Business programme

Taking Stock and Broadening Horizons for New Economic Partnerships in the SCO
Joining Forces to Advance Development
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. The SCO is a fast-growing intergovernmental organization that is playing an increasingly important role in international affairs, having proven to be effective at facilitating collaboration across all areas, including politics, security, the economy, and humanitarian ties. The organization has now amassed significant practical experience, which not only enables it to respond to emerging challenges and threats in a timely and judicious way, but also to develop ambitious plans for the future. A number of priorities were put forward during the Russian Federation’s presidency of the SCO in 2019–2020. These included further consolidation in order to achieve sustained development within the organization, improving coordination efforts on foreign policy, and raising the international stature of the SCO. As the world continues to combat the spread of the coronavirus, it has become even more crucial to ensure biomedical security and identify collective solutions in order to address the socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic. Steps need to be taken to align decisions taken by individual member states in order to mitigate the negative impact on people and the wider economy. In this new environment, what needs to be done to facilitate inclusive economic development across all areas of collaboration, create new areas of growth, and make SCO nations more attractive to investors? What role will SCO nations play in addressing the impact of the pandemic, and in building a new economy for the post-COVID era? What should be done to improve coordination and efficiency, and to involve the business sector more closely in the 2021–2025 Action Plan for the 2025 Development Strategy?

IFC + ESG: Rethinking the Mission of Financial Institutions
Joining Forces to Advance Development
The financial and investment markets have undergone profound changes over the past decade. These have included a new regulatory landscape in the wake of the 2007–2008 crisis, rapid digitalization, the creation of a new class of green assets, the development of new investment models, and of course, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest global challenge – the transition to a low-carbon economy – has already been included in many governments’ post-pandemic green recovery strategies. The decarbonization agenda has placed completely new requirements on economic agents, be they investors or business operators. This is affecting how investment projects are structured, financial instruments are selected, and how the entire investment and production chain is monitored. And financial institutions, investment agencies, investment funds, and global corporations are not the only key players in these processes – civil society and non commercial actors are also strong advocates. As economic models are being rethought, how should investment mechanisms be adjusted, and how should institutions, financial instruments, and business models be transformed to align with sustainable development policies and the ESG agenda? What is the role of financial centres in this process, and how might they contend with the challenge of developing new practices and skills needed for a low-carbon economy? What steps should finance centres take to become efficient distributors of capital based on sustainable development principles at a national and global level?

Business in a Post-pandemic World: Responsible Investing in the Future
Joining Forces to Advance Development
2020 was a difficult period for business and the global economy as a whole. In the wake of the crisis, companies adopted integrated solutions to optimize existing business models. Now, businesses are looking at their investment strategies and social programmes within their regions, orienting themselves towards sustainable development goals and national development goals. How have companies’ business strategies in Russia and abroad changed in 2021? Why has the implementation of social programmes or projects become an important trend for Russian companies and the economy as a whole? How does the social responsibility of a business affect its reputation? How do non-financial indicators in terms of environmental, social and management factors influence the future of companies and expectations of investors? How can sustainable development goals and performance targets for national objectives be implemented into a company’s business strategy?

New Directions and Sources of Financing for the Green Agenda
Joining Forces to Advance Development
In partnership with En+ Group

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the entire world to rethink the concept of sustainable development, and most developed countries, particularly in the European Union, are basing economic recovery efforts on ESG principles with the objective of making the world a greener place. Under its Green Deal, the EU aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and the called-for transition to renewables will cause a decline in demand for Russian energy resources. Indeed, under the baseline scenario, the EU’s carbon tax is expected to negatively impact the Russian economy to the tune of more than EUR 33 billion between 2025 and 2030. And despite a number of successful initial green finance bond launches by Russian issuers, Russia is only just beginning to implement ESG approaches. By 2023, green technologies could grow to become a RUB 3-trillion industry in Russia. However, sustainability projects, let alone climate-protection projects, are costly, and presently only offer low returns. It is therefore essential for Russia to establish a green finance system. With a national taxonomy in place, it would be possible to verify projects and attract finance from Russian and foreign investors.

BRICS Economic Collaboration in the New Environment
Joining Forces to Advance Development
The BRICS nations faced unprecedented challenges in 2020. While the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis remains a priority, the time has now arrived to identify new solutions for development and closer economic cooperation within BRICS. In this year of resurgence, what will India’s presidency offer its partners, and how will its agenda align with the Sustainable Development Goals? What role will the BRICS nations play in the global economic recovery following the pandemic? What lessons can the BRICS business community draw from the pandemic? And as new global challenges emerge, what can be done to keep operations running and ensure sustainable development across all areas of trade and economic cooperation between the nations?

Stress Testing National Healthcare Systems
Joining Forces to Advance Development
The stress test caused by the pandemic of 2020 has highlighted the global challenge of addressing problems in national healthcare systems. When it came to dealing with crises, many healthcare systems were found to be lacking. People with acute and chronic conditions were forced to go without proper and timely treatment. Governments the world over now need to take stock of the situation in light of the events of the past year. It is vital to consolidate efforts to develop effective steps aimed at modernizing national healthcare systems. These should be based on principles of resilience, safety, and flexibility. And while it is important the ensure that the resources are in place to defeat COVID-19, healthcare systems must also be structured so that people have rapid and uninterrupted access to high-quality and full medical care. Today, international solidarity is key to improving humanity’s resilience to epidemics and other disasters. No one person can ever be completely safe, and not everyone is out of danger yet. What are the main features of an effective and resilient healthcare system today, and what might they be in the future? What initiatives set up during the pandemic warrant further development? How could a global information system informing the general public of potential risks be set up, and why is such a system necessary? What Russian crisis response models could be adapted and applied in other countries?

The Risks Posed by Sanctions to the Global Financial System and International Business
Joining Forces to Advance Development
Valdai Club International Discussion Session

The last two decades have seen a significant increase in the number of restrictive measures imposed on countries, economic sectors and corporations. The risk of sanctions has long since extended beyond ‘marginal’ and ‘shadow’ sectors of the economy, and today affects major multinational companies around the world, with banks and the financial sector at the most serious risk. Sanctions present a threat to both the financial infrastructure of the ‘target country’ and foreign banks. In recent years, major banks such as UniСredit, Standard Chartered and JPMorgan Chase have had to pay fines for violating sanctions regimes. Restrictions imposed in order to serve political ends may interfere with the normal functioning of the global financial system. The transformation of the dollar into a weapon carries the threat of unforeseen shocks. Restrictions on the financial sector are also associated with human rights issues, particularly a lack of access to financial services (underbanking) for large groups of citizens. The risk of sanctions is also growing in other sectors of the economy. China has been subject to landmark sanctions on a host of telecommunications and manufacturing companies. In India, attention is focused on US bans on the purchase of Iranian oil and deals outlining military-industrial cooperation with Russia. The European Union is looking seriously at the threat of extraterritorial sanctions by third countries. There is significant interest in discussing the issue among US-based companies, which are facing the risk of fines from their own government. The intensity and indiscriminate nature with which sanctions are deployed suggests that a targeted political tool is now becoming all-encompassing. In the context of eroding international norms, they also serve as a kind of regulator of relations between countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has had almost no effect on the intensity of sanctions. Restrictions are now being applied even more heavily in a number of areas. How are geopolitical issues related to the use of sanctions? What will be the consequence of transforming the dollar into a weapon and a site of political leverage? Why is the financial sector most vulnerable to sanctions? Should we expect a new escalation in sanctions against Russia? How can the risk of sanctions be managed at the level of business, the state and international organizations?

Energy Sector Transformations
Joining Forces to Advance Development
The rapid growth in energy consumption, together with increasingly pressing requirements to protect the environment are creating new development scenarios at a time of transformation for the global fuel and energy sector. Among the biggest trends to come to the fore are hydrogen, carbon capture, and digitalization. What can be done to raise the efficiency and environmental safety of traditional energy systems using new technology? What technological breakthroughs should we expect in the coming decade, and how might such innovations impact the energy mix?

The Transformation of Business to Spur Economic Growth
Joining Forces to Advance Development
Programmes designed to make major companies more efficient and productive could result in billions of dollars in increased profitability. This in turn could pave the way for more long-term investments, higher personal income, and greater tax revenues. Russia’s labour productivity has been steadily rising for several years now, and recently reached a record USD 29 per hour. However, this is still just half the average OECD figure, which currently stands at USD 56.6. As a result, many companies are having to rethink their approach to workplace management, decades-long work processes, corporate culture, and management practices. In order to increase productivity, a model needs to be in place that emphasizes the actual work process, as well as the role played by employees. Similarly, workers need to be governed less by a particular plan, and more by the actual process and ways of improving it. International experience has shown that business reforms of this kind primarily come about following a generational change in management. However, this natural process is now being accelerated by digitalization and increased global competition. What difficulties and opportunities are Russian businesses encountering in the process of transformation? What challenges does the future hold? And how can international experience and best practices be applied to overcome obstacles?

Investing in Infrastructure to Drive Economic Recovery
Joining Forces to Advance Development
In spite of the current global crises caused by the pandemic, most developed countries are looking at infrastructure projects as a way of kick-starting their economies. This is also the case in Russia, which is not only developing infrastructure to follow international trends, but to pursue its national goals and complete national projects. In order to provide a further impetus to infrastructure projects, the government is offering new forms of financial support, such as infrastructure loans to the regions. At the same time, there has clearly been an enormous emphasis on attracting private investment. The success of this endeavour depends greatly on what is being done by specific teams in the regions, and whether they are in a position to offer attractive projects to investors. International trends indicate that around half of all financing organizations have begun to look at investment projects not only in terms of likely return, but also in terms of quality. This may encompass how a project is structured, what social impact it may have, its approach to environmental factors, and the extent to which modern technologies are used in construction. Therefore, in order to secure long-term investments in infrastructure, it is becoming essential for project initiators, government bodies, and financing organizations to have a common approach to measuring the quality of a project. What requirements must a high-quality infrastructure project meet? What international practices could be adopted? What needs to be done to develop effective approaches to assessing projects, without creating additional barriers for initiators? What examples of best practices being employed in high-quality infrastructure projects exist in Russia?

Are Inflationary Trends in the Global Economy a Sign of Growth, a Result of Deglobalization, or an Indication of an Upcoming Crisis?
Joining Forces to Advance Development
In order to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have adopted a range of stimulus measures. In most cases, these essentially consisted of directly increasing the money supply, which has the potential to spur growth in inflation. Traditionally, a small rise in inflation has been associated with normal economic growth, and most economists link moderate increases in inflation to reductions in unemployment and rising national debt. This leaves governments facing a balancing act, and the results of their decisions are not easy to measure over the short term. If consumer confidence increases along with savings, the global economy may grow. In this instance, inflation is seen as a sign of a healthy economy. However, over the last several decades, in select economies major surges in inflation across the globe have been linked to a sharp reduction in investor confidence. Before the pandemic, a strongly globalized economy prevailed. However, the situation is now changing, particularly in Russia, with trade wars and sanctions all having an impact. As the world recovers in the wake of the pandemic, will a strong monetary policy help to maintain a balance and shore up stability, or will it hinder economic growth? What might be appropriate inflation growth targets over the medium term? How might rising inflation and salaries lead to increased automation, and to workers being replaced by robots, and will these factors contribute to a growth in unemployment? How might geopolitical factors have an impact on inflation within countries, and how should governments respond? In the current environment, does rising national debt carry with it additional risks? What might trigger hyperinflation in developed nations, and do such risks exist at a global level?

The Low-Carbon Economy and Climate Policy
Joining Forces to Advance Development
Today’s climate challenges are making countries around the world consider climate risks and institute new measures and objectives when planning their development strategies. Increasingly, nations are introducing regulations to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, and a wide range of measures are being taken, including voluntary carbon offsetting programmes, strict quotas, market-driven approaches, and taxation on emissions. Several countries have already stated their intention to achieve carbon neutrality in the coming decades. How might policymakers lay out a pathway that offers both economic growth and climate sustainability? How can energy generated from natural resources, together with low-carbon and renewable solutions, be employed to preserve the climate?

