Alumni Interview #8: Alexander Malyarenko

Impressions and thoughts from SPS alumni on their experiences with the Schools of Political Studies

 Alexander Malyarenko (Belarus)

1) Tell us about yourself, your professional and academic interests, education, work experiences or other things you believe are important to know you better.

I work at the research institute of the Ministry of Architecture aAlexandernd Construction of the Research - Institute Stroyeconomika, where the scope of my professional interests are the development of the construction industry, foreign economic activity and structural reforms. I take part in the development of strategic documents for the development of various sectors of the economy, including strategies of exit to foreign markets and work in the framework of common economic communities. In addition as a lecturer I teach a number of economic disciplines at the Belarusian National Technical University and besides I work in the field of NGOs, where I am the deputy chairman of the international ecological public organization “ECOfuture” - its goal is to promote the ideas of green economy.
Today a person is surrounded by a huge amount of information and in order to work effectively in these conditions it is important that education is not only the basis of the profession, but its constant part. My alma mater is the Belarusian National Technical University (bachelor’s, master’s) and the Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus (postgraduate), and then I studied at the School of Young Managers of Public Administration, East European School of Political Studies, International School of Eurasian Integration and a number of other educational projects.

2) Which SPS did you attend and in which year did you graduate?

I completed the study in the twelfth generation of the Eastern European School of Political Studies in 2018.

3) What was your most memorable experience during the training cycle?

In fact it is impossible to define one thing as the most important or memorable in the framework of study at the Eastern European School of Political Studies, because each stage of study allowed us to look at the political and economic development of Europe in different ways. During the session in Warsaw I especially remember the meeting with the Vice-Marshal of the Senate Mr. Borusewicz whose professional experience reflects the development of modern Poland in the best possible way. In the framework of other sessions group work thanks to the executives of the School made it possible to form very close interaction between the program participants. And certainly a very memorable stage was the participation in the World Forum for Democracy because this experience has absorbed everything that we have studied during the year.

4) What were your impressions of World Forum for Democracy?

Participating in a World Form for Democracy is an amazing experience. The first thing that surprises is its atmosphere - it remains open to the opinions of various parties regardless of the severity of the topics under consideration. The participation of representatives not only of different countries, but also of different continents makes it possible to feel the global nature of the tasks that the Forum sets itself and the energy of a large number of young people participating in the event is so strong that it gives confidence that new generations can solve these global challenges. In 2018 the theme of the Forum was Gender Equality. Despite the fact that this topic is far from my main professional interests, nevertheless, the diversity of round tables and meetings with other participants from different countries allowed any participant to find reflection of the topics of gender policy in various topics of interest - for me it was primarily in the field of economy.

5) You also took part of the Civic Roundtable in Thessaloniki on the theme “Crisis of Multilateralism”. What were your impressions of the event?

The seminar “Crisis of Multilateralism” brought together experts and participants from various countries to discuss such modern challenges as the crisis of European and international institutions, the growth of populism caused by various factors from the migration crisis to the slowdown of growth rates. It is remarkable that the participants representing various spheres (journalists and scientists, representatives of non-governmental organizations and the public sector, political scientists and sociologists) had the opportunity to discuss these issues based on a different vision of problems and ways to solve them. And this is Multilateralism that is so important to maintain for modern Europe and the World.
Especially memorable were the speeches of Nils Muižnieks, Sonja Licht and Loukas Tsoukalis. Professor Tsoukalis very accurately described the essence of the challenges facing Europe and the prices of their solutions for key players. Ms. Licht shared her vision of the depth of the existing problems and Mr. Muižnieks shared his opinion on the issues through the prism of many years of work as CoE Commissioner for Human Rights.
The fact that such a meeting was held in Thessaloniki is especially interesting from the point of view of the history of this city which last for hundreds of years, during which people of it more than once had to deal with issues of cultural differences, variety of opinions and religious affiliation of residents, that required tolerance for the development of the city. In this sense, the history of Thessaloniki is similar to the history of Belarus where for centuries people of different cultures, nationalities and religions lived side by side solving problems of mutual understanding.

6) If you could give one piece of advice for those about to start the new training cycle what would it be?

Those who are lucky enough to become a member of the next academic cycle within schools I can advise to be active and curious. This is a great opportunity not only to be enriched by new knowledge but also to find many new friends - communication that does not end with the framework of the school.

7) What are you up to nowadays?

Now I participate in a number of projects in the framework of informatization of foreign economic activity in the construction industry. We are creating elements of digital infrastructure that should contribute to the development of exports of services in the construction. Due to the joint work of a quite conservative construction industry and the modern information technology industry we expect to get good results in the form of an increase in the number of joint projects between Belarusian and foreign businesses.Here I was greatly benefited by my participation in school, since I allowed to dive deeperIn my non-governmental organization we are implementing a Project aimed at developing a social accountability system in the field of housing and communal services and water supply system. Studying the experience of the leading countries of Europe (primarily Holland and Germany) we try to improve the quality of public services, including through the development of a dialogue between providers of public services and water supply services, consumers of these services and the non-state sector. into particular transformation processes in the economies of various European countries and through this to understand better the features of their economic policies.