Day 3. VII BRICS International School
The new working day of BRICS International school has started with an intensive debate on institutionalization of BRICS: “pros and cons”. The participants are offered to present their arguments for and against each statement posed by the facilitators of the session Gleb Galerstein, Lecturer of history and foreign languages, Head of the BRICS Project Lab organizing committee on scientific issues; Alexander Khanarov, Head of the BRICS Project Lab organizing committee, Deputy chair of MGIMO student scientific society, TASS editor. The issues for discussion are as follows: is the world multilateral; does BRICS really need to expand; is Western rules-based order a desirable world order; should BRICS be an institutional organization.
The participants have been divided to 6 teams; each team has received a randomly selected question to debate with the opposing team. A round consists of teams presenting their thesis, questions from the opposing team, and questions from other teams. Once the winners of the three rounds have been selected, the next two rounds are taking place to select the final winner.
The presentations of the teams were well-reasoned, based on their knowledge of the issue and on the material they learned from previous lectures and keynotes of the School, this fact underlines the effectiveness of their study in the previous days of the event.
A presentation of Liliana Proskuryakova, Senior researcher at the laboratory of science and technology studies, Director of the national contact center for international mobility of researchers, associate professor at the Department of educational programs at the Institute for statistical studies and economics of knowledge at the National Research university Higher School of Economic, has opened the next session on potential of modern university complexes in supporting the scientific, technological, and human resource capacities of BRICS countries. She described an idea and concept of BRICS Network University, however, according to the expert, activities and exchanges within the network could be richer and more efficient, there is a space for improvement since the network has a rich potential. The speaker shared a model of Higher School of Economics of involving university students in research activities and mentorship programs at the university. The session ran in interactive manner, students shared their experience of being part of student and academic exchange programs. They also stressed that would appreciate an opportunity of more various inter-BRICS exchanges, paid attention to the need of facilitating visa regime for students and academics within BRICS.
During the next session "Increasing the role of young researchers in the development of science: problems and prospects" Pavel Petrov, Head of international cooperation department, KarRC RAS and Anastasia Bykova, employee of KarRC RAS, co-founder, project manager of the charitable foundation “REX” have focused on a role of young scientists in developing international cooperation and on promoting implementation of scientific results, on fellowship and scholarship the center provides. The speakers emphasized the importance of attracting young scientists for enhancing scientific and technological development of Russia. During discussion the speakers and participants touched upon a question of barriers and challenges for pursuing a career in science, mentioning language barriers, low salaries in the field in some countries, lack of financial resources and lack of international cooperation formats. Besides that, participants discussed measures to be taken to attract young researchers into science. One of them is to make cooperation platforms for scientists and researchers within BRICS more effective.
As a whole, the two sessions provided a chance for participants, especially from foreign countries, to get more information on Russian universities and research centers and programs they provide for foreign students, in international exchange and cooperation.
The last session of the working day discusses digital currencies as a tool for strategic partnership in BRICS and BRICS+ countries.
Alexander Ignatov, Researcher at the center for international institutions research, RANEPA (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration), has sheared this success story. Several years ago, he took part in the same BRICS International school as a participant, and today is has a pleasure and honor to be a speaker on the event. This might be encouraging experience for current participants. The expert has focused on digital currencies in BRICS and BRICS+ countries, explaining what digital currency is, how it operates, has added analysis on BRICS institutional agenda on macroeconomic policy and digital currencies, and on prospects for BRICS strategic cooperation on the issue.
Not all potential future BRICS+ participants have enough experience in digital currency field, it means that consultation on the issue will be on demand withing BRICS+ entity, however, currently, the digital currency as a priority is missing among BRICS priorities, declarations and communiques, which is a drawback, according to the speaker. The expert has concluded that BRICS needs de-dollarization ad promotion of national currencies. One of the challenges is to incorpotate successfully the new participants, taking into consideration intra-state disputes they have, and lack of trust between Egypt and Ethiopia, Iran and Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Iran. It is important to prevent the situation when political disagreements could become stumble blocks on the way to cooperation on digital currency field.
Egor Krivoshey, Associate professor and head of the blockchain and fintech laboratory (В ПРОГРАММЕ НЕ УКАЗАНА, КАКОЙ ОРГАНИЗАЦИИ!! Или лаборатория это и есть организация???), has explained mechanisms of three digital currency types: crypto, CBDC (National digital currency), stablecoins. He outlined that more attention on CBDC within BRICS is required and extracted what kind of CBDC should be developed in Russia.
Inna Lukashenko, Head of the laboratory of world finance, Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation has provided information on agriculture and food security in BRICS as issues of strategic importance and has analyzed sustainability challenges in the agricultural industry and has emphasized factors for building business ecosystems: social, technological, entrepreneurial.
The participants discussed the issues raised in more details during Q&A session.