The festival aims to introduce the younger generation to the latest developments in the field of transportation and motivate them to look ahead to its future. Organizers believe that the numerous foresight sessions, competitions, workshops, and meetings with the experts and public figures give participants an opportunity to think about their future careers and foster the youth’s scientific, technical, and artistic creativity. Opening the 2018 ‘Right Rudder!’ festival were ITMO University’s Faculty of Technological Management and Innovations Dean Nina Yanykina and Deputy Dean Marina Lebedeva.

“We are here today to celebrate people who have a passion for aviation, who can dream and make their dreams a reality. It was dreamers who started building rockets when other people considered flying impossible. Look around: standing with us are celebrated hang gliders, accomplished members of the Russian Cosmic Society, and visionary designers who work on the forefront of vehicle construction. We’ve all gathered here to dream together,” said Marina Lebedeva to the festival’s participants.

The first two ‘Right Rudder!’ festivals were aimed at school children and students only. This year, however, the organizers have decided to extend the event’s career guidance activities to preschoolers and hosted an immersive lecture on space and the Sputnik 1 satellite at the St. Petersburg Kindergarten No. 8.

The festival’s organizers put a premium on providing career guidance to youngsters from the earliest age possible. This year has seen some new additions to the event’s organization board: previously consisting of ITMO University and the St. Petersburg Education Committee, it has now been joined by Radar MMS and Geoscan, representatives of the hi-tech business community. The companies have already made a significant contribution to the festival’s program: for one, Radar MMS actively participated in ‘Born to Fly: Professions of the Future’, a city-wide career guidance fest which saw the company’s chief designers give a talk to university and high school students. Apart from that, experts from both companies joined the panel of judges at the ‘e-Transport and Our Future’ foresight session.

The Russian Cosmic Society is another new partner who has recently joined the ‘Right Rudder!’ festival’s family and already became instrumental in expanding its agenda and promoting it to a wider audience. One of the numerous new events the Society had a hand in creating was an animation workshop given by a famous Sci-Fi writer and animator Gennady Tischenko.

This year’s ‘Right Rudder!’ revolved around the topic of air and space transport. The participants will discuss changes to come and attempt to imagine what vehicles will look like when the kids themselves will grow up and start their careers. They will also pay a visit to state-of-the-art research and development centers, St. Petersburg State University of Civil Aviation, one of Russia’s top aviation schools, Museum of Space Exploration and Rocket Technology, Planetarium, as well as other science-related city landmarks. The organizers choose the festival’s annual theme with an eye on the priority areas highlighted by the National Technology Initiative. This year’s theme was inspired by the AeroNet program.

Attempting to look beyond the horizon of contemporary aviation, astronautics, and transport, the ‘e-Transport and Our Future’ foresight session became one of the festival’s main highlights. Participants were not only tasked with designing objects of the next-generation of air navigation infrastructure, but also had to present it and explain which resources can be used to make their projects feasible. The young people also engaged in discussions on the transport of the future, brainstorming about how it will look like, what it will be used for, and which changes await our present types of transportation.

But it wasn’t only the future of air navigation the festival is focusing on; participants were also challenged to test their knowledge of its past. The festival first day’s spotlights included ‘Time Loop’, a history quest set in the Russian aviation’s birthplace, the Komendantsky aerodrome. The participants saw the new monument dedicated to all aviators and unveiled this summer in the General Seleznev Square, learned more about the aviation roots of the Primorsky district’s toponymy, visited the area of the first-ever airplane crash and studied the earliest multi-engine aircraft. The quest kicked off in the Lev Matzievich Square, named after a legendary Russian aviator, and concluded in the Komendantsky Prospekt metro station, the minimalistic decor of which was also heavily inspired by aviation and aeronautics. Grouped into different age categories, all tasks were linked to the history of Russian aviation. In the spirit of the festival’s futuristic theme, the participants used an innovative quest platform Street Adventure instead of traditional maps to move around the district.

ITMO University contributed to the festival’s first-day program by presenting a range of curios that included 360-degree videos, a game puzzle on transport innovation, and a 3D printer for kids, among many others. The event’s participants also had the opportunity to see a real hang glider, try their hand at designing the future, and experience the Russian Cosmic Society’s cutting-edge telescopes.