Olga Dergunova, Deputy President and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Bank, Director of the Graduate School of Management at St. Petersburg University (GSOM SPbU), spoke at the session “New Elite. How accumulated knowledge is converted into capital ”at the 24th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
Olga Dergunova singled out the change in the attitude of large companies to education, their participation in the process of training and educating personnel as one of the key factors in transforming knowledge into capital. “Over the past five years or so, the quality of university graduates has become much more satisfying to employers. This is partly due to the fact that the new generation of teachers has changed. But we, as a business, have also rethought our place in education, ”she stressed. “We have realized that the visit of a company representative with a one-time guest lecture to the university does not work - students do not convert the information received into knowledge. Therefore, we began to create systemic courses, taking into account all academic requirements, but basing their practices on lessons learned from business."
This, however, is not only about training those who are hired to work in a corporation, but also, in fact, entrepreneurs. The need for thematic programs or advanced training programs today is high,- in accordance with the concept of lifelong learning. One of the successful examples of partnerships between GSOM SPbU and corporations in this area is the joint program for teaching entrepreneurial skills with Coca-Cola in Russia. It contains up-to-date applied information on how newly-educated entrepreneurs can create their own businesses: from coming up with an idea to preparing for a pitch to an investor.
Alexandar Ruzhevich, CEO of Coca-Cola HBC Russia, said: “Young people in Russia expect predictable salary and career growth from their employer. And companies are looking for people with an entrepreneurial mind who take justifiable risks in order to achieve a result, they have the energy and courage to act, overcoming difficulties and going beyond the existing framework. Therefore, the goal of the educational programs we have created is to develop entrepreneurial skills, as well as communication skills, self-presentation, networking, critical thinking and working under conditions of uncertainty."
Tatyana Sorokina, CEO of IBM in Russia and the CIS, a partner company and member of the GSOM Advisory Board, noted during the discussion: “Business, of course, wants to get a ready-made specialist. But today this is impossible without efforts on our part. Therefore, education for business is an organic direction of efforts of socially significant assistance for the entire country. " “Of course, now it is a combination of theory and practice. An interesting question is which theory? If it concerns a new area, knowledge about it may not yet be comprehended by the academic environment. Businesses can provide their resources and their best practices to support this understanding. Thus, we can contribute not only to the practical component of education - which is already customary, but also to the theoretical one,” she stressed.
Alexander Dolinsky, a member of the Expert Council under the Government of the Russian Federation, said: “In universal skills, the ability to organize the work of a team and learn how to manage oneself and maintain balance turned out to be especially important. Now the most relevant trend is the management of a company in a constantly changing environment. Everything related to sustainable development and ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) is gaining momentum. Courses in this area began to appear in educational institutions, but demand still exceeds the supply. Apparently, the trend will only grow."
Discussion “New Elite. How accumulated knowledge is converted into capital” was held on the last day of SPIEF as part of the international youth economic forum. The session was devoted to a discussion of the modern understanding of the term "elitism": today it is determined not so much by origin and capital, but by the breadth of knowledge. What knowledge determines status and what do personal skills have to do with it? Is it possible to convert knowledge into profit, and why are large companies increasingly investing in education? These questions were asked by the panelists: Deputy President and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Bank, Director of GSOM SPbU Olga Dergunova, CEO of Coca-Cola HBC Russia Aleksandar Ruzhevich, CEO of IBM in Russia and the CIS Tatyana Sorokina, founder of Coursalytics Inc, member of the Expert Council under the Government of the Russian Federation Alexey Dolinsky, head of the Sberbank accelerator, managing director of SberZ Natalya Magidey. The moderator was Ksenia Trifonova, Director for External and Internal Communications of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO.