BRICS Business Magazine English Edition No.5(9)

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When abroad, we are used to answering the question, “Where are you from?” More often than not, we mention only the country, because any additional details are superfluous. Yet with many cities, it is not necessary to mention the country. Their name alone will elicit a clear and complete picture. Compare France and Paris, Brazil and Rio de Janeiro, or China and Shanghai. We live not in countries, but in cities; this informs our perception of reality. At the end of the day, it determines how we see countries.

The words ‘politics’ and ‘polis’ share a common root. Thus, it follows that ignoring the city is dangerous. It is from here that all interactions are born, interests are formed, and added value is created. Cities define how cohesive our space is, how comfortable it is, and, ultimately, how much of it is even ours. Therefore, city policy is one of the most important components of broader policy; it has a significant influence on both domestic and international affairs. In fact, cities became an important topic in international relations long ago.

People should acknowledge this fact and begin behaving accordingly, especially in those places where realpolitik lags behind reality. Le Corbusier called the house ‘a machine for living.’ I would say the same about cities. In an era of total mobility, the convenience and productivity of these machines defines the destiny of states. And although errors are always possible everywhere, developing countries do not have the moral right to work with their cities in a way that is worse than that of the developed world.

Authors & Experts

Jim O’Neill
Jim O’Neill

Former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Steve Brescia
Steve Brescia

Co-founder and Executive Director of Groundswell International, an NGO that supports sustainable family farming and healthy local food systems in eight countries in Africa, the Americas, and Asia

Sarah Payne Naylor
Sarah Payne Naylor

Partner in The Naylor Group, where she provides leadership coaching to executives within the US Federal Government. She was an Assistant Director in the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs in Washington, D.C. where she worked on national public policy legislation related to hunger, healthcare, and social service issues. She also served on the Board of Directors for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the Board of International Social Services, and the Global Priorities Campaign

Charles David Kleymeyer
Charles David Kleymeyer

holds a PhD and is a culture and development sociologist. He is Senior Fellow at the Center for the Support of Native Lands, and he manages the international program at Food for All/Making Change. Kleymeyer has worked in grassroots development since 1966, in organizations that include the United States Peace Corps, Harvard Medical School, the Inter-American Foundation, and the Development Gateway. He is the author of Cultural Expression and Grassroots Development

Vladimir Korovkin
Vladimir Korovkin

Head of the Digital Technologies at the SKOLKOVO Institute for Emerging Market Studies

Jack A. Goldstone
Jack A. Goldstone

Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University, Head of the International Laboratory for Political Demography and Macrosociological Dynamics at Moscow’s RANEPA

Marcos Troyjo
Marcos Troyjo

Director of the BRICLab at Columbia University, where he also teaches international affairs

Mikhail Grudinin
Mikhail Grudinin

Director General at the Russian Institute of Urban Development and Investment

Andrey Zubarev
Andrey Zubarev

holds a PhD and is a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Central Banks’ Issues with the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration

Vladimir Rakhmanin
Vladimir Rakhmanin

Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO)

Evgenia Kolesova
Evgenia Kolesova

Head of the Economic Analysis and Research Department at the Urbanica Institute of Spatial Planning

Madou Sylla
Madou Sylla

Managing Partner at Systems & Solutions International Group (SSIG). Participant of the Open Innovations Forum

Vladimir Yashin
Vladimir Yashin

First Deputy Chairman of the Board at Promsvyazbank

Vladimir Pirozhkov
Vladimir Pirozhkov

President of ASTRAROSSA Design

Martijn Burger
Martijn Burger

Academic Director at the Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization

Anastasia Belostotskaya
Anastasia Belostotskaya

Analyst at the Sustainability Lab at the Institute for Emerging Market Studies SKOLKOVO

Natalia Zaitseva
Natalia Zaitseva

Head of the Sustainability Lab at the Institute for Emerging Market Studies SKOLKOVO

Eric Schmidt
Eric Schmidt

Executive Chairman of Google

Arkady Zlochevskiy
Arkady Zlochevskiy

President of the Russian Grain Union

Richard Hsu
Richard Hsu

is Adjunct Professor at Tongji University’s School of Design and Innovation, Sino-Finnish Centre in Shanghai. He is founder and curator of TEDxShanghai; Researcher and producer of Urban-Rural Bridge in China; and Founder and creative director of Pan-Asia Network (PAN). Richard Hsu is a past participant in the Moscow Urban Forum.

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