This year’s focus was on Mentoring in Pandemic. The Mentoring Days were open for participation to all country members of YBI. The content was translated simultaneously between English and Russian.
The audience included entrepreneurs who are active or prospective mentors, experts, heads of organizations whose mentoring programs are underway or in the planning stage, as well as their programs’ managers and coordinators.
For the eighth year running, the conference featured outstanding international speakers with decades of practical experience in mentoring. Participation in all Mentoring Days activities is free of charge and is open for all those who care about mentoring, for those who are – or expect to become – mentors, and for those who run or plan to launch mentoring programs.
The Mentoring Days were conceived with a view to encourage the sharing of best practices and experiences that proved effective. Every year the conference broadens its scope. Face-to-face interaction has always been a valuable feature, but this year we had to go online. On the other hand, with the digital platform the national borders can be crossed easily to expand participation: never before have we had so many speakers or countries and Russian Federation regions represented.
The two days’ sessions were attended by over 150 people from India, UK, Trinidad and Tobago, Sweden, Bangladesh, Spain, Argentina, Nigeria, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Ruanda, Mongolia, Jordan, Barbados, Germany, Dominica, Colombia; as well as from a host of Russian regions: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ryazan, Voronezh, Ivanovo, Lipetsk, Tambov, Irkutsk, Chita, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Khanty-Mansiysk, Surgut, Astrakhan, Nizhniy-Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Kirov, Yekaterinburg, Volgograd, Sochi, Arkhangelsk, Kemerovo, Ulan-Ude, Cheboksary, Mozdok, Saransk, Petrozavodsk, Kazan, Barnaul, Kaluga, Kurgan, Smolensk, Kostroma, Gelendzhik.
The conference was moderated by Boris Tkachenko, Member of YBI Board of Trustees, CEO of Youth Business Russia (YBR)/Mentoring Institute.
The Mentoring Days started with the opening address by Olesya Teterina, Deputy Director, Department for Investment Policy and Entrepreneurship Development of the RF Ministry of Economic Development. She stressed the importance of mentoring as a factor conducive to entrepreneurship. Boris Tkachenko and John Cull, YBI mentoring consultant, then announced the Day 1 agenda.
In the first session YBI Head of Mentoring Joerg Scholmann, Director at Autoocupacio Guillem Aris and Boris Tkachenko presented the results of YBI’s global mentor support initiative SOS Mentoring 1, which was executed in English, Spanish and Russian. January 27, 2021 was announced as the start date of SOS Mentoring 2, to be delivered in English (English-speaking mentors are welcomed). On February 3, the Mentoring Institute/Youth Business Russia will start an adapted Russian version of the program to cover 6 countries, in parallel with the Spanish version for the LA region.
The second session, moderated by Boris Tkachenko, was focused on “Mentoring During the Pandemic”. The audience heard speakers from four countries: Lakshmi Venkatesan, Amruta Mangale and Kiran Nawathe (Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust - BYST, India); Byron Bharat, Reggie Ramlochan (Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago (YBTT); Therese Kaeck, Bo Selerud (NyföretagarCentrum, Sweden); Irina Gorelova (Mentoring Institute and Youth Business Russia), Pavel Savchenko (mentor and founder of ROSEL, St. Petersburg).
In the following discussion session, with Irina Gorelova (YBR/Mentoring Institute) as moderator, the participants considered ways of launching and implementing a workable mentoring initiative. Joerg Scholmann summarized international experience and the general principles underlying YBI mentoring programs and some lessons from Germany. Boris Tkachenko shared his 12-year experience with mentoring programs targeting startups, maturing and social entrepreneurs in Russia and neighboring countries , emphasizing both success and risk factors relevant to such programs. Kristina Silchenko presented intermediate results of the Mentoring 2020 program in Krasnodar Krai, including the emergence of a region-wide community of mentors. Viktor Liberansky, coordinator of Mentoring Service (a project sponsored by the Yugra region Entrepreneurship Support Fund), touched upon the diversity of mentoring situations that he observed in different localities of the region since 2016.
The second day started with YBI Director of Membership Services and Engagement Jo Gray joining Dmitry Nekrasov, founder of the YOUNG online university, to facilitate a mentoring-style networking session which gave Russian and international participants another chance to know each other better and discuss potential partnerships.
The Speed Mentoring session, moderated by Jo Gray and Boris Tkachenko, exposed the participants to reverse mentoring practice; working in pairs they shared some of their pressing issues and exchanged useful feedback.
In his new master class, the mentoring guru, professor Bob Garvey reviewed the Opportunities and Challenges Faced by Mentors and Mentees During a Pandemic; the audience found it to be one of the most interesting and inspiring moments of the forum. Bob saved sufficient time for questions, and his answers reinforced and encouraged the mentor audience to persist in their important work while also caring about themselves. John Cull and Joerg Scholmann followed by introducing innovative “pandemic period” mentoring tools through a mentor-mentee role play.
The participants will remember the Mentoring Days for their unbelievable energy, warm and supportive atmosphere, multiple insights, exposure to the best mentoring experts and practitioners, and intense communication among like-minded people from different countries and Russian regions.
We will be looking forward to welcoming you again to IX International Days of Mentoring in Entrepreneurship scheduled on the week of November 22, 2021.
VIII INTERNATIONAL DAYS OF MENTORING