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Regular version of the site

Evgeniy Terentev: ‘The Project Aims to Give People Various Tools for Personal Fulfilment and Betterment’

Evgeniy Terentev

Evgeniy Terentev
© HSE University

Every day, new technologies and institutional solutions appear that expand people’s opportunities. Which technologies are effective at this, and which have yet to be created to meet the challenges of the modern era? How do people choose technologies and how can the choice become a conscious one? HSE University’s strategic project Success and Self-Sustainability of the Individual in a Changing World aims to answer these questions and more.

Evgeniy Terentev, head of the project and Director of the HSE University Institute of Education, talked about the scale and uniqueness of the strategic project.

Focusing on Personality, Not Devices

Despite the seeming simplicity of the topic, our project surpasses similar endeavours in its scope and subjects. We study all kinds of human self-betterment, from the physical to the cognitive, particularly those types which and a person themselves wants to use. In recent years, the topic of betterment has become a frontier in academic research and discussion.

The project’s mission is to provide people with the tools for self-actualisation and improvement in various spheres of life. It is important for us to understand which resources are available for individual development, why these resources are or are not being used, and what kind of consequences this has. Examples include mobile apps, devices, training sessions, educational programmes, and more.

The emergence of new devices and opportunities does not automatically mean that they will be influential. For that to happen, people must realise their usefulness and understand how to use them. We need to study the decision-making mechanism of each potential user and assess the effectiveness of each tool. To do this, we will determine the practical results of our research in order to help people navigate the multitude of available support tools more quickly. We will also offer advice on which tools are the most suitable.

We do not want to impose our own options; we strive to offer people the opportunity to make a conscious decision. The result is that we help people to navigate the market of resources for improving health, studying, and achieving professional success.

Creating a Centre of Excellence at the National Scale

The project consists of six large parts: two general, theoretical ones and four subject-specific ones. In the theoretical ones, the team studies the challenges faced by individuals in an environment undergoing radical socioeconomic and cultural changes. We also problematise the concept of self-dependence in order to understand how it manifests in different areas and what its mechanisms are.

The first of the subject-specific parts is devoted to physical health. The second is devoted to psychological resilience—how to ensure psychological and mental health, how to maintain it individually, and how to develop a resistance to false information. We then investigate the possibility of developing the skills necessary in modern socioeconomic conditions: the formation of successful professional trajectories and social connections.

These fields are so varied that we have to involve almost the whole university structure: specialists in the fields of sociology, the humanities, engineering and economics. This is HSE University’s most expansive strategic project—it involves 21 university departments (including those from other HSE University campuses) and many colleagues from outside the university. This includes cooperation with Tomsk State University, the University of Tyumen, Ural Federal University, Far Eastern Federal University, and Siberian Federal University. And that list is not limited—we would be happy to share our data and expand our collaborations. Our goal is to create a global centre of excellence devoted to studying opportunities for personal betterment and assessing their effectiveness.

Developing Tools and Conducting Experimental Studies

Our goal is to create an ecosystem by 2030 that integrates technologies for empowering people in various areas. This ecosystem will include diagnostic tools that will make it possible to identify possible development opportunities and selected methods for improving individuals’ situation in a targeted way. The methods will have a proven effectiveness and will take the form of both specific tools developed under the project and a guide to existing technologies.

In the first stage, we conducted a review of existing technologies and presented it in the summary report ‘The Global Landscape of Research and Promising Developments in the Field of Human Betterment’

The structure of the report follows the same logic as the strategic project and covers the key areas of human empowerment.

In parallel, we will conduct a range of empirical studies to help understand why people do or do not take certain opportunities for self-betterment and what effects this has. We will launch a series of experimental studies (a rarity in the social and human sciences) in order to study the results of the application of various tools for human self-development. We will also conduct an assessment of existing diagnostic tools and develop new ones in order to discover potential growth points.

Alongside our research, we are working to assemble a project team. Last year, we conducted a project competition for early-career researchers. There were six winning studies, including those on the topic of student self-governance at universities and the development of entrepreneurship in colleges. This year, we plan to conduct a second wave of the competition and integrate those early-career researchers with the highest development potential in our subject areas into the project.

