Nitish Sharma represents SJIM (and India) at the 49 th St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland
The St. Gallen Symposium hosted at the St. Gallen University in Switzerland is one of the
foremost student-driven symposia in the world. It attracts speakers from the CxO level in
Fortune 500 companies, from the political and academic arena across the world, and from the
leading thinkers in the world today. Only a 100 students from universities and colleges across the
world are selected to attend this symposium to voice their opinion, interact with current world
leaders and discuss possible solutions to the pressing global issue, which is the theme of the
Nitish Sharma, 2 nd year student from SJIM, was selected as one of the 100 ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ for the 49 th St. Gallen Symposium. His essay was selected from among several entries from across the globe. Therefore, he was awarded an all-expense paid trip to Switzerland to participate in the Symposium in May 2019. He represented both SJIM and India at the Symposium. His thoughts on his experience are penned below:
An Eye-opener to the World -Nitish Sharma
Being an underachiever, despite many people telling me you have the talents within you, I wrote my essay for the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award. This was not to get an all-expenses paid trip to Switzerland to attend the 49th Symposium, but rather to get away from the monotony of everyday routine of college and life. It was a bittersweet surprise to get selected, but the journey from then on was incredible.
To discuss just the selection alone: to be selected within the top 100 from over 800 contributions from top young minds all over the world liberates you from mediocrity to a sense of hopeful possibilities. It led me to think and prepare even before the event so that I do not fall short of the recognition that was given to me.
Switzerland is a beautiful country with a long history of peace and great achievements. St. Gallen lets you sink into the Swiss idea but with a deep connection to not just society but the environment as a whole.
The 3-day event was a huge gala event with lots of fun and thought intriguing sessions attended by more than a thousand people from all around the world. For the entire three days, the atmosphere was that of a pulsing, vibrating positivity that permeates not just your mind and body, but fills up your soul as well. It was an eye-opener for me to be a part of such a large pool of people from all around the world, thinking and working to improve lives and the environment as a whole. The schedule was filled with group activities, discussions, interactions and great talks. There was a free flow of unique and out-of-the-box ideas with an unspoken acceptance to just go along with your individuality and uniqueness on giving back to society and the world.
It was a huge blessing to meet great thinkers and speakers like Prof. Colin Mayer, University of Oxford; Prof. Linda A. Hill, Economist, Harvard Business School; Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi, Nobel laureate and many other notable individuals. Interacting informally with such great minds during meals made us see a side of them away from the pedestal; this showed me that achieving great things is not just possible for all but it can be a certainty if only one is persevering and consistent.
All of my peers that I met in St. Gallen (many of whom became friends in just a span of 3-4 days) were so awe-inspiring and motivational that I cannot help getting a huge boost of positive competitiveness. Despite the vast diversity in culture and tradition, I felt a deep sense of belongingness - as if there is a single thread connecting all of us. Now, I have friends like David Christian, CEO Evoware; Kaoru Joho, CEO TableCross Inc.; Lathika Chandra Mouli, Blockchain expert; Gaurav Narang, Founder and CEO, CityGreens and others in more than 60 countries that are not only ever ready to help me out in every way but also agree on the ideas of what needs to be done going forward.
An exposure to such a gathering is a must, I feel, for all individual as this opens up one’s mind to think beyond just one’s clan, community, even one’s own country and see the world humanity and the whole earth as one beautiful living organism. If I have to share a testimonial, it is this, “Meeting 200 young people from all around the world in the beautiful city of St. Gallen, all wanting to do the best they can to improve the world, to live for a better purpose, is all but very addictive. I feel every person should get an exposure to that kind of positive environment at least once while they are still in the formative years of their youth. The bonds you make with others also become deeper when you have a strong purpose for doing what you are doing."