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HSE Campus in St. PetersburgNewsThe Higher School of Economics at SPIEF

The Higher School of Economics at SPIEF

This year, the Higher School of Economics (Moscow and St. Petersburg branches) not only participated in the programme of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, but also had its own stand at the SPIEF Investment and Business Expo.

As one of the leading educational institutions in the country, HSE boasted not only traditional presentation and discussion zones, but also special lecture space at the Forum. Dynamic holographic 3D image projections of top academics of the university read interactive lectures throughout the event. The display of holograms helped participants find out more about smart cities, changes that the media sphere is undergoing, as well as other innovative topics related to the development of the world we live in.


But this is not all. Participants could use the special touch panels on the walls of the stand to access the interactive presentation "What will happen to mankind in 25 years". From the presentation, Forum guests could learn more about the most promising technological trends nowadays, which, according to specialists from the HSE, could change our lives dramatically in the future.


What is more, academics of the Higher School of Economics took an active part in the speaker sessions of the event. For instance, a presenter in the "Smart regions: solutions for the future in practice" session was Professor Daniil Alexandrov, Deputy Director of the Higher School of Economics - St. Petersburg and Academic Manager of the programme in Sociology and Social Informatics.


In his speech, Prof. Alexandrov highlighted that new developments such as "smart regions" and "smart cities" demand the use of innovative technologies at all levels of social organization, economy and management in order to improve the well-being of their inhabitants. This would require the use of information technologies in all spheres of life: transport, municipal systems, health, education, security, finance and trade, as well as the creation of more residential and recreational spaces.

Automated accounting systems together with the people who are involved in the above-mentioned fields constantly generate an extremely large amount of data that demands organisation and analysis. A common trend in business nowadays is the 360-Degree Digital Transition – or the transformation to a model where work with data is required across various business fields. Similarly, we see more and more written about the so-called “smart regions”, or places where all companies undergo digital transition.


One of the key organizational problems arising for businesses in the process of digital transition is the gap between the management and technological teams, which to a large extent can be explained by the absence of a common language. On one hand, we have managers who studied economics or management, and on the other - IT specialists with programming skills, as well as engineers trained in automatic systems. Misunderstanding of the common goals, tasks and opportunities inhibits the digital transition in many companies and could seriously hinder the formation of smart cities and smart regions.

Prof. Aleksandrov expressed his opinion that education could have a decisive impact on the speed and success of digital transition in the regions, as such transition depends heavily on the quality of employees in the teams driving its development. Higher education produces qualified personnel and makes possible for their mass retraining through the system of additional education. However, education should always go a few steps ahead of most companies in order to train specialists for the future, who will be in demand also in the next four to five years.

Innovative disciplines such as Digital Social Science and Business Analytics could be the solution to this problem. The Bachelor's programme in Sociology and Social Informatics, led by Daniil Alexandrov, for instance, is aimed at preparing students for work in the global digital society and digital economy. It successfully combines classical humanities subjects (which develop creative and critical thinking) with the study of advanced statistical methods, Data Science and data visualization (R, Gephi, SPSS, Python), as well as the use of digital data and technologies in management and marketing.


Within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Rector of the Higher School of Economics, Yaroslav Kuzminov, and the director of the organising committee of the World Festival of Youth and Students 2017, Roskongress Foundation, Ksenia Razuvaeva, signed an agreement that the Higher School of Economics will develop an educational and discussion program for the XIX World Festival of Youth and Students. The event will be held in October 2017 in Sochi.

One of the main tasks of the World Festival will be the joint study of a vision for the future by young people from different countries, as well as the formulation of answers to the most urgent challenges facing our generation. The programme will include educational events, such as lectures, trainings, workshops, master classes, business games, design and foresight sessions, all of which will take place in the main media centre in Sochi.