EMBA HSG Alumni more than «ready» after the Refresher

Successful premiere «Digital Readiness» as very current topic

The first Refresher of the EMBA HSG Alumni on “Digital Readiness” took place at “The Square” in St. Gallen in the first week of November. 25 participants from different classes (cohort 7 to cohort 53) took a deep dive into the very current topic for two days – and were inspired by experts and distinguished speakers.

After the Intro by the academic director of the EMBA HSG Studies, Prof. Dr. Karolin Frankenberger, and EMBA HSG President Stefan Stübi, Christian Sauerbrey took over and went in medias res. The question, of why to put digital topics in the core of the Refresher was addressed – and quickly answered after getting an exclusive look into different aspects of digitalization from China. “Executives and senior management must not be technology experts but need to know how to manage digital topics”, was the main takeaway.

Prof. Dr. Jan Marco Leimeister picked that thought up and gave a detailed introduction of digitalization. He showed the development and importance of digital topics (“Technology is no longer something for the engine room, it needs to be on an executive level”) and reported that coding, as well as capstone projects, have been implemented with the HSG Bachelor studies. This shapes the way of thinking tremendously. Other countries, such as Singapore for instance, are “two or three steps ahead of Switzerland, as we do not think `digital first` just yet.”

Additionally, Leimeister talked about the areas of conflict in IT and digitalization and showed key principles. Again and again, the participants took the floor and exchanged thoughts and examples from their daily business. Through that fascinating exchange and many inputs, it became visible how crucial and at the same time diverse digitalization is.

During the further course of the first day of the Refresher, Prof. Dr. Walter Brenner (Trendradar CIO 2022), took the floor and gave a deep dive on the topic of cloud transformation. Prof. Dr. Simon Mayer introduced the fields of sensorics, exchange and robotics and Dr. Gerd Niehage (CTIO Swisscom) shared insider thoughts and the respective learnings from his company.

After an eventful day, the newly assembled “Refresher class” went Curling. Latest, at this networking event following dinner the “EMBA feeling” came back.

On the second day of the Refresher, Christian Sauerbrey and Journalist and Producer Nicole Scott (Bloomberg TV) started off with the media perspective on the technology and digitalization “hype”. After that, it was again Prof. Dr. Leimeister who shared his tremendous experiences: this time the focus was on best practices from the DACH region and data-oriented organization.

Later, Prof. Dr. Marc Linzmajer showed digitalization in the retail business with examples from B2BC and B2B. Then Prof. Dr. Felix Wortmann took over with «How the internet of things does business model innovation” which led to the conclusion of the two days by Stefan Stübi and Dr. Simon Stöpfgeshoff.

“The first Refresher was a great success, because «Digital Readiness» proved to be such a current topic and highly relevant to executives. Many thanks to all participants and speakers for their engagement! The date for the Refresher 2023 is already set: please mark November 2nd / 3rd, 2023 already in your agendas”, EMBA HSG Alumni President Stefan Stübi said.

The feedback from the participants was very positive as more than 70 percent graded the Refresher with “very good” and more than 80 percent stated that learned the most relevant information on the topic.

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