‘Science Can Help to Bring Countries Together in Different Ways’
— How can Foresight and Roadmapping contribute to university and public research institution management?
— The purpose of Foresight and Roadmapping is to understand what the barriers are to opportunities in the future, in market areas or in different areas of technology. Interestingly it’s typically not been used in a university environment. It is more often found in think tanks, research institutes and private research labs.
The HSE’s strong capabilities in Foresight and Roadmapping allow its faculty and staff to provide advice more directly to industry and government than a lot of universities do. The HSE is one of a small group of universities with this valuable capability.
— Are there comparable situation in North America?
— In North America, Roadmapping and Foresight is used in corporations. The government hasn’t gone into this area much. In North America, the business schools typically avoid Foresight and Roadmapping as they focus on tools and approaches that do not focus on the management of technology. Engineering schools rarely see instruction in foresight or roadmapping as part of their mission. Consequently, these tools are often overlooked in North American Universities – as they do not clearly fit within a specific department or faculty.
In fact in North America training of Research & Development (R&D) managers has too much technical content for Business Schools and too much managerial content for faculties of pure and applied sciences. Consequently, there are very few organizations – private or public that have programmes to train R&D managers. This is a serious barrier as managers of small companies will typically say ‘Before we hire PhD scientists, we need an R&D manager’. Governments increasingly recognize this skill gap. However, the disciplinary-structure of universities discourage the development of this kind of training. This adds to the gap in Foresight and Roadmapping skills in the workforce. This gap is significant in North America and - except for HSE – there appears to be a similar gap in Russia as well. This gap is common for most or possibly all economies.
— What are the critical factors for making international scientific cooperation successful?
— One needs support at the top and at the bottom. Very often you see cooperation agreements signed by governments and/or universities but there are no links at the working level for scientific cooperation. The working links are critical as well as the links at the senior level. For example if the support is not given at top levels, funding will not be allowed for cooperation with other countries or there may be funding from one country but it requires early commitment of funds from another country. Rules can quickly create barriers and bureaucracy that prevents cooperation.
Barriers to cooperation in science are unfortunate as cooperation can help by leveraging resources and bring countries together in other ways. The trick is avoiding barriers. Academics are looking for partners and they will work with the best people they can find unless barriers make it difficult to do so. It’s much easier to collaborate with people in different countries than it was years ago because of inexpensive communication technology, like Skype for example.
— Which initiatives would you welcome and support to strengthen cooperation between HSE and Ottawa University?
— My cooperation with the HSE started last year when I delivered a lecture on ‘Real Options as Decision Support for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy’ organized by the Research Laboratory for Economics of Innovation, at the HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge. Thanks to technology I was able to deliver the lecture from the University in Ottawa to students in Moscow and on other HSE campuses in Russia. There was a tricky situation with the different schedules of daylight-saving time in Russia and Canada but we managed to overcome it and I gave the lecture on time.
The April conference is a great opportunity to meet people and establish working relations. The more opportunities there are for making contacts the more likely research collaborations can grow and develop further. You need to interact frequently to develop productive relationships. It doesn’t happen overnight. For international collaboration to flourish, Universities need to encourage wider and deeper relations. Otherwise, when a single researcher retires long term collaboration between two institutions can stop suddenly.
There are many opportunities for collaboration between Canada and Russia. The countries are both large and sparsely populated. Consequently, telecommunication and logistics are two areas of common interest. The economic important of natural resources for both countries is another area of similarity. Finally, Canada and Russia share concerns in terms of climate and arctic issues.
— How can we steer and evaluate Centres of Excellence and Universities?
Canada is at core a very egalitarian country. Consequently, many Canadians feel that the focus should not be on centres of excellence, but excellence being widely distributed. Consequently, Canada funds all universities at a similar level. This is very different from some other countries. For example in our neighbor America, there is a tremendous disparity in the budget of well funded and poorly funded Universities. Hence, in Canada the focus is more on networks of excellence – rather than specific centres of excellence. This is one of the ways that the Canadian and American Universities differ from each other in terms of both research and education.
It is possible to make an argument that one system is better than the other. My feeling is that it is good that different countries pursue different systems. Having been a Professor in both American and Canadian systems, I appreciate the strengths and advantages that both systems offer.Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for HSE News Service
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.