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Programme of the 17th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club ‘The Lessons of the Pandemic and the New Agenda: How to Turn the World Crisis Into an Opportunity for the World’
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The 17th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club will be held in Moscow from 20 to 22 October 2020. This year's theme is “The Lessons of the Pandemic and the New Agenda: How to Turn the World Crisis Into an Opportunity for the World.”

Attention: all times are local Moscow time

Programme of the 17th Annual Meeting 
of the Valdai Discussion Club 
“The Lessons of the Pandemic and the New Agenda: How to Turn the World Crisis Into an Opportunity for the World”

October 20-22, 2020

 

October 20, Tuesday


11:00 – 11:10 Opening of the 17th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club. Watch live broadcast. 

11:10 – 13:00 Session 1. Struggling With Pandemics: How the World Is Composing Itself. Watch live broadcast

The year 2020 has set up a unique experiment with humanity. The most profound changes are taking place in the very conditions in which societies exist, rather than simply in politics or international relations. Total openness and universal mobility, which we had come to take for granted in recent decades, are being replaced by a feeling of uncertainty and various multiplying risks. The role of the states in ensuring safety is growing dramatically amid fears that the notion of privacy may be relegated to the past. What do societies expect, and what are they afraid of in the new era? And what obligations does this impose on the states?

Speakers:

  • Tsogtbaatar Damdin, Member of the Parliament of Mongolia; Head of Mongolian delegation, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly;  

  • Ivan Krastev, Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies (Sofia); Permanent Fellow, Institute for Human Sciences (Vienna);

  • Vadim Radaev, First Vice Rector, National Research University Higher School of Economics;

  • Samir Saran, President, Observer Research Foundation (New Delhi).

Moderator: Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club.

13:30 – 15:00 Special session. Meeting with Mikhail Mishustin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. Watch live broadcast.

Moderator: Andrey Bystritskiy, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club.

17:00 – 19:00 Session 2. Deglobalisation: Political Myth or Economic Reality? How Economic Interaction Will Be Built After the Pandemic. Watch live broadcast.

The world economy remains highly interdependent; however, the current political trend is towards the exacerbation of rivalry, while threats stemming from the global pandemic have given rise to isolation. What limits are there to the possible “decoupling”? To what extent can production chains be “nationalised”? What will be preserved in any event? What will the system of international economic ties look like in an era of total defragmentation, where the assertion of sanctions constitutes the dominant politico-economical tool? Can productive international relations be restored on a new basis and in a different configuration?

Speakers:

  • Ray Dalio, Co-Chairman, Co-Chief Investment Officer, Bridgewater Associates;

  • Heungchong Kim, President, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP);

  • Maxim Oreshkin, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation;

  • Xavier Rolet, Chairman of the Board of Directors, PJSC PhosAgro; Chief Executive Officer, London Stock Exchange Group (2009–2017);

  • Wang Wen, Professor, Executive Dean, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.

Moderator: Yaroslav Lissovolik, Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club.

 

October 21, Wednesday


11:00 – 13:00 Session 3. Cold War 2.0? What the US-China Rivalry Means for International Politics. Watch live broadcast.

The pandemic has exacerbated the confrontation between the US and China, which began long ago and has recently intensified. A new Cold War, similar to that of the second half of the 20th century, is how many have described the situation. In terms of emotions and the intensity of propaganda, the atmosphere today is not unlike that of the time. However, the structure of world politics is very different now, and the previous model cannot be replicated. Is bipolarity possible, and what will it mean for other actors in the international arena? If it is not, what will this confrontation look like? What are the chances of achieving a balance in relations?

Speakers:

  • Dino Patti Djalal, Founder, Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia;

  • Viacheslav Nikonov, Chairman, Committee on Education and Science, the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation;

  • Kevin Rudd,  President, Asia Society Policy Institute; Prime Minister of Australia (2007–2010, 2013);

  • P.S. Raghavan, Chairman, National Security Advisory Board (India);

  • Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director,  European Council on Foreign Relations;

  • Yan Xuetong, Dean, Institute of International Studies, Tsinghua University.

Moderator: Timofei Bordachev, Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club.


13:30 – 15:00 Special session. Meeting with Alexander Gintsburg, Director of the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology; Kirill Dmitriev, Chief Executive Officer of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and Rinat Maksyutov, Director General of the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR of Rospotrebnadzor. Watch live broadcast.

Moderator: Andrey Bystritskiy, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club.

16:00 – 18:00 Session 4. Tech War: How Far Will It Go? Watch live broadcast.

The past decades have been favourable for international scientific and technological cooperation. The situation is changing before our eyes, with relative openness being replaced by suspicion and tough competition. The tech and science sphere could never develop in isolation, and an interdependent world needs an exchange of knowledge. But the race for new technologies has become central to the competition between the major nations, and mastering them will determine the position of each country in the global balance of power. How can a tech war be avoided in a world where joint efforts are needed to take on the shared problems of humanity?

Speakers:

  • James Andrew LewisSenior Vice President, Director, Technology Policy Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies;

  • Shailesh Nayak,  Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies (Bengaluru);

  • Tigran Khudaverdyan, Deputy CEO, Yandex Group of companies;

  • Ruslan Yunusov, Head of the Project Office on Quantum Technologies, Rosatom State Corporation.

Moderator: Ivan Timofeev, Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club.

 

October 22, Thursday


11:00 – 13:00 Session 5. A Changing Climate: How Environment Will Influence Politics. Watch live broadcast.

Climate change, which has been actively discussed in past years, was temporarily side-lined by the pandemic. However, it was only a short respite. At the new stage, environmental and climate-related issues will not only come back to the fore, they will become among those that determine, to a large extent, the international politics and actions of individual states. They will play an important role in the process of overcoming the global recession. Environmental factors are already being cited to justify protectionism. Another acute issue is the condition of the environment, and the consequences of failing to value sustainability. For Russia, green issues pose a two-pronged challenge: both ecological (the consequences of climate change, especially for its northern regions) and political/economic (the risk of protectionist measures). At the same time, Russia, thanks to its natural potential and expertise, is capable of making a significant contribution to solving global environmental problems. The session’s participants will discuss the circumstances that Russia is facing, as well as the opportunities that environmental politics creates for it, both domestically and internationally.

Speakers:

  • Nikolay Durmanov, Special Representative for Biological and Environmental Security, Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation;  

  • Alexey Ekaykin, Leading Researcher, Climate and Environmental Research Laboratory, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute;

  • Andrei Fursenko, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation;

  • Vladimir Kattsov, Director, Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory, Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Roshydromet);

  • Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the Management Board, PAO SIBUR Holding;

  • Sergej Zilitinkevich, Research Director, Institute of Atmospheric and Earth System Research, University of Helsinki.

Moderator: Oleg Kharkhordin, Professor, Department of Political Science, European University at St. Petersburg, Chairman of the Board, EUSP Endowment Fund.

16:00 – 18:00 Plenary session. A World of New Opportunities. Watch live broadcast.