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

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, 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, 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 5,000 people working in Russia and abroad.

The Foundation works alongside various UN departments and other international organizations, and is building multi-format cooperation with 173 economic partners, including industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions, financial, trade, and business associations from 78 countries worldwide, and 188 Russian public organizations, federal and legislative agencies, and federal subjects.

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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Competences of the Future: Learning and Teaching Soft Skills
18 June 2022
14:00—15:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Soft skills have become essential in every profession

I would not call these competencies so much as a necessity. Now, this is a convergent competence. By this, I mean it is hard to imagine a specialist of any kind in a modern work environment who does not possess a certain social capital in terms of how they communicate — Arseny Mayorov, Deputy General Director, Russian "Znanie" Society.

Let’s be honest here: there is no such thing as competencies of the future. What we do have is a centuries-old history which is evolving and developing. And the people who possess a full range of competencies or competencies in specific areas are the leaders in their society, in their ecosystem — Dmitry Guzhelya, Head of Evaluation and Methodology Department, ANO Russia – Land of Opportunity.

Soft skills are extremely important for specialists involved in business processes

However you look at things, hard skills are undoubtedly important. We understand that many processes are being systemized and automated, and digitalization is under way. However, if there is poor communication between people, then progress will clearly be hampered — Dina Gaizatullina, Deputy General Director for Government Relations, Innotech Group.

The most difficult thing for businesses is not putting together a professional team, but integrating that professional team or individual professionals into the organization’s overall operations — Stanislav Neverov, General Director, East Arctic Oil and Gas Corporation.

ISSUES
There is sometimes a lack of understanding around soft skills

The issue is with the definition of soft skills. Perhaps it might make sense to call it something else in order to raise its status. I think we’re living in a time of soft skills. These are not the skills of the future; they are the skills of today. You could take a number of approaches to classifying soft skills. This is how we classify them at Sberbank. Traditionally, there are cognitive skills. You take action when surrounded by uncertainty, you need to create order out of chaos. Perhaps this is done by thinking outside the box, by taking a creative approach. Then you have social skills – the ability to communicate in a team, your feeling for a situation, and your willingness to contribute. The third category could loosely be termed emotional skills. These include your ability to deal with stress, your ability to react competently, and your understanding of yourself — Alexey Tuzikov, Executive Director, Head of Youth Accelerators, Sberbank.

I think the whole discussion around soft skills is very manipulative. That’s because, objectively speaking, there are no qualitative and quantitative indicators attached to them, or there are virtually none. That means it’s absolutely crucial who’s responsible for transferring knowledge in this area — Arseny Mayorov, Deputy General Director, Russian "Znanie" Society.

Soft skills, well, they come under all kinds of names – we don’t have a single ontological platform. There is no one contractual platform which we can use to come up with generally accepted terms. All sorts of names are used – universal competencies, for example – but new names are thought up on top of these every year — Dmitry Guzhelya, Head of Evaluation and Methodology Department, ANO Russia – Land of Opportunity.

Learning soft skills is not as easy as it may first appear

Funny as it may seem, professional competencies can be cultivated fairly quickly. It doesn’t take too long to learn how to program, or to learn the fundamentals of mathematics – you can’t go too deeply into it in a short time, of course, but you can learn the fundamentals. Boosting your soft skills, your universal competencies, however, takes much more time. What’s more, psychologists and psychometrics specialists say that many of these competencies essentially remain unchanged. Globally speaking, your profile is formed at university and secondary school — Dmitry Guzhelya, Head of Evaluation and Methodology Department, ANO Russia – Land of Opportunity.

A lack of demand for training in soft skills can lead to a person going into the wrong profession

Most of the time you get a situation whereby young people want to seriously immerse themselves in their field of study. And at the end, they develop a deep understanding of their subject, and contribute to its development. They get a first-class degree, and get a job in the sciences. But it ends up not being for them. You go to the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, talk to people who are on the path to becoming managers in the future, and after about 10 minutes, you realize that most of them never really wanted to be managers in the first place, nor will they want to — Stanislav Neverov, General Director, East Arctic Oil and Gas Corporation.

SOLUTIONS
An appropriate method enabling specialists to conveniently work on their soft skills needs to be identified

Today, most IT specialists interact and communicate via Confluence and Jira. However, import substitution has led to a large number of new products. Due to factors related to mentality and the nature of their work, IT specialists – 90% of whom work remotely – are shifting more to communicating online via these platforms. Ultimately, communication is needed. Without it, questions will remain unanswered, and new solutions will not emerge. In this case, online education and the online platforms which these people are using offer a convenient environment to demonstrate their skills as communicators, experts, and leaders. They also allow them to demonstrate their soft skills — Dina Gaizatullina, Deputy General Director for Government Relations, Innotech Group.

Skills need to have a purpose. A skill is a tool – you use it to accomplish something. We are turning this upside down a little. We say: ‘You have a specific aim, you have a project which should work very well, and we will help you get to that point’. And in the process, people are already acquiring and developing their soft skills, and are even doing so unconsciously — Alexey Tuzikov, Executive Director, Head of Youth Accelerators, Sberbank.

We need to start with teachers at universities. For some reason we always talk about how we need to have a go at the students and make them study. Meanwhile, employers talk about how they need workers. And yet, according to our research, the people who are actually teaching them have very low competency levels themselves... Everything begins at university, which can either instil a sense of over-regulation, a sense of greater freedom, or a sense of being more active — Dmitry Guzhelya, Head of Evaluation and Methodology Department, ANO Russia – Land of Opportunity.

There is a particular format whereby people participate in projects. Using the formal term, this is called project-based learning, if we speak about universities, colleges, and technical schools. What is the point of project-based learning? Well, alongside traditional forms of learning, such as lectures and seminars, this format – which is becoming a significant part of study programmes – allows students to work on professionally focused specialized projects — Artem Shadrin, General Director, National Agency for Qualifications Development.