About the past and the future: the Gorchakov Fund and SFDP opened Laboratory of Historical Memory

21 November 2019

On November 21, international forum “Laboratory of Historical Memory: What Happened not with Us?” took place in Moscow. Young scientists, researchers, parliamentarians and businessmen from Russia, Austria, Germany, Poland and Italy got together to discuss issues of mutual understanding between young generations of Russia and the EU.

Organizers of the forum are the Council of Foreign and Defense Policy and the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund.

The participants were welcomed Deputy Executive Director of the Gorchakov Fund Daria Lobanova. She said that the day before the forum had opened with a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko.

The first session dedicated to events in Europe in 1989 was opened by Mikhail Shvydkoy, Special Envoy for International Cultural Cooperation to the President of Russia. According to him, there were many illusions in the end of the 1980s. People were thinking how to improve socialism and make it more humane. Discussions then were very hot.

Mikhail Shvydkoy believes that there would not have been any changes in Eastern Europe had the USSR back in 1985 not announced the course for perestroika. After that, fundamentally new processes began, which were not going smooth and had different vectors.

Chairman of the Committee of Foreign and Defense Policy, editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Politics Fyodor Lukyanov provided a colorful assessment of the changes in the world over the past 30 decades: “What we have definitely not achieved in those 30 years is carnivalization of the world economy. The borders between reality and its perception were erased”, said the speaker. Together with the attendees of the forum the expert discussed current events of world politics in the past years.

The final block of the forum included discussion “30+ Years. What is Next?”. Ruslan Yunisov, Executive Director of Russian Quantum Center presented a forecast of the future from the point of view of technological progress: the discussion included opportunities for artificial intellect and its influence on the world order as a whole. “If concepts of life and death disappear in the digital world, what will happen to the culture? The established moral values will have to undergo a serious transformation”, concluded the speaker.

Italian journalist Fulvio Scaglione, during his speech, told about the main challenge of the new reality for countries in Western Europe, which is an uncertain strategy of development: “Western European media is a mirror of the political situation in Europe and it does not have an autonomous life. The media is disoriented and is trying to explain processes, which nobody understands.”

According to Scaglione, due to the changes on the international political arena the countries in Western Europe are on the stage of defining their vector: “The world is not waiting for us and sooner or later we will have to decide who we are and what our position is on a number of important issues of the global agenda.” The journalist suggested that exactly that choice would define the fate of the European countries for decades ahead.

Read more in Russian here