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Excerpts from the transcript:

Mikhail Mishustin’s meeting with the President of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) Foundation

Mikhail Mishustin: Esteemed Mr. Poocher,

First, I would like to congratulate you on the success of the programming contest in Moscow. You and your colleagues did much to hold this event at the highest level. You organized it very well while following the new safety requirements that we are all facing due to the coronavirus pandemic. I would like to thank you for that, especially since holding the finals with contestants from over 42 countries is a very difficult task.

Russia has hosted the programming competition three times, but this is the first time in Moscow. I hope you have a good impression of the Russian capital and had some time to see the city. I also hope the 2021 Moscow finals will hold a special place in the contest’s history.

Naturally, we are proud of the successes of our team. Our participants have repeatedly won prizes before this year’s contest as well. But winning three gold medals and the absolute championship at once is a great success. We consider it particularly important that they represent various regions and different universities and colleges because this proves the high quality of the Russian education system. We hope the successes of our students will be a good impetus for all young people who are dreaming about great careers.

Your contest does a lot to make young people all over the world interested in a search for unconventional solutions, boost a team spirit and a desire to acquire new knowledge.

Importantly, the contest has a positive influence on the IT community in general. Competitive programming as such includes responding to unusual tasks in a limited amount of time and helps young people develop professional and general competences. Importantly, these competences are needed by the state and by business regardless of which sector they are part of: IT, intellectual technology, industry, education or medicine. A special environment has taken shape around the contest. I know this because we have followed the contest for years. It is a real competition rather than just fun for the programmers involved in it.

As a contest host, Russia would like to offer an initiative that will support this atmosphere. We suggest instituting a federation of competitive programming and organizing a global professional league on this foundation. This league could hold competitions for the best professional programmers and IT companies from all over the world, while the student finalists will be able to continue taking part in the competitions and using them to make their work more efficient.

Our Digital Development Ministry is ready to proceed with the groundwork for this. We could probably make a presentation at an international venue to present the benefits of a future global professional league for competitive programming. We will rely on your support. I would like to thank once again all those who organized this contest and convey special gratitude to Mr Poucher personally.

Go ahead, please.

William Poucher (as translated): Thank you so much. When I first started teaching, it was a very long time ago. Thank you so much for inviting us here, and thank you so much for joining this effort and developing it.

There are several things about the global ICPC community that I love. And one of them is, what better way to help build a better world than to compete together to solve problems for each other. And it allows me every year to remind the students and the participants that the road to happiness is to build tools that create prosperity and rock-solid foundations for delivering services to people in this digital age. And I was amazed at seeing the work you are doing right now, so that you know that you are making life better for people.

Of course, we are born to compete. When we compete with, it builds our spirit and it builds promise. And when we fight against, it goes the other way. These sound very similar, but the difference is this: tomorrow is better. Today is better as we make tomorrow better. Why? Because we are working together to be the problem-solvers that we were born to be.

I just really thank you very, very much for the opportunity for us to hold all of this together and to bring these souls together to meet each other under really extraordinary times. So not only is this the greatest world finals that we have ever had in human history, but the most challenging to put on, so why not do it right here in Moscow. So thank you for supporting all of us, bringing together our students, and thank you for inviting us here, of course. We are going to be supportive of anything that lights a fire in the hearts of people who produce for all of the needs that we have on this planet. Thank you.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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