The Impact of Geopolitics on Business

IEMBA Flagship Event
The Impact of Geopolitics on Business


On Saturday 1 October 2016, the Executive MBA HSG, together with the IEMBA HSG Alumni, realized this years IEMBA HSG Alumni Flagship Event. A full day dedicated to meet up and to learn about the challenges and chances the current and future geopolitical situation bears.

The attending alumni were graduates of our International Executive MBA HSG and the former OMNIUM Global Executive MBA HSG (which is succeeded by the Global Executive MBA HSG started this summer for the first time in this form).

After the opening words by Andreas Bodenmüller, Head of Marketing at the Executive MBA HSG, and Karlo Novak, IEMBA HSG Alumni President, moderator and HSG Lecturer Dr. Daniel Woker introduced the topic and set the stage for the four experts:



Dpt. Secretary General and Head of the political department of the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland

Mr Ferrari focused on the recent events around the Brexit vote and the decisions meaning for Europe and the rest of the world. He gave some insights into the processes that led to the vote, as well as how a realization of it might be managed. Interesting were his insights on possible turning points, at which the outcome could most probably have been changed.



Executive Director of Contextual Studies at the University of St.Gallen and Lecturer in History at the University of St.Gallen and Bochum, Germany. His main fields of research are Baltic and Eastern European history and present

Dr. Partschefeld gave insights into the way, the russian culture handles leaders and power. On this background he analyzed the rise and regency of Vladimir Putin and the way Russia influences global business. He also showed the differences, western business leaders have to face, when entering the Russian market. The discussion then evolved around Russian involvement in Syria and the significance it has on the Russian standing in the world politics.



Former Middle East correspondent for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Jürg Bischoff brought the talk to Syria and the current conflict with ISIS and Bashar-al-Assad. Interesting were the thoughts about Hafiz-al-Assad and the way he de-stabilized the region Looking into the future of Syria, Jürg Bischoff scenarios on possible outcomes of the crisis. All experts agreed on the big impact this conflict will have on the global market in the future. Mr Bischoff also analyzed the Arab Spring and how different the reasons, events, and outcomes were in the concerned countries.



Former Swiss Ambassador in China and Thailand

The session-talk focused especially on the cultural differences and governmental restrictions companies face when making business in South East Asia. Besides the more recent issues – North Korea is of much greater interest in Asian-Pacific countries than Syria – the dominance of China as global player must be acknowledged. Also, how China became a mighty competitor in Africa by acting more as an equal partner rather than a supporting donor was very eye opening.


The discussions were vivid and the participants were eager to interact with each other and the speakers. The topics were argued profoundly and sometimes even controversial, which led to new insights and a better understanding of the situations in the respecting area and the global context. The lively talks were continued, as we ended the day at the “Gasthaus Alte Post” with a wonderful surprise menu and a nice glass of Austrian wine.