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Canadian Business Students Visit St. Petersburg

Published: March 13, 2013 (Issue # 1750)


Last weekend St. Petersburg hosted a group of 37 business students and alumni from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, as part of the institutions Hot Cities initiative.

The tour started in Moscow, with visits to the Skolkovo Business School, Fast Lane Ventures (a business start-up incubator), RBS Moscow and Bank of America, among others.

In St. Petersburg, business was mixed with pleasure, with participants learning about alternative energy projects in Russia at Schneider Electric, while also getting an overview of Russian culture at the State Hermitage Museum, the Mariinsky Theater and by having a soak at a local banya.

Speaking to the St Petersburg Times, trip leader Dr. Karl Moore, a lecturer in business leadership and strategy at McGills world-renowned Desautels Faculty of Management, explained that this trip was a chance for students to experience the global business environment first-hand.

According to Moore, the Desautels Faculty of Management believes in giving its students the opportunity to better understand where the global economy is going by giving them the opportunity to travel to far flung parts of the world to meet with CEOs and other senior executives...

The visit is the most recent in the facultys Hot Cities program, a course that aims to educate students about competitiveness internationally through experiential learning. Previous years have seen trips to Israel, Abu Dhabi, India and South Africa.

Moore, who is also an Associate Fellow of Templeton College at Oxford University, has written extensively about globalization and his current work involves grooming the business leaders of the future.

Younger people have a different mindset from my generation, he said. His latest book, due for publication next year, reflects this interest. Leading, Managing, Working With Under 35s The Way They Want To Be Worked With deals with the need to rethink business leadership in response to generational change.

The trips also combine business and cultural aspects with charitable work. In Russia the party visited the Kitezh Childrens Community in Kaluga, where orphaned and abandoned children are raised in a self-contained community in which they are given the opportunity to learn family and life skills.

The charitable foundation that we visited gave me a great appreciation for the struggles that orphans have, and I was moved by the love and kindness that the Kitzeh Community has developed, said Emma Bambrick, a student and research assistant at McGill. The Hot Cities group aims to raise $20,000 for the charity.

The students gained a positive impression of the business climate in Russia as well. As we heard from business executives from Moscow and St. Petersburg, it became clear that Russia truly is a burgeoning economy, said Bambrick. I was surprised to hear how eager and welcoming the Russian state can be in terms of foreign direct investment and foreign business in general.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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