Russian alumni seek sustainable solutions

In June, the Russia Chevening Alumni Association held a panel discussion on global sustainable development to explore global problems and look for practical solutions. The event was hosted by the British Ambassador at his residence in Moscow.

Being one of the most important topics of today, the discussion attracted a variety of leading organisations in this field. It welcomed heads of a number of top corporate sustainable development departments, a range of NGOs, academia, and social entrepreneurs.

Among the speakers were representatives of UNDP, British Embassy Moscow, the Aga Khan Foundation, UNGC, Rus’ Fund, and the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO. Chevening Alumni working on sustainable development programmes at Granta Design in Cambridge also took part via video.

The number of fascinating examples provided by both the speakers and audience members demonstrates how much work is being done internationally in this field. There was also discussion about how Russians can implement and adapt key sustainable development principals in Russia, sharing global best practice.

The Russia Chevening Alumni Association said: 'We hope that our event has not only enlarged the knowledge and understanding of the topic in Russia, but will help to establish new partnerships that will bring more initiatives pursuing sustainable development goals. After all, as proud members of international Chevening community, we care deeply about the future of our beautiful world.'

Since its launch, the association has also held a Chevening summer festival to celebrate alumni achievements and the Chevening community in Russia. The event gathered over 70 alumni from different years, who had an opportunity to try Ceilidh dancing, take photos in the photo booth, and refresh their connections with fellow Cheveners. The event also included the first ever 'Russia Chevening Alumnus of the Year' award, presented by the Deputy Head of Mission Martin Harris.

This year's winner, Olga Kravets, received the award for her outstanding achievements in raising awareness on local human rights issues through her documentary film titled It’s getting dark, which features the stories of five Russian political prisoners’ families. Three other alumni were also recognised for their significant achievements in: Defending human rights in Russian Constitutional Court (Sergey Golubok); contributing to international development (Esuna Dugarova); and supporting children with special needs (Victoria Zankina).