President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.
Today you are launching a major, truly landmark project, the online platforms of the revived society Znanie (Knowledge).
The society was a flagship of public enlightenment and education for decades and played an important, in many respects unique role in the lives of several generations of our country’s citizens. Its widely available public lecture programmes enabled people in the most remote corners of the Soviet Union to learn about the history, recent achievements and prospects of domestic and international science, culture, politics and industry.
Let me remind you that Znanie Society was established in 1947, immediately after the Great Patriotic War. The country was then returning to normal life, rebuilding its destroyed economy, which needed young, purposeful and educated people in every sector.
Znanie Society then undertook a huge and challenging educational mission. It provided guidance to young people and adolescents in choosing their path in life, and made knowledge and the pursuit of knowledge a recognised value in society. It actually educated thousands of brilliant scientists, researchers, engineers and workers, who ensured Russia’s technological and scientific leadership, including in such areas as the peaceful atom and space.
Today we are facing tasks on a comparable scale due to the new technological order and the digital revolution, the emergence of online reality and artificial intelligence, and also due to rapid changes in the world around us, which force us to study and learn faster because it is crucial for being successful and competitive, individually and as a nation.
Knowledge should once again become one of the most important values in society, should be attractive and accessible, and this is the key goal of the revived Znanie Society.
The new society has to cater to all ages and a variety of interests, to promote up-to-date information in all spheres of life in the country and around the world, to showcase success stories of doctors and military members, teachers and business leaders, civil servants and athletes, scientists and cultural figures.
And here I would like to emphasise that, for all the colossal resources of modern technology, nothing can replace person-to-person contact, and mentoring has always been and remains the most effective tool for transferring knowledge and skills.
In this regard, it is fundamentally important that the society’s programmes are not limited to leading experts; leaders and senior officials at state agencies and large companies, renowned figures in science and art should regularly participate in its programmes.
With their experience, they would become role models for everything we would like our young people to be, the best motivation for them to learn, grow, broaden their horizons and form their civic position, realise themselves, their ideas and plans.
Russia is a country of unique opportunities for an active and talented person, and you – each and every one of you – are undoubtedly talented. All you need to do is to uncover your talent, find your strengths and start acting, moving forward.
I am sure that Znanie Society will help you find yourself, embark on your path towards success in your studies, work, life, and in all good deeds.
Good luck, everyone.