On February 13, the 2018 Mentor All-Russian Forum organised by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives was opened. Several thousand mentors and representatives of HR departments of the largest governmental and business corporations, federal and regional authorities, and employees of non-profit organizations and educational institutions joined the event as its participants. The speakers shared their understanding of the word ‘mentor’ and talked about the role of mentoring in today’s world at the plenary session. 

In her speech, Svetlana Chupsheva, General Director of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI), mentioned that President Vladimir Putin supported the Mentor project. The President pays much attention to mentoring systems and recognizes the importance and necessity of supporting and developing them. It is important to recall that many other Russia’s projects were successfully implemented thanks to non-indifferent people willing to share their knowledge and experience, help all those around, and be a role model for them. 


According to Svetlana Chupsheva, a mentor is a teacher in a larger sense, who not only shares knowledge, but also helps find true values and teaches how to believe in yourself. In addition, warm, friendly, and trusting relations are very important for mentoring. 

“Don’t be afraid of becoming mentors. I believe each of you has something to share. For example, Russia has done much to support orphans. However, many children need friends outside the perimeter of orphan asylums. Each of you can become such a friend or a mentor”, she said to all those present in the hall.


 At the same time, Svetlana Chupsheva stresses that not only the mentor is an example for his or her student to follow, but students can teach mentors a lot as well. This exchange of knowledge is invaluable. 

Sergey Kiriyenko, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration of Russia, delivered welcoming remarks. He reminded the listeners of the fact that the revival of mentoring was Vladimir Putin’s instruction. The President said many times about every person being talented and the task of authorities to let people reveal, develop, and realise their potential. This brings use to the whole country. In fact, mentors have a significant role in developing talents. 


The speaker’s opinion is that no computer program can replace a human mentor. All people are different and require individual approach. The advancement of technology provides a number of unique opportunities. Nevertheless, only people can teach some things. This once more stresses the importance and value of mentoring. 

Sergey Kiriyenko thanked all those present in the hall for their contribution and non-indifference to their activities. As he mentioned, several thousand of mentors aged from 18 to 101 years old took part in the event. They all sincerely want to share knowledge, skills, and experience and are ready to responsibly approach to the development of people around.


“Our task is to revive the unique mentoring system created in the Soviet era. In my opinion, support of mentoring should become permanent”, he finished. 

In this case, support of mentoring will result positively in thousands of boys and girls having found their way thanks to their mentors. 


Andrey Belousov, Assistant to the President of Russia, discussed being a mentor. 

“Each of us understands instinctively the distinction between teachers and mentors. A mentor is a person whom one can consult to for a life advice at any time”, he said. 

The speaker believes that active development of mentoring movement in the modern world is the response to people being lonely and disunited. According to Andrey Belousov, a mentor is a volunteer dealing with people’s spirits and inner world. He or she shares not only knowledge, but also life experience, values, and attitude to life. Mentors help people reveal their talents, know their destiny, and find their ways in life and follow them. 


The speaker shared that only a person able to influence the development of personality and to share his or her values could become a mentor. Those are very important qualities. 

“This is why I support the Mentor project by ASI. People who have these qualities are even more than ‘golden fund’ of our nation. We must not only support them, but also help them in educating more people of this kind”, finished Andrey Belousov. 

The Forum’s opening session also attracted such participants, as Andrey Komarov, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Chelyabinsk Pipe Plant, Viktor Pugachev, honourable Soviet and Russian test pilot, Hero of the Soviet Union, Svetlana Khorkina, two-time Olympic gold medalist on bars, CSKA first deputy head, Elena Shmeleva, head of the Talent and Success foundation, Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of Russian Federation, etc. 

The participants discussed a number of topical problems and issues requiring analysis at the Forum’s panel sessions. They spoke about how to create the environment for the development of the mentors’ movement, viewed the image of a good mentor, and exchanged best practices of mentoring. The forum takes place from February 13 to February 15. In addition, in February 2018 and March 2018 the district Mentor forums will be held in seven federal districts of Russia. 

Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov