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'Our University Is Growing Together with the April Conference'

'Our University Is Growing Together with the April Conference'

April 19th marks the official start of the XVII April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development. Below, HSE Academic Supervisor Evgeny Yasin, who is also the Chairman of the Conference’s Programme Committee, discusses what participants can expect from this year’s conference. 

In a certain sense, the April Conference is a type of business card for the Higher School of Economics. Most of the conferences that international universities hold typically focus on either classical or applied science, but such conferences have practically no agenda for large-scale reforms. This is what makes the HSE’s April Conference unique; it plays an active role in the transformations that are taking place in our country. Our university has grown together with the April Conference – starting with the fairly narrow spectrum of problems that had to be overcome throughout the process of reform and ending with the point at which we could consider ourselves to be equal participants in the global academic process as concerns economics and its related disciplines.

Our conference, like our university, is a living organism in that we’re constantly growing and changing. This year, the conference’s plenary sessions, of which there are many, will take place in a new format. It truly is a great thing to see HSE alumni participate in the academic discussions, and there are more and more of them every year. Some key alumni taking part in this year’s plenary session on macroeconomics are Maxim Oreshkin, Russian Deputy Finance Minister, and Konstantin Noskov, the Head of the Analytical Centre for the Government of Russia.

This year we’ve decided to take an important step in the evolution of the Conference

Lev Jakobson
HSE First Vice Rector

This session will open the conference and be of particular interest not only because of its participants, who include the Deputy Chairman and Chief Economist of Vnesheconombank, Andrei Klepach, but also because of the papers being presented. Key presenters include Evsei Gurvich, who is the Head of the Economic Expert Group, and First Deputy Governor of the Russian Central Bank, Ksenia Yudaeva.

Overall, all of the plenary sessions feature intriguing papers that, I hope, inspire substantive discussions. The conference will include papers by researchers from outside the Higher School of Economics as well. I am personally looking forward to the paper Lev Gudkov, Director of the Levada Center, is presenting at the session on Wealth and the Dynamics of Social Structure. And, of course, we can all look forward to the paper Victor Polterovich, Mathematical Economics Laboratory Chief at the RAS Central Economics and Mathematics Institute (CEMI), is planning to present at the session on Values, Institutions, and Trust. This session will also feature talks by the Dean of Moscow State University’s Economics Faculty, Alexander Auzan; HSE Professor Alexander Arkhangelsky; and, we are hoping, Alexei Kudrin, who is the Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at St. Petersburg State University.

In addition, I would like to propose a topic for discussion: how institutional reform programmes should depend on civil culture

Victor Polterovich
Mathematical Economics Laboratory Chief at CEMI

And of course, I’d also like to invite everyone to attend the session featuring the paper, “The Russian Economy: Problems, Solutions, Consequences,” authored by Natalia AkindinovaYaroslav Kuzminov, and myself. In this paper, we have come up with four possible trajectories for our economy, and we discuss the likelihood of these scenarios based on a survey of various experts.

I also consider Lilia Ovcharova’s paper on investing in human capital to be very important. She’ll present the paper at the plenary session on social policy.

All political parties can consider this paper to be our view on entering a growth trajectory

Lilia Ovcharova
HSE Director for Social Studies

This year’s sessions cover practically all economic disciplines studied at HSE: economics, macroeconomics, microeconomics, industrial markets, etc. New sessions are arising as well, and we are not just pulling them out of thin air. The April Conference’s programme is developed in two stages. In the first stage, we collect all of the proposals that researchers send us, and we group them into blocks. In the second stage, with the opinions of our researchers in mind, we identify the most important topics and reach out to the experts we’d like to see at the conference. Such a combinatory approach yields the most interesting results.

