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Fostering Leadership

Vladimir Potanin Foundation in partnership with The Bell Newsletter is launching a series of online talks with leaders of the humanitarian sector about values that will inform our future

The project focuses on strong and creative individuals who make bold decisions, change the world around them and are prepared to assume responsibility. They will help us start the conversation about lessons of the crisis and values that will be inherent in our future.

Transformations triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic have destroyed the habitual way of life and made people consider a new system of values and ethical landmarks. No one has answers to the arising questions, which is why it is so important to hear the leaders’ opinions.

The Fostering Leadership project invited leaders in the humanitarian sector to talk about important subjects, most relevant in the new reality:

·      What impact has the crisis had on education, culture, and philanthropy?

·      What lessons does the humanitarian sector have to learn from what happened?

·      What are the ethical landmarks and values that the sector will bring with it to the future?

·      What should be the image of this future?

The issues of the humanitarian sector rarely get onto today’s public agenda, focused on the problems of healthcare and economics. However, it is the values of mutual aid and volunteerism that brings the society together these days, with cultural and educational projects becoming pillars of support and solace for many people. This is why we find a conversation about philanthropy, education and culture more than relevant today.

The Fostering Leadership project consists of a series of conversations with opinion leaders. Episodes will be streamed monthly and hosted by The Bell. Confirmed participants include professor of economics at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) Sergei Guriev; actress and co-founder of the Gift of Life Foundation Chulpan Khamatova; General Director of the State Tretyakov Gallery Zelfira Tregulova; co-founder and President of Lord Cultural Resources, museum planner Gale Lord; and founder of the Dynasty Foundation Dmitry Zimin. 


Online talk with Sergei Guriev
Online talk with Chulpan Khamatova
Online talk with Gail Lord 
Online talk with Zelfira Tregulova 



Why are we doing this?

Over more than 20 years of operations, the Foundation’s programs have brought together tens of thousands of people: fellows and academics, museum and sport professionals, endowments specialists, and everyone else capable of changing themselves and helping others.

The Foundation’s team sees its mission in creating a public environment that supports the values of creativity, professionalism, and leadership in addressing social issues. In addition to long-term grant programs, the Foundation operates its own projects in partnerships with leading cultural, educational, and charitable institutions. For example, the Foundation organizes the annual Museum Guide discussion space where culture sector professionals can discuss current issues and development trends. This year, the program partners with ICOM Russia and focuses on the topic of museums’ and culture’s contributions to the progress toward concrete sustainable development goals. Reflections on the common future is what also takes place at the Foundation schools, events that bring together hundreds of fellows and faculty members from leading universities to take part in an intellectual and project marathon addressing social issues.

One of the Foundation’s signature projects is its collaboration with the State Tretyakov Gallery in a project called Cultural Leadership in the Modern World. This dialogue began as a series of conversations between prominent representatives of Russia’s and U.K.’s creative industries and later transformed into public interviews Culture without Borders: Dialogues with Cultural Leaders of Today. Conversations touched upon a broad range of topics important for the field of culture, such as its relationships with the government, business, religion, and the media. It was an attempt to reflect on what values cultural leaders stand for, who forms them, and how the society reacts.

Together media project, a collaboration with the Takie Dela portal, featured personal stories of five people in whose professional careers the Foundation’s support played a role. The films focus on the protagonists’ values and the impact they have had on the development of their professional fields. These visual materials are supplemented with expert articles about the changes that have happened in culture, education, urban communities, and non-profit sector.

Fostering Leadership is the next step the Foundation is taking in this direction. It is an attempt to get a glimpse of tomorrow, to reflect on the crisis lessons and on how the human psyche and values change in extraordinary circumstances. Or they don’t.