ASU to Host International Congress Related to Elite & Leadership
On April 19-22, 2017, the International Congress “Elites & Leaders: Formation Strategies at a Modern University” shall take place at Astrakhan State University. Professor Liudmila Baeva, Dean of the Department of Social Communications of ASU, has told us about the upcoming event.
“The theme of the upcoming Congress relates to a profound interest towards the phenomenon of leadership, which is often under consideration by interdisciplinary researchers and participants of various conferences and forums. In the open and dynamic information society, efficiency of practically any activities depends on leaders. The theme of elite and elitism is traditionally regarded by political scientists as the phenomenon of political elites; it’s also considered by educationalists, who consider the issue of open elite education (which implies the best and high-quality education) and close elitist education (which is available only for a limited range of people). During this Congress, we’re planning to discuss pluses and minuses of elite education, issues of social elite formation at a university by developing such competencies as leadership, teamwork and communication skills, ability to take on responsibility – in general, the so-called “soft skills”, which attract special attention now. So, the upcoming event is positioned as a broad forum to discuss various interdisciplinary issues.
Discussing the issues of elite and leadership, we decided to extend the range of issues, which traditionally comprises only social political elites, and include formation of leadership conscience, system-based, critical, and analytical thinking, adaptation to social networks, and so on.
This Congress is not a unique forum; I’d say such events represent a present-day trend. In particular, two elite-related congress were held in Rostov-on-Don; they concerned issues of political elites. Our University traditionally pays much attention to staff development and training, that is, to formation of leadership, which the name of our Congress reflects. I’d also remark the issue of leadership is also a megatrend. Last year, I took part in the conference “Leadership and Innovation for the Future in Open and Distance Learning” held at Shanghai Open University and backed by the UNESCO.
The Congress agenda includes reports by specialists from various countries. Specialists from Nepal, South Africa, Korea, and Japan will be key speakers. Prof. Geesje van den Berg from South Africa will give her online report to share her experience in open education, which relates to formation of leadership. Issues of leadership in open elite education will also be considered by Prof. Rebat Kumar Dhakal from Nepal. Renowned Russian political scientists and specialists in elite and leadership studies – Prof. Arushan Vartumyan, Prof. Galina Sorina, Prof. Alexander Ponedelkov, and others – will participate in the Congress, too. Mr. Anicet Gabriel Kotchofa, Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Benin in the Russian Federation, will also visit the upcoming event as a distinguished guest.
We expect both theoretical and hands-on issues, which directly relate to techniques of leadership formation at a university, to be under detailed consideration at the Congress. Our University has been implementing its project “Innovative Forms of Education” for three years already; one of its major goals is to teach not only the relevant disciplines, but also communication, teamwork, and leadership skills. Exchanging experience with our foreign colleagues to develop electronic open distance education will be of great value for us, too.
I’d remark that several trainings, master classes, and short-term retraining programs will be delivered as a part of the Congress agenda. Those programs are aimed not just at university professors (even though they’re the prime target audience), but also at quite a large range of specialists from various spheres, including businesspeople. For additional information about our trainings and master classes, about participation in our Congress please visit our web site http://congress2017.asu.edu.ru/en/. Everyone is welcome to take part in it!”