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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Network Communities and Institutions in a Glocalizing Society: Power Struggles Over Socium
4 June 2021
17:00—18:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Building and scaling a community has become cheaper due to the communications revolution

What’s changed? Why do we talk about communities so often nowadays? They have become cheaper. The cost of entering the community market has declined dramatically with the communications revolution [...] Of course, you can’t get by without the phenomenon itself. It has taken on completely different scales and a completely different influence, — Lev Jakobson, Vice President, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

Online communities enable members to share their concerns with a broader audience

We work with a lot of communities. Communities of volunteers, communities of motorists, communities of environmental activists. Now I’m talking about online communities – about everything that we observe in various […] social networks on the Internet. One of the communities that I happened to get to know is the community of parents with children who have very rare and serious illnesses. And when I talked with them [...], I realized that no one could talk about this misfortune better than them. Even a ministry official, with all the empathy towards these people, probably does not fully realize the depth of this problem, cannot realize this need and turn it into some kind of action. I felt that it was at least useful to observe, cooperate, read this very signal, and, most importantly, try to help. This is the social component of the discourse, — Lidia Mikheeva, President of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation; Chairman of the Board, Research Centre of Private Law under the President of the Russian Federation.

During the pandemic, we have all seen the power of communities […] We understand how these communities are now starting to play an important role [...] I think it’s our responsibility as a civil society, as a state, to properly connect a piece of systemic assistance to support communities and families, — Elizaveta Oleskina, Director, Old Age for Joy Charitable Foundation..

The need for communities is growing due to the loneliness of modern society

Right now [...] an interesting phenomenon is taking place: people are left alone with a lot of problems [...] The state will provide them with some kind of social protection, but, nevertheless, the feeling of loneliness is now one of the stable sensations that exists in society […] In this regard, the need for communities [is growing], including their greater formalization […] Communities that have entry rules, exit rules, a subscription, or membership fees. In America, a young person at age 25 now pays USD 200–300 per month for subscriptions, with [each subscription costing] a dollar or two, — Ruben Vardanian, Co-founder, Noôdome.

ISSUES
Lack of regulation of social networks and communities

In this sense, we have a new phenomenon, when there is a community, there is a state, there is a private business, and there are these incomprehensible organizations that also own communities, which [...] enjoy very great influence. We not only have people who have hundreds of millions of followers who [...] also influence their opinion. The emergence of new sects and new [...] movements that cause mass psychosis of people. We also see quite a lot happening now in the 21st century, especially against the backdrop of the pandemic, — Ruben Vardanian, Co-founder, Noôdome.

For the most part [...], we are not at all prepared psychologically, morally, or ethically for such an active development of online communities. We focus quite often on the opinion of communities – they directly or indirectly manipulate us [...] Now that the state has taken up the regulation of the Internet, it will be even tougher. Not only in Russia and not only [the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media] […] It’s clear that the law will always lag behind in the regulation of legal relations between the state and the community as well as the community and the citizen. The community has a tremendous impact, but we don’t know what to do with it or how to use it for good […] In our country, many traditional NPOs go online, but, as a rule, their network communities […] aren’t very successful – they are more pages for their members. But good, interesting, widespread, professional, and a wide variety of social networking communities have great influence and weight, but there is no legal framework and no legal mechanisms to support these communities, — Vladislav Grib, Deputy Secretary, Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation.

Weak integration of people who can’t find self-fulfilment without support

In this situation, self-sufficient people [...] who are capable, firmly on their feet, and even psychologically stable have enormous advantages. And in a much worse position – in a worse situation than before – there are other people who really need support and some kind of joint identification […] There is the problem of integrating […] people who, for various reasons […], without support, without help, cannot realize [their abilities] […] Networking today makes fragmentation very easy […] The bond between people who are potentially strong and potentially weak […] has diminished, — Lev Jakobson, Vice President, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

SOLUTIONS
The Public Chamber can be a mediator

There are communities that are absolutely peaceful, absolutely constructive, good-neighbourly, wonderful, who discuss beautiful pictures, trips, and so on. And then there are those communities that are formed in order to make certain threats to society [...] Now it’s crucial [...] to understand where the threat is and where it’s not, and which communities for us, as representatives of the Public Chamber, are a platform, resource, and reliable support, where we could, as [...] a mediator between society and between citizens, find a compromise between government and business [...] Not to regulate (that would be impossible), but [...] to serve as mediators, — Natalia Pochinok, Chairman, Commission of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation on social policy, labor relations and support for veterans; Rector, Russian State Social University.

Communities need to be institutionalized for positive interaction with the government

The Public Chamber [...] wants to influence the state. Business also wants influence. And institutionalization is needed in order to influence, and not only to influence, but in general to deal with something somehow. You need a subject with whom you can agree on something and who will responsibly fulfil some obligations. Non-institutionalized networks can only be influenced negatively. Here you can prohibit something […] And it’s only possible to have a positive influence and to provide some kind of resource or some kind of support where there is an institution […] Therefore, […] in terms of having a positive impact on these collective actions […], institutionalization should be encouraged here, — Lev Jakobson, Vice President, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

Interaction and collaboration

A community is defined [by trust]. People may not know each other and may not even always [...] act together, but these are the ones who trust each other properly. This is a feature in our society […] [where we see] a high level of interpersonal trust in acquaintances by world standards and a very low level of trust in strangers. The gap [...] in our country is very high […] And this is precisely the diagnosis of what is happening with our communities [...] The situation that is developing now alongside the communications revolution is inevitably causing people to find the most comfortable niche for themselves [...], but it’s very important at the same time that society does not disintegrate into groups that are not only hostile, but also indifferent to each other. Building these very bridges [...] is the key task of working with communities, — Lev Jakobson, Vice President, National Research University Higher School of Economics.