The Second Forum of Social Innovations of Regions took place at the Government House of Moscow oblast on June 8 and 9. Valentina Matvienko, Chairperson of the Federation Council, and Galina Karelova, the Vice-speaker of the Parliament upper house, were the moderators of it. 


Svetlana Chupsheva, Director General of the Agency of Strategic Initiatives (ASI), addressed her speech to the guests at the plenary meeting. According to her opinion, the regions’ chiefs are actively engaged in solving social tasks and they coordinate social projects personally. For example, business performs municipal service on extra education for children in Murmanskaya oblast. The means for holding cultural events are also distributed on a competitive basis. Khanty-Mansiisk autonomous district has a service to help disabled children socialize. Krasnoyarsk Krai has a ‘Wizards’ Academy’ multistudio where children with disabilities create cartoons… 


According to Svetlana’s words, one of the most current themes is volunteering. A number of regions participate in it very actively. Thus, several higher education institutions have juridical clinics where students consult citizens for free. Thirty-seven regions with sixty-two higher education institutions take part in this project. 


‘At the same time we have a problem. We don’t have rooms where volunteers could meet and complete training’, says Svetlana. However, a number of Russia’s territorial entities started working on it. For example, there is an ‘Open Spaces of the Russian Federation’ project starting in Krasnoyarsk. It provides information about vacant and free of charge platforms in the region. Novosibirskaya oblast and Altai territory also have such a base. 


According to Svetlana Chupsheva’s words, some territorial entities of the Russian Federation have institutions on support non-commercial organizations. Undoubtedly, it is a positive tendency. However, this sphere’s successful improvement requires ‘maintaining a bridge for cooperation between the NGO and business’. The region’s authorities and entrepreneurs are ready to realize educational programs for the projects’ leaders and finance them together. However, it requires an operator. Then, the ASI suggested President of the Russian Federation to create a fund of support social projects and Vladimir Putin accepted this initiative. A new institute will cooperate with crucial participants who assist entrepreneurship. Together they will begin to improve legislation and popularize socially oriented NGOs. The fund will perform navigating functions for social business. It will provide the best practices and help set off startups. According to Svetlana’s opinion, this structure will begin to work soon. 


Svetlana Chupsheva spoke about her view on women’s entrepreneurship especially for the Eurasian Women’s Community. ‘I think that dealing with socially significant business is an important feature of women’s nature. Women’s socially oriented projects allow overcoming poverty and give the opportunity to create qualified future for the children. It’s wonderful that the governors support such initiatives and help women promote their innovational projects. It’s also great that women form alliances to support each other’. 

Agata Korovina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Irina Nikishina