On 4 – 8 December 2017, the International Youth Forum “Future of Eurasian and European Integration: Foresight-2040” have been held in Vienna – Laxenburg. The event was co-organized by the Institute for Economic Strategies (INES) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria. The Forum was the youth initiative of INES and thanks to cooperation with the IIASA it was included as part of a huge international program “Challenges and Opportunities of a Wider European and Eurasian Economic Space” with the financial support of the Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, IIASA and INES.
The aim of the Forum was to motivate talented young thinking people from different countries to show the initiative in predictive search for new senses and to model the vision of the Future of Eurasian and European integration at the turn of – 2040, as well as in the long run professionally and responsibly take on building a better Future on the Eurasian continent.
92 Application forms were accepted for participation in the Forum from young people from 27 countries – from Russia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Gambia, Germany, India, Italy, China, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Senegal, Singapore, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Finland and the Philippines, Croatia! It was a harsh competition and as a result 40 young experts 18-30 y.o from 20 countries of Greater Eurasia – students, young researchers, journalists and entrepreneurs got the right to become participants of the forum.
As the result the Forum have brought together the youth, and also senior experts – famous scientists, VIP-representatives of business circles and high-level policy makers from the European Union, the Eurasian Economic Union, the CIS, East- and South-East Asia in order to freshly (from the stand point of youth), yet realistically think about the future of cooperation in the Greater Eurasian space by 2040.
The main moderator, the scientific leader and senior expert of the Forum was Alexander Ageev, Director General, Institute for Economic Strategies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Director General, International Scientific Research Institute for Management Problems, Professor, Academician of the European Academy of Natural Sciences, doctor of economics.
The creator of idea, the developer and the head of the Project of the Forum was also representative of INES in the person of Irina Osokina, Moscow City Duma Deputy (II convocation), Director of the Center for International Programs, Business and Humanitarian Cooperation of INES, President of the NGO Global Partnership Network, Candidate of Sociological Science.
Other senior experts and high-level policy makers teaching the young leaders were: H.E. Akaev Askar, President of the Kyrgyz Republic in 1990-2005, Scientific Director, Research Laboratory for monitoring the risks of socio-political destabilization, National Research University “Higher School of Economics”, Foreign Member, Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician, Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences;
Rovenskaya Elena, Program Director, Advanced Systems Analysis, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Ph. D.;
Kabat Pavel, Director General and CEO, IIASA, Professor, Doctor of Science; Krylov Sergey, Vice President, Siemens LLC in Russia, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia (1993 – 1996);
Belousova Marina, Manager of the Crowd-funding projects, Russian Agency of Information Society Develoment;
Havlik Peter, Senior Economist, Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, Guest Research Scholar, IIASA;
Hofer Andrea, Specialist, European Affairs and International Financial Organizations Division, Austrian National Bank;
Ilmola-Sheppard Leena, Senior Research Scholar, Advanced Systems Analysis, IIASA, Ph. D.;
Mkrtchyan Emmanuil, General Director, “ArmInfo“ News Agency and “East-West” Information Analysis Center (“Vostok-Zapad”);
Stefanovsky Dmitry, Senior Lecturer, System Analysis and Information Technology, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Ph. D.
The Forum was held in the format of a dynamic strategic game and became the territory of intellectual interaction of talented thinking young people and experts from the EU, the EAEC and other countries of greater European and Eurasian space. Young people took part in interactive seminars, master classes, whereby the young participants had the opportunity to expand their scientific network, learn about the latest developments of economic integration in the Greater Eurasian space from leading international scientists, to get experience in foresight exercises, debate with high-level policy makers from East and West. The young researchers were divided into three foresight working groups in key areas – economic integration, security cooperation: development of stability and peace, Socio-cultural integration / soft power. Each group tried to predict the future of European and Eurasian integration in the Greater Eurasian configuration.
