This startup aims to raise the level of international education in Russia. The Eurasian Research Peace Development Institute has given a chance to more than one hundred youth diplomats from different parts of the country to gain international experience all across Europe. The Youth Time Magazine has interviewed the president of the Institute, Marat Shafigullin.
How did you start your diplomatic career?
My path as an entrepreneur and a public figure has come a long way from the days when I was a student government member and an activist in the Model UN Movement to professional diplomatic trips to EU countries and managing projects as well as organising political events on a high level. I have been into social projects since my youth.
How started your own business?
The education that I got and the experience that I gained during business trips to Asia and Europe when I was 19 allowed me learn invaluable skills. Moreover, the lack of opportunities and weak business conditions in my own region were a powerful impulse for me to take action. The idea of establishing an organisation to provide young people from all the regions of Russia with the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge of youth diplomacy seemed to be a good motivation to create a platform and facilities for international cooperation and self-fulfillment.
Did your team face any difficulties while establishing the ECS Institute?
First of all, our innovative idea was hard to integrate, then the lack of financing was a bit of a problem. To solve the last one, we had to make our own investments, which was not an easy task due to the instability of the international situation. Overall, we found a solution to each particular problem, developing a strategy to implement international projects.
What is the sphere of activity the ECS Institute works in?
We work in the fields of public diplomacy, business acceleration, and international relations. Currently we have programmes in Austria, France, and Great Britain, and we are negotiating with Japanese and Iranian partners.
What do you offer to the participants?
During the programmes, participants acquire theoretical and practical skills based on the experience of international partner organisations. This knowledge includes all the aspects of business idea development, mastering skills in diplomatic etiquette, intercultural communications, and conflict management.
What are the companies you cooperate with?
We work with such institutions as OSCE, the Academic Council of the United Nations System, Rossotrudnichestvo, Russian Embassies, the Russian-Singapore Business Council, the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, the Moscow Academy of Economics and Law, and the International Centre Lomonosov.
What advice can you give to young entrepreneurs?
Don’t be afraid of challenges and responsibilities. This is the only way to reach significant goals and develop entrepreneurial skills and increase active citizenship.
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