Responsible Finance as a Point of Synergy for Issuers and Investors when Tapping International Capital Markets
Joining Forces to Advance Development
In partnership with Gazprombank

The transformation of the global economy to a low-carbon model will require substantial funding, which has been estimated at USD 120 trillion. At the same time, another transition is under way, whereby ESG principles are forming a key component of investment projects. It is a model that is becoming increasingly interesting to investors and borrowers, and the ESG bond market is growing rapidly. The global market is already worth USD 1 trillion, making it bigger than the Russian debt and equity markets combined, and it has the potential to grow tenfold by 2025. International standards and a financial infrastructure have been put in place, and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) are set to be toughened in 2021–2022. This will lead to an increase in the proportion of assets being managed according to compulsory ESG principles from 50% to 90% (or USD 90 trillion). This will only serve to increase the flow of investment in responsible finance tools. As things stand, the Russian economy is not able to comply with strict green standards, and the country’s public institutions and businesses are therefore faced with the challenge of overhauling their strategies. If they do not do so, the risk of becoming less competitive and more restricted as a result of a range of consequences (such as the EU’s carbon tax) is very real. Moreover, the Russian market is limited in terms of potential finance. What needs to be done to prepare for and comply with the new reality, given that only a few players have full access to the tools provided by the international market?

The Path to Recovery for Food Production in a Post-COVID World
Joining Forces to Advance Development
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on food production across the world. Changes to supplies and a reduction in production and handling are contributing to food losses, reduced exports, and price volatility on the market. A surge in demand for food during the pandemic has meant that the risk of depleted supplies is now very real. In addition, the lack of resilient supply chains has caused social tension in many countries around the world. The affordability of healthy food is a problem which has come to the fore, and one which is particularly keenly felt by the most vulnerable in society. How are countries addressing these challenges? Could short-term measures help stabilize the situation? What are the world’s leading economists and analysts forecasting to happen? What measures would best facilitate economic recovery and market growth, not necessarily immediately, but as part of a strategic long-term outlook?

Occam’s Razor: Reviving Business in the Post-COVID Era
Joining Forces to Advance Development
In partnership with PwC

It is hard to argue with the principle, “entities should not be multiplied without necessity” when it comes to spurring economic recovery. A key issue for policymakers and business leaders is to identify what the priorities should be, and what hindrance to business growth can be eliminated. How might recovery measures offer an opportunity to adjust and rebalance the relationship between the public and private sectors, between business and society, between shareholders and stakeholders, and between company employees and management? What investments should be prioritized, and how might accelerating digital transformation offer solutions? And should innovation and creativity be viewed as the most important criteria for a successful business in the post-COVID era?

The Industrial Revolution in the Financial Sector: Tokenized Assets, Digital Financial Assets, and Digital Currencies for Central Banks
Joining Forces to Advance Development
In partnership with Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP)

The development of industry 4.0 involves the mass penetration of end-to-end technologies in all sectors of the economy. Manufacturing processes, the cost structure, monetization methods, and efficiency drivers are all changing. And states can no longer ignore the active development of global private currencies. Should the monetary and credit systems and payment infrastructure that have developed over decades be part of new business models? Will industrial companies be able to manage and access liquidity if banks do not develop new digital skillsets? Should capital-intensive industrial companies prioritize the tokenization of assets and rights as one of the key areas of the digitalization programme, thereby replacing traditional financial instruments? Will digital financial assets become more attractive as a means of tokenizing accounts receivable, guaranteeing metal supply or providing long-term motivation for employees? What is the position of regulators on private digital currency initiatives when it comes to transitioning to the digital economy? Will the idealized model of issuing roubles digitally remain unchanged? Do we need unified joined-up measures to prevent the spread of digital currencies? What is the model of threat and risk management in the world of digital currencies?

The Greater Eurasian Partnership in an Era of Technological Transformation
Joining Forces to Advance Development
The world is entering a new technological and economic paradigm, in which the biggest factors will be full digitalization, green growth, and the automation of management systems. The events of 2020 only served to highlight the importance of such a transition, and the considerable influence once held by the multinational financial giants is now shifting towards big tech. The ensuing battle for leadership in the digital sphere will involve a balance of cooperation and competition, which will in turn determine economic growth. This process will not only involve corporations, but governments too. For a region as vast and as diverse as Eurasia, the process will bring with it critical risks, but also excellent opportunities to work together. Leading Eurasian economies are responding by pushing forward a range of regional transformation initiatives in order to ensure a secure technological transition. Could these initiatives be combined in the interests of the entire continent? How might the EAEU’s vision of a Greater Eurasian Partnership develop in light of the new reality?

The Post-pandemic Consumer Market: What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger
Joining Forces to Advance Development
The pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the retail sector, with digitalization becoming the main driver of competitiveness, even in businesses which are not online yet. Although 2020 saw record growth in online sales, several offline сhains only strengthened their position. Consumers are becoming more responsible and rational when it comes to what they consume, as well as more ‘home-based’, while regulators are playing a greater role on the market in the wake of the pandemic. What has the pandemic taught retailers and retail brands? How is the technological, competitive and regulatory ecosystem changing? And what new trends will determine how the industry develops after the pandemic?

Challenges and Opportunities in the Next Round of Development in the Arctic
Joining Forces to Advance Development
The Arctic contains around 40% of the world’s reserves of rare-earth metals, 30% of its diamonds, 20% of its platinum, 20% of its aquatic bioresources, and 10% of its nickel and titanium. As well as being a rich source of natural resources, the global commercialization of the Arctic is being driven by climate change. Russia has drafted a set of strategic documents outlining the economic agenda for developing the Arctic over the coming decades. The Russian government is taking gradual and pragmatic steps to develop these further by adding tangible elements, such as new infrastructure and industrial projects. An unprecedented programme to construct a fleet of next-generation nuclear-powered icebreakers is under way. An incentive system for investors has also been developed, encompassing tax breaks, reduced red tape, and subsidies for building infrastructure. In addition, initiators of Arctic projects can take advantage of concessionary financing from a special government fund. What projects are already under way in the Arctic? What makes the Arctic an attractive region to investors, and what difficulties have entrepreneurs encountered? How effective is the government’s proposed support package, and what mechanisms under the Arctic Concession public-private partnership are helping to attract investment in infrastructure projects? What are the priority areas of international economic cooperation? And what needs to be done to protect the Arctic’s unique ecosystem?

E-Commerce in the EAEU by 2025
Joining Forces to Advance Development
One of the most striking effects of the pandemic has been the huge growth of e-commerce. However, figures for Russia are still comparatively low. The average number of online purchases made per person per year in China is now 30, in Japan it is 25, while in Russia it is a little over five. Given the potential for development, e-commerce is becoming a strategic sector in the EAEU, and it is vital to address a range of issues concerning regulation, infrastructure, and others if the sector is to realize its potential. What are the priorities for the EAEU’s e-commerce roadmap under its 2025 development strategy? What measures can be taken to solve the most pressing issues that e-commerce businesses are already facing today? And what can be done to shore up public support and ensure that new regulations do not inhibit user demand?

World Fairs and International Cooperation as a Driver of Sustainable Global Development
Joining Forces to Advance Development
How are traditional institutions of globalization adapting to a new era of ‘global uncertainty’? Will the very concept of international cooperation and participation in the exchange of next-generation technologies and competencies be transformed? Will global cities become the chief agents of the age of global uncertainty? What is the role of expos in securing sustainable global development over the next decade?

Maintaining a Single Digital Landscape in the Face of a Struggle for Digital Sovereignty
Joining Forces to Advance Development
Increasingly, Russian media outlets and private users are encountering censorship on major international online platforms (such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) and their accounts are blocked, along with access to materials. Late last year, the State Duma passed a law enabling countermeasures to be taken when Russian media resources are censored. These include blocking and slowing internet traffic, and issuing fines to transgressors. Remarkably, a great many countries under various systems have been affected by dictates imposed by the tech giants’ platforms, including those ideologically close to the US. How is this situation likely to develop, and could this result in Russia emulating China in building a “great firewall”? Do governments have the right to protect the flow of information in their countries in this way, and will this lead to the single information space becoming fragmented? Should the international community draft an international convention to regulate online companies? And will Russian companies be able to create genuine social media competitors to Google, Facebook or YouTube?

The Pros and Cons of Cultural Expansion
Joining Forces to Advance Development
A business trend of providing experiences is taking shape in the world today, and cultural tools and resulting soft power influences continue to play a key role in the promotion of national interests. This is unsurprising – these are the tools which help shape a country’s image, boost tourism, attract international students, and educate people. Naturally, they also have a bearing on international relations. Today, many governments are embarking on a policy of cultural expansion as an element of soft power. How is the projection and promotion of culture becoming a subject of heated competition? How might these trends serve as a means to bring people together, and what are the risks of creating further divisions?

The EAEU, Azerbaijan, India and Iran: Regional Cooperation in the Post-COVID Era
Joining Forces to Advance Development
In this era of change, tried-and-tested projects that bring countries together are particularly valuable. In the 8th–9th centuries, the Volga trade route connected Western Europe to modern-day Iran. Today, this route is needed more than ever, and with modern capabilities it could be extended to Indian ports. What potential exists for traditional Eurasian partners to cooperate on a North-South corridor, free trade, technology, and new digital platforms? What opportunities would political settlement in Transcaucasia offer? What potential exists to link national technology development programmes in EAEU member states, Azerbaijan, India, and Iran?

The Pandemic as a Catalyst for Sustainable Development through the Incorporation of ESG Principles
Joining Forces to Advance Development
In partnership with PhosAgro

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to the entire planet, and has required governments and business to come together to comprehensively respond. The pandemic has also raised people’s awareness of the importance of environmental management and the need for better social and corporate governance in business. Today, more than USD 30 trillion in investment is being managed by funds guided by ESG principles, and global investors have come to realize that ESG principles offer a reliable indicator as to whether a company will be able to achieve sustainable growth while offering attractive returns. Many analysts forecast that within a few years companies which choose not to focus on sustainable development and CSR will be unable to raise capital. Even today, good ESG compliance is boosting the ability of Russian companies to leverage their assets by, for example, raising low-interest debt capital for adhering to environmental protection rules. What approaches are Russian companies adopting to implement ESG principles while pursuing business strategies, and how might this lead to greater innovation? What regulatory policies and management methods are enabling companies in Russia to employ green principles so as to increase productivity and competitiveness and more closely align with sustainable development concepts? Which industries have already moved to incorporate the ESG agenda, and are there sectors that are less compatible with ESG principles?

Russia-EU Relations: Responding to the Challenges of Time
Joining Forces to Advance Development
Sustainable development goals set standard and universal baseline both for government and business. Technologies and innovations developed and implemented by Russian and European companies directly facilitate reaching of such goals as “good health and well-being”, “affordable and clean energy”, “industry, innovation, and infrastructure” and contribute to many others. At the same time more and more companies set ambitious individual goals in ESG agenda, e.g. decrease carbon emission. In such spheres as wind energy Russian and European business already have strong background of cooperation, others like digital health, green transport and hydrogen create opportunities for the nearest future. How technologies of the fourth industrial revolution could contribute to the SDG? Which fields of industrial, scientific, and technological cooperation between Russia and Europe would be most beneficial for both parties? Could business serve as an example of best practices in sustainable development for public and civil society institutions? How to get access to green finance?

Promoting Gender Parity in Corporate Management as a Means to Advance Sustainable Development and Increase Profitability
Joining Forces to Advance Development
2020 saw all-male boards disappear from the FTSE 350 for the first time ever. The crisis and pandemic have resulted in the introduction of increasingly strict equality and sustainable development requirements. For businesses to adapt to these new norms, they need to apply innovative approaches and adopt new ways of thinking and methods to running operations. Diverse management teams are becoming an essential component of successful businesses, and the practice of gender parity on corporate boards is gaining legitimacy the world over. According to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, 31.9% of business owners in Russia are women – the 6th highest figure in the world. That said, this achievement is still not always apparent in all sectors, and work remains to be done. How effective are legislative measures aimed at promoting gender parity? Do businesses with more women in senior management display better results? What role should competitive processes and associations play in addressing gender parity in company management?

Russia–Qatar: Preparing for the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship and Safeguarding Their Legacy
Joining Forces to Advance Development
In 2018, Russia held the greatest ever World Cup, leaving a colossal legacy in terms of physical infrastructure and symbolic importance. Looking ahead, Russia is set to host a new football mega tournament: the UEFA Euro 2020. In organizing this event, the country can apply best practice from the FIFA World Cup: hosting at the St. Petersburg stadium, enlisting the help of the Organizing Committee and drawing on the knowledge acquired during the world championship. Russia now has a wealth of experience in acquiring and implementing best practice in this area, which may prove useful for Qatar as it prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. How can you run an international tournament while taking into account COVID-19 restrictions? How can you ensure safety without inconveniencing residents and foreign guests? How can you manage passionate fans and create a lively atmosphere? How can you extend the life of sports facilities after competitions and ensure they are both operational and profitable? Could Qatar benefit from Russia’s expertise?

