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The Digital Economy and Education: Changing the Paradigm
24 May 2018
11:00—12:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
The digital economy requires changes to be made in education

The digital economy is already affecting our life, society, and the traditional economy. It has radically changed the labour market. <...>A large number of traditional professions are becoming obsolete, and this trend will continue. The education sector is therefore faced with a challenge: how can we retrain people, shifting focus to new professions? <...> The digital economy is not something that will happen tomorrow – it is already with us, and it is already influencing what we need to teach people — Oleg Novikov, President,"Exmo-AST" Publishing Group; President, Russian Textbook Corporation.

New technologies are simplifying education

This school year, 100 junior mathematics classes were launched via our platform. It works like this: a teacher <...> can, presuming there are tablet devices in the classroom, assign a task during the lesson via the platform. If the classroom is not equipped in this way <...> then the teacher can simply give homework via the platform. <...> Teachers have said that their job has become much easier. They really like the fact that they don’t need to spend excessive time on marking homework – about a third of their time has freed up. Essentially, we help teachers spend more time on actual teaching — Elena Bunina, General Director, Yandex Russia.

The digital revolution has made books more accessible

What content will there be, and what is the role and place of publishers in today’s digital world? It would appear that a major challenge exists: over the past 500 years, the book has barely changed. At the same time, the digital revolution, and along with it, digital books and content, will render publishers redundant, and the book will die. <...> It has become clear that if we don’t set the traditional book against the digital book, then there is no problem. What is more, the digital sphere has made the book more accessible, more convenient, and has conveyed additional thoughts, feelings and possibilities — Oleg Novikov, President,"Exmo-AST" Publishing Group; President, Russian Textbook Corporation.

The growing rate of innovation means that business and society need to adapt faster

The evolution of our society is influenced by the rate of innovation. From the start of the industrial revolution, these innovations have continued to rapidly appear and spread, which forces us to constantly adapt accordingly. Without this adaptation, the issue would virtually be one of our extinction. <...> When we talk about adaptation, we must touch upon organizational changes and modifications in our society, both in terms of its essence and form — Emmanuel Tric, President, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis.

Yandex, like Google, and like other tech companies are largely disrupters of everything. <...> You disrupt GDP, since your activities make services much cheaper, thereby reducing demand for traditional services. Take Yandex.Taxi, for example. The greater its foothold, the fewer private cars there are, and the lower GDP is. Similarly, the more instantly available high‑quality and cheap e-books there are, the lower GDP is — Vladimir Mau, Rector, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).

The ones who know best about the trends in the digital world are actually our students, especially our youngest students. They are the ones who bring us the latest trends on what’s happening. And we have to adapt – just like companies have to – with what’s happening in the digital world. And we have to adapt very quickly — Alessia Di Domenico, Associate Dean, EDHEC Business School.

ISSUES
There is not enough scientific research being done in Russia

Research, discovery and education are all linked together. I believe we are facing a potential crisis. Over the years 2000 to 2012, we saw a decline in the output of research from Russia, despite its great scientific history. In the last couple of years, we’ve started to see an increase again, but I would say that it’s very fragile — Annette Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Scientific and Academic Research, Clarivate Analytics.

The huge variety of content is making choice more difficult

Today we are faced with a question: given the availability of such a diverse range of educational content, how can we make the best selection for a pupil in order to build an individualized educational trajectory and help him to adapt and obtain the knowledge and skills which will be required in the 21st century? We understand that this is a question that encompasses outlook, competencies, communication skills, and indeed, the ability to remain on a path of lifelong learning — Oleg Novikov, President,"Exmo-AST" Publishing Group; President, Russian Textbook Corporation.

Online threats are growing

When our children surf the internet, their consciousness is being manipulated. Sadly, this already manifests itself in our current reality, in which our children live, together with us and our own parents. This is a real threat, which is little understood when it comes to discussions of issues regarding education — Marina Rakova, Chief Executive Officer, Russian Foundation for Educational Development.

SOLUTIONS
Digital technologies must not lead to a withdrawal from reality

Artificial intelligence and all these deep-learning approaches are very useful, but soft skills need to be developed by students in universities. Not everything will be online. Not everything will be digital — Patrice Houdayer, Vice Dean, SKEMA Business School.

New opportunities for communication should be employed to increase trust and cultural exchange

In order to have the opportunity to survive and thrive in this world, and become more and more competitive, digital collaboration is absolutely essential. We need to search for and identify common synergies, common systemic aspects, and share expertise and knowledge under this principle. This should result in a win-win scenario, where trust and shared culture is developed on both sides — Emmanuel Tric, President, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis.

Instil digital skills at school

We do need people. What’s more, we need the cleverest, strongest, and most well-rounded people. But in order <...> for them to come into being, we need to build a large feeder system. For example, by secondary school we need children who have shown an interest in programming to actually start attempting it — Elena Bunina, General Director, Yandex Russia.

Not to shy away from employing new technologies in traditional areas of business

Business must work with this system head-on, in the way that is essentially done in Europe. <...>We have a unique experience with Yandex – we invited them to work on a <...> small project. As a result, we increased our capacity by 3.6% within a few months — Andrey Komarov, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chelyabinsk Pipe-Rolling Plant.

The digital economy is an economy based on access. <...> Not many people are aware that Post Bank is the only bank in the world which has been identifying all its customers using digital facial recognition. We used the Skolkovo startup VisionLabs — Georgiy Gorshkov, First Deputy President and Chairman of the Management Board, Post Bank.

Develop international cooperation in business and education

We promote and reinforce links between the business communities in Russia and France to enhance the reputation of the French-Russian University. We have talked a lot about how the skills and competencies that we are developing in the framework of the French-Russian University are fully aligned with what is needed by the business communities both in France and in Russia — Celine Davesne, Deputy General Manager for Programs, NEOMA Business School.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS