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 155 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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Expanding the Possibilities of Digital Development for the Youth
5 June 2021
16:00—17:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
The number of fake stories and cybercrimes is increasing in proportion to the time that young people spend online

At present, based on 302 decisions from the Prosecutor General’s Office, 161 resources have already been blocked, and prohibited information has been removed from around 1,500 Internet pages. [...] Roughly 5,000 fake topics were identified, 2,000 of them were revised, and about 3,000 messages were deleted — Bella Cherkesova, Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

In the first half of 2020, there was a 50% increase in the number of cybercrimes, of which 59% were committed through social networks, and 23% through fake websites. Who spends the most time online? It’s clearly the youth audience — Yulia Mihaleva, Deputy Director, Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo).

Research shows that every Russian spends an average of seven hours a day online, i.e., a full working day. And I’m sure this figure is much higher for young people. […] All the problems that have just been voiced are absolutely relevant and concern young people. Destructive content is being distributed, and we’re talking not only about illegal content, but also about such ugly things as cyberbullying and trash content. There are also concerns about data safety — Vadim Glushchenko, Director, Center for Global IT-Cooperation.

ISSUES
Restrictions to protect children from illegal online content could censor the digital space

How do we get rid of the darknet? Experts say that it can only be done by killing the entire Internet — Roman Chukov, Chairman of the Board, Russian Center for the Promotion of International Initiatives; Assistant to Youth Policy Director, Roscongress Foundation.

We are thinking about how to approach this [ensuring security online]. I wouldn’t want it to lead to censorship because it’s such a delicate matter. On the one hand, there should be rules of the game, while on the other hand, they should not be to the detriment of the users themselves. We need to maintain a balance, but we don’t have a ready answer yet — Bella Cherkesova, Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

Internet users have a low level of digital literacy

According to various estimates, there hasn’t been a very big increase in the number of people in our country, including among young people, who believe that they are highly advanced, that they are developing strongly in this, and that their level of digital literacy has increased over this period — Yulia Mihaleva, Deputy Director, Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo).

It’s not always possible to understand which source to trust, how to double-check it, and how to rank the information to which we have access — Bella Cherkesova, Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

There is a somewhat alarming trend in that, unfortunately, the level of digital literacy among young people is slightly decreasing. According to the latest digital test from 2021, the audience from age 14 to 17, adolescents, as well as young people aged 18 to 24 are especially susceptible to this — Vadim Glushchenko, Director, Center for Global IT-Cooperation.

SOLUTIONS
Digital security lessons should be taught not only to children and adolescents, but to their parents too

The main activities that I would like to see implemented are educational activities that aim to increase the level of legal and digital literacy among young people. We plan to hold a number of such events in the near future at the Artek international children’s centre, if it works out with the support of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, at the Ocean All-Russian Children’s Centre, and at schools — Dmitry Gulyaev, Youth Digital Ombudsman.

We have developed an action plan that specifically aims to support the information security of children. It is planned for 2021–2027, and many of the federal executive authorities and regions of the Russian Federation are involved in the work. […] Increasing the level of digital literacy will make it possible to separate fake news from real news and generally increases the level of trust in what we see on the Internet — Bella Cherkesova, Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

Don’t forget about the principle that we always hear on the plane: first put your own mask on, and then on your child. If you don’t provide yourself with knowledge and protection, you won’t be informed and you won’t be able to provide this help. We not only need to focus on children, adolescents, and young people, we need to improve digital literacy for all segments of the population — Yulia Mihaleva, Deputy Director, Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo).

Business should help the government create a secure Internet

In many countries and integrated associations, there are self-regulatory alliances where businesses come together and are committed to protecting children online. This experience exists in the European Union as well. […] A few weeks ago, at a Russian Internet forum, an initiative was announced by the business community to create an alliance to protect children online. I think this initiative is good and very effective — Vadim Glushchenko, Director, Center for Global IT-Cooperation.

For this to become a shared success story, efforts from above are not enough, just as efforts from below are not enough. This all needs to somehow be in step, and business must also be involved. I am referring to our IT business because it is also interested in enhancing our digital literacy. I believe that synergy here is the key to success — Bella Cherkesova, Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

We have the power to unite the efforts of all stakeholders and interested parties, namely the UN international ecosystem, Internet corporations that own the Internet infrastructure, and other large public organizations. A single system, if such rules of the game appeared, would create a foundation for sustainable development for all of us — Roman Chukov, Chairman of the Board, Russian Center for the Promotion of International Initiatives; Assistant to Youth Policy Director, Roscongress Foundation.