All-Russian Citizens Forum Publishes its 2018 Programme
The sixth all-Russian Citizens Forum (OGF) will take place on 8th December in the Centre for International Trade in Moscow. The full programme can be viewed on its website: civil-forum.ru. The forum offers over 50 different events including discussions among experts, open debates, master-classes, case history presentations, express consultations, conversations with management, investment advice sessions and business breakfasts. All the events are designed to address the five major themes of the forum:
- Local management and social partnership
- Legislative foundation
- The living environment and the rights of the public
- Open society and government leadership
- Using human and social capital
The overriding objective of all the OGF events is about increasing levels of happiness among the general population and identifying ways in which government, business, NGOs and caring individuals can contribute to happiness.
The forum offers discussions in many different forms. They include a debate on social responsibility entitled ‘What are we doing this for?’ involving widely respected leaders of the OFG, the KGI (the Office of the Inspector General), InContact (Facebook in Russia) and the Presidential Grants Foundation known as #BecausePeople. The debate reflects the commitment of many successful and well-known individuals to give their energy, time and money to good causes and exercise their civic responsibility. Andrei Sharonov, President of the Skolkovo School of Management in Moscow, will be moderating the debate.
Among the wide range of topics to be discussed are: ‘Making personal happiness the foundation of new skills’, ‘Happiness in City Living’, ‘The burning issue of the day – confronting the challenges of world religions’, ‘The Future of Charity Work starting from today’, ‘The skills for building close relationships as the pathway to Happiness’, ‘Bloggers – checks and balances of the fifth power’, ‘The human face – what kind of leaders does Russian society need?’
Taking part in the discussion ‘Uncertainty as the new normal and the source of happiness’ will be the economist Yevgeny Gontmakher and the psychologist Alexander Asmolov. The moderator will be the journalist and philosopher Kirill Martynov.
Well-known philanthropists will contribute to the debate ‘Making a difference – when will charities bring about real change?’ They will show how charitable work has helped resolve personal challenges as well as tackling complex social problems and reshaping society. Nikolai Uskov will be the moderator.
The forum will also involve debates between professionals working on specific welfare projects. Titles include: ‘Factors of wellbeing or what it takes to find happiness’ and ‘Preserving our culture heritage to solve the problems of changing towns and cities’.
During the opening session the sociologist Dennis Volkov from the Levada Centre will reveals the results of his research project ‘Happiness as an Individual, as a Citizen and as a Human Being’, which was only completed in autumn 2018.
There will also be debate entitled ‘Happy consumers during the fourth Industrial Revolution’. It will involve experts from the five areas of life that are essential to modern consumers, namely finance, medicine, IT, communication and food. Dmitry Yanin will be the moderator.
As in previous years, the elections will be an important point of debate. The movement to protect the rights of voters known as Golos (Voice) will lead a discussion entitled ‘The Future of Russian elections’. The journalist and social activist Ksenya Sobchak will lead a separate debate called ‘Women are right or the rights of women?’ and education experts will discuss the question ‘How to develop critical thinking through education’.
A working group of ecologists will lead a discussion on the legislative programmes that has been drafted to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing sites under construction and to address other issues relating to the national project ‘Ecology’ in the regions.
RosKomSvoboda (the Russian Freedom Committee) will examine the steps being taken protect the rights of people online with the discussion ‘Transparency for internet and telecommunication companies is the key to protecting digital rights’. It will assess the policies currently being adopted by companies to secure the rights and privacy of internet users and ensure their continued free access to information. Sarkis Darbinyan, an expert in digital rights, will run a master-class called ‘How to avoid prison for ‘liking’ a post.’
The Public Information Agency will lead a debate on Professional NGOs addressing the question ‘Where are they?’ Participants will be able to share their ideas on how to find and train good managers for NGOs.
The Association of Grant-Giving Organisations together with the Forum of Donors will lead a debate called ‘Not simply cooperation. Business-to-business partnership and charity work’.
There will also be a debate about the ‘Information Culture’. It will be led by professionals from the Institute for the Problems of Applying the Law (part of the European University, St Petersburg) and the United Group of Public Surveillance, supported by the Moscow Helsinki group. They will look into the issue of information access affecting law enforcement agencies.
The discussion ‘Dialogue with Managers’ will involve members of the government, ministers or deputy ministers, representatives of other authorities and government agencies. They will be discussing their work, presenting the projects they manage, describing the issues they encounter and demonstrating how they are managing to raise levels of happiness among the population.
The programme will also include a debate on efforts to counter corruption and the future society, government and the role of robots. Transparency International Russia will lead a session for social entrepreneurs, delivering master-classes on fact-checking, social projects, IT, maths, photography, cyber security, social journalism, they will describe case histories, give project presentations and provide brief consultations on issues like charitable fundraising and digital security.
The final session of the forum will focus on ways of cultivating happiness on different levels, from the individual to the national. During the closing ceremony the winners will be announced for a number of competitions, including on case-resolution by the NGO ‘Of course’, on debating, on the social modelling game ‘Model government – solutions for Russia, in which you act as Minister’, on innovative budgeting, on leadership within the charity sector and on open access to information for law enforcement agencies.
Over 300 speakers are expected to take part in the form as well as up to 3,000 participants from all over Russia. They will include social activists, innovators, experts in culture and art, teachers, students, civil servants, deputies, leaders, managers, business people and investors. Click on the OGF website here – сайте – for more details about the speakers.
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