See also:

‘Not Testing the Knowledge, But Testing Whether You Are Ready to Interact with Reality’

The roundtable "Teaching Economics to High School Students: Curricula, Practices, Competitions" took place as part of the XXII April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development. Danil Fedorovykh, Deputy Vice Rector of HSE University and the President of the Executive Board of the International Economics Olympiad (IEO), initiated the session. Alexander Zhitkovskiy, Head of the Project Laboratory for Development of Intellectual Competitions in Economics (Faculty of Economic Sciences, HSE University), was the co-moderator.

The Core of the Nesting Doll: What a Comparison of the April Conference, the World Economic Forum, and the Gaidar Forum Reveals

This year the April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development took place for the twenty-second time, and, for the first time, Sberbank joined HSE University as a co-organizer of the event. Research assistants of the Economic Journalism Laboratory, headed by Nikolay Vardul, analyzed the agenda of the April Conference and compared it with those of other major forums. The findings of the study can be found among the laboratory’s publications.

The April Conference, 2021: 1,500 Participants, a Partnership with Sberbank, and an Online Format

On April 30, the XXII April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development came to a close. This year it was organized jointly by HSE University and Sberbank, and the majority of the events were held online. HSE Vice President and Conference Programme Committee Deputy Chair Lev Yakobson spoke with HSE News Service about his initial takeaways from the event and its new format.

Russia Remains a Partner for Foreign Scientists

The XXII April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development is drawing to a close in Moscow. In an interview with the media partner of the event, NEWS.ru, HSE University Vice Rector Ivan Prostakov spoke about how the format of the conference was organized, how the pandemic impacted the event, and how scientists and experts from different countries regard Russia.

Cyber Performance, PROK Cinema, and Digital Art: The Development of Art and Art Research in the 21st Century

From April 21 to 23, 2021, a major online conference of the HSE Art and Design School and the Doctoral School of Art and Design was held on ‘Theories and Practices of Art and Design: Sociocultural, Economic and Political Contexts.’ Experts discussed educational practices in art, its contemporary state, the impact of technology, and prospects for the art industry’s future development.

Human Capital, Innovation, and Fintech: What the Future Holds for Eurasian Integration

To what extent do the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) benefit from an open economy? What financial, scientific, and educational policy tools will contribute to the implementation of the recently approved ‘Strategic Directions for the Development of Eurasian Economic integration until 2025’? These questions were discussed by participants in a series of expert discussions at the XXII April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development organised by HSE University and Sberbank.

Assessment of Universal Competences: New Approaches to Assessing Soft Skills

In order to remain competitive in the labour market, university graduates must be proficient not only in professional knowledge and skills, but also in a set of universal competences (UC). However, higher education systems face problems in assessing such competences due to a lack of developed approaches and methodologies. A report released by the HSE Institute of Education, ‘An Assessment of Universal Competences as Higher Education Learning Outcomes’, analyses the ways in which these challenges have been addressed in both Russia and abroad.

‘AI Will Apply to All Activities, Having a Great Effect on Economy’

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a fundamental component of many activities in economics and finance in recent years. On April 26,Panos Pardalos, Academic Supervisor at theLaboratory of Algorithms and Technologies for Networks Analysis (LATNA at HSE Nizhny Novgorod) and Distinguished Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Florida, will talk about its impact, future developments and limitations in his honorary lecture Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Economics and Finance.

What Can Make Robots More Human-like?

What is affect and why is it important for humans? How can feelings be defined and what is their relation to emotions and consciousness? What might be used in making a soft robot? Professor Antonio Damasio (University of Southern California, USA) discussed these and other questions in his honorary lecture, entitled 'Feeling, Knowing, and Artificial Intelligence'.The talk was delivered on April 16 at the at the XXII April International Academic Conference held by HSE University jointly with Sberbank.

World Bank Forecasts a Rise in Poverty

General wealth levels in Eastern Europe and Central Asia have been improving since 2012 — poverty has been decreasing. But due to COVID, global poverty levels, including those of these regions, may increase considerably for the first time in two decades. Samuel Freije-Rodriguez, Lead Economist at World Bank, talked about this at the XXII April Conference organized by HSE University and Sberbank.