Forum Programme Concept

Thematic lines:

  1. Strategizing is impossible, but needed
  2. Strategies in the Great Transformation Period
  3. Federal strategies and the strategy of federalism
  4. International cooperation for regional development: strategies and tools in action
  5. The 2030 Agenda: achieving SDGs in Russia (Forum Green Day)


1. Strategizing is impossible, but needed

During more than twenty years of strategic planning in Russia, the country faced numerous crises forcing to reconsider strategies, often drastically. Nevertheless, until now, strategists have been acting like generals “preparing for a past war”, and still very rarely include a variety of scenarios and risk analysis in strategies. This is partly explainable, because reflecting on an unpredictable future is difficult and risky, and the modern strategies, being prescriptive, imply neither risk nor fantasy. Russian strategies have ceased to fulfill the most important tasks such as reducing the uncertainty about the future and building up the ‘collaborative capital’, providing better interaction of stakeholders in a crisis.

Does the instant loss of relevance by most strategies mean that their development was useless? Should we abandon strategic planning or do we need to change something in its methodology? Should socio-economic development strategies take into account the risks of technological and natural disasters or it is a prerogative of separate strategies and emergency protocols? Whether and how to conduct a 'crash test' for the strategies? Digitalization of the strategy development – it is useful or harmful, and if so, in what cases?

Topics to be discussed:

  • How to think through risks and scenarios in strategies?
  • Viability strategies instead of development strategies?
  • Developing strategies in turbulent environments
  • Unlearned lessons (the 20th anniversary of the Resource Centre for Strategic Planning under Leontief Centre)
  • Socio-economic and spatial planning: joint reconstruction
  • Digitalization of strategic planning: medicine or poison?


2. Strategies in the Great Transformation Period

The dramatic events of 2020: changes in the Constitution, the oil war, the pandemic and measures to combat it that stopped the economy – all this have a serious impact on the course of world’s and Russia’s history. They mark a period that seems to deserve a special name, for example, the Great Transformation (by analogy with the Great Depression). In the next decade, we have to adapt to significant changes. Some of them are already obvious: the explosive growth of online services, remote working, labor market restructuring, changes in the balance of forces on the world stage, digitalization boost both at the household and country levels, reallocation of resources into healthcare and environmental projects, strengthening the role of the State, a decrease in wealth, a slowdown in the economy... But there will be the other changes that are yet to be discovered. For example, will we revise the criteria for the quality of the urban environment and the settlement planning principles? We want to believe the humanity will come out of this crisis fresh-thinking, more prudent, more attentive to the environment and the truly Great Transformation will take place. All urban and regional strategies, which will be momentarily revised, should respond to the new reality.

Topics to be discussed:

  • Mobilization strategies: from the fight against coronavirus to economic modernization
  • Recovering from the Dutch disease: prospective branches of ‘Smart economy’
  • Growth models in the disintegration period
  • Leap online: a premature future
  • Healthcare after strength test
  • Urban environment: dense or sparse?


3. Federal strategies and the strategy of federalism

Having transferred the responsibility for dealing with the pandemic to the regional authorities, the central Government has mainstreamed the topic of the Russian federalism. The earlier verticalization of power sharply reduced the independence of regional authorities and led to the weakening of local governments. Federal strategies often disregard regional interests. The centralization of financial resources deprives most regions of real opportunities to deal with the effects of the economic crisis. Prospects for changing the situation and expanding the central government - regions dialogue will be considered in relation to specific sectoral federal strategies, strategies for macroregions. Broader issues, such as changing the status of local government and intergovernmental fiscal relations, will also be discussed.

Topics to be discussed:

  • Russia’s Energy Strategy
  • Russia’s Long-term Development Strategy with Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2050
  • Implementing Russia’s Spatial Development Strategy
  • Strategies for macroregions
  • How regions benefit from autonomy?
  • How much do the fiscal responsibilities of a region ‘cost’?
  • Local government: death or revival?


4. International cooperation for regional development: strategies and tools in action

International line of the Strategic Planning Leaders Forum 2020 will provide opportunities for dialogue between the regions of Russia and foreign countries. This line includes an exchange of experience, discussions, presentations of breakthrough solutions developed within the cooperation projects, and a joint search for the ways out of the crisis 2020. It is necessary to learn from the period of forced ‘spring disunity’, promote the implementation of strategies and cooperation tools, and expand the cooperation area.

International events will mark the 30th anniversary of the Interreg Programme – the main EU regions’ cooperation tool both within the EU and beyond. For 30 years, Interreg has been an effective cooperation tool between Russian and European regions and has clearly proved that borders are not barriers. The Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme and the seven current Russia -EU CBC Programmes help neighbors jointly overcome common challenges and find solutions for innovation, health, education, transport, environment, culture, sustainable energy and much more. The events will discuss the major issues related to developing new generation strategies for macroregions and the Interreg Programmes under the umbrella of the SDGs.

Topics to be discussed:

  • XIII international round table “International cooperation for regional development”
  • XV session of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme Dialogue: joint action platforms and priorities 21+
  • IV Russia – Finland Cross-Border Cooperation Programmes round table
  • III round table of the Council of the Baltic Sea States “New generation macroregional strategies for sustainable development in the Baltic Sea Region”
  • Series of international round tables on maritime spatial planning (Baltic Sea, Black Sea)


5. The 2030 Agenda: achieving SDGs in Russia (Forum Green Day)

In 2020, the United Nations launch the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The Decade of Action calls for accelerating solutions to the biggest challenges ranging from poverty, health and well-being to sustainable economic growth, natural disasters and climate change. By focusing on a holistic vision of sustainable development as a combination of economic development, social integration and environmental sustainability and putting it at the forefront of national strategies and action plans, countries will be able to move towards a safer, better and more prosperous world.

In the summer of 2020, Russia will present for the first time a Voluntary National Review (VNR) taking stock of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals back to back with national priorities and national projects. Key persons responsible for implementing the SDGs in Russia will showcase the VNR to the Forum participants.

Forum Green Day will bring together key decision-makers to strengthen the cooperation between government, business and society to achieve the SDGs and disseminate the voluntary reviews at the regional and municipal levels. The main events will enhance cooperation with international partners to adapt the best practices of transition to a circular economy, which relies on the innovative energy- and resource-saving technologies, and focuses on social welfare and public health.

Topics to be discussed:

  • SDGs in Russia: challenges and opportunities
  • Contribution of leading Russian business companies into urban sustainable development
  • Cities for people of the 21st century: ensuring access to safe and sustainable urban mobility and the role of transport in modern cities
  • Innovative platform and tools for transition to a circular economy to achieve the SDGs in the Baltic Sea region
  • Travel futurology. Reconstruction of sustainable tourism in Russia


V Strategic Planning Leaders Forum Youth Platform 2020 “Games of Goals”

The youth platform, organized jointly with the Council of the Baltic Sea States, will bring together young leaders to develop projects aimed at achieving SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. The platform will take place as a business game “Games of Goals”, firstly played at the previous Forum 2019. The game is based on a Design Sprint thinking method.


Forum Third Day. Workshop for Chief Architects “Socio-economic and spatial planning: towards integration”


Approved by the Strategic Planning Leaders Forum Programme Group on April 16, 2020

XIX All-Russia Forum of Strategic Planning Leaders ©