An awards ceremony was held for the winners of the Innosocium national social projects contest at the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi on 14 February. The awards ceremony was attended by Russian Minister of Science and Higher Education Mikhail Kotyukov, Roscongress Foundation Chairman of the Board and CEO Alexander Stuglev, and Roscongress Foundation Deputy Director and Director of Social Programmes Elena Marinina. The contest was launched in September 2018 using the social platform of the Roscongress Foundation, as Russian students were asked to develop social projects in one of the following categories: Inclusive Society, Territorial Development, and Active Longevity. The contest is being implemented in partnership with the Art, Science, and Sport Charity Foundation, the Memory of Generations Foundation, and Russian Copper Company. The contests panel of judges and expert council included cultural figures, rectors and department heads from leading Russian universities, government and business representatives as well as creative agencies, education experts, and public figures.
The main objective of the contest was to draw young peoples attention to current socially significant problems and ways to solve them, search for new communication ideas to solve social problems, identify and motivate talented students, develop their skills in coming up with and implementing social communications projects, and disseminate effective experience in social project planning in the student environment.
To support the contest, the social platform of the Roscongress Foundation was used to conduct a series of master classes at leading universities in Moscow with presentations by social communications specialists. On 18 December 2018, the final event was held at the Public Chamber of Russia with more than 300 students from Moscow State Institute of International Relations, the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Russian State Social University, National Research University Higher School of Economics, the New Economic School, and Moscow State University of Psychology and Education as well as industry experts. The qualifying stage was originally supposed to end in December 2018, but interest in the contest among students was so high that the deadline for submitting applications to participate had to be extended until 8 January 2019.
«I am very glad to welcome everyone and I am sure that nationwide contest Innosocium will grow. I believe that those students who have received the first support today will not give up and will develop their activities. I would like to express my gratitude to the Roscongress Foundation and partners who support such initiatives. Today, the first step has been taken, but in future it should become a good tradition, an integral part of all the events that take place in the frame work of the Roscongress Foundation agenda. I would like to wish all winners good luck and success in the upcoming presentation of their projects at the SPIEF 2019», Russian Minister of Science and Higher Education Mikhail Kotyukov said.
«We have confirmed the effectiveness of and demand for our initiative. The ideas submitted for the contest not only demonstrate great opportunities and a high level of preparation by Russian students they are truly adult projects that can provide a new impetus to the development of the social environment in Russia. For this reason, we plan on paying very close attention to this area of focus in the future», Roscongress Foundation Chairman of the Board and Director Alexander Stuglev said.
«Even though our contest is rather young it started in September 2018 we have received more than 100 projects. We are inspired by the freshness of ideas and the enthusiasm with which young people seek to meet socially significant objectives. This instils confidence in the future of the country, and we see great potential in utilizing this channel to identify and develop social innovations», Roscongress Foundation Deputy Director and Director of Social Programmes Elena Marinina said.
Olga Molostvova won the category Active Longevity with her project Nearby Home Educational Landscape Design Course, which aims to get older people more socially involved and find employment opportunities as well as promote additional education. «The goal that we have set for ourselves as part of the Innosocium contest is to search for new communications solutions to draw attention to the Active Longevity programme, which solves problems as regards improving the living standards of the elderly population in Russia. We believe that the involvement of young people in this socially significant project is an important step in achieving this goal», Memory of Generations Foundation Executive Director Katerina Kruglova said.
Irina Svyatskovas project Audio Productions of Chuvash Folk Tales and Legends for Blind Children in the category Inclusive Society aims to help preserve the architectural and cultural values, identity, culture, languages, and traditions of the peoples of the Russian Federation.
«One of the key reasons for us to support the Innosocium contest is to involve young people in socially significant initiatives. Today, this is an extremely important audience that is already impacting our future today. Social initiatives will not only help young people form a responsible civic stance, but also better understand the important problems faced in our modern society, and for charitable organizations this will provide a new impetus to the development and implementation of new initiatives and innovations. The Innosocium contest will help attract new fresh ideas in communications that will help solve social problems and provide the experience of implementing social projects in the student environment. We expect the contest to be actively developed and attract new participants and areas of focus», Maria Krasnikova from the Art, Science, and Sport Charity Foundation said.
Svetlana Panyukova won the Territorial Development category with her project Beyond Rigour. Her project aims to create and develop brands for territories, promote and develop grassroots sports, active tourism, and leisure, promote the preservation of architectural and cultural values, facilitate the development of electronic forms of communication using mobile and Internet resources as well as enhance public activities, civic participation, and initiatives by urban residents.
«We always strive to start with the urgent needs of the territories where our companies operate and listen to the wishes of the local residents. Our experience shows that what local residents and communities create with their hands, efforts, and enthusiasm not only has a special value for citizens, but also triggers a chain of small but continuous improvements in the quality of life. The residents themselves, business people, and the authorities of different levels are all involved in the process of improving the urban environment. We are certain that the Innosocium project will help young people believe that positive changes are in their hands and that their ideas are valuable and can be implemented», Russian Copper Company Vice President for Human Resources and Social Responsibility Anna Shabarova said.
The winners of the Innosocium competition will receive funding to implement their social projects and will also have an opportunity to present them to the business community at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2019.