Statement of the All-Russia civil forum-2017

    November 25, 2017


    We, the participants of the V All-Russia civil forum, who gathered in Moscow on November 25, 2017 state that our country again faces the choice of the development model. The price of this choice is life and well-being of people, future horizons of the country and its place in the world.

    The existing model, based on ineffective redistribution of resources and state’s participation in all spheres of life, exhausted itself.

    It led to a sharp economic slowdown, drop in the living standards, and decrease in the efficiency of state institutions. Russian citizens are dissatisfied with the decline in their own incomes against the backdrop of price increase, corruption, bad situation in education, medicine, housing and public utilities. They don’t like that authorities take key decisions concerning the future of the country without taking into account people’s opinion.

    The way out of this situation requires a well-planned strategy. The world around us is rapidly and constantly changing - this is a new reality.The winners are those countries that are becoming leaders of inevitable changes. They build flexible systems that allow them to react to new opportunities.

    Sensibility to changes is ensured by horizontal and network communication and centralized vertical management structures lose. That is why countries with a developed civil society areahead, it is a society with a structure fully based on horizontal communication of active people, replacing out-of-date hierarchical systems.

    Now we are behind - economically, technologically, and socially. But it is not enough to admit this fact. We need a new model of development which will allow not only solving structural and institutional problems but also to manage global processes. 

    To overcome this lag and lead the country to the path of sustainable development we should act on the basis of the core principle - the aspiration to achieve human potential and expand space for any useful initiative.

    Today when rich natural resources and cheap labor resources can no longer serve as economic drivers, the future of Russia depends on another capital – the human.These are the talents and competencies of our citizens, their ability and willingness to take responsibility, to experiment.

    Human capital is formed in an atmosphere that encourages creativity and initiative. The state in its current form does not encourage but restrains the development of human capital. Our legislation, law enforcement authorities and media often used for propaganda, are not adapted to the development tasks. As a result, civil activists, entrepreneurs, scientists and artists face formidable barrier, lack of resources and lose the opportunity to deliver benefits to Russia.

    The absence of effective guarantees for a fair trial, freedom of speech and property, restriction of political and civic engagement, excessive bureaucratic control, authority abuse - this is an incomplete list of negative factors that impede the disclosure of Russian society potential and thereby hinder the development of the country.

    How do we see our country in the future?

    We see it democratic, competitive and actively developing. It builds respectful partnership relations with other countries and pays special attention to the development of its own human capital and the necessary infrastructure - education, health, culture, access to information.

    We see the country that supports the development of science and technology entrepreneurship, where private and public initiatives are valued as much as state initiatives.

    We see the country that provides social protection, takes care fordistressed, pays attention to the specific problems of even small vulnerable groups.

    We see a modern secular country wherethe citizens are equal regardless of the confession they belong, where the state does not impose an ideological control on culture and historical science, does not seek to centralize and unify education.

    We see a country that is able to intelligently shape the image of the desired future considering the lessons of the past.

    We do not wait for permission or signal from somebody and constantly work for this future: we help, protect, analyze, formulate proposals, and achieve changes. Even today we work on those social problems that lack state attention and resources. Practically, the civil sector includes both the expert community and a serious social infrastructure, hundreds of thousands of local community initiatives and socially-oriented small businesses without which the state can no longer manage.This is a built-in mechanism for adaptation to changes in the labor market in the process of technological modernization and a serious potential for increasing economic growth.

    The best experts and civic activists are involved in developing necessary reforms. Now it is already impossible to carry out effective reforms without participation of civil society.

    We are open for dialogue with the state. But this dialogue must be truly meaningful and equal. Otherwise, we will not get out of the meaningless paternalistic-dependent relations.We need an open and transparent partner state, service state, a state that regulates a friendly environment promoting the positive endeavors of the Russian citizens, the state that assures Freedom.

    Freedom is the key element for Russia's success. A country without freedom can not create innovations and effective businesses, elect honest authorities and compete in the global world, be attractive and comfortable for the life of different people. The success of the country is our shared responsibility. We appeal to every citizen of all ages and types of activities to share this responsibility for the sake of Russia.

    Today numerous representatives of non-profit organizations and initiatives, businesses, state institutions are already involved in citizen activism. We hope to expand this circle, to increase opportunities for development for every person and the country as a whole. We are ready to do our best!