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Mobilization in an island
Why did the presidential envoy Dmitry Peskov collect people on the "Island-1021"
Intensive has passed with a big scale: 11 days, 1200 participants from all over the country, 300 teachers, hundreds of lectures and master classes, business games. Among the invited people there are such well-known people as Nobel laureate, physicist Konstantin Novoselov, philosopher Pyotr Shchedrovitsky, scientific leader of the Skolkovo MBA Andrew Volkov, business coach Vladimir Tarasov, ex-director of the RVC Evgeny Kuznetsov, co-founder of the company "Technonikol" Igor Rybakov, pro-rector SPbPU them. Peter the Great Alexei Borovkov, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences "Shaninki" Victor Wachstein, and many others. Dmitry Peskov managed to collect on the "Island" a significant part of the creative community, included in the discussion of the digital (previously - innovative) economy. In the configuration of the "digital trinity", which migrates on social networksmobilized on the intensive "breakthrough group" can significantly strengthen its position in the announced mega-project of the country's digitization.
One of the main novelties of intensity is the "digital trace" of each participant, followed by artificial intelligence (AI, in the slang "islanders" - "Igor Ivanovich"). The "trace" was formed from participants' chekings in the classroom and the testimony of personal sensors that recorded his physical condition (fell asleep at a lecture or listened attentively to the lecturer), on the basis of which the AI decides on the participant's further trajectory along the tracks of the Island. Such a tracking system is part of a large experiment involving a number of leading technical universities in Moscow, whose tasks go far beyond the "Island". When selecting AI, he created the profile of each participant with assessments of various competences (technological, organizational, entrepreneurial), in which points ("koins") were added for activity in seminars and games. Points could be betted at auctions, where excursions to the aquarium and other useful things were played out. The system of accumulating koins and holding auctions, like AI, was a beta version, but even in this form, optimistic reviews of the part of the "islanders" were received.
Intense contained an extensive recreational program: morning jogging and swimming in the sea, rowing on the boards (sup-ah), dragon boat races, lessons of hand-to-hand combat against the Marines from Dzhigit Bay, a visit specially made to the Bay of Ajax from the base of the Pacific Corvette "Perfect ", an initiative run to Cape Tobizin (with jumping into the sea from 10-meter rock), yachting around the island, as well as the final folk festivities - a banquet with dances, fireworks and a farewell pioneer fire. The emphasis on "physics" is quite understandable: most of the participants are young people 25-35 years, IT-shniki, entrepreneurs and officials.
Let's try to note some features of the recently completed "Island". It is worth mentioning that the impressions given below are a consequence of personal experience gained during the participation in the intensiveness, as well as communication with other participants, which do not pretend to be objective and complete.
The purpose of the "Island" was announced to carry out an educational program on "intensive training of personnel for the digital economy and the National Technology Initiative." The frames were supposed to be prepared in several directions: CDO (Chief Data / Digital Officer, specialists responsible for digitalization of various segments of the state administration), IT specialists (fashionable topics like digital twins, machine learning, Big Data and, of course, blocking), and also education. The design of the intensity contained several cross-cutting tracks for regional CDO teams who came with their projects and were to intensively bring them to the launch stage. A separate track was the acceleration and consultation of start-ups by the specialists of the "development institutes". The other participants migrated from lectures and seminars in accordance with their tastes and target designations of AI, forming spontaneous design teams.
Organizationally and meaningfully, the complex construction that was represented by the "Island" - at times the larger ASI event than the foresight fleets and navigation - was conceived and done, and this is the undoubted success of the organizers team. A separate Respect is for volunteers of the League of gameplayers and teachers in orange T-shirts.
The first thing that has clearly been achieved is the mentioned CDO track, at the exit from which were presented several dozen projects on digitalization of public services, education, medicine and land management. The quality of projects turned out to be different, among them there are both explicit leaders (Tomsk) and outsiders. Nevertheless, such a massive injection of digital technologies in the regional government structures is the first of its kind experience, which turned out to be successful, and ASI undoubtedly intends to scale it.
The second successful move: an "ultra-concentration of events" - lectures, seminars, master classes, on 10-20 at the same time, was held on "Ostrov", which were to become providers of meanings and ideas to the "primary broth" of communication between the participants. The communication between different but hard-selected specialists gave their results: everyone with everyone (participants with each other and with the teachers) had something to talk about and discuss. An important factor is the isolation of participants not only from their regions, houses and workplaces, but also from Vladivostok with its temptations like restaurants and shops, through logistics, discipline and super-dense schedule. The visitors were identified by the AI and were expelled without paying a return ticket (travel, food and accommodation were included in the package, compensated for through registration fees). However, the isolation was partially overcome: the active islanders soon came up with a start-up - the delivery to the island of beer. The key effect of isolation was the high level of in-island communication and mutual trust between all participants in the intensive, including teachers.
