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SPIEF 2018: Catalyst for Uniting Young Leaders in Diplomacy and Business

29 May 2018
ПМЭФ-2018: катализатор объединения единомышленников – молодых лидеров международной дипломатии и бизнеса

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2018) became a catalyst for uniting like-minded young leaders in international diplomacy and business. On 24–26 May, young leaders from G20, BRICS and the EAEU came together to present their national and international projects, ideas for developing cooperation and sharing knowledge on economic development, leadership and entrepreneurship. The project was initiated by the Russian Centre for Promotion of International Initiatives. 

The group of 25 young leaders in diplomacy and business from each G20, BRICS and EAEU country worked together within the framework of the forum. Their work will become a permanent basis for building global cooperation, knowledge sharing and leadership development within the G20, BRICS, the EAEU and other countries. The participants also discussed the 2025 Strategy, a collective plan for expanding cooperation between global leaders at the individual level and between organizations to broaden opportunities and promote global leadership.

The project received support from 

- Roscongress Foundation

- Administration of St. Petersburg 

- Rossotrudnichestvo

“Young leaders from G20 have previously met at SPIEF in 2013, during Russia’s chairmanship of the Group. This format received support from the President of Russia, who held a meeting with the participants. We welcomed the idea of a global reunion for young leaders who participated in youth summits over the years, including in 2013. The SPIEF Program Committee always invites young and creative business leaders, the research sector, public organizations, economists and politicians to participate in joint work on the agenda of events that interest young leaders and for the participation of young leaders at other venues of the Roscognress Foundation,” said Anton Kobyakov, Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation.

After numerous meetings with leaders of organizations and the government participating in SPIEF 2018, young leaders created a permanent basis for interaction, progressive development of national and international policy in various relevant areas. These policy areas include economic and financial participation, development of entrepreneurship and trade.

The Forum has resulted in the formation of a permanent network for young leaders from the world’s leading countries within the SPIEF framework. The working programme of the Global Network for Leadership and Entrepreneurship is largely based on the economic strategy. A decentralized network for individual performance has also been created.   

During their work at SPIEF 2018, members of the young leaders’ delegation paid special attention to the types of SMEs in Russia, which can be efficiently adapted to development in an international format. Importantly, these SMEs are mostly related to innovative technologies (an industry actively promoted by Russian scientists and businessmen), agriculture, production, fuel and energy.  

This initiative will help develop international cooperation in various areas of public policy. The exchange of ideas will facilitate and provide projects to individuals, creating a deeper understanding and a great influence on the development of policies and legislation at the national and international levels.

Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development, supported the work of young leaders delegation: “As part of redesigning small and medium business support, expert community proposed to assist Russian entrepreneurs in entering international business networks. This format was initiated at SPIEF 2018 during the meeting of young leaders from the G20, BRICS and EAEU countries. Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship Network and similar social initiatives help protect interests of Russian companies in global markets, as well promote successful projects and technologies.”  

Global Network for Leadership and Entrepreneurship

The Network will consist of organizations promoting new initiatives in business-innovation, education and leadership development. Its goals are: 

1. Share and promote best practices between successful and new entrepreneurs through G20, BRICS, the EAEU and other countries, providing a platform for facilitating knowledge sharing;

2. Promote the active participation of governments in creating favourable conditions for the prosperity of entrepreneurs;

3. Support participating companies to expand their entrepreneurial projects by providing local expertise, access to local resources and investment.

Roman Chukov, Chairman of the Board of the Russian Centre for Promotion of International Initiatives, Russia’s Sherpa for the G20 Youth Summit, says: “The meeting of young leaders at SPIEF brought together 25 people from G20, BRICS and the EAEU member states to discuss new solutions to global problems and devise new forms of collaboration between young leaders at the level of business administration, public organizations, researchers and creative industry. This is done to ensure full participation of all countries in the configuration of modern international relations in order to jointly develop constructive initiatives that will allow us to change our world for the better and begin working towards a future without disagreements and contradictions. We devised two possible formats of cooperation to achieve this. First, communication between young leaders at an individual level in the form of decentralized horizontal interaction, to which all the tested young leaders can contribute in those areas where their leadership and real achievements have been proven. Second, a Global Network for Leadership and Entrepreneurship which would help carry out our ambitions and ideas, including those of the first, more practical network, through the scaling of successful projects, business projects and specific entrepreneurial and leadership initiatives from every participating country. Both platforms are open and will continue to develop. Young leaders decided to meet at all key international venues as well as participate in the agenda process for these events to ensure that socially important projects always find coverage and support. We will work together to provide us with a better future.” 

Eleonora Mitrofanova, Head of Rossotrudnichestvo Federal Agency, promised support for the Global Network with infrastructure in leading countries of the world, logistics and communications with international figures. 


The task of creating a specialized youth section of the Forum was given at SPIEF 2017 by the President of Russia. 

The Russian Centre for Promotion of International Initiatives invited 25 young leaders from G20 and the EAEU countries to SPIEF 2018 with support from SPIEF and the Administration of St. Petersburg. Among the guests are previous participants in Russia-hosted events, including those who attended a meeting between the President of Russia and the youth leaders of G20 at SPIEF 2013 (for full footage of the meeting visit 

In his plenary speech at SPIEF, the Russian President made two references to his meeting with the young leaders.