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Meeting of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives Supervisory Board

December 16, 2021, Moscow

Vladimir Putin chaired a videoconference meeting of the Supervisory Board of the autonomous non-profit organisation Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects.

Before the start of the meeting, the President visited an exhibition of ASI’s achievements and future projects. The President was shown seven stands featuring ASI’s main projects and plans for its activities in 2022–2024.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,

Today – we have just learned about the projects, and I will tell you about them later – but I would like to start by saying that today we are holding an important and, even in some sense, a special meeting of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) Supervisory Board. The Agency should determine its goals and tasks for the next three years and record the key areas of its work, which should logically continue its entire history. I would like to start with its landmarks.

A decade ago, in December 2011, the Agency was instructed to implement the National Business Initiative. Its efforts produced not only up-to-date regulations and procedures for doing business that were new and more effective.

The changes proved to be much more profound. The regions saw more managers that make decisions with due account for the interests and requirements of people doing their own business.

Supporting ideas and individual projects, you have always striven for proactive, systemic changes. When I say “you,” I am primarily addressing the Agency as such. Thus, the WorldSkills championships have actually developed into a nationwide movement in Russia, new programmes of vocational training and a broad network of additional education for children, very often in the professions of the future.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the WorldSkills junior section and the team of the Boiling Point project on winning Knowledge Society prizes for their outstanding educational activities.

I believe these prizes are evidence of the contribution by the entire Agency to promoting advanced approaches and views, and to uniting around common values a large community of people that are ready to see changes and get involved in developing their cities, regions and the entire country.

It was important to carry out this work. It is being carried out now as well, as I see from the projects that we reviewed, and is focused on uniting people who are passionate about a particular cause. These people are entrepreneurs, researchers, people from the non-profit sector and creative industries and, of course, young people.

I have no doubt that during this new, equally dazzling and effective stage of the Agency's future development, its key mission, which is to engage citizens in achieving our national development goals, should remain unchanged. It is imperative to help them realise their ideas and initiatives.

Now, as we know, the Agency has over 4.5 million like-minded partners in Russia. I know that in three years the Agency plans to more than double this community to 10 million people. This is already a large “army.”

Most importantly, these should not be perfunctory numbers or some kind of indicators, but a really powerful community, a force made of energetic people capable of making a meaningful contribution to the general national agenda.

In this regard, I would like to note that with the participation of VEB – I see the head of VEB on one of these screens – a comprehensive mechanism for implementing civil projects will be created, and the Powerful Ideas for New Times forum will become a permanent platform for collecting meaningful and constructive proposals. By the way, I propose holding this forum in the first quarter of 2022.

Next, and I already mentioned this, we had a chance to see at the exhibition how the digital platform, which brings together best regional practices, works. They have proven effective in helping people resolve everyday problems.

I want the relevant State Council commissions to team up with the Agency and build an effective system for spreading the management teams’ experience locally. During our tour of the projects, we heard many requests to ask the Government, to instruct the Government, to develop in conjunction with the Government – in a word, it is necessary to include the most important decisions in national projects and state programmes, including in the sphere of infrastructure improvements.

(Addressing General Director of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives Svetlana Chupsheva.) I hope, Svetlana, that you and I will not forget the words the young people said at the exhibition, and their proposals will need to be summarised and properly drafted in the form of instructions.

Of course, it is important to share your best practices and be open to new ideas. Again, I am saying this to the Agency. It is important to form teams and bring onboard like-minded people from our country and other countries as well. I see that this work is underway, which is good

I know that Boiling Point is already underway in Kazakhstan. I would like to hear from you about other plans to expand international cooperation and projects at the global level, because this entails access to the markets of third countries, which invariably increases the competitive environment, which means that ultimately it will increase competitiveness as well.

A whole ecosystem, as they say now, has formed around the Agency, which brings together initiatives in the social sphere, nature conservation, personnel training, and the development of advanced technology.

Here is what I would like to emphasise. All our state work and the Agency's work should, of course, revolve around people and their well-being. We have just reviewed a project which does exactly that: it puts in the centre the individual with their interests, requests, plans, etc. Of course, in fact, every project should be lined up this way. These goals should be linked together and run across all programmes and projects.

The Agency must concentrate on its activities in the regions, help local management teams achieve visible changes at schools, outpatient clinics, hospitals, social protection institutions, and to take into account the residents’ requests and suggestions. As a matter of fact, this is how things are, and I hope not only on paper, but in real life as well.

By the way, much depends on the Government here. We have just now talked about free school meals and so on, and also about amendments to the current legislation. We will need to work on this later.

I also expect the ASI to make a substantial contribution to the establishment of the Federation of New Development Centres in the regions, the development of a modern urban environment and the promotion of national technologies and the so-called green technology, the environmentally friendly solutions in energy and construction, including within the framework of your new system-wide project, the National Environmental Initiative.

In this context I would like to point out (I see that members of the Presidential Executive Office and Government ministers are attending this meeting) that our colleagues who presented their projects have asked us to amend the law to add industrial waste, including construction waste, to the regions’ competence, because they would be unable to regulate these activities otherwise. There is much to do in that sphere, and the regions are ready to do it, whereas now they are only responsible for general waste. They have no control over construction waste, and so they cannot address the issue quickly or properly. I see that the Economic Development Minister is taking notes. I would like to thank him and to express the hope that we will follow this issue to its logical end.

As we agreed, we will keep an eye on the indicators of the national quality of life rating. The ASI initiative on assessing the integral results and the regional teams’ efforts to improve the quality of life is very important and we must support it. During the St Petersburg International Economic Forum last summer, we discussed the first tentative results of this project. Today we will take a look at the situation in individual regions based on the analysis of the available data.

Next, one of the Agency’s major tasks is to help people in all age groups to find their place in the changing technological world. The main thing here is to ensure that learning new skills and competencies increases the people’s real income. It is in accordance with this logic that the Agency should launch convenient learning formats, including for those who would like to start a business or work for themselves in the positive sense, that is, become independently employed.

I would also like to tell the Agency’s Youth Initiatives Centre that it should continue working to create a comprehensive modern environment for the development of children’s, youth, business and technology teams, especially considering that we know examples when teenagers, very young people indeed, want to run a business and start very successful businesses. There are some wonderful start-ups. Their goal for the first ten years of operation is not only to succeed in the national market but also to take their projects to international markets.

And lastly, another important goal is to work together with like-minded organisations to analyse and forecast the development of technologies and social projects and processes in the next 20–30 years and possibly in a longer term. This is very important for properly organising their own operation.

This vision of the future has a huge, applied importance already at the current stage in this rapidly changing world. It helps set the guidelines, reconsider some things, promptly respond to arising challenges and look at the current stage from a different perspective. It is a crucial job, including in terms of education. It is extremely important, and I am sure that the country and society need it.

Let us get down to the issues on our agenda today.


December 16, 2021, Moscow