The Valdai Club and VTsIOM have launched the Future Preparedness Index project. The discussion, titled “The State in the Middle of the 21st Century : What are the Strengths?” which took place during the Gaidar Forum, is a starting point for expert dialogue, aimed at finding ideas and directions, which could lead the country to success under a correct policy. Prior to the event, HSE Professor Alexander Filippov told www.valdaiclub.com about his vision of issues for the modern state.
Which parameters of modern societies, in your view, will provide for their competitive performance in the near future that the Valdai and VTSIOM index is dedicated to?
The project’s results can’t be explained before it starts and makes some steps. For me, it currently appears very important that competitiveness is connected to what sociologists call self-concept. This means using a rather effective, reasonable and self-contained language. This means those things that allow us to catch actually existing trends, and not put filters regarding what already exists using old words and old optics.
The new dictionary and the new optics are the topic of discussion. Possibly, the new dictionary and optics will appear to repeat the old, but this is only because some things that appeared forever overcome and obsolete are currently coming back again.
This directly impacts the topic of the state, because it is exactly today that the new meaning of “state” is coming to the forefront.
Future Preparedness Index: Innovative Project of the Valdai Discussion Club and VTsIOM
The project's objective is the analysis of countries' preparedness to meet the challenges of tomorrow, their roles in the scenarios of the future, their competitiveness across a range of economic and political criteria, development of industries and social infrastructure, an analysis of Russia's place in the ranking of world powers.
Judging by the participants of the Gaidar Forum, including the Valdai Club and VTSIOM session, the Russian state expresses interest in the projects discussed here. How well does it recognize the strong and weak sides of Russian society, and is it ready for the future’s challenges?
It appears to me that a lot remains to be done. We do some things well, but this is more on the level of intuition and not strategy. This is important in posing the question: what does Russia’s national interest consist of?
So far, we are unlikely to get a comprehensive answer to this question, other than that the country must exist, survive and win in competition. This is not a specific answer. This is an answer that must be said by everyone, at all times, under all conditions, at any stage. What the specific interests and issues currently consist of, we, unfortunately, will not hear for now.
It appears to me that today, an important problem of the state in the most general sense (if we talk about it not impersonally, but keep in mind those people who define its policies and make strategic tasks), is the weak understanding of how the social environment it controls or manages actually works.
It must answer (and sometimes does so rather reasonably) to momentous challenges. And we see this, if it did not exist, we would be living under completely different conditions. But constantly being a successful tactician may not be the best strategy. In this sense, there are no real interests, even. Reviving this interest is a truly important task.