CONFERENCE 25.04. — 26.04.2013 University of St.Gallen


  • Do we still want bankers without a sense of moral standards? Economists who do not understand history? Or managers who cannot deal with cultural differences in a globalized world? Are econometrics and knowledge in accounting sufficient to find solutions in a cross-linked world?


It seems as if programs merely focussing on one discipline – either economic or law studies – are no longer adequate to successfully face the challenges of globalization. Therefore, in 2001 and in line with the Bologna reforms, the University of St. Gallen (HSG) introduced the contextual studies: Content alone is insufficient; it has to be embedded in the cultural framework in which it becomes relevant. Without critical thinking, without the social, cultural and historical context every action stays blind and every analysis hollow.


The contextual studies at HSG offer an integrated academic education that complements the studies of economics and law with competencies in cultural and social sciences. Students at HSG on all levels (Assessment, Bachelor, Master) are obliged to complete 25% of their total credits in Cultural Awareness, Critical Thinking and Leadership Skills as the three pillars of the contextual studies.


Hosting professors from HSG, renowned international guests from other universities with a similar concept as well as representatives from different enterprises, the conference not only tries to take a first stock of the contextual studies. Connected to select topics (e.g., Creativity, Responsibility, Multidisciplinarity) it also discusses the future of this concept: What’s next? How can we improve? How can we foster and further critical thinking? What can we learn from other universities? What are the most important challenges?