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WC2 Network in Russia
Science & Technology Series: International

Analysing digital societies at the WC2 Symposium

City staff and students travelled to Russia for the fifth WC2 Symposium.

by City Press Office (General enquiries)

The annual meeting of the WC2 network recently took place in Russia, hosted by Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University.

WC2 is a network of 10 universities, which was founded by City in 2010 to explore cultural, economic, environmental and political challenges facing urban areas.

Seventeen members of staff and students from all City’s five Schools travelled to Russia to attend the meeting, joining colleagues from around the world.

The theme of this year’s meeting was ‘smart cities and digital society’. Representatives from the City Government and the National Technology Initiative, a Russian state project to digitise numerous public services, including housing and healthcare explained how they are transforming Saint Petersburg into a smart city.

Attendees at the Symposium then split into groups of faculty and students to explore the issues in their thematic groups – transport; eco campus; knowledge, culture and urban affairs; health and business – before reporting back on their findings and follow up plans.

Professor Stanton Newman, Vice-President (International) and Chair of the WC2 Network said:  “We are grateful to our hosts for arranging a very successful Symposium in Russia.

“We are now forging other links between network members through the set-up of a travel scholarship fund for PhD students and have allocated £20,000 to a seed fund to galvanise joint research.

“We look forward to advancing these initiatives over the next few months and to the next Symposium hosted by our newest member, RMIT, in 2020.”

Reka Mezo, who was one of the students from The City Law School to attend, said:

"Attending the WC2 Symposium was one of the best experiences in my life. The theme of the Symposium drew my attention because I was writing my dissertation about taxation of the digital economy. I had an opportunity to present my research paper to students and professors from all over the world. They gave me useful comments, extra ideas and tips for how to improve my dissertation. I not only learned a lot about the new implications of the digital economy, but I got useful recommendations for my research.

"The Symposium was a unique opportunity for students to improve their soft skills, such as working in a team with others from different disciplines and delivering presentations.

"St. Petersburg is an amazing city with a vibrant cultural life, from ballet to museums, and our host made it possible for us to get to know this beautiful, historic place."

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