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Social Challenges of Economic Development

The first Tatyana Zaslavskaya Symposium "Social Challenges of Economic Development" started its work in Novosibirsk. The event is organized by the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. The Symposium is held with the support of the Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the ACIG Group of Companies.

The first day of the Symposium’s work was opened by a plenary discussion "Social Challenges of Economic Development" moderated by the Rector of the RANEPA Vladimir Mau, who visited the Siberian Institute of Management – a branch of the Presidential Academy, for the first time. The participants discussed the economic trends of the last few years and also pointed out at the bottlenecks originating from the social sphere that became a serious challenge for the country’s economic development. "For twenty years the only discussion there was in Russia was devoted to economic priorities in public policy" the moderator reminded to the audience. Now, when we finally established for a fact that a person is not a mere object of economic policy but a subject as well, the economy faced new issues and objectives.

The Deputy Chair of the Government of the Russian Federation Olga Golodets spoke of some priority areas of social policy. She underlined how significant and relevant are the works of Tatyana Zaslavskaya for the modern social economy. "The key issues that the state faces today are the issues of population ageing and decrease," she said. "Demography today is our absolute priority, because it is hardly manageable: is it even possible to make a family decide to give birth to a child by using economic and non-economic incentives?" The Deputy Chair also noted that it is possible, for example, to create favorable conditions for working mothers. "Such program is tested in a number of regions of the Russian Federation, but thanks to the great results that were achieved it will be implemented throughout the country," she said.

Olga Golodets enumerated the difficulties of social and economic policy, such as the labor market and employment issues in regions that the Government addresses by creating "the new employment programs" and stimulating employers to encourage workforce to move to regions – by paying for their relocation, training and social adaptation. Besides, she drew attention to the modernization of healthcare that is supposed to make mortality rates decrease. Speaking of economy development forecasts, the speaker noted that there is a chance to change economic tendencies, control them.

The Interim Acting Governor of the Novosibirsk Region Vladimir Gorodetsky continued speaking on the topics of economic policy in terms of human capital, but in regards to the territorial peculiarities. He reported that the solutions for the challenges of competitive economy should be action-oriented and spoke of the ongoing work in the Novosibirsk Region. Therefore, the industrial development of the region is based on the cluster approach and industrial park projects that were on a pilot stage back then are now proving to be highly efficient. The strategic priorities are defined by the basic documents, the concept of the sustainable development up to 2030, in particular. 

The Chair of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Aleksandr Aseev made a speech at the meeting. He focused on the development of technological potential of the region. "The transition to the sixth technological mode deserves to be our national idea. Siberia has the potential for that, it has the technologies," he noted. The speaker talked about the existing agreements and joint work with the Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations. The Head of the Agency Mikhail Kotyukov commented on Aleksandr Aseev’s words by saying, that the science is the basis for all the social and economic processes.

The Director of the RANEPA’s Social Analysis and Forecasting Institute Tatyana Maleva reminded of the huge role that Tatyana Zaslavskaya played in the development of the Russian economic science. "We knew that we were communicating with the living classic," she recollects. "The social factors today have come to the fore – this is not a matter of fashion, not a fantasy, this is a real process," Tatyana Maleva noted. She underlined that economic growth is impossible without the activization of social factors. The Russian labor market will soon face the decrease in economically active population and labor market supply, and it will become a new challenge for the economy, that has to be solved. During her speech, she also spoke of the pension system. By 2030 the number of retired people and the number of working population that contributes to the pension system will be virtually identical, that is why the pension system reform is far from being over, the search for new solutions in order to optimize it will continue. "The new area of social policy - the program of active ageing should become much more relevant" Tatyana Maleva thinks.

During the first day of the Tatyana Zaslavskaya Symposium a panel discussion "Social Development of Siberia" and an expert discussion "Sociology and authorities: the way to a dialogue". The event will continue on May 17.