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Regular version of the site

‘Today’s Young People Strive to Be Involved in Socially Significant Activities’

‘Today’s Young People Strive to Be Involved in Socially Significant Activities’

© Yevgeny Fedoskov / Roscongress Foundation

Youth as a driver of economic development, the Arctic as a region of constructive cooperation, and innovation as a way to dispel illusions. Experts from HSE University took part in sessions of the 2022 St Petersburg International Economic Forum and HSE Rector Nikita Anisimov answered questions in the interactive studio of the Knowledge Society.

Responding to the question of what education is today, Nikita Anisimov said, ‘In short, it is what’s important for each person individually and for society as a whole’. He explained that Russian education will act as an independent unit in the global educational services market, which does not mean it is rejecting the positive experience gained in recent years. It remains ‘understandable’ to both Russian and foreign students.

Nikita Anisimov
© Alexey Alexandronok / The Roscongress Foundation

The national education system needs digital technologies to be able to make use of all of the best that is available. ‘For me, online and offline formats are complementary because quality is the key thing we should focus on’, the rector said. For example, HSE University has zero tolerance for plagiarism. ‘All our students know that if you copy something, you will no longer be a student at HSE University’, Anisimov emphasised.

With regard to new professions, the rector said that HSE University is admitting students in fields that will be in demand in several years, offering new educational formats and specialisations. As they say at HSE University, students can study everything ‘from Egyptology to neurobiology’, he noted.

The Arctic front

At the session titled International Cooperation as a Guarantee of Sustainable Development of the Arctic, experts discussed the possibilities for interaction in the region given the new conditions. Opening the meeting, Anastasia Likhacheva, Dean of the HSE University Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, stressed that Russia is aware of the region’s fragility, but that it is necessary to continue the work: ‘Permafrost will not wait. We need to get a feel for the shape of things and of projects to continue cooperation in the Arctic’.

Nikolay Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry, noted that now it would be wrong to develop the economy at the expense of nature. ‘For us, the Arctic consists primarily of the population and indigenous peoples. We see it as a territory of constructive cooperation and low tensions. We need a dialogue on all aspects of developing the region and its security’, the diplomat added.

According to retired Vice Admiral Satish Soni, India is interested in preserving the Arctic’s natural landscape because negative changes to it accelerate the melting of snow in the Himalayas, and this affects agriculture. He said that Delhi could form partnerships with countries in the region to work on carbon capture technologies, road construction and shipbuilding.

‘Let’s focus on the most pressing issues and prevent irreversible changes. If we do not gain control over the situation, we could end up on Mars’, he said.

Professor Glenn Diesen of the University of South-Eastern Norway noted that the Arctic remained a region of cooperation even during the Cold War. Now, despite the aggravation of the international situation, it is necessary to look for forms of interaction that benefit all countries. Expanding the circle of participants in the dialogue could stabilise the situation in the region.

The session was also attended by Director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute Alexander Makarov, former Indian Ambassador to Russia Venkatesh Varma Datla Bala, HSE Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs post-doctoral student Kapoor Nivedita, and other experts.

The generation of responsible individuals

Artem Metelev, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Youth Policy and moderator of the session The Young as a Driver of Socio-Economic Development in an Era of Change, invited the participants to discuss ‘the projects available for young people today and how to involve them in the social agenda and the development of the country so that they are active participants in it and not spectators’.

HSE Vice Rector Dmitry Zemtsov said that HSE University had recently signed an agreement with the Federal Agency for Youth, the Ministry of Education and Science, and the State Duma Committee on Youth Affairs to establish the Youth Policy Project and Training Laboratory at the university.

Dmitry Zemtsov
© Evgeny Luchinsky / The Roscongress Foundation

Young people are truly a driver of economic development, says the HSE University vice rector.  Various studies that measured student attitudes found that they have a desire to be involved in socially significant activities. ‘I dare say that this is a feature of the core part of the generation with which we are dealing. The desire to participate meaningfully in the life of their country—this is what distinguishes them’, Dmitry Zemtsov concludes.

He said that in recent months, the young people have taken it upon themselves to help their fellow students, fellow members of the study body who find themselves in a more difficult situation than their own. A student centre was created to solve such problems. ‘They call students day and night, find solutions to individual problems, and speak with the rector. This is the generation that’s willing to personally find solutions to problems they consider important’, the vice rector asserts.

Thirty years of innovation

At the session 30 years of Russia’s Innovation Policy—Creating Companies that are Technological Champions: Lessons and Prospects, a study of the same name was presented that had been prepared by HSE University in cooperation with Innopraktika. Dan Medovnikov, Director of the Institute of Innovation Management at the HSE Graduate School of Business, made the presentation.

Dan Medovnikov
© Maxim Grigoriev / The Roscongress Foundation

Dan Medovnikov said that Russia had gained a variety of experience, including positive experience, from its more than 30 years of developing innovation policy.  ‘This consists primarily of people’s experience,  the legal framework, and the institutions that have been built. In addition, we have created a nearly complete ecosystem in terms of functionality. It just hasn't been activated yet’.

Andrey Belousov, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, took part in the session. In his opinion, Russia has created a national innovation system and such high-tech industries as pharmaceuticals and the production of composite materials have recently emerged.

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