Impressions from the XVI April Conference: International Participants

The HSE Look talked to several researchers from the HSE international labs about their impressions from the April Conference.

Panos Pardalos,University of Florida /Laboratory of Algorithms and Technologies for Networks Analysis at HSE Nizhniy Novgorod

The opening was very nice; I liked very much that speakers emphasized importance of education, not only oil, for Russia.  I certainly believe that in the future the good technology and good educated people will do their best.  I also liked the World Bank expert’s presentation, it was very optimistic, and it’s positive to see how good Russia has been doing. I think, in a few years there will be an improvement, because the first time I was in Russia was in the late 80s, and I’ve seen a huge difference.

Our Laboratory of Algorithms and Technologies for Networks Analysisis is at HSE Nizhniy Novgorod, and we used the pre-conference time in Moscow to hold a workshop with Yandex to discuss the methods of analyzing networks and data. In addition to the grant for the laboratory we also have a Russian Science Foundation grant on how to analyze very large networks, and companies like Yandex and Google have a lot of interest in this. We work on many mathematical problems behind the techniques of analyzing data.

Félix J. López Iturriaga, Universidad de Valladolid /Laboratory of Intangible-driven Economy at HSE Perm

The conference is very interesting. I was really surprised by the number of papers – it’s such a big conference, such a multidisciplinary conference. And at the same time I like that there are some opportunities for smaller events within it: I am with the HSE Perm laboratory of Intangible-driven Economy, and we had a special session about our topics. It’s really complementary to attend a big conference and also to discuss the topics I am usually working on.

On the 8th I would have liked to attend one of the sessions with the experts of the World Bank: but there were too many people, so we could not fit into the room.  On the 9th I attended a lecture by the keynote speaker Stefano Zambon (Professor of Business Economics at the Faculty of Economics of Ferrara University, Italy), on the management and measurement of intellectual capital as leverage for company and territorial growth, and it’s been really a good experience.   We are preparing some common activities between two laboratories: the corporate finance laboratory and the intangibles laboratory, and the April conference gave us a chance to discuss common points and plan a conference for next year.  

Dirk Meissner, Deputy Head of the Research Laboratory for Science and Technology Studies at HSE Moscow

Our section, Foresight and Priority Setting in Science, Technology and Innovation: Issues for S&T Policy, was quite interesting and fascinating. Many researchers from our laboratory are participating in the session, as well as many people from outside the HSE. We did not have any problems inviting even the ‘big names’; some even agree to come to our events more than once or twice, so we can be selective in invitation and provide more diversity of opinions. I think it is a sign of success for our work.

Ulla Pape, Ruhr-Universität Bochum / Laboratory for Non-Profit Sector Studies at HSE Moscow

Most interesting thing at the roundtable (“Is Russia Ready for the New Era in Government-Nonprofit Relations?”) for me was to hear different experiences from participants and the speakers about what the reality of non-profit organizations looks like. If you look at the situation on the ground, it is completely different from the theoretical ideas of cooperation with the government. There were interesting discussions about the quality of this cooperation since there are a lot of instruments and mechanisms of involving non-profit organizations, but little information about their actual usefulness. There is also a deficit of information about the level of autonomy in decision-making of the non-profit organizations which use the government’s instruments, and whether they can really pursue better policies in the social sphere.

At HSE I work with the Laboratory for Non-Profit Sector Studies, and we have a project on social sector NGOs in Russia’s regions and how they work together with the state institutions. Here at this section a several participants also work in our lab’s project – Yulia Skolkova, Vladimir Benevolenskiy, and Irina Krasnopolskaya. We cover 8 different regions which differ on the quality of economic development and on the openness of the system and civil society development. Of course, we have different subgroups within the laboratory. From my work at the HSE, this is the aspect that I enjoy most –I am working together with so many different people, and learn a lot from them, and we can discuss really interesting things.  

Angel Barajas, University of Vigo/ Laboratory of Intangible-driven Economy at HSE Perm

I went to the plenary session on the first day – it was very interesting for me, because I had some insights about the situation in Russia. In our session on measurement of intellectual capital of companiesI personally was very interested in the presentation on the influence of investment in R&D on human capital and performance of the companies. Also interesting for me were the presentations on what might happen with export companies and the one about the influence of human capital on performance and sustainable growth.

I work with the Laboratory of Intangible-driven Economy in HSE Perm. We have three main lines of research: the role of intangibles for corporate governance, for small and medium companies, and the role of intangibles in sport economics. Every month, more or less, we hold a workshop where a member of the lab presents their research at the level that it is, and then we discuss how to develop and improve it. Now we are starting to prepare the summer school which we will hold in June to attract more students into research. It will also be an opportunity for all the international members of the lab to meet and discuss our projects. 

The full text of the issue can be found in The HSE LooK 4 (21), April 2015.  If you are not on our regular mailing list yet, please  subscribe  and get fresh issues of our bulletin every month!