“The city begins implementing its own diplomacy” – participants of the Youth Forum of the Potsdam Meetings

08 April 2019

On April 8, the IV Youth Forum of the Potsdam Meetings continues in Moscow. The event, organized by the German-Russian Forum and the Gorchakov Fund, is dedicated to development of digital cities in Russia and Germany as a new way of cooperation.

The first discussion block focused on digital cities and development of the foreign policy agenda. A list of discussion topics was identified by acting Director of the Department for Governmental and Public Affairs of Untied Shipping Corporation Nikita Pichugin. According to him, digital cities are turning more and more into a global standard of expectations. They are shaping a world market of technologies and, based on preliminary assessments of the experts, the market of digital technologies will reach USD 2 trillion by 2025.

The topic was continued by Head of Product Portfolio “Smart City” at MTS Yevgeny Titov. He believes that a “smart city” is a natural nonreversible process of urban development aimed at resolving current problems and tasks, about which just recently nobody even thought or could not resolve because of insufficient advanced technologies.

The speaker believes that the smart cities will bring development and expansion of competition among cities both inside one country and with other countries.

Yevgeny Titov envisions a transition from chaotic disconnected processes of digitization of individual industries and aspects of urban life to comprehensive strategies of urban development based on an open discussion between the business and the society while taking into account international practices and standards.

The speaker emphasized that implementation of strategies of urban development was a powerful drive of scientific, technological and economic development of the countries, growth of product marketability, opportunities for foreign investments and interest in them, and strengthening of foreign economic ties.

Executive Director of Logic Based Risk Modelling (LBRM) Dirk Schulte spoke about importance of using the existing infrastructure to achieve better efficiency.

According to him, urbanization resulted in the fact that economic and political power is concentrated in the cities and they, in their turn, act as rightful political actors. Moscow is a good example of that.

“The city begins implementing its own diplomacy. Regional cooperation may become an efficient tool of the foreign policy. If the channel of official diplomacy is associated with tensions, the regional cooperation can be implemented without any serious difficulties”, stated Dirk Schulte.