On September 18, 703 graduates of the SKOLKOVO Business School received their diplomas for the 2020–2021 academic year. The awards ceremony was part of the School's anniversary celebrations, with the event taking place both in person and online. In total, several thousand people visited the School that day, and around 2,000 more joined in remotely.
"This is the largest number of graduates in the 15-year history of the SKOLKOVO Business School. Of course, it is no coincidence that it takes place on the fifteenth anniversary of our School. Last year was very difficult for all of us, but we coped well, and today we are seeing so many smiles and positive emotions. We went through the year with dignity. Of course, it took a lot of effort, both from students and staff, but we worked together to adapt to the new realities of the pandemic," said SKOLKOVO Business School Rector Yuri Levin, congratulating the graduates. .
For its birthday, the School organized a "day of knowledge" for graduates and students, as well as its founders, partners, trustees, press and other interested parties. Four tracks of sessions and master classes on digitalization, sustainability and ESG, female leadership, negotiation and other topics were prepared for campus guests and online audiences. Speakers included more than 90 experts from the School and major companies from various sectors.
One of the festival’s key events was a business dialogue between Ruben Vardanian, social investor, visionary, founding partner, and SKOLKOVO board member, and Noubar Afeyan, one of America’s most renowned entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, philanthropist and CEO of Flagship Pioneering.
On the same day, Levin presented the new ten-year developmental strategy for SKOLKOVO. He spoke about the School's ambitious plans to become a leading technological business educator, capable of taking on the full educational cycle. Over the next 10 years, SKOLKOVO's educational programs will extend far beyond Russia, first to CIS countries and then to Western Europe, Asia, the United States and Africa.
Vardanian also presented his new ImpactFuture project, a platform for socially transformative investments, which aspires to create an instrument for solving urgent social problems courtesy of investors and the capabilities of tech companies.
In addition, the Founders’ Wall was put up as a token of gratitude from the team and students, a tradition that has long existed at leading educational institutions in the West. At SKOLKOVO, the Founders' Wall will be joined by the Alumni Wall. September 18, 2021, was not only the 15th birthday of the SKOLKOVO Business School, but also its first-ever Founders' Day.
The highlight of the celebration was an immersive light show with augmented reality based on the slogan "SKOLKOVO is not the end. SKOLKOVO is the beginning." Using special equipment on campus, any guest could leave their mark on the School’s history by 'embedding' a virtual avatar in the façade of the building. More than 200 guests digitized themselves, and then the participants received a special QR code that gives them a discount on one of SKOLKOVO's open-access programs.