Education for All Generations: the 11th Anniversary of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Moscow, September 16, 2017. – The programme portfolio of SKOLKOVO business school is going to embrace all generations, from 13-14 years olds to seniors. President of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO Andrei Sharonov announced the launch of educational clubs for the parents of degree programmes’ alumni. Earlier in 2016, Startup Academy Junior, an educational programme on entrepreneurship education for schoolchildren aged 13-17, got underway.

SKOLKOVO: Education for All Generations: the 11th Anniversary of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

"What the Russian and global societies are currently experiencing is not a traditional conflict between generations. We are witnessing a complete transformation of educational and communicational models. The speed of social change and the ubiquity of digital tools have completely disrupted the traditional educational trajectory. We cannot get one college degree and hope that it will be enough for our entire working life. As an economically active generation, we are challenged to take the initiative and to find out how to create a space for continuous communication between the youth and the older generation. I firmly believe that this is possible only through education. And we can receive it in various forms and circumstances that do not boil down to getting a degree," said Andrei Sharonov, president of the business school.

The generation gap was chosen as the main theme for the large-scale Business Fest, traditionally timed to the celebration of the school's birthday on September 16. The festival gathered representatives of the state, leaders of the Russian and international business community, as well as SKOLKOVO professors, students, alumni, friends and partners – more than 1700 people attended the event.

Mind the Gap

Over the 11 years of its existence, the SKOLKOVO business school has seen several generations of alumni. Entire families have been trained at the school's programmes, and three generations of the same family, from teenagers to alumni parents, come to the school’s events these days. That is why the main discussion of the festival, Mind the Gap, was devoted to succession in general and to the ways of communication with the generation of millennials – the generation that cannot imagine life without gadgets, does not separate the real and the digital worlds, but at the same time wins physics Olympiads and eSports tournaments.

How deep is the generation gap today and does it threaten traditional values? Who in fact will determine the economy development and create the values ​​of the future – millennials or billionaires? The answers to these questions were sought by Ruben Vardanyan, social investor and entrepreneur; Mikhail Kusnirovich, chairman of the supervisory board, Bosco di Ciliegi; Oksana Demyanenko, director of the international gymnasium at Skolkovo Innovation Center; Boris Mints, chairman of the board of directors, O1 Group; Anton Belov, director of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and Oksana Oracheva, executive director of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation. The school’s president Andrei Sharonov moderated the discussion.

The discussion of why and what generations should learn from each other would not have been complete without representatives of the younger generation. Dmitry Plotnikov and the winner of the International Physics Olympiad Katya Solzhenitsyna were invited to speak on behalf of millenials.

"We live in a new environment where the main asset is not capital, but the concentration of talent per square meter, and it is important to create an ecosystem where one feels safe and comfortable and can develop professionally. The professional “tunnels” created in the industrial era are outdated. I am sure that education will return to the synthetic state and the artificial division into humanities people and techies will end. The elite are widely and deeply educated people. This is not just a person who, say, knows chemistry well and is therefore considered a professional. Any person belonging to the elite will have a wide and deep range of knowledge. We will distinguish two levels of education – mass education, which will provide a certain set of skills, and fundamental education, very profound and aimed at a very small category of people. We will also return to the theme of mentoring, where the teacher will be the key figure, and not in searching for information, but in searching for answers to complex and ambiguous questions and in learning to think and ask questions. We do not teach these things at schools – so, the old university forms will have to be transformed," said Ruben Vardanyan.

SKOLKOVO business school today

SKOLKOVO Business Fest is traditionally timed to the birthday celebration of the school founded in 2006. The first ten years were the formative years and the time for soaring success in the Russian market: the sketch on a napkin turned into the largest private business school in Russia and the CIS.

SKOLKOVO business school today:

  • №1 in the RBC rating of Russian business school brands;
  • 1,630 graduates;
  • 14,800 students of corporate programmes;
  • 150 professors from the world’s leading business schools;
  • Over 100 studies in various fields – education, business digitalization, financial institutions, etc.;
  • Cooperation with 13 world’s leading business schools;
  • Educational programmes for management teams from 96 monocities and 56 universities;
  • SKOLKOVO business school is the operator of the Global Education programme, which gives talented students access to 288 leading universities in 32 countries around the world.

The task for the next ten years is to strengthen our own intellectual core and to develop research and educational programmes. SKOLKOVO business school has entered an international accreditation process EFMD-EQUIS, which confirms the world-class level of education and research, and aims to join GNAM, an international alliance of the best business schools from all regions of the world. A strategic partnership with HKUST has already been established, and a joint international Executive MBA programme will be launched in a year.


