Fireside Chats

The Fireside Chats format provides an ideal forum for smaller group discussions, such as for authors who wish to engage with our alumni community whilst on a book tour of Russia or visiting academics who wish to discuss their research with a targeted audience.

Past Fireside Chats


Economy Discussion with Yermolai Solzhenitsyn

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On Thursday, 13th August at Cabinet Lounge Yermolai Solzhenitsyn, a director in McKinsey’s Russia office, led a discussion on the Russian economy here is a summary:

Yermolai Solzhenitsyn was born in Russia and grew up in Vermont. He moved back to Russia in 1995 at the age of 24, together with his mother, father and two brothers. Soon afterwards, he joined the management consultancy McKinsey, and his first project was in Cherepovets, a city in the west of Vologda Oblast, Russia.

In his talk, Yermolai drew a contrast between the economies of Russia and China, whose language and literature he studied at Harvard. In Russia, he named consumption as the key driver of growth, while noting that investment in fixed assets has not been a priority and that high input costs for domestic manufacturers made many exports uncompetitive.

He also looked at the state of the Russian economy in terms of the 5 drivers of GDP growth – consumption, investment, budget spending, export and import. He then touched on the issue of predictability of the “rules of the game”, which is something of vital importance to investors. Yermolai also noted that in the current situation with constraints on most GDP drivers, special attention should be paid to the importance of raising productivity of capital, as well as labour productivity, as important drivers of economic growth. On the subject of import substitution, he mentioned that it is important to bear in mind the export potential of goods/ services and to consider global competitiveness. He highlighted maximum integration into the world economy as an important goal for the Russian economy in the medium- and long-term perspective.


Russian Documentary Making – Viewing & Discussion with Producer Pavel Obynin (in Russian)

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Pelevin
When: Monday, June 1st from 7.30pm
Where: Cabinet Lounge –  No. 6 Novaya Ploshad’, Moscow, 109012 / Новая площадь, д. 6 (вход с Малого Черкасского переулка)
Film viewing “Писатель «П». Попытка идентификации” (74 mins), followed by a discussion with the producer Pavel Odynin in Russian. The film is about the contemporary Russian author, Victor Plevin.


Stuart Lawson: “Successful failure and crisis management in the world of black swans”

Stuart Lawson

About the speaker
Stuart Lawson spent 16 years as CEO/Chairman of 4 banks in Russia, beginning at Citibank in 1995. In 2000 he became the First Senior Advisor and later Chairman of DeltaBank; in 2004 he was the first foreign executive chairman of a Russian owned bank, Bank Soyuz and he was CEO of HSBC Russia from March 2008 to June 2010, during which time the bank launched both retail and private banking.

Event summary
When: Wednesday, June 18. Start at 6.30 p.m. Stuart will be talking from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Robusto Room, Nikolskaya Kempinski, Nikolskaya Street 12, 109012 Moscow, Russia
RSVP: Please register using our online registration form

Event summary
When: Wednesday, 18th June, from 7.00pm
Where: Provisional – Hotel Nikol’skaya Kempinski, Nikolskaya Street 12
RSVP: Please register using our online form


Local Outreach with Dr Pitelis

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During Dr Pitelis’ trip to Moscow in connection with our first CJBS alumni event, we arranged an informal meeting with lecturers from MGIMO, Higher School of Economics, Moscow State University and Skolkovo, as well as representatives of the alumni groups of Harvard and Oxford.