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Space of Trust of the Roscongress Foundation: Creating the Basis for Positive Change

Expert opinion
3 June 2019
Пространство доверия Фонда Росконгресс: Формируя основу для позитивных изменений
Release date
Elena Marinina, Deputy CEO of the Roscongress Foundation, Director for the Socio-Economic Agenda, and Director of the Innosocium Foundation, talks about working at SPIEF, new projects and how what is happening is helping the state and society find solutions to socially significant issues.

What programme are you preparing for SPIEF 2019?

The Forum’s key slogan, ‘Creating a Sustainable Development Agenda’, fits perfectly into our own agenda. So we expect to work at SPIEF even more actively than in previous years. This year, SPIEF 2019 will be hosting the Space of Trust platform by integrating the Innovation Space and the Social Impact Lounge into a single thematic space. The new platform has decided to take a fresh look at the future, forming an agenda and promoting dialogue and cooperation among participants in the innovation and social ecosystem.

Interaction between different social groups provides the basis for political relations and is an important factor in the economy. What causes instability in global political and trade relations? The unevenness and specifics of social lopment, in particular.

Many of the sustainable development issues are simply ‘ours’. These include public processes related to environmental preservation and rational use of natural resources; the balance between urban development and ecology; development of innovations, programmes in education, culture, demography, and investment in human capital.

Many of our activities will be integrated into the SPIEF programme. Even visually, we will be present literally everywhere in the form of our unique exhibitions, which will allow Forum delegates to realize constantly the ‘social dimension’ of their projects and discussions.

What do you put into the concept of ‘Space of Trust’?

Space of Trust is a unique platform of the Roscongress Foundation, which will combine innovation, the social agenda and education. As an example, take the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi this year. We held four sessions as part of our core business programme and ten more at the Social Impact Lounge site. The platform approach allowed us to involve dozens of structures and people who could not otherwise be linked in the discussions. This is what federal and international forums are all about. In a vertical structure, all this would require a huge amount of work and incredibly complex planning.

At SPIEF 2019 in St. Petersburg, we will present ourselves even more broadly and we want to demonstrate all the platform’s advantages. Space of Trust will feature big and small discussion platforms organized in the form of roundtables and sessions, but also using more interactive methods. This format implies participation by government, business and NPO representatives, an interview zone in partnership with RBC, an exhibition of artworks as part of a project to develop an inclusive society through art, and a lounge and co-working area that will include a trust space library on three key topics, as well as activities related to augmented reality and revealing social themes through new technologies.

Innosocium’s goals include implementing socially significant and charitable initiatives, promoting development and efficiency of NPOs and CSR, as well as international cooperation within the framework of the sustainable development agenda and strengthening the positive image of Russia

In addition, our site will host a Project Fair organized jointly with the Presidential Grants Foundation. It will present the 100 best non-profit organizations from the Russian regions operating in socially important areas and help them find ways and opportunities for collaboration with socially responsible businesses. The Space of Trust project will also embrace three contests: the Innosocium Nationwide Social Project Competition, the Business Priority contest and the Innovative Development Contest of Skolkovo and VEB Innovation. At SPIEF, we will announce a new stage of the Innosocium National Social Projects Contest.

The Innosocium project has already attracted public attention. Why does Roscongress need a contest of student initiatives?

The first Innosocium Social Project Contest is being implemented in partnership with the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation, Memory of Generations Foundation and Russian Copper Company. The project’s key objective is to find new ideas for resolving social problems, to identify and eNPOurage talented students. One criterion for success of the competition is dissemination of effective social design experience among students.

The contest kicked off in September 2018 at the Eastern Economic Forum. It was suggested to students that they develop projects in the categories of single quotes. About 100 applications from 25 regions of Russia were submitted in three months. The awards were handed out at the Sochi forum by Russian Minister of Science and Higher Education Mikhail Kotyukov. The initiative was officially supported by the Ministry, which intends to replicate the best practices in the field of education.

In general, it is important for us that the winners understand the importance of their projects for the state. With our help, they will be able to present their projects at SPIEF 2019. Victory in the contest should not be an end but a beginning!

This year, the Roscongress Foundation announced creation of a new foundation, Innosocium. What is the purpose?

The Innosocium Foundation for Promotion of Social Development was set up in February as a tool for implementing programmes in the fields of education, culture, ecology, demography and women’s equality. Innosocium has integrated all our lines of activity and will develop new ones. It is a stable structure within the big Roscongress Foundation, with its own budget, management, goals and objectives. For Roscongress, it is the stability of this structure that matters: it is no longer a development project; it is a stable structure.

