12 March 2014
Petr Aven was a Young Scientist Summer Program (YSSP) participant in 1977 and remembers this experience as the best time of his life. He returned to IIASA from 1989 to 1991 and was a principal researcher on the methodology of socioeconomic comparisons, comparative economics, and economic reforms in centrally planned economies. This influential economic reform research program catalyzed market liberalization in Russia and many other East European countries.
Ogonek magazine described Aven as one of the few Russian economists who can explain the most sophisticated economic concepts and phenomena in simple and understandable language. Though deliberately distancing himself publicly from politics, Aven is regarded as a highly influential man—one of Russia’s “freshmen” billionaires, according to Pravda.
On YSSP, he says: “I participated in the first experimental YSSP program in 1975 and was there for the second time in 1977. For all (four) Russians, this time at IIASA was extremely interesting and helpful—it was not just IIASA but “the West.” YSSP gave me a lot of information about the proper organization of scientific work, and a serious stimulus to come back, which I did 15 years later.”
In 2011, he established the Petr Aven Fellowship within IIASA's Annual Fund to support a young scientist from Russia or a developing country to participate in the YSSP Program.
Last edited: 13 March 2014
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