Thematic tracks of the Forum


Track «University in the new urban economy»

The track addresses the university role in the development of a new economy in a city or region. The track participants include Russian and international experts in the field of urban and technological development, cluster policy experts, representatives of universities, municipal and regional authorities and representatives of business. The track events engage in the discussion how the university can contribute to the development of the new urban economy as well as the best initiatives and practices of the university city transformation.

Key topics for discussion enhance the following issues:

  • How to bring together university, industry and government and build their cooperation for the urban/regional economy transformation? What modern concepts should we apply?
  • How to achieve the necessary concentration of technology businesses for the development of new sectors of the economy? Can we appeal to practices of creating clusters, innovation zones and innovation districts in different regions of the world as adequate cases to follow?
  • How to transform university campus into a center of gravity for businesses and a new type of urban environment?
  • How to design a university-industry-government consensus space for the development and implementation of joint initiatives?

The track events will unfold discussions on the application of the smart specialization concept to ensure the competitiveness of regions in the global economy in the context of limited funding for science and innovation and the need to develop innovative sectors. Experts from Brno, the Czech Republic, and Heidelberg, Germany, will share their experience of transforming campuses into university-innovative business cooperation centers. One of the track sessions will focus on the development of the digital economy – new businesses, jobs and technological trends.

Track «University in complex urban ecosystems»

Modern urbanization is manifested to be a process of multilateral and multidirectional impact on the socio-economic and technological development of countries, regions, territories. The flow of students generates new requirements to the urban environment and the quality of life, while simultaneously becoming the driving force behind the intellectual transformation of urban ecosystems. Aesthetics of the university city not only seizes current tendencies in the spatial and artistic urban development, but also defines a new standard of urban space quality as well as new ways of the city development.

Key topics of the track for discussion:
  • What are the prerequisites for a university environment to conceive and nurture experimental solutions for urgent environmental and urban problems?
  • Can the urbanization process be more thoughtful and responsible?
  • What knowledge and professions will be needed to respond to global environmental challenges?

Track events:

  • Synergies of urban & ecological knowledge & skills

Human civilization through the centuries of evolution constantly consumes natural resources. The urbanization tends to be one of the most resource-intensive processes. The interaction of cities and nature is marked by its own distinctive features. The city cannot exist as a closed ecosystem, and nature herein experiences a severe anthropogenic impact. What kind of knowledge and skills will be required to ensure sustainable development of the urban areas? How to combine urban planning and environmental protection? What are the mechanisms of their integration? How to restore the ability of the natural environment for regeneration? Participants will discuss the methods of efficient and friendly exploitation of the urban ecosystems and share the experience of nurturing the ecological consciousness of the population.

  • Urban media: content, format, strategy, involvement

Media for the urban development is a way to capture a course of changes, source of the fresh ideas, method to build strong and active community. Inside a Smart City media are entirely connected with social networks, tools of managing the city and educational practices. However is the media industry ready for such projects? Will we have entrepreneurial initiative in this sphere? What competences should we strengthen to let the media be in the forefront of the urban development? What kind of projects will shape the future? Participants of the roundtable discussion will share the experience and best practices of the Urban Media and try to understand in what way the future forms the strategy, format and content diversity, routes for the media to enter the life of the urban dwellers of tomorrow.

  • Smart campus 4 smart city: experiment & innovation

University campuses are complex, dynamic systems that serve a diverse array of needs of thousands of people. Students may stay within the borders of the campus for a long time and lack nothing. The challenges faced by universities are daunting: shrinking budgets, rising energy costs, aging facilities, increased enrollment and the pressure to manifest commitment to sustainability. These pressures are motivating HEIs to search for smart solutions for future development of campuses within the smart city initiatives. What are the campuses of the future? In what way disruptive technologies will transform the education space? Participants will analyze the meeting points and format of interaction between the smart campus and smart city.

Track «University and disruptive social changes»

Key objective of the track is to formulate the basic conditions for the transformation of the university into a driver for social change in different processes. The first session of the track will focus on the role of the university in improving the quality of life, the development of social entrepreneurship, aimed at addressing the key tasks of social development of the city and the region. Social development and social services are increasingly dependent on new scientific and high-tech solutions; therefore, a special attention is paid to universities. Today they can find answers to key social challenges through educational programs, research and stimulation of the development of social entrepreneurship.

An entire session of the track will be devoted to the engagement of a previously unused human resource – third age residents. The session will discuss the university resources in the development of new educational technologies, professions and competencies, adapting the region’s labor market to a new labor structure. Together with the representatives of different authorities, international and Russian experts will look into new measures and services of the university for the development of the labor market and involvement of third age residents.

The session on migration and academic mobility is focused on the priorities for the development of mobility and the concentration of talents in cities. The scope of the discussion covers not only education and training period, but also addresses an issue of retaining economically active population in the city. The participants of the session will formulate crucially important tasks for the authorities and universities to address.

Key topics of the track for discussion:
  • How can a university concentrate talents in a city?
  • What are the priorities for academic mobility development?
  • How can a university contribute to a labor market enhancement and to respond to social challenges?
  • What practices today allow people of the third age to be involved in the social and economic development of the city and the region?

The forum will be paralleled with a series of workshops with experts in the field of economics, architecture and social practices.

A special event in the program of the Forum-2017 will be a series of public events on physical learning environment design – presentations of current research trends and modern projects in the field of design of the schools and universities educational space in the 21st century.

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