introduce our speakers, who will guide us in reimagining the concept of growth. 

DocNet Symposia

DocNet Symposium through the years

Take a look at our previous DocNet Symposium Events.

21. DocNet Symposium 2022

Leaving the Ivory Tower: From Academic Knowledge to Real-World Impact

20th Docnet Symposium

The DocNet Symposium in 2022 marked the 20th DocNet Symposium and took place in HSG’s new learning center, the so-called “Square”, on November 11. The topic was “[Self-]Leadership in Times of Crises” since these ears have been exceptional complex for societies around the world such as facing a global pandemic or, e.g., the war in Ukraine. The goal was to summarize potential learnings from individuals in three contexts talks: a corporate, a political/governmental and an individual context.

19th DocNet Symposium

Is intelligence reserved for us humans and limited to our minds? According to the “Oxford Dictionary”, intelligence describes the ability of human beings to think abstractly and rationally and to derive purposeful action from this. For a long time, however, not only classical terms such as comprehension, cleverness or the ability of reasoning have been associated with intelligence.

The 19th DocNet Symposium addressed the central question: what is intelligence? We wanted to shed light onto different types of intelligence and define their relevance for our working world and beyond. To this end, we intended to consider different perspectives: What does research say about this topic? What kind of demands do companies have in this area? And what insights can we derive for ourselves personally?

18th DocNet Symposium

The 18th DocNet symposium was centered around the theme: Thriving in Chaos – How to Master Adverse Situations.

We live in a world of increasing globalization and digitalization, characterized by constant change and uncertainty. The recent pandemic has demonstrated just how fragile the global construct has become, inflicting chaos upon each and every one of us. How things will develop in the future is uncertain and at best ambiguous. One thing is for certain, however: it is not the first time we witness such chaos and it definitely will not be the last.

17th DocNet Symposium

Often students and professionals face questions in their careers such as: Why am I doing this? Is it truly worth it? Wouldn’t it be simpler just to quit? Yet often in life it is our own motivation, purpose and passion that pushes us forward and allows us to persevere even when giving up seems to be the simplest solution. As John. F Kennedy said, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction”. The 17th DocNet symposium was centered around the theme: Motivation – What makes you get out of bed each morning?

16th DocNet Symposium

Time is running – do we need to catch up?

We often hear people complain that there either is not enough or too much time. We easily run out of time when we enjoy ourselves or when we must meet this urgent deadline. On the contrary, clocks seem to stand still when we wait for a train outside in wintertime. Einstein himself probably described this inherent relativity of time best: “When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute – and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.”

15th DocNet Symposium

Decision Making – Art or Science?

Yes, or no? Now, or never? A, B, or C? Our life is characterized by a plethora of decisions. Every day, we make roughly 100’000 decisions, only 100 of which are conscious. Many of our decisions seem trivial, but in hindsight affect us more than we dare to admit. One decision can determine our personal, family-related, financial, professional and social future. And yet, is it actually possible to make “right” decisions? Is good decision making a science that can be studied and learned or rather an art which is largely out of our control and subject to coincidence?

About the DocNet Symposium

What is the DocNet Symposium?

The DocNet Symposium is an annual event organized by the doctoral students’ association at the University of St. Gallen. Now in its 22nd edition, it provides young researchers with a platform to engage with current societal issues of broad significance across various disciplines in economics, law, social sciences, and humanities. The symposium focuses on fostering interaction and networking between academia, politics, and practice.


Former Speakers of the DocNet Symposium

Our Speakers through the years

Here is a brief overview of the speakers we’ve hosted over the years.


Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Péter Horváth

University of Stuttgart, Horváth & Partners

Prof. Dr. Roman Herzog

Bundespräsident der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1994-1999

Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Lang

Managing Director & Senior Partner at BCG.

Prof. Dr. Sergey P. Kapitza

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Club of Rome

Dr. Martin Schmitt

Division Head Human Resources Department, Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Dr. Barbara Dubach

Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Holcim

Dr. Claude Heini

Managing Director NZZ Medien

Dr. Steven Neubauer

Head Group Leadership Development, UBS AG

Maria Soledad Rueda

Operations Coordinator at International Committee of the Red Cross

Dr. Florian Schulz

Head of Psychological Counselling Services at the University of St.Gallen

Dr. med. André Keisker

Medical Head Jet Transportation, Swiss Air-Rescue (Rega) 

Beat Kammerlander

Alpinist & Extreme Athlete

Dr. Nina Latham

Global Head Health Novartis 

Dr. Annette Winkler

Vice President, DaimlerChrysler