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April Conference to Proceed with New Format

April Conference to Proceed with New Format

© HSE University

On March 11, the HSE Academic Council decided to give participants of the April International Academic Conference the opportunity to present their papers at distributed sessions or remotely. Lev Jacobson, Deputy Head of the Conference Programme Committee, explains why such a decision was made and what the new format implies.

Today, in the face of an unfavourable situation caused by the global spread of COVID-19, many conferences in Russia and around the world are either being cancelled or postponed. However, there is no guarantee that in a few months the situation will be more favourable. This concerns both the epidemiological situation itself and the plans of those participants who were planning to come in April. Plans for events such as the April Conference are drawn up well in advance, so rescheduling a large-scale event for the Fall is hardly realistic.

Naturally, HSE University also had to decide what to do with our traditional April Conference, which was to be held for the 21st time this year. The April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development has become the largest expert venue in Russia in the field of social and economic sciences and an event of global scope. Researchers from around the world regularly attend.

Lev Jacobson

Following a proposal by the rector, the HSE Academic Council has decided not to cancel the conference. Cancellation would be unfair to the hundreds of talented researchers who have chosen this particular venue to present their latest research to colleagues. A rigorous and impartial selection process led to approximately 800 participants receiving invitations to join the conference programme. Each of them put a lot of work into their papers. And each of those papers deserves to be presented to the academic community.

However, it is now impossible to hold the conference in its traditional form. First, many international participants may not be able to attend, and they make up a significant part of the programme. The conference has long been popular among researchers from dozens of countries with strong research schools. Second, there is no certainty that participants from Russian regions will be able to arrive either. We do not want the conference to be a purely Moscow-centred event—we have even allocated funds to support the arrival of young researchers from the regions who are planning to present the most interesting papers.

Given the danger of hundreds of people gathering on the same site at the same time, we have decided that rather than cancelling the conference, we would hold it in a distributed format

What does this mean? Separate sections of the conference, as a rule, do not have a large number of participants. The problem arises when dozens of such meetings are held at the same time in adjacent rooms of the same building. If the sessions are distributed over time, the problem largely disappears. Therefore, the format we’ve chosen involves holding the conference over the course of two months, April and May, as opposed to one week in April.

But what about the participation of international researchers? Aswith previous April conferences, we have decided to make use of online communication tools. Some participants have presented previously at the conference while being located thousands of kilometres away from Moscow. This opportunity was made available only to the most prominent international scholars who, for various reasons, could not attend in person. Now this option will be available to all participants.

It seems that we have found the right answer to the challenge that organizers of major international conferences are facing this spring.

Why has HSE decided to take the lead in holding the conference in a new format? Because we are generally used to not giving up in the face of new challenges

And, of course, because HSE University has long used the full capabilities of modern information technology.

I believe that in some cases it will be possible to hold meetings remotely. A special option is provided for this, which is that the paper would be posted on the conference website and discussion would be conducted entirely remotely. It is important that in this case the paper is still presented to the audience of the April Conference and appreciated by it. We are considering other options, which will be offered to participants very soon.

A meeting of the Conference Programme Committee was held on March 12 where actions required to implement the Academic Council’s decision were discussed. The moderators of the conference sections will now work to develop approaches that meet the specific needs of each subject area and the particular composition of the participants. On March 16, we will meet to discuss the ideas. The Organizational and Programme Committees of the conference will put together the proposals and after an online discussion, an updated programme for the XXI April Conference will be made available by the end of next week.

See also:

HSE Wraps Up Its First April Conference to Be Held Online

As it entered its third decade of existence this year, HSE University’s annual April Conference experienced a first: it was held in an online distributed format. HSE News Service spoke with organizers and participants about the event.

The Chain of Life: How Russia is Integrated into Global Production

HSE experts have analyzed the position of Russian non-commodity sectors in global production and opportunities for their revitalization. The researchers believe that long-term sustainable growth of its non-commodity exports can be achieved by repositioning and including them in the global value chain at some more advanced stages than the supply of raw materials and semi-finished products.

From Moscow to Brazil, South Africa, and China: Panelists Discuss Challenges and Potential for BRICS Countries in the Global Economy

On May 14, as part of the ‘World Economy’ session of the XXI April Conference 2020 an online panel attended by representatives of BRICS Network University took place. The session was devoted to the topic ‘BRICS Countries in the Global Economy’.

HSE Experts Analyze the Lifting of Quarantine Restrictions in 30 Countries

In a recent report, HSE experts evaluated the world’s 14 countries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic based on data (including the number of recorded deaths) from May 1, 2020 or later. The report also examined 16 other countries whose experience was considered significant. While refraining from making generalizations, experts nonetheless noted that leaders in Europe and the United States have generally not responded to the situation as effectively as their Asian counterparts. Africa, meanwhile, follows its own course, while the situation in Brazil is worse.

HSE Report on Innovative Development in Russian Agriculture

The world’s modern food systems are going through a fundamentally new stage of technological development known as Agriculture 4.0. This digital approach relies on the use of robotechnics, the Internet of Things, biotechnologies, and other smart solutions. Is Russian agriculture ready for this transformation? What should be the government’s role in this process? These issues are the focus of the report, ‘Innovative Development of Russian Agricultural Industry. Agriculture 4.0».

At the Foothill of Our Digital Journey

April International Academic Conference is held in a distributed format this year, with some sessions broadcast online and papers and video presentations from others posted on the conference website. Professor Dr Ger Graus, first Global Director of Education at KidZania, is an invited speaker at Digital Transformation of Education session that is also conducted in this new distributed form. His paper is devoted to preparing children for digital era through non-formal education.

April Conference Begins as Scheduled

On April 7, 2020, the XXI April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development, organized by HSE University together with the World Bank, commenced. This year, the conference will be held in a distributed format.

‘The April Conference Will Not Only Confirm, But Strengthen Its Reputation as a Platform for Innovative Research’

Evgeny Yasin, HSE Academic Supervisor and Head of the Programme Committee of the XXI April Conference, addressed participants of the forum, which is being held in a distributed format this year.

Russia’s Middle Class: Who Are Its Members and How Do They Spend Their Money?

The HSE Centre for Studies of Income and Living Standards studied the dynamics of the middle class and its behaviour with regard to paid services. The study was based on data drawn from the HSE Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE) for the years 2000 to 2017, and the results were presented at the 20th April International Academic Conference hosted by HSE.

Reproductive Evolution: How Birth Rates Are Changing in Post-Soviet Countries

Reproductive behavior is modernizing at different rates in post-Soviet countries. Things are changing faster in Russia, Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine, where, over the last fifteen years, the average maternity age has increased and the contribution of women in their thirties to their countries’ birthrates has grown. Meanwhile, old reproductive patterns persist in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, where firstborns are usually born to parents under 30, demographers Vladimir Kozlov and Konstantin Kazenin note in a paper delivered at HSE’s XX April International Academic Conference.