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Press Release -- June 22nd, 2021
Source: Huawei

IMD, St. Gallen Symposium Call for Dialogue to Increase Digital Trust

[Switzerland, June 22, 2021] The Institute for Management Development (IMD) and the St. Gallen Symposium released a joint white paper on Tuesday aimed at finding solutions to the looming crisis of digital trust.

A digital world is a world of global cooperation and exchange. Without trust, neither will happen. However, digital trust seems to be diminishing as the transformation towards a digital economy challenges established systems of trust as well as traditional economic and regulatory frameworks.

The white paper draws on conversations at a recent round table event during the 50th St. Gallen Symposium, when senior business executives, leading academics and a selected group of next generation leaders explored ways to rebuild trust in digital for business, sustainability and security at a virtual roundtable.

Among those who took part in the discussions was Sophie Batas, Huawei’s Director for Cyber Security and Data Privacy, who said regulation and rules are the basis for digital trust.

“We will need regulation and we need standards, but we really believe in the meantime in organizational accountability and shared responsibility,” she added.

Commenting on expert insights on ways to build a holistic approach with a shared vision of trust, Batas said while there is a need first to align in Europe, the next step is to align globally, and the two processes should be done in parallel.

“It is really a right moment to create a digital forum for all these issues that will involve the right people in a coordinated process,” she said.

The white paper calls upon companies to be consistent and credible in their approach to self-regulation and in the protection and guarantees they provide customers.

It crystalized four key building blocks for the future of data, specifically against the backdrop of the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic: individual, technological, organizational and societal.

The experts agreed that for meaningful solutions to emerge and before the crisis of trust could gain momentum, a stronger level of international collaboration and open dialogue between private and public sector actors must happen.

“We hope this paper proves to be a meaningful and insightful contribution to the debate around the search for solutions,” wrote Öykü Isik, IMD Professor of Digital Strategy and Cybersecurity, who led the roundtable.

IMD is an independent academic institution with Swiss roots and global reach, founded 75 years ago by business leaders for business leaders. Since its creation, IMD has been a pioneering force in developing leaders who transform organizations and contribute to society. Based in Lausanne (Switzerland) and Singapore, IMD has been ranked in the Top 3 of the annual FT’s Executive Education Global Ranking for the last nine consecutive years and in the top five for 17 consecutive years. Its MBA and EMBA programs have repeatedly been singled out among the best in Europe and the world.

The St. Gallen Symposium is one of the world’s leading initiatives for cross-generational dialogue on economic, political and social themes and developments. For the 50th symposium on “Trust Matters”, over 1,600 leaders of today and tomorrow and more than 150 speakers joined the debates. Catherine Chen, Senior Vice President and Member of the Board at Huawei, spoke at the event alongside Swiss Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, as well as Mamphela Ramphele, Co-President of Club of Rome; Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, and Luisa Neubauer, Climate Advocate.

The full IMD-St. Gallen Symposium joint report can be found here:

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