Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, humanity finds itself in a unique situation that it could not have imagined itself being in several months ago. “We are at the survival stage,” stated the deputy chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation and the chairman of the board of trustees of the Skolkovo Foundation Dmitry Medvedev, taking part in the Startup Village LiveStream video conference that opened earlier today.
This is the first time in eight years that the conference has taken place in an online format. “It allows us to maintain communication in spite of the current difficulties,” Mr Medvedev noted. Due to Covid-19, individual persons’ behavior has changed as well as that of companies and states, which, according to Dmitry Medvedev, is the reason for Startup Village’s transfer to an online platform.
Unfortunately, this type of “black swan” always brings with it very difficult economic consequences, not to mention the enormous number of victims, the deputy head of the Security Council continued. It is estimated that global GDP will decrease by 3% due to the pandemic. “Production chains have been disrupted, borders have been closed, and some production facilities cannot work because deliveries from abroad have halted. The industries that have managed to digitize have suffered the least.” Dmitry Medvedev mentioned that among these are online retail, long-distance learning services, and projects that aim at automating business.
Dmitry Medvedev: I miss the normality we all lived in four months ago. Photo: Sk.ru
What the new behaviour model for a post-coronavirus society will be is still unclear. “But it is obvious that the world has changed radically and very likely forever. I miss the normality we all lived in four months ago,” Mr Medvedev acknowledged.
At the same time, he is convinced that the current situation offers new possibilities that are worth taking advantage of. “One of the changes that awaits all countries, including Russia, is the transformation of labor relations,” said Dmitry Medvedev. “All the changes in labor relations about which we only started discussing a year ago - remote employment, the use of digital technologies, the change in the employment contract model - have suddenly become today’s reality.”
“It is extremely important to us that all these models become part of our labor laws in order to protect workers and not put employers in a difficult situation. We will correct the labor legislation precisely in this area,” the deputy head of the Security Council promised. The world, according to his views, is “at the very beginning of this path, and the path is extremely difficult.”
“But that does not mean that we should raise our hands and allow the pandemic to tear humanity apart. I am sure that we can resist it in an extremely effective way,” said the chairman of the board of trustees of the Skolkovo Foundation.
He forecasts that the pandemic will create possibilities for the production of new drugs, new medicines, and new scientific developments in this field. Mr Medvedev stated that approximately 50 drugs are being developed in the Russian Federation in connection to the Covid-19 pandemic and these will soon undergo testing. “We have created approximately 15 platforms specially for these goals, which focus on medicines and approximately 50 drugs are in development at this moment,” said Dmitry Medvedev, expressing hope that these medicines could be “submitted for testing” in the near future.
The deputy head of the Security Council of the Russian Federation is confident that developments in this field in different countries will have the overall effect of allowing us to overcome the most pressing issues related to battling Covid-19.
“A significant amount of Russia’s technologies are being developed at the Skolkovo Foundation. There are a large number of startups there that have international recognition and many of them have over 50 million dollars in capitalization and are conducting drug development,” said the chairman of the board of trustees of the Skolkovo Foundation. “I have no doubts that that which has happened today will trigger a new technological revolution. This trigger is needed, but humanity has gotten through transformations generated by various crises more than once, including pandemics.”