Innosocium’s key objectives cover practical support for priority areas of social development, formation and promotion of the social agenda at Roscongress communication platforms. Other goals include implementing socially significant and charitable initiatives, promoting development and efficiency of NPOs and CSR, as well as international cooperation within the framework of the sustainable development agenda and strengthening the positive image of Russia.

The priority areas for Innosocium, where we should concentrate our efforts, have been identified. These are the issues of the social sphere, culture, education and training, ecology, social communications and women’s leadership. I think this is a very good set of topics and the platform approach we talked about earlier will the most suite in this case.
Tatyana Golikova, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation

This platform has given us the opportunity to exchange opinions not just within the country, but with our foreign partners as well. It gives us the opportunity to engage businesses, it works very well in engaging non-profit organizations and the public in those social initiatives that are supported by Roscongress, the government, and Roscongress partners. The formation of the INNOSOCIUM Foundation will create new opportunities and potential for this work. Essentially, this means that social issues have become an integral part of the work of the Roscongress Foundation. And that these issues will unite a large portion of the participants and partners, said Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Tatyana Golikova.
Mikhail Kotyukov, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation

Innosocium Social Projects Competition is being implemented with the support of the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education. We supported the Competition to drive the attention of young people — our students — to acute socially important issues, such as building an inclusive society and social responsibility, as well as preserving cultural values. I am confident that the Innosocium Nationwide Social Projects Competition will keep developing. I sincerely hope that those students who receive initial support today will not stop at what has been achieved; they will keep expanding their activities, move forward and lead other kids.

Are there any specific projects already under way?

Relatively new projects feature support and development of the long-term care (LTC) system in Russia. Our first initiative was to participate in the work of the Trusteeship Council in the social sphere of the Pskov Region. The Council includes representatives of the local administration, public and religious organizations, regional branches of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and business leaders.

The project is at the scale-up stage now. It is being implemented jointly with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, the Ministry of Health, regional administrations, and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. The methods for implementing the set of measures is prescribed by the Enjoyable Ageing Charity Foundation for assistance to the elderly and the disabled and its subsidiary, the Elders Foundation. Such regional councils, initiated by Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, will be established in many regions of the country where support from public and businesses is needed to boost the social sphere and NPOs.

The LTC project is primarily designed to provide people in need of long-term care with a decent standard of living and maximum rehabilitation, while also supporting their families. This is a major, long-term project. What can we put into it? A lot of things. Promotion at forums, ‘platform’ expertise, partners from among the participants in our events, image scale, and synergy with other structures of society, from NPOs up to the authorities.

I am also a member of the Council on Guardianship in the Social Sphere under the Government of the Russian Federation. This vital advisory body is headed by Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova and is engaged at the highest level in working out proposals for improving state policy in the field of public health protection and social protection of people in difficulties, including children left without parental care and the disabled.

Roscongress Foundation CEO Alexander Stuglev and Director of the Innosocium Foundation Elena Marinina (fourth and third from the right) handed the awards to the winners of the charity contest. Five social projects received grants worth a total of 2.5 million roubles

The SPIEF 2019 events include a whole group dedicated to women’s leadership. You almost always associate it with the international aspects of the Roscongress Foundation’s work — why?

The Foundation’s involvement in Women 20 (W20) is a continuation of our efforts to develop the women’s agenda, promote women’s leadership and strengthen cooperation with international women’s communities. This cooperation was initiated as part of the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, held in Paris last year. The Women 20 Summit and the World Assembly for Women in Japan discussed, among other things, creation of innovative women’s groups and active involvement of women in the digital economy.

It is important that we talk not so much about the supposedly intractable problems related to gender inequality as about how the process is actually going. Russia has unique experience in addressing gender issues: here, the huge scale of women’s employment and most of the problems caused by discrimination against women are different from in the rest of the world. So our experience can be very useful.

Are you claiming direct participation in the formation of the national social agenda?