A powerful intellectual breakthrough in the work of the Forum have became by the sessions of the foresight that have inspired young researchers from different countries to come up with their vision of the Eurasian and European integration at the turn of 2040 and to reflect what might be their own contribution. As the result thanks to this the participants were be able to:
– to identify some sources, growth points and key drivers for strengthening the Eurasian and European integration;
– to propose breakthrough technologies and project solutions that can fundamentally change the existing character of relations between the countries of the Eurasian space within the next 20-25 years;
– to identify effective directions and areas in which young people are able to successfully realize their talent, competence and potential;
– to model the look of the Future of Eurasian and European integration by 2040.
The best contributions were distinguished by a certificate with honor enabling further opportunities of collaboration with IIASA (Laxenburg) and INES (Moscow). The highlight of the Forum was its final event: the young participants buried in the garden of IIASA a time capsule “Appeal to the youth of 2040”, which will be opened in 2040.
During the final day of the forum the young leaders participated in the high-level event “Connectivity, trade, and economic cooperation in the European and Eurasian space”, organized by IIASA on the margins of the 24th OSCE Ministerial Council at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. The participants of the session were: Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat, Director General and CEO, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); Ambassador Florian Raunig, Head of Task Force, Austrian OSCE Chairmanship 2017; Giulia Manconi, Adviser, Italian Delegation for the Economic and Environmental Dimension, upcoming Italian OSCE Chairmanship; H.E. Tatyana Valovaya, Member of the Board (Minister) for Integration and Macroeconomics, Eurasian Economic Commission; Ignacio Garcia Bercero, Director, Directorate-General for Trade, European Commission; Dr. Felipe Jaramillo, Senior Director for Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment, World Bank Group; Drs. Erik Regter, Member of the Board, Internationalisation and Digitisation, Rail Cargo Austria AG; Thomas Seifert, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Wiener Zeitung, Vienna (moderator).
Honorary guests of the event were: H.E. Mr. Vladimir Makei, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus; H.E. Mr. Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan; H.E. Mr. Kairat Sarybay, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Austria – Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna / Chairperson of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Committee.
Also the floor was given on behalf of the youth to Marina Steininger, Junior Economist, ifo Center for International Economics – the winner of the contest of the international youth forum “Future of Eurasian and European Integration: Foresight – 2040”. She reported on how young people can enhance connectivity and how they perceive future opportunities for closer economic cooperation in the wider European and Eurasian Space.
Other participants of the Forum also actively participated in the session (Yuri Kofner, Min Coel Kim, Nargiza Kasymova), asked questions, expressed their point of view and drew the attention of high experts to certain problems.
The forum ended, leaving in the hearts of the participants the warmest feelings and hope for new meetings and continuation, which they wrote in their responses:
Marina Steininger, Germany
As a European citizen, I first did not know a lot about the Eurasian cultures. Through the last days, I really got to know great different culture with bright young minds.
It was very nice to be able to participate in this workshop. It is hard to put my positive experience in one word.
Thank you to all the organizer, experts and participants.
Inga Kazhoyan, Armenia
These four days were unforgettable. Very informative and full of creative energy and atmosphere. We have learned a lot from our experts, organizers and rom each other. All the tasks were interesting and demanded creative approach. During these days, I get many interesting, intelligent and caring friends from different countries with different backgrounds I am very much hopeful that our friendship and cooperation will go far beyond these 4 days. We as a team faced challenges together for team, in team, and with team. I understood that cooperation leads to progress and combined our individual ideas perceives new enriched meaning. Each of us was keen to do their best to boost the cooperation and contribute to further integration. In this project, I learned time management in practice, learned to clarify and elaborate general ideas since time was scarce and ideas were diverse and lot. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful initiative.
Simon Stuben, Germany
Dear committee of the IYF!
