Q&A Session

Group discussions in a ‘speaker's corner’ format with the forum's speakers.

  • Question and answer sessions with experts and high-level corporate managers. This format allows participants to talk to the speakers before and after the interview and to ask their own questions during the Q&A session.

Alexander Borodich

Founder of Universa Blockchain, a Russian serial entrepreneur and venture investor with 95 startups in his portfolio (×8 ROI), a pioneer in innovation and blockchain technologies. 

Founder of Universa Blockchain Platform – a protocol and blockchain platform for creating business application solutions in the real economy and government.

Biography: in 1999, Borodich graduated from the Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics (MIEM). In 2003, he finished his PhD at MIEM. In 2008 he received an MBA from the Stockholm School of Economics.

MobileBeat 2012 (San Francisco) Finalist. Has a US patent related to the assessment of the effectiveness of information dissemination in social networks.

Founder of Future Labs and the crowdfunding platform and investors club VentureClub.ru. Headed the marketing departments of Mail.ru Group and Acronis USA. Borodich is actively involved in entrepreneurship: he is a mentor and professor of Marketing at the Higher School of Economics and a lecturer at the Moscow State University.


Alexander Ivlev

CIS Managing Partner, Deputy Regional Accounts Leader for Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe & Central Asia, EY

Alexander is the leader of EY in the CIS. He is actively involved in the work of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council in Russia. In 2007, the World Economic Forum at Davos included Ivlev in the list of Young Global Leaders. In 2009, he was included in the top 100 leaders in the Russian Presidential Reserve. He is a member of the World Economic Forum's Expert Council.

Since 2013, Alexander has been named a leader among senior executives of professional services firms in the Top 1,000 Russian Managers Ranking released annually by the Association of Managers and Kommersant Publishing House. In 2016, he was named the Best CEO in the annual Top 1,000 Russian Managers Awards.

Alexander has over twenty years of experience in strategic development, client service and government and corporate affairs.

He is a graduate of Moscow State Linguistic University (1991) and has an EMBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (2003).

Alexander Povalko

General Director, Chairman of the Management Board of RVC JSC

1992 – graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute named after Ordzhonikidze, specializing in radio engineering; 1996 – graduated from the State University named after Maimonides with a degree in Applied Mathematics.

From 1994 to 2007 – Senior Consultant of the appraisal department, project director and director of business development of PAKK company.

From 2007 to 2008 – Director of the Strategic Planning Department of RENOVA-StroyGroup CJSC.

From 2008 to 2012 – Deputy Head of the State Committee of the Russian Federation for Youth Affairs, Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs.

In accordance with Decree of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation of June 18, 2012 No. 1011-p, was appointed Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

In December 2016 – appointed to the position of General Director of RVC:

– A member of the working group of the Commission under the President of the Russian Federation to monitor the achievement of the target indicators of the social and economic development of the Russian Federation.

– A member of the interdepartmental commission for monitoring the effectiveness of educational institutions of higher education.

– A member of the interdepartmental working group on the implementation of pilot engineering and technical universities in the establishment of engineering centres and companies.

– A member of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Fund for Social and Economic Support of National Cinematography.

– A member of the interdepartmental working group on the development of the National Technological Initiative.

– Head of the working group of the Subcommittee on Digital Economy of the Government Commission on the Use of Information Technologies for Improving the Quality of Life and Conditions for Conducting Business in the Direction «Formation of Research Competences and Technological Sites».

Kirill Kaem

Senior Vice-President for Innovations, Skolkovo Foundation

Kirill Kaem is a seventh-generation doctor who graduated from the Kirov State Medical Academy in Nizhny Novgorod in 1992. Five years later, he graduated with distinction from the economics faculty at Lobachevsky State University after successfully completing his studies in Russia and the USA in a joint MBA programme with Taylor University.

He has over 20 years of experience in senior management roles, including 15 years as a CEO at the corporation's various international branches. He specializes in start-ups in new regions and countries and launching new business areas at major firms.

Since 2013, Kaem has been a member of the Board of Directors and a co-founder of the international medical centre 'Medcluster', set up at the initiative of Sberbank in partnership with Strategy Group Partners, with Johns Hopkins Medicine International as a potential partner.

Ruslan Sarkisov

CEO Far East High Technologies Fund

Sarkisov became CEO of the Far East High Technologies Fund in July 2018.

He has occupied various positions at large Russian and international companies (Ernst&Young, Basic Element, CentreInvest Capital Partners, Rusnano) since 2002.

In 2011–2013, Sarkisov was Senior Vice-President at the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), where he took part in the implementation of investment projects in the telecommunications and commodities sectors, as well as in the creation of the Russian–Chinese investment fund with a capital of 2 billion dollars.

From 2014–2018, he served as Deputy CEO of the Far East Development Fund, created the Far Eastern Fund for Developing and Implementing High Technology, and implemented a number of logistics, housing and utilities, and manufacturing projects.

Alexander Smirnov

General Director, Toy.ru

Smirnov graduated with a degree in marketing from the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. He started his career working in telecommunications services in Zebra Telecom, a part of Rostelecom. Afterwards, he worked at 3Q, one of the first producers of electronics and digital devices in Russia. Since March 2015, Smirnov has been working at SAKS, one of the largest toy distributors in Russia. Currently he is General Director at Toy.ru, a federal children’s toys retail chain. Alexander joined the company as it was actively growing and helped it expand from 30 toy pick-up points to 158 successful retail locations across all of Russia.