A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 160 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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Civil Society and State Institutions: Key Trends in the Post-Pandemic Agenda for Cooperation and Collaboration for Sustainable Development
4 September 2021
10:00—11:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
A shift in the perception of civil society organizations during the pandemic

It was civil society organizations, as well as volunteer networks and volunteer movements, that responded very flexibly to what was happening during the pandemic… Civil society organizations have their role: they see what people need and what their problems are. When it became obvious that there was a catastrophic undersupply of protective equipment, namely masks, civil society organizations abandoned what they were doing and simply started sewing masks by hand — Elena Topoleva-Soldunova, Member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation; Chairman, Commission for the Development of the Non-Profit Sector and Support of Socially Oriented NPOs; Director, "Agency of Social Information".

People genuinely rely not only on the state, but on public organizations too — Elena Topoleva-Soldunova, Member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation; Chairman, Commission for the Development of the Non-Profit Sector and Support of Socially Oriented NPOs; Director, "Agency of Social Information".

The pandemic has led to the strengthening and rapid development of the civil society organizations themselves

Everyone realized that they had grown quite significantly over the course of the pandemic. We have acquired contacts at the local level, including with local businesses, while ties with administrations have strengthened and we have been building horizontal connections among ourselves… On the one hand, the pandemic has been a very challenging experience, but it has also really helped in terms of galvanizing us and making us stronger — Svetlana Bazhenova, General Director, Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization of Additional Professional Education and Consulting Razvitie.

All things considered, the pandemic has been a very important period for the Russian Red Cross, both in terms of providing regular assistance to people and its own renewal and awareness of the need to make a fresh start — Pavel Savchuk, Chairman, Russian Red Cross All-Russian Civic Organization.

Civil society organizations can do outreach work on a number of important issues

Vaccination is an area where we would struggle without the support of public organizations… It is only members of the public working and volunteering at civil society organizations, people helping others on a daily basis, who are capable of changing the situation significantly and convincing people that getting vaccinated is important — Elena Topoleva-Soldunova, Member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation; Chairman, Commission for the Development of the Non-Profit Sector and Support of Socially Oriented NPOs; Director, "Agency of Social Information".

ISSUES
Insufficient level of interaction between civil society organizations, government and business

One fairly simple format for engaging with government is writing to them, explaining what we are working on and inviting them to work with us… We have already done everything, we have started to allocate support, and we have had to wait a month and a half for a response — Svetlana Bazhenova, General Director, Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization of Additional Professional Education and Consulting Razvitie.

Businesses were complaining, saying that they were ready to offer assistance and waiting for civil society organizations to approach them, that they needed help in order to help people. One the one hand it feels like a partnership, but it also seems as though not everybody was immediately aware of the need to act collectively, and there were situations where people had to fend for themselves — Elena Topoleva-Soldunova, Member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation; Chairman, Commission for the Development of the Non-Profit Sector and Support of Socially Oriented NPOs; Director, "Agency of Social Information".

In some regions, youth affairs agencies would take on a leading role and coordinating position, while in others it was the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, but public involvement was certainly lacking — Pavel Savchuk, Chairman, Russian Red Cross All-Russian Civic Organization.

SOLUTIONS
Including representatives of public organizations in crisis teams

When crisis headquarters and operational command centres are being set up, representatives of all major public organizations, government, business associations and representatives of the non-profit sector should be involved in these operations centres — Elena Topoleva-Soldunova, Member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation; Chairman, Commission for the Development of the Non-Profit Sector and Support of Socially Oriented NPOs; Director, "Agency of Social Information".

Developing closer ties between civil society organizations and representatives of government and business

The pandemic has shown us that it is only through community and solidarity between business, the public and government that we can overcome the consequences and deal with the challenges we are facing as a result of the coronavirus — Galina Dzyuba, Chairman of the Board, Sakhalin Center for Housing and Utilities Control; President, Union "Sakhalin Chamber of Commerce and Industry".