Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Whom Do We Trust? Russian and American Students Discuss Perception-Building in the Era of Fake News

Track Two: An Institute for Citizen Diplomacy
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Track Two: An Institute for Citizen Diplomacy and the Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University gather students in St. Petersburg today.

News Provided by: Track Two: An Institute for Citizen Diplomacy
13:30 ET

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Track Two: An Institute for Citizen Diplomacy and the Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University, along with Esalen Institute, Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and the Middlebury Institute for International Studies, announces its conference bringing together young people from both countries to discuss each other, the media that informs their perceptions, and how we find ways to trust amidst an abundance of news services that open new doors as they reinforce old and negative narratives.

This is the first time Track Two: An Institute for Citizen Diplomacy and its collaborators have held a youth conference on Russian-American relations and the media.

Attendees from across Russia and the United States join a noteworthy roster of panel moderators including Dulce Murphy, Peter B. Kaufman (, Kirill Artemenko (PaperPaper), Sophia Kishkovsky (New York Times), Nadezhda Azhgikhina (Novaya Gazeta), Yury Kabanov (St. Petersburg School of Social Sciences), Lizbeth Hasse (Creative law Group), Artem Samarksy. (Herzen University) and Vladimir Orlov (Bard-Smolny). Russian singer Jenia Lubich will join with a short concert on Wednesday, Sept. 12, and American performance artist Joe Orrach will perform a new work on Friday, Sept. 14.

The Whom Do We Trust Conference is the first of its kind – though not Track Two's first work in improving relations between Russia and America at non-governmental levels.

Vladimir Pozner and Katrina Vanden Heuvel have both prepared video keynotes for the conference which will open to the press from 3-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

"The conference holds hope for the future of relations between these great nations at a time when our media has soured perceptions among everyday people and influencers," said Michael Murphy, Founder, Esalen Institute, Author.

Track Two: An Institute for Citizen Diplomacy (Track Two) began as the Esalen Soviet American Exchange Program in 1980 to address the rising threat of nuclear proliferation. Track Two became an independent organization in 2004 to further our work in citizen diplomacy. Track Two helps reduce the risk of global instability by bringing together influential individuals from Russia, the Middle East, the North Pacific Rim and the United States for discourse and collaborative problem-solving. Track Two advances understanding and tolerance among individuals from countries in conflict to support an enduring dialogue and increase opportunities for partnership.

Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University

The Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University ( is the only pedagogical university that was included in the "Top 100" Russian university rankings according to Expert magazine (ranked 45, 2015). Today Herzen University is the largest higher education institution in Russia. It is comprised of 20 faculties and 100 departments, as well as a number of institutes.

Teaching staff tallies at over 1,700 people (regular staff), including around 260 doctors of philosophy (second doctoral degree) and over 850 candidates of sciences (first doctoral degree). The university hosts some of Russia's leading researchers: members and corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Authors Society, members of various national and international academies, Honored Workers of Science and Culture, national and honored artists.


Virginia Thomson

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SOURCE Track Two: An Institute for Citizen Diplomacy

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