With the support of the Roscongress Foundation, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum opened its doors to 80 young leaders and entrepreneurs as part of the special Friends for Leadership programme. The programme participants formed a permanent international pool of young people from different countries who are involved in promoting multilateral economic and humanitarian projects in four areas: social entrepreneurship, technology, education, smart and sustainable cities, goals of sustainable development. The Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) acted as a partner in inviting half of the programme participants to the SPIEF as part of the New Generation programme.
Over a few days at the SPIEF, the programme participants held a series of sessions as part of the main Forum programme as well as the Building Trust platform: Young Leaders in an Era of Global Transformation. Cooperation for Sustainable Development, Friends of Social Entrepreneurship, Friends of Technologies, Friends of Education, Friends of Cities, and Friends of Sustainable Development. The Programme also included meetings with well-known Russian and foreign experts in international relations and youth policy, where the leaders presented and discussed best international practices and specific projects on various areas.
The participants held meetings with Director of Rossotrudnichestvo Eleonora Mitrofanova, Deputy Head of the Expert Department of the President of the Russian Federation and Russian G20 Sherpa Svetlana Lukash, Head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs Alexander Bugaev, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Timur Maksimov, Rossotrudnichestvo Deputy Director Mikhail Bryukhanov, Deputy Head of Moscow City Governments Department for Foreign Economic Activity and International Relations Sergei Cheryomin, and former Director-General of UNESCO (20092017) Irina Bokova. In addition, the delegates took part in a brainstorming session as part of Friends for Leadership projects, and attended the RussiaU.S. Honest Dialogue meeting at the end of the Forum.
The Friends for Leadership project is expected to become an annual event, and international expert groups (Friends of Cities, Friends of Science, etc.) will carry out work beyond the main Roscongress forums and also hold meetings abroad, for example at the sites of Russian Science and Culture Centres. In particular, a visiting session of the Friends of Cities was already held at the Russian Science and Culture Centre in New Delhi on 1213 March.
«The Roscongress Foundation provided an opportunity for 80 young leaders from 35 countries to take part in Forum discussions and form a programme of their own where they could present their projects to scale best practices and attract investments from the community members themselves. Friends for Leadership is another successful example of the Roscongress Foundations attempt to set a youth-oriented event for young people from all over the world. We are planning to support projects of young people and contribute to development of these projects together with our partners,» said CEO of the Roscongress Foundation Alexander Stuglev.