Some more questions for the Conference participants
Most of the delegates at the 10th International Academic Conference on economic and social development in Russia think the event is a contribution to professional community integration.
- I’m really impressed by amount of things I can learn here at the conference although I have attended many conferences in the US and Europe, said Heiner Meullemann from the Sociology Research Institute, Cologne, Germany.
I am from Europe, from Germany. It is a very interesting conference. I am a sociologist and I can see how Russia is trying hard to catch up with the international economy and the scientific community.
- What do you think is the difference in organization of the conferences here and abroad?
There are much fewer differences than I expected. It is organized very well. Everything is in English and if it is not, you can have simultaneous translation. It has several advantages: it is not as big as the conference of American Sociological Association. And it is interdisciplinary. This is very good.
- Have you ever been in Russia before?
I was here 40 years ago, so perhaps I can say I am here for the first time. It is tremendously different. I was struck by how many people are in the streets and the number of cars on the roads, even late at night. I was at Red Square at nine o’clock and I was surprised how many people were there, even if the weather was not very good for walking.
Chorching Goh, Senior economist, Europe and Central Asia Region, the World Bank (US)
I began my activity in Russia about two months ago and this is my second visit to Moscow. I am here to make a joint presentation with the World Bank Director on the recently released world business report “Reshaping economic geography”.
- What are your general impressions of Moscow?
I think that it is a great city with a strong potential to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world if were not for some disadvantages. For example, there are many problems with the transportation network. Management of the roads should be improved. At peak hours the situation on the roads is very bad. Such things must not stop the growth of the city. Investments in the infrastructure should be better addressed in a market economy. It is important for Moscow to be an international city with a dense population. At the Conference you say that Russia wants to be an innovation based modern economy and Moscow is to lead the way. But you need a better infrastructure if you want Moscow to become an international city.
- And what do you think about the Conference?
I think the Conference is a great idea. I hope the organizers won’t restrict attendance. I am sure that the HSE has enough facilities to support a growing number of participants.
Volfgang Teckenberg, Germany
- Have you ever been to Russia before?
I lived here in the last days of Brezhnev`s rule for one year. Compared with the late 70s and 80s everything is very lively. Life has become very dynamic and interesting here. I love the new Moscow very much. And it is my second conference.
- What are the most interesting events for you?
It is very interesting and stimulating and it is a truly international conference of a very high level. I was impressed by the papers of M.Klein and L.Lipshitz. But I was also very impressed yesterday by Yasin’s paper. I am deeply interested in the sessions of Shkaratan and Yasrebov on social structure.
Masahiro Tokunaga, Cansai University, Osaka, Japan
- Could you tell us a few words about yourself?
I have visited Moscow several times. I have worked here in Russia, in Novosibirsk. Before coming here I worked in Finland, in Helsinki. I am working in Japan, Osaka, as an associate professor.
- You have worked in so many places. What are your impressions of working here and in Finland?
Honestly speaking, things here are not as efficient as they are in Finland and Japan. I finished my registration in Finland in half an hour and here it took a whole week, from Monday to Friday. So my first impression is that it can be very inefficient. But the people are very friendly and helpful. I speak Russian very badly and they spend a lot of time assisting me. I think this is a good characteristic of Russia.
Katerina Rylko for the HSE News service