See also:

Exploring Research Prospects and Collaboration Opportunities: Discussion of Strategic Projects Held at HSE University

On June 26 and 27, HSE University at Pokrovka hosted a discussion of potential partnerships between the university's research teams and strategic projects under the Priority 2030 programme. During the two-day session, the heads of strategic projects presented the main areas of their ongoing research, highlighted some of the key results achieved, and shared their vision for involving new researchers in the projects.

Keep Your Eyes On: A Prospective Device for Self-Monitoring Vision

As part of the Strategic Project 'Success and Self-Sustainability of the Individual in a Changing World,' scientists at HSE University have conducted a study to develop an electronic device designed to reduce the risk of occurrence and progression of eye diseases.

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In the spring of 2023, the fifth strategic project of the Priority 2030 programme, 'Human Brain Resilience: Neurocognitive Technologies for Adaptation, Learning, Development and Rehabilitation in a Changing Environment,' was launched at HSE University. The strategic project brings together researchers from all campuses of HSE University. In her interview with the HSE News Service, Olga Dragoy, head of the strategic project and Director of the HSE Centre for Language and Brain, shares an overview of the advanced technologies neuroscientists are creating today, the underlying inspiration driving these efforts, and the operational dynamics of interdisciplinary applied projects.

‘It Was Great to Look at Scientific Achievements through the Eyes of a Journalist, not a Scientist’

HSE University in Nizhny recently hosted the 2nd Autumn Neuro-linguistic School ‘NeuroSciCom: Popularising Language and Brain Studies’ for scientists and students at the HSE Centre for Language and Brain Studies in Nizhny Novgorod. The school was held as part of the 'Human Brain Resilience: Neurocognitive Technologies for Adaptation, Learning, Development and Rehabilitation in a Changing Environment' Strategic Project of the Priority 2030 programme.

Card Index: 'Success and Self-Sustainability of the Individual in a Changing World'

To achieve success and well-being, a modern person needs to keep up with ongoing social, economic, technological and cultural changes. However, in order to adapt to these, you need to be competent, healthy and active, develop cognitive abilities, acquire new skills and maintain friendships. All of this can expand people’s capabilities, revealing their potential. The HSE's unique multidisciplinary strategic project 'Success and Self-Sustainability of the Individual in a Changing World', which brings together educators, sociologists, psychologists, economists, biologists, physicians and digital technology specialists, helps to solve some of these tasks. Working together, they have managed to create a navigation system to improve human achievements for the benefit of the whole of society.

New Technologies for Preserving Brain Functions: ‘Not Magic, but Normal Engineering’

New methods of brain mapping will make it easier to identify the cortex areas responsible for speech functions and to perform operations on the brain, as well as reduce the likelihood of damage to important areas. In addition, this will allow for more frequent use of non-invasive methods for restoring speech and other functions lost due to injuries and illnesses.

The World at Your Fingertips

HSE University scientists have created a model for decoding finger movements for next-generation hand prostheses. This will allow users not only to grab objects, but also to gesticulate using the movements of each finger.

Memory Diagnostics: IT Solutions for Mental Health

High-level technology is becoming an integral part of healthcare, and no field of medicine can work without a computer. HSE University scientists have developed a multilingual tablet application ‘Rey Test’ — the first fully automated and effective tool for diagnosing auditory and verbal memory disorders.

Project Team of ‘Success and Self-Sustainability of the Individual in a Changing World’ Wins Russian Science Foundation Grant

Researchers from HSE University will receive funding from the Russian Science Foundation to study such forms of student employment as freelancing, self-employment, and entrepreneurship, all of which have been actively developing in recent years. The research will shed light on the new opportunities and challenges encountered by students and early-career specialists in the labour market. It will also aid in the development of effective strategies for their successful adaptation and development.

‘We Are Developing Technologies to Support People and Strengthen the Intellect’

HSE News Service spoke to Director of the Institute of Cognitive Neurosciences, Head of the Centre for Cognition and Decision Making at HSE University, Anna Shestakova about the achievements and goals of the new HSE University’s strategic project ‘Human Brain Resilience: Neurocognitive Technologies for Adaptation, Learning, Development, and Rehabilitation in a Changing Environment’.