The Intellectual Property Ecosystem in the Making
Joining Forces to Advance Development
Companies’ intangible assets are important drivers of innovation in the knowledge economy, and intellectual property is helping to spur socioeconomic development and attract investment. In this new paradigm, a carefully considered rights management strategy is becoming a key element in business. Without proper patent analysis, it is impossible to develop an effective marketing policy. The development of the intellectual property ecosystem is now an issue facing Russia and the entire globe. It encompasses creating the foundations for a market system supporting IP, as well as ways to commercialize intellectual property in order to implement innovative solutions that impact the economy. How can patenting and the application of key technical solutions be encouraged? What can be done to ensure that intellectual property owners benefit from the use of their creations? How can motivation be maintained, and what measures should be taken to protect the rights of creators, researchers, and businesses, and ensure that they are fairly compensated? What economic tools need to be employed to develop a new intellectual property ecosystem, and what opportunities exist to foster a culture of respecting intellectual rights and developing management expertise in this respect? What organizations could act as drivers of growth, and what role should the government play?

Private Equity as the Secret Sauce in the Recipe for Russia’s Economic Growth
Joining Forces to Advance Development
The experience of major developed and developing markets has shown that private equity is a key factor in the effective circulation of capital in the economy. Private equity investments fuel the M&A (mergers and acquisitions) market and offer exit strategies for venture projects, thereby stimulating the emergence of new and innovative development more generally. It is the portfolio companies of private equity funds that provide a constant influx of new IPOs (initial public offerings), helping to develop the stock market and ensure the reinvestment of funds back into the economy. Thanks to its low base, Russia offers huge potential when it comes to developing international private equity investments and, given favourable conditions, could see exponential growth and reach levels last seen in 2013. In recent years, most projects have been backed by Russian or foreign sovereign wealth funds, and the role of international institutional investors has declined, while activity among large-scale private capital based in Russia is growing. What balance of different investor types could provide sustainable development for the sector? What regulatory changes should be made in this and related markets in order to ensure sustainable growth? Which economic sectors could drive this breakthrough more than others?

Challenges and Opportunities for the Global Power Sector in a New Era
Joining Forces to Advance Development
In partnership with Rosseti

The global power sector is undergoing re-examination as efforts are under way to identify how to maintain competitiveness, flexibility, and reliability, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. As the economy contracted, so all forms of energy consumption declined across the globe. However, this unforeseen set of circumstances has not only given rise to major risks for the power sector, but also new opportunities. Renewable energy, particularly distributed generation, was one of the few sectors to have grown in 2020, and this trend was also evident in Russia. In 2020 – one hundred years on from the Soviet Union’s electrification plan – the Russian power sector undertook to identify new development strategies. Generation using renewable energy sources grew, decentralization continued, new management technologies were employed, and new market players emerged. Does this indicate a long-term trend, or a temporary phenomenon? Are the Russian and global power sectors ready for an overhaul? What role should the government play in these processes?

How to Prepare for the Next Pandemic?
Joining Forces to Advance Development
New pandemics are inevitable. The cost of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been estimated at USD 12 trillion. Had this figure been applied to preventative measures, it would have been enough for the international community to adequately prepare to deal with the threat of infectious diseases for the next 300 years. In drawing conclusions from the pandemic, it has become clear that the global community must develop better approaches to circumvent future pandemic-related shocks and ensure sustainable development. Advances in genetic technology, digital transformation, and modern communications must be fully employed in order to implement a preparedness strategy. Russia has made pandemic preparedness a cornerstone of its 2030 socioeconomic development strategy, drawing upon its experience in tackling COVID-19 and expertise in public health and epidemiology. What biological threats will humanity face in the coming years? What needs to be done to ensure effective responses to new pandemics at the national, regional, and global levels? How should the international framework for responding to epidemics be changed? What scientific breakthroughs in diagnosing and preventing diseases will make it easier to identify and fight infections? What should be done to ensure trust in information as a means to protect public health during a pandemic? What roles should the government, public, and business sector play in the fight against future epidemics?

Advancing Cross-Border Trade through Export Support
Joining Forces to Advance Development
In partnership with the Russian Export Center

Transactions using the euro/dollar are becoming increasingly risky. Sanctions, market volatility in the wake of the pandemic, and other unforeseen events are impacting global financial markets. It has become essential to move to a multi-currency settlement system in order to protect one’s own interests on international markets. What might be the consequences for international trade if changes to settlement transactions are not implemented over the near or medium term? What is the prognosis for Russia's exporters in terms of multi-currency developments?

Western Asia and North Africa: Steps Towards Stability and Prosperity
Joining Forces to Advance Development
After more than a decade of political chaos and uncertainty, Western Asia and North Africa are hoping to enter a period of long-awaited stability and prosperity. This objective can only be achieved through cooperation between actors both within and outside of the region. Both Russia and Qatar are key players in Western Asia and North Africa. On the one hand, Russia’s growing role in the region makes it an important player with political sway. On the other hand, Qatar has a long and successful history of mediating and peacekeeping. This session will facilitate a discussion of Russia and Qatar’s foreign policy, providing attendees with the chance to hear directly from ministers of foreign affairs who will give their assessment of the problems and opportunities facing the region.

Russia–Germany Relations after the Pandemic: Together or Apart?
Joining Forces to Advance Development
During the pandemic, the world has changed radically, with new challenges and problems appearing – from global digital trends to a renewed understanding of ethics in an era of massive global transformations, including in bilateral relations. Germany and Russia share a close historical and genetic link. In spite of the destructive complexities in bilateral dialogue, it’s important that both sides aren’t drawn into a ‘game of mutual recriminations’, which is harmful to fruitful dialogue and cooperation. Do Germany and Russia still share common ground? Will the pandemic provide an unprecedented opportunity to find new pathways for cooperation? How will relations between Russia and Germany change in the ‘fight for global vaccines’? Will the renewed global political infrastructure adjust Russia and Germany’s bilateral agenda? How will bilateral dialogue between the two countries change in light of the EU’s policy of renewed multilateralism headed by Germany? What new prospects for successful partnerships can the ‘green economies’ of Germany and the EU open up, and what new opportunities might emerge through the Energomash partnership?

The Effectiveness of Intergovernmental Regulation in Transforming Global Trade
Joining Forces to Advance Development
While global trade has declined significantly during the crisis, there are signs that a recovery is building speed. A number of trends are clearly evident in the current phase of global economic growth, including the digitalization of infrastructure, manufacturing and other industries supporting foreign trade. By late 2020, a number of restrictions and prohibitions began to be lifted. In addition, government regulatory mechanisms were improved through the creation of global integrated information systems and the transformation of regional integration models, fuelling a possible stable recovery in trade. What cutting-edge information and communication technologies are helping to facilitate barrier-free trade? How might these trends impact potential integration in the EAEU, and the prospects for creating a single information space? What role should the business sector play in the digitalization of end-to-end trade processes? What benefits, risks and problems are associated with digitalization, both for the public and private sectors? What should be done to ensure that information is effectively shared between government bodies, industries, and national governments? What initiatives need to be put in place to ensure successful development?

Reset or Overload? Rethinking Multilateralism among the Ruins of Globalization: A Business Perspective
Joining Forces to Advance Development
In partnership with VTB Bank

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fragility of the world order that has prevailed for the past 30 years. Contrary to expectations, it demonstrated that under the current model of global governance, differences that have accumulated over the years between various nations are becoming increasingly hard to overcome, even in times of global crisis. Today, business and politics are closely intertwined, and political decisions have by their very nature had a major bearing on the business sector. The business community is keen to see clear and effective measures put in place to facilitate multilateral agreements on key policies, including the climate, digitalization, and sustainable development. Can the current model of global governance be adapted to meet today’s challenges? What are the main fault lines disrupting the multilateral approach to addressing current issues, and why is an effective system for taking globally important decisions vital for the business sector? What is the risk of global governance systems fragmenting in the future? What decisions by multilateral international institutions aimed at spurring economic recovery should the business sector expect to be enacted following the period of lockdown? What support can the business sector offer to make multilateral cooperation more effective, and what is the business sector’s perspective on how a new, more effective global governance system might evolve?

Fighting Infections and New Pandemic Risks
Joining Forces to Advance Development
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only necessitated the rapid search for effective and safe vaccines against the coronavirus, it has also launched a trend of creating next-generation vaccines with the prospect of using vaccine platforms in other areas of medicine, bringing the issue of infectious diseases back to the forefront. Having seen the SARS-CoV-2 virus at work and its disastrous effect on human health, scientists are now predicting future infectious catastrophes. The unprecedented challenge to the global community caused by the pandemic capably demonstrates the importance of vaccination as the most effective method of preventing future catastrophes. New infections are a major threat to humankind and we must learn to counter them. The last year has consolidated the global scientific search for effective infection prevention tools capable of averting the negative effect of infections on global socioeconomic life and human health. Can modern science predict the specifics of future infections to quickly react to new challenges? How well do modern COVID-19 vaccines protect the public from the coronavirus currently and in the future? How soon will the global population be vaccinated and what international cooperation solutions can be used to accelerate this process? Is it possible to gain control over coronavirus infections in perpetuity? How effective is the new Strategy for the Development of Immunoprophylaxis in Russia as a response to the goals of improving government policy in this sector, stimulating scientific development and clinical research, and increasing Russian public trust in and awareness of the positive effects of vaccination?

The Character of a City Defined by Urban Habits
Joining Forces to Advance Development
In partnership with DOM.RF

Urbanization and suburban development are both on the rise, as is the demand for higher living standards in cities. These factors, together with black swans such as the international economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic have all had a substantial impact on the life of cities today. The emphasis has shifted to building local multifunctional urban centres, increasing travel options and convenience, and creating green recreational spaces and water systems. Competition among global cities for human capital is also driving change. What principles and approaches to urban development should be cast aside, and which new ones should be adopted as a necessity? What are leading urban development projects based upon, and what principles are urban project initiators, experts, and developers guided by? How are cities responding to unpredictable events of global magnitude?

The Progress and Challenges of Integration within the EAEU and the New Development Paradigm
Joining Forces to Advance Development
The consequences of the pandemic and the stress that this has brought to the global economic environment have posed a major challenge to the workings of intergovernmental organizations, and have created a potential barrier to increased integration. The approval of a document entitled Strategic Directions for Developing Eurasian Economic Integration until 2025 by EAEU heads of state has therefore been an important and timely development. The strategy outlines the logic underlying the development of the union, and methods to achieve the goals set out in the EAEU Treaty. It also aims to expand collaborative efforts to achieve integration, sets out new areas of focus, and specifies priorities for development over the medium term. Thus, the events of 2020 have essentially acted as a catalyst for Eurasian integration, and have provided an opportunity to identify strengths and weaknesses, review successful initiatives, and take proactive steps. International interest in the EAEU among other countries, intergovernmental organizations, and the business community is clearly growing. However, the international situation continues to shift, which in turn requires a pragmatic response. In order for the Eurasian Economic Union to continue to develop across all areas, a careful balance must be struck between traditional and new areas of cooperation on issues related to integration. This session will examine the outcomes of the Eurasian project over the six years since the union was established. What has been achieved, and what remains to be done? The aims of the 2025 Strategy to attain greater and better integration will also come under focus. Which areas will see greater convergence? What benefits will people living in the EAEU receive from the additional boost to entrepreneurship? What institutional reforms are needed to secure a breakthrough? What will be the key industries to focus on over the coming five years?

Qualitative Growth: The Expansion of Agglomerations in Response to Global Challenges
Joining Forces to Advance Development
Agglomerations have expanded greatly as a result of the pandemic. Eighty per cent of Russians have expressed satisfaction with working remotely, and do not wish to go back to how things were before. One of the consequences of this is that people are basing themselves increasingly further from urban centres. Whereas in the recent past it was necessary to live within 1.5–2 hours of the office, it is now possible to live much further away and only travel into the city a few times a week. At the same time, people are still able to take full advantage of the city’s social infrastructure. Over the past few years, the populations of large agglomerations surrounding various cities have come to exceed those of the cities themselves by several orders of magnitude. The pandemic has driven a process whereby agglomerations are increasingly being built, and economic resources are being concentrated in areas outside the city limits. At the same time, large cities possess substantial resources, enabling them to facilitate development and respond to crises. Indeed, major global centres have enacted their own plans to support residents and local businesses during the pandemic. These have played a key role in restoring consumer activity and kick-starting economic recovery. Major cities around the world have begun to unlock the potential of their surrounding areas. The Greater Paris Project and Tokyo agglomeration are two such examples. In Moscow, a whole set of programmes have been launched to these ends. The systemic redevelopment of former industrial zones is another factor behind the recent growth of agglomerations. Due to increased efficiency and better technology, many industries no longer need large facilities. This has freed up huge spaces with good transport links for redevelopment. Indeed, 1,900 hectares are set to be redeveloped in Moscow under the city’s Industrial Quarters programme. This RUB 7 trillion investment project will also create more than half a million jobs. Given these trends, should urban development models undergo a systemic overhaul? What changes should be made to economic development policy to adapt to these new conditions? And how can agglomerations help boost national development as a whole?

