Future of Russia - Futurist comments on Moscow trip: economy, innovation, business, culture, Russian history, foreign policy, military spending and global influence. Why media forecasts on Russia are often wrong, why travel so important. VIDEO and POST

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Comments after recent trip to Moscow, after giving keynote on digital innovation at a big event. Russia is a vibrant nation, with many contrasts across 11 time zones. Nation is being energised by a new generation of highly talented entrepreneurs who have no memory of life under Communism, and who are very similar in many ways in their attitudes to the same generation in Western Europe. Media coverage in Western nations can be very misleading and superficial.

There's no substitute for actually visiting a nation, talking to people. Impact of recent events on Russia economy, innovation, business, foreign policy or military spending. Government stimulus of the Russian economy - why this will be difficult to achieve rapidly. Why history is so important in understanding future of Russia, including the impact of the Second World War on Russian psyche, and of course the fall of the Iron Curtain. Reasons why President Putin has been so popular for so many years across this vast nation. Impact of currency fall following international sanctions.

Importance of oil and gas revenues in balancing government expenditure. Recent flight of capital from Russia and likely impact of exchange controls. Impact of huge fall in Foreign Direct Investment into Russia over recent years with loss of confidence of international markets in the Russian economy following sanctions etc over Crimea / Ukraine related issues. How will trust of international investors be restored?

Contrasts between dynamic urban societies in Moscow and St Petersburg, compared to remote rural communities in places such as Siberia, or smaller cities such as Perm or Samara. Future of relationships between Russia and other nations including America and members of the European Union, and why trade / travel increases international understanding and is important to peaceful co-existence. Russia's longer term future.

Patrick Dixon is a global Futurist and author of 16 books including The Future of Almost Everything. He has advised over 400 of the world's largest 2000 companies on global trends, over the last 20+ years.


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