The Institute of Contemporary Development was established four years ago in March 2008, when the newly elected Russian President Dmitry Medvedev became chairman of the think tank’s Board of Trustees. A special meeting was held at INSOR on March 20 to review the results of the organization’s efforts.
“Four years ago in this hall the Chairman of our Board of Trustees, Dmitry Medvedev, expressed his wish that this platform serve as a meeting place for leading economists, political scientists, lawyers and demographers – all of the specialists required to fully engage in our work. We have strived to do just that,” said INSOR Management Board Chairman Igor Yurgens, opening a discussion of the results of institute’s work. “Our main focus over these past four years has been to provide the expertise needed to support Dmitry Medvedev’s declared course for modernization of the country. Today we can honestly say that INSOR has become a broad-based discussion platform, where the opinion of the expert community has been formulated on various issues concerning modernization.
Over the course of the past four years INSOR has hosted more than 400 events – meetings, roundtables, seminars, situation analysis, conferences, etc. – with participation of the most authoritative Russian and foreign specialists taking part. The discussions have covered both on INSOR’s own research and that of other think tanks and analytical centers. The results of this organizational and analytical work can be seen in the reports, analytical notes and expertise which INSOR has regularly provided to government bodies as well as the several dozen publications that are part of the INSOR Library series.
Igor Yurgens spoke about a new project which the institute has joined: the Council of Councils – a new unique international initiative to connect leading foreign policy institutes from around the world in a common conversation on issues of global governance and multilateral cooperation. In addition to INSOR, the founding membership of the Council of Councils includes leading institutions from 18 other countries, roughly tracking the composition of the Group of Twenty (G20). The mission of the Council of Councils is to find common ground on shared threats, build support for innovative ideas, and inject remedies into the public debate and policymaking processes of member countries.
Boris Makarenko, Director for Political Development, made a presentation on INSOR’s proposals over the past several years and the resonance they have had with Russia’s top political leadership. The presentation was in the form of a comparative table of proposals by INOR and subsequent statements and/or initiatives of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin.
At the meeting another new project of INSOR was announced: the website Public Profit (www.publicprofit.ru). This website presents the publicly declared income of civil servants and their families and is intended to increase transparency and help fight corruption.