Lessons Learned during the Pandemic – Stories of Business Successes and Failures
Joining Forces to Advance Development
A reluctance to admit one’s mistakes, either to oneself, or to others, can greatly hinder personal development, and experience does not merely imply living through an event. Indeed, it is vital to also reflect upon experiences in order to develop. The past year provided more opportunities than any other in recent history to acquire new experience, be it personal, professional, or social. The conclusions drawn would be enough to fill multiple textbooks covering all areas of life. What impact has this difficult period had on people? What managerial challenges have been faced, and what practices have proven to be effective? Have people’s attitudes towards success and failure changed in any way? What are the main lessons that can be drawn from the events of 2020, and how can this experience be applied in the future?

The Frontiers of Humanity as Defined by Science and Life
Joining Forces to Advance Development
Humanity underwent a profound evolution in self-awareness in the 20th century. Enormous leaps forward were made in science and technology, rapid development affected virtually all areas of life, and the global population surged. The explosion of the information age and a succession of crises also left their mark. Indeed, the most recent crisis has made us look at what appeared to be inviolable values in a new light. It has not only served to spur economic and technological advances, but also given rise to a range of destructive phenomena. These include the closing of borders, isolationism, and information wars. There is a line of thought that epidemics are nature’s way of controlling the spread of various species. If a population displays excessive growth, it, as a rule, becomes affected by a pathogen, and the population of the species in question returns to equilibrium. Nature therefore maintains the balance of the biosphere, and prevents an ecological catastrophe. At the same time, people believe in the potential of science to solve if not all, then a great many problems facing humanity. Indeed, scientific advancements can help greatly improve quality of life. Any sustainable development model that meets the needs of the current generation without adversely affecting the next generation envisages a major role played by science. Are there any limits to growth, including in extending life expectancy? Might we reach the boundaries of possibility in the near future? To what degree are concepts such as growth and development compatible with concerns surrounding the environment, the economy, and society? And what influence do external factors exert? Can we peacefully coexist with nature, and reduce the burden we place on it?

Time to Blur the Ocean’s Borders: The Potential for International Integration Projects
Joining Forces to Advance Development
The recent disruption to maritime routes underscored just how much global trade depends on uninterrupted shipping operations. Indeed, it will be crucial for major logistics projects such as the Northern Sea Route and International North–South Transport Corridor. Leading maritime nations are taking steps to develop offshore projects and build trade fleets and tankers. In order to effectively capitalize on the world ocean’s resources, it will be essential to make a number of breakthroughs in development technologies, ship construction, and equipment manufacturing. More than 80% of global trade by volume is carried by sea, including a third of the world’s extracted hydrocarbons, and almost 20% of the total volume of consumed bioresources. In the coming years, thousands of cutting-edge nuclear-powered vessels will be transporting freight and people both reliably and economically. The total area of aquaculture sites could exceed that of farmland, and serve as a universal source of food and bio-feedstock. However, microplastic pollution is a major issue. Ultimately, the oceans have a major bearing on the climate, and in order to protect it, sustainable development is essential. Will people live in the ocean, and how will a future “water world” look? What engineering and environmental solutions are Russian shipbuilders prepared to offer in order to capitalize on resources and develop maritime transport corridors? How would these solutions employ nuclear power, LNG, renewable energy sources, zero-emission systems, and modular approaches to construction and production platforms? What are the prospects for maritime trade growth and global shipbuilding? How might maritime technologies be employed to build infrastructure, including in regions that are hard to access, such as the Arctic? Are international collaboration projects on protecting oceans feasible, and what specific innovations are already being applied?

The Balancing Act between Competition and Collaboration among Companies Entering Business Ecosystems
Joining Forces to Advance Development
Nowadays the global economy has come to be defined by the explosive growth in platforms and ecosystems. Aside from transforming business as usual for large companies they are generating completely new patterns of consumer behaviour, establishing a huge array of opportunities to develop small businesses, transforming the labour market, and giving fresh impetus to financial activity in the global economy. In an attempt to compete for the attention of the new generation of consumers, companies are offering them more and more services at a single point of entry, creating closed and open types of ecosystem. This is leading to the emergence of ecosystem competitors, who are attempting to form a cult of consumerism around their products. At the same time, the rapid development of technologies (namely digital technologies) presents an opportunity to discuss the potential for integrating different business ecosystems. Is there an opportunity to establish a single value proposition from industry as a whole and not just from a specific company? What should the new regulations in Russia look like so as to preserve the balance between market factors while minimizing the negative consequences of the centralization of services and supporting their positive contribution to economic development? What role should the state occupy on the platform solutions market?

An Economy of Possibilities: New Rules for Regional Development
Joining Forces to Advance Development
Throughout the world, national economies, major cities, and corporations faced the same challenge once the pandemic hit – to immediately adapt to the crisis and support people and businesses. One year on however, the situation is far from homogeneous. In some regions, lockdown measures are still in place, while some cities are returning to economic growth. And while the real sector of the economy suffered, the online giants enjoyed a surge in profitability. Those enjoying faster recovery are now investing in development projects, which is in turn providing a boost to the business sector and consumer demand. This is in part due to measures put in place to support infrastructure projects and create jobs in the innovation sector. Will the pandemic and recovery response strategies lead to a reshuffle in global economic rankings? Will deeper digitalization lead to more integrated public and private sectors, and will this result in a boost to economic efficiency? Should economic recovery and government stimulus measures focus on people or the business sector? In this period of economic turbulence, what should be the criteria of an effective model for working with and supporting the business community that has suffered due to the crisis?

Who Will Pay for Today’s Environmental Challenges?
Joining Forces to Advance Development
Inequalities between states at the level of the economy, demographics and the social sphere also reflect attitudes towards solving environmental issues. It is becoming increasingly obvious and indisputable, however, that ignoring environmental problems carries too great a cost to all humanity. The urgency of the environmental agenda is growing worldwide, as is social pressure on the state as well as government pressure on business. What price will humanity pay for ignoring or postponing the solution to this problem? How much will achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 cost the global economy? What investments are needed in order to combat global climate change and what benefits can be achieved? How can a green state budget and government stimulus help to solve environmental problems? What will the labour market of the future look like in the wake of a green transition? How can universities help to achieve sustainable development goals through the creation of a responsible generation? How can volunteer programmes contribute to the fight against global climate change? Will business get on board with the sustainable development goals?

Digital Business and New “Lifeforms” Post-COVID-19
Joining Forces to Advance Development
For the past year businesses have been operating under new restrictions and requirements imposed to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The commercial sector is adapting to the new normal by transitioning to remote working. The government has not only taken steps to support small and medium sized enterprises, but has also worked to develop a digital business ecosystem to address the challenges of our times, including a new corporate relations system. How is the digital ecosystem making it easier and safer to do business? Is remote working already the standard option? What services enabling contracts to be signed and implemented remotely might be offered in the future? How should this new economy be taxed, and what social protection is available to self-employed people working remotely? How can self-employed people compete for government contracts? What skills and new knowledge do businesses need in order to compete? Could an infrastructure offering affordable turnkey IT services for remote working be put in place, and if so, how would it look? How has the coronavirus changed corporate regulation, including with regard to new terms concerning bankruptcy?

Sustainable Development of the Northern Territories and Indigenous Communities
Joining Forces to Advance Development
The Russian Federation chairs the Arctic Council for the next two years. One of the focal points of international cooperation is advancing joint projects to ensure the sustainable development of the Arctic and preserve the cultural heritage of indigenous minorities. Keeping up life support systems and effectively catering to the interests of the local population when implementing solutions to global socioeconomic issues depends on the government’s role as regulator and businesses’ social responsibility. How do the government and businesses interact with indigenous communities? How can we balance the interests of industrial development and preserve traditional natural resource use? What are the sustainable development priorities of indigenous communities and what role do they play in decision-making?

Transforming the Far East from a Resource Economy to a Value-Added Industrial Base
Delivering on National Development Targets
In 2015, an incentive system was put in place for investors in industry and infrastructure in the Russian Far East. Over time, this unparalleled initiative has proven to be highly effective. To date, more than 2,600 investors have taken advantage of various support measures. More than RUB 5.4 trillion in investment has been raised, and GRP growth in the Far East is outstripping national figures. While manufacturing across Russia as a whole grew by 12.2% between 2015 and 2020, in the Far Eastern Federal District it grew by 23.1%. And between 2018 and 2020, per-capita investment in fixed capital in the Far Eastern Federal District exceeded the national average by 40%. Four regions in the Far Eastern Federal District were also included in the Agency for Strategic Initiatives’ investment climate top-30 list. Currently, the economy of the Russian Far East is heavily centred around the primary sector. As well as impacting efficiency, this situation makes companies in the Far East more vulnerable, both on the domestic and international markets. How can industry be reshaped in the Far East? What steps need to be taken in order to enact qualitative structural reforms while preserving growth? What can be done to remove infrastructure-related barriers in the region, and open up the international market to Russian companies? Where will funding for a new technological leap come from?

The Russian Economy: From the Anti-Crisis Agenda to Sustainable Development
Delivering on National Development Targets
The pandemic has completely reshaped the world and how people live. Remote working, reduced material consumption, limited mobility, and social distancing are all features of the new reality. Many processes and habits that were expected to take several years to emerge did so in just a few months. The pandemic has given rise to a wave of transformation and structural change, and the economy needs to adapt to these new conditions as rapidly as possible. What are the primary changes brought about by the pandemic, and what norms, behaviours and rules will reshape the economy in the near future? What can be done to adapt to the new normal quickly and accelerate recovery? How might Russia capitalize on new growth opportunities that may emerge in the post-crisis environment?

Open Government 2.0: What is the Right Policy Prescription for Russia?
Delivering on National Development Targets
In 2013, a government openness concept was adopted in Russia for the first time. This paved the way for a number of developments within various government bodies. As a system, the Russian state has come a long way since then, both in terms of digital governance and citizen involvement. There has also been a greater emphasis on customer service. And Russian society as a whole has come just as far in terms of acquiring skills and taking advantage of digital tools. Today, an entire community has formed around the concept of openness, made up of representatives of government bodies, experts, and users of open data (including members of non-profit organizations). Thanks to the efforts of this community, a new approach to the policy of openness has begun to take shape. And while the 2013 concept was the work of the government, today’s work on a new, updated concept is a matter of interest for the entire community. Why is open government important to Russia and its people? How can openness be employed (and by whom) for the benefit of society? What should be the subject of focus when implementing a policy of openness to ensure that any developments are not merely superficial?

Russia as a Potential Global Leader in Agriculture
Delivering on National Development Targets
In partnership with Cherkizovo Group

The prolonged fall in energy prices has led to an acceleration of economic diversification, with agriculture receiving much attention. Given its favourable geography, vast land resources, and various climatic regions, Russia offers excellent potential for crop and livestock cultivation, and the agricultural sector could become a major driver of the nation’s economy. Furthermore, efforts to replace imports over the past 20 years have meant that Russia is now able to guarantee its food security. In doing so, issues such as genetic engineering and selection have essentially fallen by the wayside. Agricultural companies have benefitted from the timely introduction of support, and this has established a successful track record of results, boosting company growth and agricultural development. People are also no longer migrating from agricultural areas to large cities in the same numbers. However, the market is now reaching a point where it is becoming saturated with high quality as well as low-cost products. At the same time, despite the wide range of measures taken by the government, prices for food are surging, and this is clearly a cause of concern for both the government and the public. What support measures for consumers should be developed in order to increase demand for domestic food products?

Transport as the Backbone of the Economy
Delivering on National Development Targets
The most important task currently facing government is the systematic construction of an infrastructure backbone that can facilitate resource flows to support economic development. This encompasses the implementation of national programmes aimed at creating and developing international transport corridors, forming the basis of successful global economic integration and allowing the state to effectively carry out its transportation functions. Another important task is the construction of a domestic road network. The creation of a new transport backbone will be a key objective of the ‘Safe and High-Quality Roads’, ‘Developing the National Road Network’ and ‘Modernizing Passenger Transport in Urban Agglomerations’ national projects.

