The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum with the support of the Roscongress Foundation held an Honest Dialogue roundtable, attended by young professionals and entrepreneurs, students, professors and recent graduates from leading North American universities.
Experts from St. Petersburg State University of Economics and St. Petersburg State University represented the Russian side. The American panellists were Georgetown, Columbia, Yale, Stanford and Princeton university representatives, as well as young entrepreneurs and specialists in finance, technology and innovation, health, e-mobility, construction and real estate. Delegates from the University of Ottawa, Canada also took part in the meeting.
Participants exchanged views on the current state of affairs in Russian-American relations and possible mechanisms for their normalization. The meeting proposed to organize a regular long-distance dialogue on current topics of the Russian-American agenda between students and experts from leading universities in Russia and North America, as well as young professionals and entrepreneurs of both countries. This initiative was noted in the final declaration adopted by the discussion participants. The statement also proposes to include the next Russian-American Honest Dialogue roundtable in the programme of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
Following the meeting, the Alumni Association of St. Petersburg State University of Economics, the American student organization Ivy Council and the American Public Association Russian-American Cooperation Initiative proposed signing a Memorandum of Understanding. The participants discussed options for organizing and holding joint events, as well as creating additional opportunities for students and graduates of leading universities from both countries.
The American non-governmental organization Russian-American Cooperation Initiative is the initiator of the meeting. The organization brought a delegation of young entrepreneurs, professionals and students from the USA to participate in SPIEF.
«We are delighted that the rapport built at the Eastern Economic Forum last September and the International Arctic Forum in April gains traction and contributes to a new type of dialogue between the forward-thinking US and Russian youth. All our efforts are focused on the future, and we are confident that the emerging bonds will have a positive impact on the development of bilateral relations mid- and long term,» commented Sergey Gladysh, executive director of the Russian-American Cooperation Initiative.