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Moscow State University (MSU) counts values

Source: Кommersant

Photo: Mikhail Japaridze / TASS

Participants of Innopraktika congress have discussed mid-term issues common to all mankind.

Moscow hosted the fourth congress "Innovative Practice: science marries business" organized by the Moscow State University and "Innopraktika" celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. The key point in 2017 were obvious issues dealing with the perception of values in different generations directly affecting the innovative economy and management technologies. Probably, this was the first time that high-rank officials in the government and large companies have discussed this topic in terms of applied aspects.

The Congress "Innovative Practice" has been held since 2014 and, unlike similar conferences, is more focused on mid-term rather than short-term trends in the innovation economy. The topic of the opening panel session in 2017 looked purely humanitarian: First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, rector of MSU Viktor Sadovnichy, Gazpromneft CEO Alexander Dyukov, Inter RAO UES CEO Boris Kovalchuk, Sibur Holding CEO Dmitry Konov, Rosatom CEO Alexey Likhachev and Aide to the President Andrey Fursenko discussed the Value Matrix of the 21st Century: the formula of growth in human capital and innovative economy"

The concept of "universal values" is elaborated more profoundly in philosophy than in sociology or management theory, and it is unlikely that the organizers expected a fundamental scientific discussion on this issue to take place. For MSU, "Innopraktika" and the Congress participants the topic is just about possible applications - it was discussed in particular at round tables devoted to the aspects of the innovation process in the military-industrial complex. Among the topics discussed within the congress in 2016 were organizational innovations in management (including "turquoise companies" and agile principles), but recent years have demonstrated that the key management problem is the different perception of values in intergenerational communities.

According to Alexander Dyukov, "Gazpromneft" is no longer managed by orders coming from high-level ranks; most of the processes are done mainly by project teams. Dmitry Konov said that in Sibur most managerial competencies are purely cross-platform. Meanwhile, in the Russian economy management practices are conservative, and innovative companies very often face a loss of efficiency due to different generations having different views on corporate and career opportunities.

The discussion about the value matrix related to the Russian economy and its possible source was very uneven. The governor of the Ulyanovsk Oblast, Sergey Morozov, admitted e.g. that he once recommended the 2008's "Eight honours and Eight shames" by former Chinese President Hu Jintao to be such source. The participants of the discussion often came forward with unexpected turns: for example, Mr. Dyukov stated that for the digital economy to exist, "it is important to be able to forgive and accept mistakes", which is not accepted in the Russian matrix, because of which companies are not ready to abandon the failed innovative projects and continue them for years.

Mr. Shuvalov summarized the discussion with a suggestion that the upcoming years will see not only the completion of a new economic model, but also the establishment of a new value system in the society that is both technologically oriented and conservative.

The field-specific discussions at the "Innopraktika" congress were devoted to mundane med-term issues. Rather important was the session "Intellectual Values in the Digitalization Era" and discussion of new corporate cultures in the innovation economy under the auspices of the Russian Venture Company (RVC). We would like to remind that promotion of "Industry 4.0" is hindered, among other factors, by the difficulties in technology imports which are caused by the management technologies untypical for Russia. RVC presented at the Congress the results of the "TechUspekh" annual rating (see Kommersant dd. 8 December 2016). As the rating creators have observed, most developments in the markets of the National Technology Initiative are now conducted in healthcare and IT security sectors. The basic export motivation for contestants is not a limited domestic demand, which was mentioned by 16% of participants, or the need for business stability, but "acknowledged marketability of products": external markets are used by Russian innovative companies as a test competitive environment where they prove the quality of their developments.

By: Dmitry Butrin

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