Topics for discussion:
New transport corridors as a tool of global trade
The country’s road network
The role of transport infrastructure in business development
The transport backbone as a factor in the development of the territories

Is the New Normal a Temporary or Permanent Phenomenon?
Delivering on National Development Targets
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of people taking responsibility for both their own and others’ health and prosperity. The experience of living and working under this new health crisis has helped people look at health protection issues in a new light. What would have been considered inconvenient and strange just 18 months ago (restrictions, masks, social distancing, regular testing) has now become normal. People and organizations have adapted and restructured their processes and habits in order to minimize damage to social ties and economic relations, while at the same time prioritizing health. During the pandemic, the government has endeavoured to do more than help businesses via fiscal policies and support measures – it has also rapidly developed and implemented epidemiological safety measures in various sectors of the economy and society. As a result, Russia has been able to avoid imposing a second lockdown, infection rates at major companies (including core enterprises) have remained low, and educational and cultural institutions are being reopened without risk to the public. But is this a temporary or permanent phenomenon? What measures taken to counter the pandemic need to remain in place as part of the new normal? What should be done to protect workers, customers, and consumers without hindering work processes, and what vigilance measures should be maintained? What new forms of work and education now exist following the pandemic, and what are their advantages and shortcomings? How will epidemics reshape business processes in the future?

An Economy of Unlimited Resources
Delivering on National Development Targets
In partnership with Rostec State Corporation

Around 70 million tonnes of household waste are produced in Russia every year, and this figure is only continuing to grow. Today, only 7% of household waste is sorted and recycled, with the remaining 93% going to landfills, often without any preliminary sorting. As well as damaging the environment and people’s health, the prevailing practice of disposing household waste at landfill sites also represents a waste of resources which could have otherwise been reused. It is therefore imperative to increase processing and recycling of household waste as much as possible in the interests of sustainable development. The creation of a comprehensive waste processing system in Russia could lead to landfill sites becoming a thing of the past, as they are already in several developed countries. How can the principle of ‘zero waste to landfills’ be made into a reality and what is its role in the introduction of the zero waste concept as part of Russia’s wider transition to a circular economy? How many factories specializing in energy recovery from municipal solid waste should Russia build in order to solve the problem of landfill sites and dumping grounds in major cities?

Risks and Opportunities in a New Era for Stock Markets
Delivering on National Development Targets
In partnership with Moscow Exchange

Private investment in shares is currently booming worldwide. Hundreds of millions of new investors are preferring to use convenient mobile apps to trade themselves, rather than entrust their savings to professional managers. With low interest rates and an influx of helicopter money, stock market indexes are setting new records. Today, a company’s capitalization is determined by social media and forum posts, rather than fundamental analyses. Twelve million people in Russia have brokerage accounts, and the private investor has become a new force on the Russian capital market. Major issuers now have the responsibility of dealing with hundreds of thousands of minority shareholders, and there is a growing need to build and expand communication channels. Why are people turning to the stock market, and which issuing companies are most benefitting as a result? What could the government do to encourage Russian companies to float on the Russian stock market? Should the growing numbers of Russian individuals investing in foreign companies be viewed as capital flight, or a prudent diversification strategy? What needs to be done to create a stable class of private investors and a well-developed domestic capital market?

Youth Entrepreneurship
Delivering on National Development Targets
Today, a key factor in a country's economic development is entrepreneurship. Youth businesses play a leading role in addressing socio-economic problems, such as the creation of new jobs, reducing unemployment, and preparing skilled workers. Despite its importance, entrepreneurship is not a popular sector for young people in Russia, since the younger generation lacks information and motivation. Is there a culture of youth entrepreneurship in Russia? How can a youth entrepreneurship culture be created/developed? Do major businesses need young entrepreneurs? What barriers are entrepreneurs encountering? Should the tax burden on micro-businesses be removed?

Economic Policy 2.0: Ensuring Growth in Every Household
Delivering on National Development Targets
Over the past decade, Russia’s economic growth has lagged behind the global average. Political events have certainly hampered growth in the country, but structural imbalances in the economy, namely the underdevelopment of the non-oil and gas sector amid volatile commodity markets, remain a key factor. The emergence of pockets of efficiency has not been able to reverse the overall trend towards economic stagnation. Emerging from the pandemic and rebooting the global economy makes upgrading the development model an economic necessity. This can be achieved through a review of monetary and fiscal policy along with new tools to support business, which began during the pandemic and should be continued. What solutions are required in taxation, tariffs, finance and macroeconomic policy in order to bring economic growth to every home in Russia, and can high-quality development be achieved at the regional and municipal levels?

The Future of Russia’s Tax System: Stepping Up to the Challenge
Delivering on National Development Targets
The new business environment has set the stage for changes in the tax system. New, convenient services and options are making tax administration easier. These changes have primarily affected small and medium-sized enterprises. Last year it became compulsory for businesses to do their accounting electronically. In addition, new rules concerning the use of cash registers have led to the withdrawal of uniform tax on imputed income, and have encouraged companies to become fully legitimate. However, the introduction of labelling rules is making it impossible to apply certain special tax regimes, which is increasing the tax burden on businesses. What tax policy is needed to spur business growth? How might digitalization change relations between businesses and government bodies? What can be done to ensure effective administration without suffocating businesses?

Creating a Circular Economy in Russia: How Will the Environmental Agenda Impact Production and Consumption?
Delivering on National Development Targets
In partnership with Russian Environmental Operator Public Law Company

Mankind’s impact on the environment is a key global issue today. The World Bank has estimated that by 2050, the amount of human waste produced will be double that of today. Russia has set a number of ambitious targets to tackle this issue. By 2030, all waste must be sent for sorting, and ground disposal of household waste must be cut in half. In order to meet the objectives set by the President, a new sector will have to be built, and a transition to a circular economy must be enacted. What needs to be done to achieve this?

The Investment Attractiveness and Export Potential of Strategically Important Industries
Delivering on National Development Targets
The Covid-19 pandemic has not just affected Russia but has left every country in dire straits. And if global market competitiveness was strained before the crisis, it has become increasingly fraught with difficulties. That’s why, along with implementing urgent support measures, we need to now take the right steps to allow Russia to preserve its market niches and retain its position at the helm of many areas of technological development, which are crucial to its economic stability and national security. This essentially involves systemically important branches that have accumulated manufacturing capabilities and skills that are already helping to launch competitive high-tech production with good export opportunities. Moreover, all these branches are at the interface of the civilian and military-industrial market, launching products for civilian, military and dual use purposes. The military and industrial branch has long been and remains a driver of high-tech production. The development of systemically important branches involves drawing on various support measures, from direct budgetary financing and regulation to the short-term use of extrabudgetary financing with a view to implementing infrastructure projects. The mechanisms for attracting extrabudgetary funds involve diverse mechanisms and financing instruments. Who are the potential investors and beneficiaries? What do we need to do to make investing in systemically important branches favourable and convenient – not only for Russian businesses but for foreign partners? What can help strengthen the export potential of Russian products, namely high-tech products?

Russia and the Creative Industries
Delivering on National Development Targets
Concluding Session of the Creative Business Forum

A century ago, a country had to be an industrial powerhouse in order to ensure success, while today the development of the creative industries is key to a competitive economy. Creative industries have a major impact on both the economy, and social policy, and can help drive systemic change. They are also integral to conveying the spirit, values and identity of a country to the wider world, thereby boosting its overall standing and leadership on the global stage. For these reasons, the creative industries can play a key role in efforts to achieve national goals. Is Russia prepared to invest heavily in new industries, and what needs to be done to build management and technological expertise? What forms of project finance should be developed to support the sector, and what can be done to reduce red tape and encourage the growth of new industries? What steps should be taken to ensure that best international experience is applied? How can an expansive partner network be built in order to amass and replicate best international practices? And what does the government need to do to ensure the creative economy continues to grow throughout the current decade?

The 78+ Target: Responding to the Challenges of the Pandemic
Delivering on National Development Targets
The pandemic may have shifted the timeline for achieving national targets, but it has not changed the strategic direction thereof. Healthcare has transformed into a rapidly growing economic sector, affecting, among other things, industrial development. By increasing the pressure on medical infrastructure and stress testing the healthcare system, the crisis has forced the mobilization of all resources and shaped new ambitious goals – laying the groundwork for the explosive development of the healthcare system and the search for new methods of reducing the mortality rate of chronic, noninfectious diseases. However, the same crisis has also brought social awareness to the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. The principles of health protection and disease prevention are society’s answer to the precedent of global epidemiological threats. Lessons have been learned from the pandemic and work on the National Healthcare Project continues. The potential of all government managerial resources, on the national and regional levels, must be leveraged to achieve further progress towards these goals. How has the pandemic challenged primary healthcare and what are the main principles of modernizing the primary healthcare system? What are the main factors shaping the strategy for renovating the healthcare system to reduce cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality rates and improve the quality of and access to health care services? Will the threat of new epidemics trigger the creation of a widespread culture of healthy living? Will the spread of digital services help patients become reliable partners of the government in maintaining their personal health? Are national industrial capacities capable of handling modern challenges? What is the role of global cooperation in restoring the global economy?

Innovations and Investment Driving Broad Regional Development
Delivering on National Development Targets
A range of ambitious projects to achieve broad regional development, construct housing, and expand infrastructure are currently being implemented in pursuance of Russia’s national development goals. Intergovernmental organizations are looking at ways of increasing investment, which is a priority issue on the international agenda. What tools will spur increased investment in infrastructure and expand regional development? How will measures adopted by the Russian government help speed up housing construction and secure economic growth?

From Financial Literacy to Financial Resilience: How Has the Pandemic Impacted Consumer Behaviour?
Delivering on National Development Targets
The socioeconomic and technological landscapes have undergone an enormous transformation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This presents both risks and new opportunities in terms of increasing financial literacy. In order to achieve sustainable development goals at both a national and global level, it will be crucial to change fiscal practices and policies. Financial prosperity is key to creating a better environment for living, working, and raising children. Financially secure families are much better placed to plan for the years ahead, whether in terms of securing a good education, for example, or improving living conditions. In the new reality it is essential for Russians to be much more financially responsible, and to have a much better understanding of economic processes and financial tools. What can be done to improve financial literacy, and how will it benefit the economy? How has the pandemic impacted financial behaviour? How should efforts to promote financial literacy be improved in order to ensure that changes to financial culture are enduring? What opportunities and threats does digitalization carry for people and businesses?

Combatting Counterfeit Goods to Boost Economic Growth
Delivering on National Development Targets
Supply chains, distribution systems and related sectors were all seriously impacted by the pandemic and subsequent mitigation efforts by governments. One of the consequences of the pandemic was a rise in illicit trade, which cost the legal economy billions of dollars in lost income. A slowdown in legal economic activity against the backdrop of current events has led to an almost unprecedented increase in illicit trafficking, with illegal goods gaining a foothold in a number of markets. Through engaging in unfair business practices, the black economy is undermining the private sector’s contribution to employment and economic growth. Illicit trafficking in industrial goods makes up a substantial share of total trade. As a result, Russia’s budget has sustained substantial losses in the form of lost tax and customs revenue. In addition, entrepreneurs become less inclined to invest in development and labour productivity, and may take a laxer approach to quality standards. And this can ultimately threaten people’s health, and even lives. The decline in people’s earnings, growth of digitalization and other developments currently affecting society and the economy mean that consumers, producers and the Russian budget are faced with the risk of an explosion in counterfeit goods. It is in the interests of all parties – consumers, businesses, and governments – to tackle illicit trade. What role should the government play in the fight against illicit trafficking? What problems need to be overcome in tacking illicit trafficking at an intergovernmental level, and what are the prospects for doing so? What role could digital labelling play in monitoring and tracking goods? What needs to be done to ensure consumer safety, protect legitimate producers, and support honest business?

Trust in National Jurisdiction as Key to Business Security and Sustained Development
Delivering on National Development Targets
This year could see the start of the post-pandemic era, and with it, a new way of doing business. Throughout the world, governments are focusing on economic recovery following the COVID-19 crisis. It is now vital to recognize the role and influence of the global digital sector, both in the context of the pandemic, and geopolitical processes. The development of digital technologies is bringing with it a number of positives, which are in turn opening up a wide range of opportunities for society, businesses, and the public sector. However, the enormous impact of digitalization has not all been for the better. How will the Russian economy look in the post-COVID era? What strategy to protect national interests in the digital realm would be most effective? And as the digital sector continues to grow at a rapid pace throughout the world, what should be the role of national jurisdiction?

