Post release of SMART RUSSIA 2014
On April 24–25, 2014, the first Congress aimed at fostering the development of SMART society, Russia: From an Information Society to a Society of Knowledge – SMART RUSSIA 2014, took place. The Congress was hosted by the National Research University Higher School of Economics and co-organized by the Moscow State University of Economics, Statistics and Informatics (MESI); the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation; Deutsche Messe Rus; and the Russian Union of CIOs (SoDIT). Congress Partners included the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR); the German House for Science and Innovation (DWIH) in Moscow; the eLearning Professionals Association; and Information Management magazine. Prior to the Congress, a list of nominees for The SMARTest Enterprise, University, Region Award was prepared.
The conference was opened by Boris Slavin, Research Advisor at the Applied Mathematics and Information Technology Department of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation and Chairman of the Congress’ Program Committee. He pointed out that the SMART era emerging from Information Society centers on the networking communication technologies that are rapidly transforming business, education and government. Russia is lagging behind other countries in terms of the studying and pooling of recent SMART developments, and the Congress is designed to help overcome this hurdle. Boris Slavin discussed preparatory work and thanked all those who contributed to formulating the Congress’ program for their efforts. Welcoming remarks were delivered by Andreas Luttman, General Manager at Deutsche Messe.
The plenary session was introduced by MESI Research Advisor, Professor Vladimir Tikhomirov with a talk on establishing the SMART University and transitioning to SMART education. Gianmarco Cifaldi, Professor at Chieti – Pescara University (Italy), spoke about the links between SMART society and SMART citizens. Dae Joon Hwang, Professor at Sungkyunkwan University (Seoul, South Korea), invited by the Faculty of Business Informatics, Higher School of Economics, gave a speech on the principles of SMART education and South Korean best practices. The final speech at the plenary session was given by Vladimir Fomichev, Professor at the Higher School of Economics, who emphasized the need for striking a balance between technology and spiritual values in a SMART society.
Over the two days of the Congress, a total of 18 panel sessions, roundtables, seminars and workshops were held with over 120 participants. The topics discussed at the panel sessions included SMART University technologies and platforms for massive open online courses (MOOC). During two successive sessions, the participants were introduced to the “Virtual Worlds” that connect real people and virtual university platforms. Students, instructors and lecturers from Russia, Norway and Great Britain took part in the “Virtual Worlds” demonstration.
Another panel session, which attracted a record number of guests, was devoted to the concept of the SMART school.
A session exploring knowledge-driven economy saw a heated discussion as the participants debated economic issues related to the new economy and copyrights, as well as social and political problems such as SMART wars, SMART security, etc. The representatives of Russian companies found the discussion on knowledge and innovation management systems quite useful, while municipal government officials enjoyed the SMART city technology session, where they were able to learn more about the technology for developing an innovative urban environment. The final session at the Congress was dedicated to innovative projects in the field of SMART management and SMART education. Young innovators showcased new mobile “mind capture” technologies and ways to gamify learning and instruction, as well as unique technologies to manage personnel groups.
As the Congress wound down, the participants warmly thanked the organizers for an exciting and informative event, and unanimously agreed that the Congress should be held again in 2015. What’s more, it was decided to form an initiative group to systemize and generalize the materials supplied by nominees for The SMARTest Enterprise, University, Region Award. Another important decision made at the Congress was to establish an International Institute for Furthering SMART Society as a voluntary, non-profit organization. Russian universities, as well as institutes and universities based in Italy, South Korea and Germany, agreed to become Institute partners.