I wanted to thank you and all the organizers including the people from INES and IIASA which mad this quiet interesting project real. It was a hard but great experience because all the people worked together and supported each other. There was a peaceful competition between the groups and in my point of view, you can reflect the working progress of investigation and discussions on the currect topics of the forum ( Europe, Eurasia, Asia) although there is a concurrence they work together and don’t give their goals. I am very curious about the upcoming politics in international sphere so far I can compare it with our researches in these days. I think, I have never ever thought that much about politics in the future and real possibilities to resolve issures. But honestly I have to mention that I really would have wished to have at least at night more free time to discover the city, to get my head clear, to get to know the other participants more intensively. Many greets and thank you for accepting my application for this forum!
Rufina Gafeeva, Germany
The participation in the international youth forum was a great experience that I will keep dear to my heart.
The opportunity to interact with talented youth from 19 countries and to exchange ideas was unique and enriching. I truly believe that by the year 2040, we will have free movement of goods, people services and capital and I look forward to this future.
Kristina Silvan, Finland
I did not know what to expect when I arrived to Vienna on Monday. At times of trouble, I even felt like coming here was a waste of time, but in retrospect, I am happy that I had the privilege of participating in the forum. These four days have not been a roller coaster ( as people tend to describe such events) but rather a steady road from confusion and frustration to joy and aptitude. At times, I thought maybe we are stimulating information chaos. However, I must also point out why despite all these issues I loved participating in foresight- 2040. My dear fellow participants! It does not happen often that so many friendly and bright minds come together. I am truly sad that I did not get the chance to get to know everyone as well as I would have wanted to, as each of these people are individuals I would like to be close friends.
I will miss all of these lovely people. Memories are priceless because they stay with us forever. So many thanks to those who organized foresight 2040 and gave us this amazing gift. I hope we will meet again somewhere, sometime.
Askerova Natalia, Russia
General all the academic conferences and forums have a lot of ambitions proposes. Few of them, though, are put into practice. This forum was incredibly productive and useful as we managed to feel like real analysts, experts and decision-makers, who are able not only to talk about the problems existing, but also to implement the projects to solve them successfully.
I would like to emphasize the energetic environment that was always there during the forum and which was created by the both the organizers and participants. I truly believe that it was chance that I was lucky to take.
Thank you so much!
P.s waiting for the new prospects.
Paul Adriano, Philippines
The IYF 2017 in Laxenburg, Vienna taught me a lot about socio-cultural integration & cooperation the most. This is because me to got to interact with each other- individuals representing EU- EAEU and Asia. Despite our language and cultural difference, our group has able to overcome these barriers and cooperated effectively, efficiently and amicably. I am very happy with the people I met here, especially learning more about Russian culture and the language too! “Spaciba”!
Kim Min Koel, South Korea
First of all, I would like to appreciate all the organizers and the experts for giving me an opportunity to take part in such an interesting and inspiring event. I strongly believe that this event should be organized and performent an a regular basis, since the IYF is the any one to deny with the question of European and Eurasian integration. If I should write some suggestions, I think that there should be more young participants from the asia- pacific countries, as the genuine greater Eurasian integration (?) be completely achieved by Asian-pacific’s youth participation. And then, theIYF would be much better, if the explanations about general procedures of the event ( how to do strategic games ).
The youth forum was a great success. There are achieved significant results: developed three groups of documents (visions-2040) on long-term prospects of integration in the Greater Eurasia space in economy, security and humanitarian cooperation, and in the course of the four-day creative performance and almost continuous strategic foresight game it is formed a well-knit international youth community of representatives of 20 countries – from the Philippines, India and South Korea to Italy, Germany and Finland , which without exaggeration can be called an unprecedented event and a breakthrough scientific and diplomatic initiative.
The results of the Forum showed that today there are very favorable opportunities for building up a broad and active youth network of experts in the interests of peace, economic and humanitarian cooperation in the space of Greater Eurasia.
The researches of the youth Foresight groups are worthy of generalization and publication in a separate scientific report prepared by the organizers of the Forum.
Therefore the continuation follows…