Effective Asset Management in a Time of Crisis
Delivering on National Development Targets
In partnership with Bank of Non-Core Assets (NB TRUST Bank)

The effective management of problem and non-core assets is an important economic development tool. Each crisis requires state institutions and their officials to make use of a whole arsenal of legal, financial and management practices. The international practice of transferring bad debt over to specialized banks/funds with the aim of managing and compensating losses from the global economic crisis is a relatively new tool for Russia. In particular, a local bank of marginal assets was created in 2018, when national financial and banking systems were at risk as a result of the problems experienced by the so-called Garden Ring banks. The difficult situation that has arisen in a range of sectors in the economy in the wake of the pandemic will lead to a growth in bad debt. For this reason, we must answer the following questions urgently: How can we minimize these risks? What role will the work on bad debt play in developing the economy and in reforming the banking system? What tools are most effective in managing bad debt, and should we look at best practice within Russia or abroad? How and where can you find an investor for complex assets? How can you return money which has been withdrawn from Russia: via ‘capital amnesty’ or international courts?

Presenting the Results of the Russian Regional Investment Climate Index
Delivering on National Development Targets
Since 2014, the results of the Russian Regional Investment Climate Index (hereinafter: the Investment Index) have traditionally been presented at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Over the course of its existence, the Investment Index has proven itself an effective tool in assessing the efforts of all levels of government to improve conditions for business, and its results stimulate competition in a bid for regional investment. Which regions have managed to move up in the Investment Index, and what practices have they adopted to do so? What’s the secret of regions which have retained their rating over the past five years? How do business associations assess the results achieved since 2014? In 2021, the Government of the Russian Federation is developing a programme of events along with relevant businesses and expert organizations with a view to launching a new investment cycle. Which tried and tested mechanisms will be included in this new programme? What new features will this programme have? What role will businesses and regional authorities play in developing and implementing this programme?

New Challenges for the Green Economy: Could the Crisis Delay the Inevitable?
Delivering on National Development Targets
In partnership with KPMG

Environmental issues are coming under scrutiny from governments, the public, and investors alike. Corporations are implementing more responsible green policies; however, the need to put a costly infrastructure in place and address social issues is becoming increasingly pressing. How can corporations raise funds to introduce cleaner technologies? What policies should be adopted by governments, and what are the best global practices in this area, including in terms of taxation and other forms of support?

Customer-Centric Public Governance
Delivering on National Development Targets
Russia’s 2030 Socioeconomic Development Strategy, which was approved in April 2020, specifies customer-centricism as one of its five key areas. The government is paying ever-closer attention to the needs of the people and society as a whole, and is employing experience in customer service when taking decisions. At the same time, it is endeavouring to keep pace with business. Customer-centricism is still a relatively unfamiliar-sounding concept in Russia, and many people are unaware that according to experts, it could hold the secret to improving all areas of life, particularly with regard to public governance. This session will focus on the potential to reshape the system of public governance. Experts will consider what tangible results could be achieved in terms of solving specific issues encountered by people, while drawing upon experience in the private sector. Recruiting people who are able to think differently and implement these changes is invariably a key issue. How should this be addressed? What makes a customer-centric public sector distinct? Why should the public sector attempt to adopt approaches from the private sector? What needs to be done to make all public and municipal organizations adopt a customer-centric approach in a short space of time? How can public authorities improve their image among the public? What measures should be taken with regards people? What management recruitment strategy should be employed to enact reform? What needs to be done to train people, facilitate a change in culture, and manage resistance?

A Shot in the Arm for Capital Markets in Russia
Delivering on National Development Targets
The rise of retail brokerages and new technologies has made investing in the markets more accessible than ever before. With just the press of a button, individuals are now able to invest in a wide array of securities without lengthy paperwork, phone calls with brokers and other hinderances. In 2020, the advent of the coronavirus pandemic significantly accelerated this retail investor boom globally and in Russia, with the Moscow Exchange near doubling its retail investor base and already reached 11 million users in March 2021. This trend represents a new frontier for retail brokerages and other market players, embracing this new wave of local investors, whose impact on the markets is set to grow going forward. How does anyone learn to become an investor? What is the role of retail brokerages and other market players in educating novice investors? What is driving the retail investment boom in Russia and abroad? What’s the future outlook for retail investment? Who is the Russian retail investor? How does a new class of local retail investors affect liquidity and other market dynamics?

The Financial Market Development Strategy 2030
Delivering on National Development Targets
Financial technologies are evolving in a rapid and unpredictable manner, as is the geopolitical situation. In order for Russia to be fully prepared for any changes that may occur, the government and the Central Bank are currently developing a range of essential mechanisms which will be incorporated in the country’s long-term growth strategy for the financial market. This strategy will outline the main priorities in government regulation, which will in turn enable the professional community to formulate their own long-term plans. Planned areas of focus include sustainable and responsible finance, digitalization, the development of the stock market, and long-term money as a tool to facilitate growth in the market economy.

Interaction Between Government, Business and Public: What the Pandemic Has Changed
Delivering on National Development Targets
One of the consequences of the pandemic for Russian business has been a significant increase in civil society overseeing the activities of major companies. After a sharp growth in calls for justice, governments have become far more reactive to the interests of the general public, rather than the elite. This is a direct result of the pandemic: panic mode that swept the globe in spring 2020 was generated from the bottom up, from social networks to mass media. Sensing that authorities had become more dynamic in responding to public demands, citizens set about dictating their agenda to governments. This agenda is strongly associated with the search for justice, equality, and protecting the vulnerable. How can a new balance be struck between the public mood and economic stability on behalf of business?

Tackling Offshoring: Combatting Capital Flight and Improving Russia’s Investment Climate
Delivering on National Development Targets
An entire set of measures was taken last year to address the issue of offshoring in the Russian economy. As a result, double taxation agreements with a range of countries came under review. With each passing year, countries are exchanging more and more tax-related information, which is assisting Russia’s efforts to tackle capital outflow. At the same time, a range of stimulus measures to attract tax residents to the country are under development. The tax payment procedure for owners of foreign-controlled companies has been made easier. In addition, improvements are being made to the tax regime in special administrative districts in Vladivostok and Kaliningrad. It is now easier, for example, for international holding companies to relocate there, and tax rates have been reduced. What impact are these measures having on the business climate in Russia? Will special administrative districts offer an alternative to offshoring, or are additional measures required to encourage the repatriation of assets?

The Export Potential of Russian Technologies and Education
Delivering on National Development Targets
In a world dominated by two competing tech superpowers – China and the US – many countries are struggling to secure technological sovereignty and maintain a sufficient foundation to continue their own scientific and technological development. Russia, just like Germany, France, Japan, Brazil, India, Turkey, and other countries, is faced with a strategic challenge. These countries have a choice between joining the two main hubs, or attempting to build their own. And their decisions regarding technological partners and planning technological integration pathways will be among the biggest they will face over the coming 20–30 years. Cooperation in the tech sphere is becoming a key aspect of international relations. Russia, like other countries, is set to build a next-generation digital infrastructure, and is a position to do so in cooperation with its partners, with an emphasis on open global standards and platforms. In forging scientific and technological alliances, Russia has the opportunity to move towards achieving technological independence, which will be key to building trust and making the digital environment more secure. What needs to be done to facilitate exports of Russian technologies and education? What should be Russia’s global technology strategy, and how should institutions operate in pursuance of Russia’s goals? What steps could the government take to support Russian companies, build experience, and increase lobbying resources, which pale in comparison to those of international competitors? And what could be the government’s role in developing new technological standards and market rules?

Bloom Where You’re Planted? Why Young People Are Leaving the Regions
Delivering on National Development Targets
Today, one of the defining characteristics of youth territorial mobility is the appeal of settling down in the regions, which boast a wide range of opportunities to satisfy young people’s basic needs. Why are young people leaving their home regions? Should anything be done about this? Should the government get involved in addressing this issue? What can be done to incentivize young people to stay in their home regions?

Russia in the Race for Top Global Managerial Talent
The Human Factor in Responding to Global Challenges
In today’s world, borders are gradually being blurred when it comes to education, development, work, and leadership approaches. As it recovers from the pandemic, Russia is seeking to reverse the decades-old trend of skilled personnel moving abroad, and create incentives to attract people from other countries.

International Business and Global Values: Risks and Opportunities for Creative Industries in the Next Stage of Development
The Human Factor in Responding to Global Challenges
The creative industries are already worth more than USD 2 trillion, and the sector is continuing to expand rapidly. As well as encompassing traditional industries (art, design, advertising, music, show business, media, online entertainment, filmmaking, architecture), the sector is beginning to see innovative technologies play an increasingly important role. And as the creative industries exhibit growth across the board, they are beginning to increasingly impact culture. Today, they are exerting a growing influence on how people think and feel, and indeed, on the value system held by global audiences, even though those working in the creative industries are driven by rational calculations and a desire to maximize profits. Does this trend indicate that value systems, both today and in the future, will ultimately play second fiddle to the push for ever-increasing ratings, clicks and likes? Will deep-seated, natural, and eternal values that nature and centuries of history instil in each of us no longer remain the primary consideration, or will the opposite turn out to be the case, with art’s emotional connection with deep-seated human values proving more competitive? In this environment, what is likely to be the future of cultural institutions, which have traditionally relied on state subsidies rather than becoming financially self-sufficient? Is a dialogue on values possible when it comes to new creative industries, including those which operate online? What needs to be done to establish a constructive relationship between government bodies, businesses, and creatives, without descending into counter-productive political discussions or anything that could be construed on social media as a “holy war”? What coordination efforts are needed with regards investors and sponsors of creative industries? And what should be the role of major companies and state corporations?

Cultural Codes of the New Reality
The Human Factor in Responding to Global Challenges
Cultural codes have always provided a unique insight into the culture and features of a particular country. They also bring people together through a sense of shared history. However, in the wake of the pandemic, the digital sector has played a much greater role in art and culture, and this has changed common human interaction habits. The pandemic left virtually no country or continent unaffected, and while it had the effect of physically separating countries, it also paradoxically brought people closer together through shared ideals and cultural values. Digitalization and the expansion of the virtual realm – which in the past was seen as an alternative to face-to-face communication – have made it possible for people to talk to one another even when they have been forced to self-isolate. The pandemic has shown us that modern technologies are not only increasingly infiltrating the business sector, but the cultural sector as well. What affect has the pandemic had on the digital transformation of culture, digital trends in culture, and changing cultural practices?

Sports against COVID-19: New Mission and Development Strategy
The Human Factor in Responding to Global Challenges
The humanitarian mission of sports and the role of athletes have become increasingly important in the new normal. It has been proven that obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases contribute to the severity of COVID-19, regardless of the patient’s age. At the same time, sports, healthy diet, and an active lifestyle are powerful weapons against the viral threat. The development of public sport and raising its popularity were prioritized in the new Russian sports development strategy for 2030, which aims to have 70% of the country's population involved in sports by this date. What measures have been taken by the state to achieve this ambitious goal? What can be done to instil a love of sports at an early age that can be carried forward in life? Which regional success stories should be replicated nationwide? What is being done to develop sports in rural areas? How can celebrated athletes help in efforts to achieve the goals of the 2030 Strategy, and what role has been assigned to Russian national teams and sports federations? What role has been assigned to bookmakers in terms of financing sports? Which new sporting formats are becoming a successful business product, and what programmes in the “Sports for All” initiative are implemented by business? How can a balance be struck between supporting amateur and professional sport?

Bloggers: A New Media?
The Human Factor in Responding to Global Challenges
In partnership with Gazprom-Media Holding

Bloggers today are able to convey their views and perspectives to a broad audience, and hold considerable influence. Indeed, many of them have become opinion leaders. It would therefore be wrong to ignore this fact and deny their professional status. Bloggers should be able to receive fair compensation for their work, and they should also assume responsibility for their actions. Should bloggers be made to register as media outlets? Another factor to consider is online advertising, which continues to enjoy strong annual growth, and currently almost matches television in terms of quantity in Russia. As a result, regulation is becoming an increasingly pressing issue. What place do bloggers occupy in the media holding company ecosystem? What talent-development opportunities can the blogosphere offer young people? And can traditional and new media coexist and complement one another?

The Role of Government, Business and Non-Profits in Responding to Sociocultural Challenges
The Human Factor in Responding to Global Challenges
Donations to non-profits grew substantially in 2020, indicating a greater acknowledgement by businesses of the needs of the third sector and a move towards providing help and support during the pandemic. In Russia, this positive trend was facilitated in part by tax breaks, which represented an important step forward in building ties between the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Businesses may now conceivably invest more in corporate social responsibility programmes and in meeting sustainable development goals. This could in turn make them more attractive to both investors and consumers. At the same time, non-profits are able to employ ongoing support from businesses to adjust their own programmes. As a result, they are finding it possible to move from providing targeted assistance to blanket support. How will the public, private, and non-profit sectors work together in 2021, and will cooperation serve to benefit all participants in the process? How can the social effect of joint charitable initiatives be measured? How has the charity sector changed following amendments to the tax code? And is this initiative enough to ensure that the sector continues to develop? What international practices for cooperation between the public, private and non-profit sectors could be adopted in Russia?