Third: the diversity of the range of knowledge transferred and received. Several of the above cross-cutting industry tracks and the line of IT competencies (programming, VR, etc.) were combined with a diverse set of different laboratories and sessions: system approach, quantum thinking, scenarios, strategy, TRIZ, Chinese ontology, fundraising, design and many others. The task of these sessions, it can be supposed, consisted, in addition to the transfer of applied knowledge, in the "expansion of consciousness," the shift of focus from traditional objectivity to a new presentation for the listeners (which is more likely to be education than learning). Regional teams immersed in the preparation of projects, these numerous sessions could rather interfere than contribute to the work. A plus for them was a large number of experts and specialists assembled on the island, among which it was possible to find the people needed to finish the project as consultants or partners. After presentations of projects between groups with similar or complementary projects even cooperative relations began to be built.
For the rest of the participants, the "Island" acted as a large glade where they had complete freedom of action: they could come up with and launch their project (but they could not invent), find partners for start-ups, pump skills - at the same time existed in parallel with processes generation and formation of CDO projects. Basically, for this audience in the program "Islands" were introduced several games, designed not so much to learn as to splash free creative energy. Some sessions were clearly aimed at crowdsourcing (or even, rather, crowdbreining) - organizing the work of participants on designated topics in order to launch the generation of ideas and suggestions that can then be used by the track organizers for their own purposes.
Now about what did not work or did not work out completely.
The side effect of isolation was that many participants were dissatisfied with the impossibility to inspect the city and the sights of the island (or did it, having escaped from the intensiveness into wolves), and also by the lack of a cultural program. Many participants expressed dissatisfaction with the low level of organization of the event and the quality of food, although for FEFU this is a normal student meal. It is unlikely that this was due to a lack of money (except for registration fees, budgetary funds were allocated for carrying out the intensification). Rather, the reason for the lack of FEFU organizers' qualifications for preparing and conducting such large-scale projects on their own - for other activities the university, as a rule, provides infrastructure, and the organization is engaged in specialized event-providers like Roskongress.
The event turned out to be extraterritorial for Vladivostok and Primorsky Krai, where this accumulation of carriers of unique expert knowledge was observed for the first time in history. The FEFU acted as a decoration for the detailed presentation: among the participants and lecturers there were units of representatives of local companies and institutions (some of them acted as volunteers, using this work as a free way to get to the "Island"), there were no teams from the city's mayor's office, nor from the regional administration. According to rumors, the reason was their non-participation in the selection procedure, as well as the unwillingness of some bidders to pay the registration fee.
As a consequence, "Island-1021" passed for Vladivostok almost to no avail (except for the cashier, which the participants made to the coffee houses of the campus). The university has received some PR in the media, but it is not possible to evaluate the significance of the event for the region by publications - basically, it is an indirect positioning at the federal level as one of the ASI sites. It can be imagined that holding such an intense in any other region of the country would necessarily be accompanied by attention of the first persons of the region, with a welcoming speech by the governor or mayor and the participation of officials in the work of the sections. Ignoring the "Island" by the local authorities testifies to their preference for analog, in comparison with digital, approaches to the device of life. The FEFU has once again confirmed the reputation of an educational institution that does not have special links with its location.
The questions posed the "University-2035" position, within the framework of which "Ostrov" was held as a promising format for higher education. Traditional universities will disappear as an anachronism. "Island" is a mobilization project aimed at stimulating the appearance of new project ideas in a specially created environment for a limited time. He has analogues: many lecturers compared him to project and foresight sessions. Despite the marker of "university", this format is more project and communication, rather than educational. That, however, does not abolish the possibility of the appearance in the future of new formats of education on the basis of the approaches discussed on the Island.
The format of the self-determination of listeners who freely roamed between the seminars was not very well assembled with the plans of the lecturers, many of whom prepared long courses (at 5-7 days or more) where each subsequent block was based on the previous one. The need for constant repetition of the steps that have already been taken to introduce newcomers to the topic has markedly slowed down the process and reduced efficiency. As was rightly noted in the group of "islanders" on Facebook, if it is classes on the development of a new subject, it would be useful to preliminarily read the necessary books on the subject so that meaningful questions appear to the lecturer. Also, "heating the atmosphere" is the simultaneous parallelization of a dozen courses, half of which you want to visit, but you have to choose one. The remaining opportunities for familiarizing oneself with knowledge are lost to the participants. Among the other recommendations from the participants is simplification of selection, provision of the opportunity (time) for fixing the received material (in the course of intensification it is possible only in the form of audio or video recording), cancellation of AI tracking, shift from lecture format to project, wider use of games.
In general, we can not say that because of mixing on the "Island" studies and get-togethers, only the second turned out to be a winner, but it is obvious that there was no full synergy between them. Let's hope that the next intensification, which can take place not in FEFU, but in some other part of the country, these recommendations will be taken into account, and the overall work efficiency will increase significantly.