The annual Business Fest opened with the traditional 2,006-metre race. This year, 122 runners took part in the competition. Gor Nakhapetyan, adviser to dean and an honorary member of the Association for the Promotion of Development of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, started the race.

Maxim Kozhevnikov was the first to conquer the distance with 6:10. The second and third places were won by Evgeni Kromsky and Ilya Slepov, an EMBA graduate, with 6:13 and 6:18 respectively. Natalia Chukanova was the first among the women with 7:22.

This year, our younger guests participated in the SKOLKOVO Mile for the first time. They enjoyed a special distance and prizes from the race’s partners.

David Adjaye. Creating the Campus

On September 16, one more art object appeared on the SKOLKOVO Campus. The school opened a permanent exhibition on the history of the campus David Adjaye. Creating the Campus in cooperation with Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and the Adjaye Associates studio.

Among the most prominent exhibits are the napkin from Hotel National with the first sketch drawn by Mikhail Kusnirovich, the objects from around the world that inspired the young British architect David Adjaye in 2006, when he took up the ambitious project that made him famous later, and the Campus model. For David Adjaye, this project was a challenge: not only was it the first public building project of this scale, but also it had to reflect the progressive spirit of the school.

The school’s founding partners Ruben Vardanyan, Mikhail Kusnirovich, and Valentin Zavadnikov, director of Garazh Museum Anton Belov, president of the school Andrei Sharonov and advisor to dean Gor Nakhapetyan inaugurated the exhibition.

"Eleven years ago, we dreamed of building a school campus that could visually represent the convergence between Russian culture and global culture. Many project presentations looked good, but an appealing and virtually unknown guy from the African continent, whom you all know today as the forward-thinking British architect David Adjaye, seemed the best. Now, the SKOLKOVO Campus is the first thing to be seen by people flying up to Moscow from all over the world. It shows how the ideas born in Russia can get worldwide recognition,” said Mikhail Kusnirovich.

A Large-Scale Event

The festival offered 15 various events – discussions, lectures and themed meetings, most of which were organized with the help of the business school’s alumni and partners:

  • Session of the SKOLKOVO Investor Club with an EMBA alumnus Vitaly Polekhin where private investors and representatives of leading venture funds discussed the future of venture investments in Russia and in the world;
  • HR Discussion Club with SKOLKOVO’s Marina Karban, Director for Corporate Programmes, and Svetlana Mironyuk, professor of business practice, on the future of HR in the digital era;
  • Session of the SKOLKOVO Club of Independent Directors led by Tatiana Olifirova where the participants shared their thoughts on how to maintain management of a company when scaling;
  • Meeting of the SKOLKOVO Lawyers Club were business protection, tax risks, illegal seizure risks and safe attraction of investments were discussed;
  • Phoenix Advisors session on the pros and cons of collegiate management bodies;
  • Panel discussion on Russia’s position in the global business game;
  • Panel session on innovation in corporations led by Yuri Mitin, director of SKOLKOVO Startup Academy, and Mikhail Kalinin, director of the SKOLKOVO Corporate Innovation Club;
  • Negotiation Tournament where three teams fought for the title of the best negotiators and tried to defend their tasks in difficult conditions;
  • Charity Without Charity Givers session organized by PHILIN and the SKOLKOVO Wealth Transformation Centre;
  • UWC Dilijan session where the participants discussed how to nurture the talent of tomorrow;
  • Paul Bourn’s workshop on changing one’s game to deal with uncertainty;
  • SKOLKOVO Alumni Fair 2017 with instant project evaluation by SKOLKOVO Startup Academy coaches.

Graduation Ceremony 2017

On September 16, 130 new members joined the school’s alumni community: the diplomas of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO were awarded to two Executive MBA classes (EMBA-19 and EMBA-20) and to Practicum for Directors and Startup Academy graduates. Overall, the number of degree programme graduates reached 1,630. Boris Mints, chairman of the board, O1 Group, gave the commencement address.

Traditionally, the school celebrates the start of the business and educational season on its birthday. This autumn, about 170 students of degree programmes – the eighth class of the SKOLKOVO MBA programme, the SKOLKOVO Startup Academy class, two classes of the SKOLKOVO Executive MBA programme and a new intake of Practicum for Directors start their training alongside with over 1000 students of corporate programmes. In the winter of 2018, the school will launch Practicum Global Shift – a new educational programme, aimed at entrepreneurs willing to develop the international dimension of their businesses.

Our Partners

The Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO thanks the official partners of the festival – Rostelecom, BDO, Nectarin digital agency, Russian Business Forum Atlanty, Simple Waters and Cadillac – for their valuable assistance in organizing and holding the event. We also thank our media partner Vedomosti.

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