Keynote Speaker Category: Business, Leadership,



A competitiveness outlook for 2021, and beyond

Outline of a presentation by Stephane Garelli

The “traditional” recipes for managing long-term stagnation are increasingly questioned. In too many regions, governments and central banks are failing to kick-start the economy. Moreover, the skepticism about globalization proclaimed by numerous politicians and the fragility of several once-promising emerging economies weigh heavily on business prospects and confidence levels.

A long list of issues today blurs the vision of leaders and increases the complexity of managing enterprises: volatile energy prices, low or negative yields, pervasive debt, stubborn unemployment, far-reaching taxation rules, extensive compliance, endangered pension systems, Brexit, etc.

However, there are just as many positive developments: more global companies and new brands enter world markets, family businesses are recognized for their contribution, technology-driven new business models, and more adventurous consumers who are ready for new products and increasingly involved in the sharing economy. Finally, a new generation – the Millennials – brings an original and refreshing set of values to the business environment.

Winners will have the right mindset. They will excel at the management of efficiency, change, and complexity. They will be remarkably resilient, ambitious and imaginative. They will recognize that their legitimacy will be questioned if they do not contribute to society at large. Ultimately, in the world of competitiveness, true leaders create “followers”. They will thrive on credibility.

Objective of the Keynote

We are all overwhelmed by information and by events. But which are important for companies, markets, and people? How do they affect strategies and behaviours? In a world of constant interference from “outside”, this keynote address highlights the “changing circumstances” which shape the economic and business environment. Today, a key determinant of success is also to be “in sync” with a fast changing world.

Format of the presentation

Stephane Garelli is reputed for his trademark graphics combining an attractive visual style with simply illustrated ideas, and a limited use of numbers. The presentation is forward-looking, dynamic, business-like, fast moving, to the point, and “so what” oriented. It also proves that an economic presentation can have content without necessarily being boring…

In the media:

American influence: from Coca to GAFA 

Corporate Governance: Boards of Asian companies ‘tend to behave like private clubs

World after: what if we ask Picasso?


Stephane Garelli is a world authority on competitiveness – has pioneered research in this field for 25 years. Professor at IMD (Institute of Management Development) Lausanne, where he has founded the World Competitiveness Centre, he is also professor at the University of Lausanne.

Professor Garelli is closely connected to the world of business. He is, among others, Chairman of the Board of Directors of “Le Temps”, the leading French language Swiss newspaper. He was formerly Chairman of the Board of the Sandoz Financial and Banking Holding, and member of the board of the Banque Edouard Constant.

Professor Garelli was the Managing Director of the World Economic Forum and of the Davos Symposium for many years. For twelve years, he was also permanent senior adviser to the European management of Hewlett-Packard,

He is a member of a number of institutes, such as: China Enterprise Management Association, Board of the ‘Fondation Jean Monet pour l’Europe’, The Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Mexican Council for Competitiveness, etc. and an advisory committee member of the Thai Management Association. He is also a member of the International Olympic Committee commission on Sustainability and Legacy

He is the author of numerous publications on competitiveness and global business, and he published his best-selling book “Top Class Competitors – How Nations, Firms and Individuals Succeed in the New World of Competitiveness” with Wiley. His latest book is “Are you a Tiger, a Cat or a Dinosaur?” on Amazon.

He was a member of the Constitutional Assembly of his local state – Vaud, Switzerland from 1999 to 2002.



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