Coadaptation Issues from School to University
The Human Factor in Responding to Global Challenges
Lifelong learning and a focus on the requirements of a fast-changing world are leading to a transformation of secondary education. Schools provide people with the foundation needed for higher education and professional development. It is therefore more crucial than ever for them to be able to react quickly to emerging needs for particular practical skills. There is also a growing need for the educational process to be developed in cooperation with universities. What challenges does the education system face in this period of uncertainty? What factors should be considered when developing new educational frameworks and fresh instructional design initiatives? What international experience exists in terms of bringing school and university education into alignment, and personalizing school education?

Women in the Creative Industries
The Human Factor in Responding to Global Challenges
EAWF Lounge (Eurasian Women’s Forum)

The role of women in business is growing with each passing year. Historically, women were largely employed in the creative industries. Today, as business processes are becoming increasingly automated, it is being predicted that demand for people in the creative professions – and for people with creative skills in general – will grow substantially worldwide. What can be done to ensure a boom in the creative economy? What steps need to be taken to unlock the creative potential of young people? How can a project be transformed into a creative endeavour, and what benefits does this provide in today’s environment? How is the role of women in the economy changing in line with their position in society, and what impact will this have on trends and growth in the creative industries?

Corporations and Employees: How to Manage Human Capital in a Post-COVID World
The Human Factor in Responding to Global Challenges
In partnership with Severstal

The pandemic has altered the way employees perceive themselves, forcing companies to rethink the principles of corporate culture. Developing new skills and building new approaches to workflow management and employment are now among the highest priorities for successful management in the post-COVID world. Examples of effective adaptation by business have shown that the companies of the future will focus on services that can create a unique competitive advantage. Flexible organization and workflow, flat hierarchies, and requests for reduced supervision are not always in line with the ideas of efficiency that prevail among top management at large companies and which are deeply ingrained in Russian corporate culture. Will the employee of the future be interested in corporate values? How can business benefit from change by effectively managing human capital? What does the future hold for corporate employees and what leaders do they need? What will benchmark employment models look like in 5–7 years (freelance, part-time, expert platforms, professional outsourcing)?

Inheritance and Succession
The Human Factor in Responding to Global Challenges
Russians have mixed feelings about rich people. To a large extent, this is the legacy of the 1990s, which have created a certain image of a rich person. That said, 70% of assets are concentrated in the hands of a single generation. These days, we are watching a generational change: the second generation of capital owners is about to make history. This brings the issue of the role rich people play in society into focus. A great challenge for the next ten years is to change the attitude towards rich people and succession in Russia. What is the role of rich people in the Russian society? How ready is the new generation that grew up in the West instead of among the Russian ‘facts of life’ to solve these problems? How can the right system and infrastructure be created in Russia that would be ready to respond to such challenges? What are the current succession mechanisms in Russia?

Future Skills: Responding to the Challenges of the Labour Market
The Human Factor in Responding to Global Challenges
The COVID-19 crisis continues to have global ramifications for the economy. New trends are clearly emerging in professional education and training, as well as in the labour market overall. These are impacting the skills which will be in demand in the future. It is becoming vital to review training standards and strategies in line with what the future is likely to hold. New industry development scenarios are also needed, along with plans regarding relevant skills. How has the pandemic impacted the supply and demand of professional skills? What factors should be considered by all those with a stake in personnel education and training? What skills should be taught to students (and indeed everyone in continuing professional education) in order to adapt to the new reality and continue to be in demand in a shifting landscape? What skills will the new economy require? How should approaches to professional training at educational institutions be reformed in order to transition to a model that focuses on practice? What is the role of WorldSkills in this process?

Public-Private Collaboration in International Education Projects
The Human Factor in Responding to Global Challenges
Russia’s current education policy is focused on strengthening the status of the Russian language and Russian education across the world, while also building on the infrastructure needed to support these objectives. Every year, demand in other countries for schools providing education in Russian is growing. This is particularly true of the CIS, which is in need of modern, well-equipped schools, and in some cases requires supporting infrastructure to be rebuilt in the wake of armed conflict. How can public-private partnerships be leveraged to build and develop the infrastructure required to provide Russian education abroad and support educational infrastructure in partner countries? What steps do companies and organizations need to take in order to make a substantive contribution to projects of this kind, and how do companies stand to benefit from participating in these projects?

The Healthcare of the Future: Gene Technologies and Personalized Medicine as an Industry Growth Driver
New Technology Frontiers
Genetic technologies in healthcare are undergoing a real growth spurt. Genome sequencing is widely used in health management programmes, which allows identifying disease at an early stage and treating it effectively. These days, wide introduction of cell and gene therapy technologies into clinical practice opens up unprecedented opportunities for treating diseases which are considered incurable today. That said, the issues of whether interference in human genome is admissible, produce immense public response, coming across social and ethical issues of interfering with evolution of humankind as a whole. Undoubtedly, development of genetic technologies is a matter for progressive healthcare and national security. Yet, the need to create government mechanisms that protect a person’s rights and freedoms is just as clear. Which healthcare achievements in diagnostic systems, innovative treatment algorithms, or drugs have the growth of genetic technologies as a driver? What is the current practice and what are the prospects for genetic technologies in clinical practice? What innovative genetic research is currently taking place in Russia and prevention of which diseases can it promote in the near future? What are the forecasts for its growth in healthcare? What international experience in genetic diagnostics and therapy is the most acceptable to Russia? What opportunities and risks does human genome editing carry? What are the prospects of introducing it into practical healthcare? What are the objectives of the Federal Scientific-Technical Programme for Developing Genetic Technologies?

Is Knowledge Truly Power?
New Technology Frontiers
Science is a truly active field, as testified by the constant flow of new discoveries, developments, and technological solutions, which continue to raise the bar for new achievements. Every year, scientists around the world are making breakthroughs capable of improving life on earth and changing our perception of reality. Each event of this kind serves as a reminder of the incredible things the human mind is capable of. New information technologies and advances in artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and biotechnology are once again promising to fundamentally change our way of life. People have enormous belief in the potential of science to solve if not all, then a great many problems facing humanity. Indeed, scientific advancements can help greatly improve quality of life. Any sustainable development model that meets the needs of the current generation without adversely affecting the next generation envisages a major role played by science. Are there any limits as far as development is concerned? Where will we discover the boundaries of possibility to lie in the near future? To what degree are concepts such as growth and development compatible with concerns surrounding the environment, the economy, and society? What influence do external factors exert? And does science really hold the answers to all our questions?

The Basic Principles for Building Sound Ecosystems
New Technology Frontiers
Technology continues to bring us closer together. The public and private sectors are currently building comprehensive digital ecosystems in an attempt to satisfy demand and make life easier for people. Today, we are surrounded by these ecosystems, which are made up of networks of partners, suppliers, and producers. Together, they form a unified whole and operate as a single organism. Given such close interconnectivity, a vulnerability in one element could pose a threat to the entire system, as well as to the safety of its customers. Can this be avoided? What can be done to build sound, resilient ecosystems in the digital era?

Food Multiplied by Technology
New Technology Frontiers
In partnership with Russian Agricultural Bank

Amidst all the rapid advances in technology, food production and agriculture are considered to be two of the last strongholds of technological conservatism. Metallurgical and mechanical engineering enterprises are already becoming fully automated. Meanwhile, in contrast to these giants of the last industrial era, the agricultural sector continues to suffer from a seasonal lack of manual labour. This has been further exacerbated by restrictions imposed during the pandemic. However, there are increasing reasons to believe that this lull in the global agricultural sector will give way to a sweeping technological explosion, which will herald the Fourth Agricultural Revolution. It is no coincidence that agro-tech and food-tech have been among the most attractive sectors to venture capitalists. What will define and characterize this new-look agricultural sector? What is the future of food production, and how might people’s diet change?

Digital Healthcare: Transparency, Efficiency, Quality
New Technology Frontiers
In partnership with GE

The COVID-19 Pandemic has hastened the digitalization of healthcare. It has provided a major impetus to the development of big data technologies, the use of artificial intelligence, and the formation of infrastructure solutions for providing timely care to cardiovascular disease and cancer patients. Remote monitoring and telemedicine solutions facilitating communication between doctors and supporting inpatient, at-home, and outpatient care are in high demand. The use of information technology in global medicine has recently exploded, shifting the entire healthcare industry to the high-tech level – making it more effective, safe, and convenient for doctors and patients. What advantages does the development of healthcare information systems and digital services grant patients, doctors, health service planners, the government, and businesses? What are some current examples of the successful development of digital services, automatization of the treatment process, use of artificial intelligence, and implementation of innovative solutions in Russia and abroad? What objectives must be addressed prior to the creation of a unified digital contour of the health sector? What are the legislative and regulatory needs of digital healthcare?

Russia’s Golden Era for E-commerce
New Technology Frontiers
In partnership with Russian Post

The pandemic and lockdown have created the conditions for growth in e-commerce, with even the most conservative consumers beginning to master online shopping services. By the end of 2020, 40% of Russians were going online to purchase items they had previously only bought in stores. Will the boom in electronic commerce in Russia prove to be a pandemic-era phenomenon or could it reach new levels of growth after the removal of COVID restrictions? Can Russia establish a leading global position? Are Russia’s infrastructure and regulatory framework capable of supporting the development of the e-commerce market nationwide? Will logistics experts and marketplaces provide a breeding ground for new players in the SME sector?

The Right to a Private Life in a World of Big Data
New Technology Frontiers
The right to a private life is a fundamental human right providing for, among other things, the inviolability of the domain of life that lies beyond the interests of the public and the state. As soon as individuals join a social network, sign a user agreement, make public posts, or simply download applications to their phones, they are knowingly or unknowingly deprived of that right. Their opinions and any information about them become publicly accessible, and they become a kind of human media, liable to the laws regulating media. This digital alter ego, initially a manifestation of freedom of expression, makes real users vulnerable to manipulation by service providers, the state, and fraudsters. How can the state, business and society solve this problem? What conflicts does it create in different countries and regions? There are various approaches: China has a radical solution to these problems in the interests of the state, the USA prioritizes business, while European lawmakers are attempting to strike a balance between state and private interests. In theory, the same laws that apply offline should apply here, but networks are a cross-border phenomenon. How can the rights that function in the digital space be determined? Could international agreements such as the Outer Space Treaty, the Antarctic Treaty, and the law of the sea serve as a model? Or do ethical and legal standards differ so greatly between nations that international agreements are impractical? What do network sovereignty and digital rights mean? Do the limits of a ‘private life’ need to be redefined in the new context, or have they remained unchanged? How can compliance with legal and ethical standards on social media be regulated and is this desirable? Should offline laws be ‘transplanted’ into the online space? Is it possible to properly combine the self-regulation of networks with state regulation?

Talk to Me: AI and Voice Technologies in Business
New Technology Frontiers
In partnership with Tinkoff Bank

Artificial Intelligence and voice technologies have become important aspects of companies’ digital transformations. AI has the power to improve operational efficiency through fulfilling tasks once performed by employees, assist companies in making valuable analytical decisions, and make the customer experience more engaging and more personalized. Within the financial services sector, chat bots also serve as an important educational tool and on-hand advisor to help customers navigate their personal finances. How do businesses use voice interface, and how is this likely to change and develop going forward? How is AI employed in investing? A closer look at robo-advising and other AI-based tools. The role of greater personalization in business processes and its effect on outcomes. AI for the people: ensuring that the latest tech is working to improve lives.

Super-Apps Versus Super-Services
New Technology Frontiers
In partnership with Alfa-Bank

Many companies, especially publicly listed ones, have announced the creation of ecosystems, but experts note that as of today under 10% of ecosystems are profitable. At the centre of ecosystems are super-applications, more commonly known as super-apps, which attempt to serve every human need. Russian ecosystems currently provide services according to a ‘closed model’, meaning that only the owner or its affiliated companies can sell products and provide services to customers. The regulator is proposing to introduce a requirement for an “open model of ecosystems” in which “everyone plays by the same rules”. Under such conditions, the creator of the ecosystem loses a significant part of their advantage. Another aspect of Russian ecosystems is that they tend to be formed around banks, creating risks for their depositors. This is a justifiable cause for concern from the regulator’s perspective. Banks must conduct qualitative risk assessments with regard to the devaluation of non-core businesses. But do the customers themselves want ecosystem creep? Are we willing to tie ourselves to a single ‘super-app’? Or would we prefer to choose between ‘super-services’ that compete on quality?

