The SPIEF Junior youth section was held for the first time at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The unique event brought together more than 200 Russian and foreign schoolchildren, world business leaders, government officials, and representatives of the expert community.
The Forum provided the young people with an opportunity to take part in a global event, attend meetings with leading representatives of the professional community, and also engage in an open dialogue of cultures with guests from other countries.
“For us, the main goal of the project was to give young SPIEF participants an unprecedented opportunity to present their views on ‘adult’ socioeconomic issues at a major international economic event. The SPIEF is attended by numerous leaders and representatives of large companies, government, and non-profit organizations, who undoubtedly noticed these ambitious and proactive kids. And the international format of the event made it possible to develop social skills and build friendly relations with colleagues from other countries. We believe it’s very important to start integrating students into the global economic agenda as early as possible because these young leaders are the ones who will shape the socioeconomic life of the country and the world in 10–15 years. And I’m certain we succeeded!” said Elena Sokolova, Director of the Content Foundation for the Development of Expert and Analytical Activities, which organized the SPIEF Junior Forum.
The Forum featured 25 business programme sessions, which focused heavily on a discussion of the transformation of education, lifelong learning, future skills, technology and scientific creativity, and youth entrepreneurship.
The plenary discussion ‘Russia and the World: The Younger Generation Responding to Global Challenges’ provided an opportunity to learn the opinion of Russian and foreign students about what role they will have to play in solving pressing social and economic problems. The discussion resulted were summarized by the session’s moderator, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation Andrey Fursenko, who underscored the younger generation’s special role in responding to global challenges that we will face in the future.
In addition, the Forum featured a panel discussion that was attended by schoolchildren and prominent government and business leaders, who jointly discussed the need for the early integration of schoolchildren into innovative economic and social processes. The session ‘Investing in the Future: Developing Children for the New Economy’ touched upon the benefits of high school students participating in technological processes and how companies help students start learning about the realities of the modern economy from the time they are in school.
The SPIEF Junior youth section made its debut at SPIEF, however, today it is worth noting the great interest shown in this format by the government and business, including prominent statesmen and company leaders who took part in the business programme sessions.
Such experts included: First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian Presidential Executive Office Sergei Kiriyenko; Minister of Education of the Russian Federation Sergei Kravtsov; Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Valery Falkov; Kamchatka Region Governor Vladimir Solodov; ‘Russia – The Country of Opportunities’ General Director Alexei Komissarov; Talent and Success Foundation Director Yelena Shmeleva; Secretary of the Russian Public Chamber Lidia Mikheyeva; Sberbank Vice President Marina Rakova; Yandex Strategic Marketing Director Andrei Sebrant; and Rybakov Foundation President Yekaterina Rybakova.
The high level of attention in the project indicates that SPIEF Junior has become a living platform for an intergenerational dialogue and the younger generation’s integration into the global socioeconomic agenda. The event certainly facilitated interesting and useful discussions as well as a deep understanding of the processes taking place in youth policy and education.
For this reason, the Content Foundation decided to launch and develop the Point Junior project with the involvement of the younger generation and create a cross-cutting agenda at the country’s leading discussion platforms. The next event planned is VEF.Junior, which will be held at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on 2–4 September 2021.
SPIEF Junior was organized by the Content Foundation. The event was co-organized by the Roscongress Foundation and the Big Change All-Russian Competition.
The Forum’s partners were: Innopraktika Non-State Development Institution, Rosneft Oil Company, Gazprombank, MMC Norilsk Nickel, Yandex, the Prosveshchenie Group, WR Group Holding, Spar, Geekbrains digital educational platforms, Skillbox, and Skyeng; Zasport was a special partner of SPIEF Junior, while Russian Railways and FC Zenit were cultural programme partners.