21.08 / Conference

Money, Values, and Happiness

How do Russians spend their money, and why do they relocate to other cities? What prevents numerous applicants from finding the job they want, and what is the best way to manage stress?

What makes the Russians happy? Is it money, a fulfilling occupation, and the prospect of realizing long-term plans? And if so, how can all this be achieved? Evolving consumption habits, technologies, the cult of success and individualism all evoke hope, promising the resolution of society’s problems, but they simultaneously manage to heighten anxiety. Do Russians have the skills required to meet the challenges of the new economy? How much should one earn in order to start saving and realize long-term plans? And how does one deal with stress if a psychotherapist is unaffordable?

Tuesday Moderator — Dmitry Bezuglov, translator, curator of the IV Ural Biennale Symposium, master’s student at Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences (MSSES)

— 'Payday Loan: How the Russians Spend Money', Olga Kuzina, Higher School of Economics

Russians do not accrue savings, often spend more than they earn, and do not read bank contracts. This behavior is often cited as the reason behind the high domestic poverty rate. Financial literacy lessons at schools and kindergartens are now being introduced to make us richer, but does such financial education really help? Olga Kuzina, Professor in Economic Sociology at National Research University Higher School of Economics, will present the results of a study onhow attitudes towards money have changed in Russia over the past decade, whether financial education had an impact on this, and why the saying “blind men canudge no colors” often works better than all dictated recipes for success.

— ‘Subsidy to Subsidy: How Russian Cities Spend Money’, Elena Korotkova, KB Strelka

There are 79 regional capitals in Russia, and every third Russian lives there. At the same time, 3% of the national budget are usually spent on those cities. Federal money is allocated to address, and make up almost half the city budget. But the rest part is up to the local administration to spend independently. Still, they say, Russian cities do not have enough money. What is the real problem here? Head of the Center of urban economy Elena Korotkova will tell, what makes the city budget sustainable, what cities earn the most and how and what regions are the most dependent.

— 'Business First: How New Professions Appear and Disappear', Nikolay Velichko, HeadHunter

Since the beginning of the year, demand for Social Media Marketing (SMM) specialists has grown by 74 percent. For web designers that number has been by 34 percent, and alongside that there was a parallel surge in fear among people entering the work force without IT skills. Nevertheless, data from job sites display an incomplete picture. Accountants, call-center operators and other 20th century specialists are not necessarily in lower demand than developers, while an elaborate trade does not warrant success without a considered career plan. What mistakes on our CVs prevent us from building a career, how much can nepotism hinder competition, and why poorself reresentation can be more of an issue than technical competence. And what deters HR managers, asks Nikolai Velichko, Head of Analytical Projects at HeadHunter.

— 'Call You Later, I’m in Hell: How Do We Deal with Stress', Pavel Pravdin, Welltory

One in three Russians experiences stress at least once a week, according to Levada Center polls. In a country where few can boast anin-demand profession, firm plans for the future, a stable income and regular visits to a therapist, people are feeling increasingly frustrated and depressed. Pavel Pravdin, CEO of Welltory, a stress-reducing mobile app, will discuss the peculiarities of national anxiety and how to deal with occupational burnout in the 21st century.

— 'Simple People, Complicated Systems: How to Distribute Energy Using Blockchain', Artem Stepanov, PHI project

The emergence of new data centers and the popularity of crypto-currency mining leads to the consumption of a huge amount of energy and the risks of supplies’ depletion. Electricity has become a basic need, just like clean air and water, but its availability still depends on the state and large corporations. How can resources become mastered for public good in the future? Artem Stepanov, creator of PHI project, which uses blockchain for energy distribution, will show how social obligations, collective action and a digital code of conduct can aid the creation and consumption of resources in an efficient manner.

Contemporary Russia conference brings together professional researchers from various fields, including sociologists, biomedical specialists, marketing managers, analysts and cybersecurity experts. In brief lectures, discussions, and screenings they will provide facts, numbers and surprising results of their research of the country and the everyday lives of its citizens. Four days of the conference are dedicated to four main topics: Money, Values, and Happiness, Human, Movement, and Space, Word, Network, and Security, Cultural Code and Brand Identity. Each day requires separate registration.

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