Creating a Trustworthy Environment in Critical Information Infrastructure
New Technology Frontiers
In partnership with Security Code

Critical information infrastructure (CII) encompasses information systems and telecommunications networks which are crucial to the smooth running of key sectors, such as healthcare, manufacturing, communications, transport, energy, finance, and municipal services. CII control also extends to online content. As the Internet of Things continues to pervade all areas of life, digital technology has become key to critical infrastructure management. Without security guarantees, the entire digital foundation is at risk of crumbling. Experts detected that in 2020, the number of cyber-attacks on strategic sites (such as nuclear enterprises, healthcare facilities, electric power infrastructure, military installations, government bodies, and banks) doubled in Russia. It has therefore become crucial to create a systematic approach to ensuring CII security, and to mobilize all those involved in the process. There is also an increasingly pressing need to develop a single, integrated platform to allow stakeholders in the public and private sectors to communicate across industries. A wide-ranging dialogue between government and business is required, which should begin by considering new challenges and threats, and assessing the current state of the CII market in the context of recent attacks.

Preparedness Strategies: State Multiservices and Technologies
New Technology Frontiers
In partnership with Mir Payment System

2020 changed many aspects of people’s lives across the world. The corporate and state bodies of many countries were faced with the need to switch to working with clients online and provide services remotely. But not everyone was prepared for this, and old ways of doing things have had to be swiftly overhauled. In many countries, the social aspect of state and commercial projects has been strengthened over this period, with new technological solutions being created and existing ones updated to support those most in need. The development of these services is still relevant today. How successful has the transition to online communications been in terms of helping those who need it? Which of the services in this area is the most in demand? What technologies are set to be implemented in the near future?

Art. Creativity. AI
New Technology Frontiers
Artificial intelligence is being increasingly employed in music, art, publishing and other creative sectors. Recent developments in creative AI have fundamentally challenged our ideas as to the capabilities of artificial intelligence. These include GPT-3, a global language model that is not only able to create texts of any kind, but also correct grammatical mistakes and engage in dialogue. Meanwhile, art created by AI is growing in demand, with one portrait selling for USD 432,500 at a Christie’s auction. As well as being able to produce work unaided, creative AI can also be used to help people, and creative collaborations between man and machine are becoming increasingly common. There is little doubt that creative AI opens up incredible possibilities; however, it also raises questions that need to be addressed, including: what approach should be taken to regulating the creation and dissemination of works of art, texts, and music created by AI? Who retains the authors’ rights in these cases? Will AI be used as a creative aid, or will it ultimately create work independently? Is AI truly capable of creativity, or is creativity solely the domain of people? How will AI shape our understanding of art? Will people’s creativity suffer with the arrival of automation in the arts? What challenges does the emergence of artificially generated content pose? Who should bear responsibility for potentially unacceptable AI-generated content, and who should be considered the author of work created by AI – the machine itself, or the people who developed its neural network, taught it, etc.? Should developers pay royalties to people whose intellectual property was used to train machines? Could work created by artificial intelligence find demand on the market, and what artistic value do these works have?

5G: The Architecture Backbone of Russia’s Digitalization
New Technology Frontiers
In partnership with MegaFon

The accelerated rollout of digital technologies in the global economy and the social sphere is becoming a key driver of sustainable development. Russia is putting significant resources into developing communications infrastructure and expanding access to information networks across the country, effectively overcoming the digital divide among the population and creating fundamentally new conditions for the development of high-tech solutions on the global stage. 5G, the new standard in wireless communications, will provide the architecture backbone of the country’s digitalization, bringing with it high connection speeds and low latency, providing a natural engine for current digital projects and a platform for the projects of the future. What will the 5G future look like, and which tasks will the next-generation communications technology solve first? What progress is being made in Russia’s 5G rollout and what is the outlook for the new technology’s introduction across the country? How prepared are operators, producers and consumers for the new communication standard?

Digital Sovereignty and Cybersecurity
New Technology Frontiers
As the digital transformation gains momentum, the challenges it brings are beginning to impact different countries’ national interests. The way countries and corporations navigate the digital ecosystem has already significantly altered the economic and political picture, and previous roles are changing and becoming blurred. Threats to national security have taken on new forms, while competitive tools have paradoxically become threats. Import substitution in IT has gone beyond mere slogans, but is all this merely a scare tactic by the media and IT security experts? What future digitalization threats need to be considered now, and can we really counter them, and if so, how? Is it already too late? How is the digital transformation affecting the distribution of power globally, and is this beneficial to Russia’s future? What threats will people, businesses and the government have to confront as part of the digital transformation, and what is the potential impact? How is the political economy being changed in a digital world, and will information security risks affect economic stability? How can a state protect its interests in a world with blurred borders? At what point does import substitution create a risk of isolation? What do cyber-dependency “traps” look like? Do you personally feel protected in the modern digital world, and will you feel protected in the future?

Open Source in Russia: To Be or Not to Be?
New Technology Frontiers
Several wide-ranging digital transformation projects are currently under way in Russia. Their aim is to make the economy more competitive, and improve interaction between government bodies and the public. However, open-source code is going virtually ignored. According to a Red Hat report, open source’s share stands at less than 1%. This is in stark contrast to the US, where it stands at 23%, and China, where it stands at 10%. What might be the economic benefit of a policy aiming to facilitate the spread of open-source products and platforms? Could the process of creating Russian platforms and integrating them in the global network pave the way for a breakthrough in IT and in economic leadership? How should open-source software be employed to address import substitution and import dependency challenges?

The Quantum Computer: The Answer to Global Challenges
New Technology Frontiers
The digital era in which we live owes much to quantum physics: computers, smart phones, memory cards, and many other devices are direct results of research in the field and have become an irreplaceable part of our everyday lives. However, the field has far from exhausted its potential. We may see functional quantum computers appear in the near future – capable of things that were, until recently, only possible in science fiction. Such computers will be able to solve problems in mere seconds, problems that modern supercomputers cannot grapple with: developing medicines for incurable diseases, modeling materials with qualities that have yet to be seen in the real world, and cracking any system using classical cryptographic methods… Moreover, the events of the past year have shown that there exist global threats capable of affecting the global economy and changing the lives of every last person. Perhaps, in the near future, quantum computing will even be the answer to major challenges facing humanity?

Leveraging Big Data and Digital Platforms to Generate Synergies in Manufacturing
New Technology Frontiers
The pandemic has impacted all industries, both in terms of customer and employee safety, and rethinking business and production processes. Across all industries, it has become essential to make production more efficient, and increased competition and market volatility require strong decision making to reshape businesses and industries as manufacturing becomes more complex. The digitalization of manufacturing companies and the development of a digital ecosystem drive high-tech sectors and create new jobs. Data lies at the heart of most manufacturing processes, and plays a crucial role in them. It will not be possible to reduce losses through digitalizing processes, or to adopt a data-based decision-making model without employing the tools and mechanisms provided by digital platforms. Why has data become such a vital asset in manufacturing, and how will effective management of industrial data benefit the economy? What needs to be done to build an effective data regulation system in the manufacturing sector? Why is cooperation between industries vital in this period of digital transformation? What needs to be done to create a system to standardize industrial data in Russia and beyond? And what steps should be taken to build a cooperation ecosystem amongst manufacturing companies?

Global IT: Growth Resources
Business Breakfast
Countries the world over are focusing their efforts on IT, including digital platforms and ecosystems, and while these highly prized assets offer flexibility and mobility, requirements are continuing to grow. This is particularly true of companies planning to enter global markets. Today, many Western IT corporations are selling their solutions to customers across the globe. Meanwhile, the number of Russian companies doing the same can be counted on one hand. The Russian IT market is growing rapidly, but it is still too early to talk about a mass influx on international markets. What are the attractive niches for Russian IT in the global digital landscape? Is there a need for national champions in the international arena? What are the problems, and where do the growth resources come from?

Tourism and the Hospitality Industry: New Investment Opportunities
Delivering on National Development Targets
In the years to come, Russia has set itself the rather ambitious task of developing a high-quality tourist product. As part of a new national project entitled ‘Tourism and the Hospitality Industry’, as well as the national project to develop the country’s export potential, Russia is developing measures to increase the flow of tourists with the aim of increasing the proportion of exports from tourist services from USD 8.9 billion (2017) to USD 15.5 billion (by 2024). On the one hand, Russia has huge potential to develop this sector, given that the country boasts unique natural resources and sites of global cultural and historical significance. Moreover, according to estimates by the Central Bank of Russia, the economy lost 2 trillion roubles last year due to closed borders and travel limitations during the pandemic. On the other hand, according to official data, domestic tourism did not take off either. On the contrary, the overall stream of domestic tourists in Russia over 2020 decreased by 35 to 40%. What key challenges is the sector currently facing? What will the new state support measures to develop infrastructure and spaces look like? How can we make the tourism industry more attractive to investors?

Arctic Economic Council Meeting
The Arctic Economic Council (AEC) is an independent organization that facilitates Arctic business-to-business activities. AEC works to expedite responsible business and economic development of the Arctic and its communities, as well as to share and advocate for best practices, technological solutions, and standards. AEC was created in September 2014 by the independent association of large corporations from the Arctic Council countries (Russia, Sweden, USA, Canada, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway). It aims to resolve problems that stand in the way of increased economic cooperation in the Arctic. Russian Federation picks up the chairmanship in the AEC from May 2021 to May 2023. During the meeting, the Russian Federation will cover its priorities, as well outline main areas of cooperation for the period of the Russian chairmanship.

Connecting Our Brains to Computers: A Panacea?
New Technology Frontiers
Neural engineering is one of the most exciting interdisciplinary technologies today, and it is having an impact on neurophysiology, computer science, computing, and robotics. In the future, its effects will be felt across the humanities and social sciences, particularly in ethics, sociology, psychology, philosophy, law, and finance. A better understanding of how the brain works, or rather how it’s built, how it’s formed, how it learns and how it interacts with other body systems can have a huge influence on the development of neural interfaces and artificial neural networks. Global brain-computer interface market was valued at USD 1.2 billion in 2019, with a compound annual growth rate of 15.5% forecast for reporting period. According to Grand View Research projections, the global computer interface market will reach USD 1.72 billion by 2022. What is a brain-computer interface and how can it serve people, society and science? What strategic objectives should IT look to solve in the field of neural interfaces? How can IT developments meet the needs of neurophysiologists? How is the global economy shifting (and the world in general, including its social order) in the context of the large-scale proliferation of neural interfaces?

The Architecture of Post-Pandemic World: Technology, Economy, Society
Joining Forces to Advance Development
Sber Panel Session

A number of global mega trends shape the image of our future: digital transformation, rising inequality, an increase in public and corporate debts, faster and more sophisticated business processes, and the development of green energy. We will discuss the effect the pandemic has had on the key mega trends, including technological, economic, social, and political. How will digitalization accelerated by the pandemic and lockdowns change our personal and professional lives? How will social conventions and ethical standards change? Will the government’s role in the economy and private lives increase? Will the environment and climate change attract more attention in the global agenda? Will this global tragedy help unite people or tear them apart even more?

Unlock Transformational Value through Technology: How Leaders are Changing the World
Joining Forces to Advance Development
In partnership with Accenture

Are you among of those who just watching the world rapidly changing around you, or do you want to be the leader who's changing it? Сompetition is not about the market share and short-term performance anymore, but about the speed of change and adaptation, the business model innovation, democratization of technology, and effective change management and future values. According to Accenture research, 77% of executives in the world state that their technology architecture is becoming very critical or critical to the future success of their organization. The dynamics of recent years and the 2020 pandemic, which has become a global stress test for management systems, has shown the importance of technology as a determining factor of the competitive strengths. It has become obvious that business and technology strategies are no longer separable, and that every business is a technology business. The choices a company makes today determine which opportunities and threats it will face tomorrow. The pace of change is so fast and the stakes so high that constant pilot projects, case-studies, and lengthy incremental improvement processes are no longer competitive factors. The business success in Russia depends on how the current Russian infrastructure responds to such high-scale and ambitious transformations. Security, cloud technologies, reliability of IT -systems and infrastructure elasticity are not a subject for discussion anymore, but the crucial topics for successful business development and growth. Technology outlays are no longer compulsory spending, as it might seem to some, but promising investments. This is a unique opportunity to harness the power of technological change to rethink and rebuild the future of business and to transform the skills of employees and the “habits” of partners. Today, the winner is whoever can quickly formulate the vision for the future and initiate and lead the process of change. Are you ready to be a leader of change?