At GSOM SPbU students discussed digital transformation and new forms of communication

June 9-11, 2017 GSOM SPbU hosted the 4th student conference CEMS White Nights. This year the conference was to the New Digital Era




For the fourth time, students of the master's program of the international Alliance for Educational Management CEMS successfully hosted the CEMS White Nights conference. Annually it is held in the first days of June when there are “white nights” in St. Petersburg, and guests from all over the world – the world elite of business education, students of the CEMS MiM program gather together.


The theme of the conference traditionally was chosen according to the actual trends. In 2016 students talked about “explosive innovations”. This year, the theme of the conference was a trend digital transformation, which was also announced the leitmotif "GSOM goes digital" of 2017 year at the School.


The conference program is always interactive: guests from Russia and Europe had the opportunity to take part not only in guest lectures, but also in artworkshops, as well as interactive games from specialists of Wrike, Facebook, Sberbank, and others companies.


Mikhail Karpov, product manager of VK, spoke about the approach to new products of the company, including new digital solutions. In the final part of his speech, Mikhail singled out a few points on which he relies while working with new products. Not to-do checklist from Mikhail Karpov:

  • You feel that you lost your understanding for whom you are making a product
  • You do not know what your main metric is at current stage
  • You do not know what will be the main task in the next release
  • You do not have releases for several weeks
  • You have not spoken to users for more than a week
  • You do not know how to continue to grow



Communication of the future - what is it?


Joseph Hlavacek, SMB Account Manager at Facebook, told about the evolution of communication in the context of digital media. Modern life changes habits and priorities: the phenomenon of Uber, the company that is the leader in the sphere of automobile passenger transportation, but does not have its taxi fleet, is manifested not only in other areas of business (platform companies Airbnb, Alibaba), but also in the behavior of modern man, especially in the ways and nature of his communications. Today, people are available much more content than they are able to process. Therefore, the communication of the future is distinguished by three outstanding features: 


  1. It is instant (Immediate): messengers as a way of communication have increased the audience several times faster than television in its time. The number of users of the WhatsApp application (more than 1 billion) demonstrates that the instant transmission of information is the core of modern business life.
  2. It is expressive: according to the results of the study of specialists in the field of cognitive perception of the University of MIT, the human brain needs 13 milliseconds to recognize the image. Emoji is hand-drawn faces, transmitting emotions, greatly simplify and accelerate the perception of information.
  3. It is immersive: another trend of modern communication is the transfer information through the video.


Olga Peshe, the former COO of Cerevrum.Inc, specializing in the production of Virtual Reality (VR) content, wondered whether VR would come into our lives for a long time. Olga answered positively to this question. According to data of Goldman Sachs, the market capitalization of Virtual Reality by 2025 will be 80 billion dollars (45 of them will be for hardware, and 35 - for software).


In conclusion of the series of speeches, the Head of the Mobile Applications product Sberbank Online, Andrei Bakalenko cited arguments in favor of the fact that, despite the development of the digital industry, the main thing is not technology, but people. In support of this is the policy of investment in start-ups. Investors notice that "fresh projects" are often overvalued, but they are still invested in them not so much because of the idea itself, but because of the team of people behind it.  


The event was continued with a business game, as well as with a cultural program - a long-awaited trip for foreign guests along the rivers and canals of St. Petersburg.


The partners of the conference in 2017 were JetBrains, Luxoft, Henkel, VK, Wrike, Cerevrum, Gett, Facebook, Videobeat Networks.





Цифровую трансформацию и коммуникации будущего обсудили на CEMS White Nights