MGIMO Co-founder of World-Class Research Center

MGIMO Co-founder of World-Class Research Center

15 January 2021

January 14th and 15th, the Gaidar Forum 2021 unfolded in Moscow. On the first day of the forum, a session dedicated to the presentation of a world-class Research Center based on a consortium of four leading Russian scientific and educational organizations, including MGIMO, took place. The University’s Rector A.Torkunov and the Vice-Rector for International Cooperation and Research A.Baykov attended the event.

One of the highlights of the forum was the signing of a memorandum on the establishment of a Research Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Human Potential. The ceremony was attended by the Rector of the HSE Y.Kuzminov, the Rector of RANEPA V.Mau, MGIMO Rector A.Torkunov and the Director of the Miklukho-Maclay Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences D.Funk.

In August 2020, within the framework of the national project "Science", MGIMO jointly with a number of partner scientific and educational organizations, leaders in research on human potential, received a grant to create a World-Class Research Center. It was for the first time awarded in the field of humanities and social sciences.

The research scope of the Center comprises seven areas of human development:

  1. The social and humanities dimension of human potential;
  2. Demography and active aging;
  3. Employment and the development of skills and competencies;
  4. Human beings in the era of technological transformations;
  5. Neurocognitive mechanisms of social behavior;
  6. Natural and climatic components of sustainable development;
  7. Human potential and security in a globalised world.

Within the framework of the World-Class Research Center project, plans have been made to create 14 large objects of scientific infrastructure, including databases, a system for their processing and analysis, and the digitization of six unique museum and archival collections. This nationwide project will bring together researchers from 55 cities in 47 regions of Russia. The additional funds to be allocated to the World-Class Research Center will allow Russian experts to participate in international projects, promote their own developments and approaches, working standards, teaching methods and technologies.

The signing of the Memorandum was followed by a presentation of the World-Class Research Center, organized with the support of the TASS news agency. A.Torkunov gave a talk in which he explained the priorities of MGIMO in the activities of the World-Class Research Center: “Within the framework of our research, we raise the question of the relationship between human capital and a number of international issues, one of which being the problem of inequality in the world. Economic resources and social opportunities are unevenly distributed in the world as is human capital. In some regions it is growing rapidly, while in others it is decreasing. This trend is responsible for political ̆ instability and an increase in conflicts." MGIMO Rector also expressed confidence that the World-Class Research Center would attract more attention to the voice of Russian social and humanitarian sciences in the world. After the presentation, A.Torkunov gave a detailed interview to TASS.

The World-Class Research Center's session on the platform of the Gaidar Forum "Humanity in the Post-Covid World" had for speakers the Vice-Rector for Research and International Cooperation A.Baykov, the Head of the Center for Cross-Cultural Psychology and Human Ethology at the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Science M.Butovskaya, the Rector of the Moscow Higher School of Economic Sciences S.Zuev and the Vice-Rector of the Higher School of Economics L.Ovcharova.

A.Baykov spoke about the dilemmas that states face during the coronavirus pandemic and described it as a watershed, not between different world orders, but between two perceptions of globalization: as a rigidly determined linear process or as a fragile emerging set of circumstances. In his speech, A.Baykov considered how the pandemic impacts the government’s relations with society in countries with predominantly democratic or autocratic methods of governance, and hashed out whether the pandemic is capable of generating new forms of cooperation between states that would protect them from some of the caveats of abrupt globalization.

The Gaidar Forum is traditionally attended by well-known experts, government officials, public and political figures and entrepreneurs from different countries of the world.

In 2021, the forum was held in an intramural format, with its participants discussing economic policy, challenges to healthcare and education, labor market and foreign economic activity, public administration and digitalization, environmental issues, entrepreneurship and regional development, new growth points and other relevant topics.