Congress of the Free Economic Society of Russia

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The setting

The congress of the FES of Russia held in the Northern capital was a part of the Fourth St. Petersburg Economic Congress (SPEC) “Foresight Russia: New Industrial Society. The Future”. The FES Congress was a key scholarly event of the Economic Congress attended by nearly 700 leading experts in the field of economics from different countries. Scholars and economists arrived from France, Austria, Italy, Greece, China, Britain and Estonia. Simultaneously, a meeting of the International Union of Economists was held.

The events

In his report to the SPEC Sergey Bodrunov presented the concept of “noonomy”, which is the focus of his large monograph, discussed under the FE Ex-libris section; leading Russian economists spoke on breakthrough development strategies. (See below for quotes from speeches of Congress participants).

The Congress inaugurated the Free Economic Society of Russia Memorium dedicated to the celebration of Karl Marx’s 200th anniversary during which several major international events are planned (see the FES of Russia Events). The moderator of the scientific segment Professor Alexander

Buzgalin, Head of the Center for Contemporary Marxist Studies at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Chief of the Moscow branch of the S.Yu. Witte Institute of New Industrial Development, noted that Russia had seen entirely different attitudes to this thinker, who had been recognized as the intellectual of the millennium by a survey conducted by some of the most authoritative international organizations.

“We turned him into an icon, we threw him out, now it is time for a serious critical analysis of how he can be of use. After the global economic crisis of 2007- 2009, it became quite obvious: we need to understand and move forward. In Germany, where Marx was born, the president of the country is the honorary leader of this memorial celebration. In Russia there will be a series of large meetings in various cities culminating in a large forum to be held at the Moscow State University with the support of the Free Economic Society and the INID. We expect all of you to attend on May 17, 18, and 19. A huge forum will be held in Beijing on May 5-6, forums in Latin America, in almost all the cities of Western Europe, and in the United States will be held in June. It is difficult to name a country that will not celebrate this important, I would say, economic, political and philosophical anniversary,” Buzgalin said.

The Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg, Sergey Movchan, addressed the participants of the Congress and read the greetings of the Governor Georgy Poltavchenko: «Dear friends. I am happy to welcome in our city the participants, organizers and guests of the Fourth St. Petersburg International Economic Congress “Foresight Russia: New Industrial Society. The Future”. This respectable forum has brought together authoritative Russian and foreign scientists, experts, government officials and businessmen on the banks of the Neva. It has conducted an in-depth analysis of current economic processes and looked for new drivers and strategies of advanced development. The theme of the congress is fully in tune with the Strategy 2030 adopted in St. Petersburg. The issues of integration of high-tech production, science and education have come to the fore in order to achieve a qualitative growth of regional economies. St. Petersburg is Russia’s largest industrial and innovation center. We are prepared to share our best practices and achievements and adopt the successful experience of our colleagues».

The decisions

During the organizational part of the Free Economic Society of Russia Congress a new edition of the FES Charter was approved. Sergei Bodrunov was unanimously elected President of the organization for the next five-year term. A new board of the FES of Russia with a membership of 128 was elected for a term of five years along with an audit commission. The plenary meeting of the board of the FES of Russia elected the organization’s Presidium and Senate (Council of the Elders). The composition of all these bodies can be easily found on the Society’s website.

The work of the Congress was covered by the TV channels OTR and Russia 24, the news agency TASS, the Federal News Agency, the Vecherny St. Petersburg newspaper and other media.

At the meeting of the members of the International Union of Economists its President Gavriil Popov resigned from his post and proposed that Sergey Bodrunov be elected President so that the two related organizations could work in tandem.

The participants of the FES of Russia Congress noted the serious working atmosphere of the forum and proposed to keep on trying to combine organizational meetings with scientific work at the St. Petersburg Economic Congress. “We are here today in this room in order to start a serious scientific discussion. A scientific discussion, which is directly related to our future: to Russia, our economy, our society, every one of us. This country is facing a choice, and I think that all the participants of the plenary session and panels will agree this choice needs to be made, and it must be a strategic one. Stop going round in circles, we must move ahead, but we need to know where to go,” the moderator said.

Interactive voting

At the FES of Russia Congress an interactive vote was held to select the most significant topics and areas of the society’s activity. The results of the voting will be taken into account in drawing up the FES of Russia’s work plan for the next year and in preparing the All-Russian Economic Projects Program activities.

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