Any structure that uses platform solutions in its work is aware of the opportunities they offer. In the long run, we can create a multidimensional map of the interrelations between different social problems and trends. The natural purpose of such experience is to use it in developing social policy. And not only state policy. We expect our methods to be in demand by NPOs, which often experience problems in formulating long-term objectives. They will also be useful for charitable foundations and corporate structures interested in having institutional influence in this form on social policy

Why the Innosocium Contest is important

The Innosocium National Social Projects Contest is being implemented in partnership with the Art, Science, and Sport Charitable Foundation, the Memory of Generations Foundation, and the Russian Copper Company.
Katerina Kruglova, Executive Director, Memory of Generations Foundation

«The goal that we have set for ourselves as part of the Innosocium contest is to search for new communications solutions to draw attention to the ‘Active Longevity’ programme, which solves problems as regards improving the living standards of the elderly population in Russia. We believe that the involvement of young people in this socially significant project is an important step in achieving this goal».
Maria Melnichenko, Programme Director, the Art, Science, and Sport Charity Foundation

«One of the key reasons for us to support the Innosocium contest is to involve young people in socially significant initiatives. Today, this is an extremely important audience that is already impacting our future today. Social initiatives will not only help young people form a responsible civic stance, but also better understand the important problems faced in our modern society, and for charitable organizations this will provide a new impetus to the development and implementation of new initiatives and innovations. The project ‘Audio Productions of Chuvash Folk Tales and Legends for Blind Children’ won in the category ‘Inclusive Society’ since it aims to help preserve the architectural and cultural values, identity, culture, languages, and traditions of the peoples of the Russian Federation. The Innosocium contest will help attract new fresh ideas in communications that will help solve social problems and provide the experience of implementing social projects in the student environment. We expect the contest to be actively developed and attract new participants and areas of focus».
Anna Shabarova, Vice President for Human Resources and Social Responsibility, Russian Copper Company

«We always strive to start with the urgent needs of the territories where our companies operate and listen to the wishes of the local residents. Our experience shows that what local residents and communities create with their hands, efforts, and enthusiasm not only has a special value for citizens, but also triggers a chain of small but continuous improvements in the quality of life. The residents themselves,
business people, and the authorities of different levels are all involved in the process of improving the urban environment. We are certain that the Innosocium project will help young people believe that positive changes are in their hands and that their ideas are valuable and can be implemented».

The winners speak

The Heroes of the Innosocium National Social Projects Contest talk about their projects
Olga Molostvova

Project: Nearby Home Educational Landscape Design Course

Category: Active Longevity

Nomination partner: the Memory of Generations Foundation

«Our project is aimed at overcoming the social isolation of older people through involving them in the educational process. For us, the Innosocium contest is a great opportunity to implement our ideas and make the world a little better and kinder. Thanks to the grant awarded to us, we have an opportunity to invite professional landscape designers from the leading agencies of Ekaterinburg and to purchase the necessary materials for our audience to fulfil creative project tasks. Now I am finishing my training in the area of ‘State and municipal management’ and plan to work in a government agency in the future. For me, the civil service is primarily a story about people and just for people. And Innosocium allows us to understand people, to be closer to them, to know their needs. This is very important.»
Irina Svyatskova

Project: Audio performances based on Chuvash folk tales and legends for blind children

Category: Inclusive Society

Nomination partner: the Art, Science, and Sport Charitable Foundation

«I worked at the Chuvash Republic Library for Children and Youth and was involved in the inclusive contest ‘A Touch of Mastery’. After talking to the parents of one participant, I realized that, unfortunately, blind children have no opportunity to receive information about Chuvash national heroes in an accessible form. This is how the idea was born for my project. When I found out that Diana Gurtskaya was going to be on the jury of the Innosocium contest, I thought maybe this would be a way to get to the opinion leaders on this particular social problem. I want to use the grant entirely for the project, which also includes a contest for the best Chuvash fairy tale, where children with disabilities can participate on an equal footing with healthy children. Participation in the Innosocium competition has already changed my life and I look at the world differently now. This year, I’m going to enroll in a Master’s degree programme in Sociology in order to continue helping people.»
Svetlana Panyukova

Project: Beyond the bounds of severity

Category: Territorial Development

Nomination partner: Russian Copper Company

«We’ve been cherishing the idea for the project for years. The Faculty of Journalism at Chelyabinsk State University gradually formed a group of active journalism students who wanted to create their own project on the city scale. We love the South Urals, we know it well, we have something to say about it. We are ready to create a portal that as the region’s hallmark for tourists and an entertainment platform for Urals residents themselves. Winning the Innosocium Contest gave our team a lot. Including undreamt-of financial support. Now we will be able to create the necessary platform for content, purchase equipment, organize the necessary trips around the region, hold educational meetings and much more. And then there’s moral support: Wow, our project was noted, so it’s really worth it. I don’t know how things will work out but now I’m happy that our dream has been given a chance. And we are ready to create and work!»

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