Fort Ross
Fort Ross Dialogue 2023

Fort Ross Dialogue 2023

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Virtual Conference

Thursday, November 30, 2023

8:00 am Pacific / 11:00 am Eastern / 7:00 pm Moscow 

Join Fort Ross Conservancy for a discussion on how our shared history and the unique legacy of Fort Ross State Historic Park can be a platform for cooperation and exchange between Russians and Americans, even amid severe challenges in relations between Washington and Moscow.

The event, sponsored by the U.S. Russia Foundation and the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia is scheduled to take place virtually on November 30, 2023. This free, virtual event will be open to the public and will be livestreamed in English and Russian on this website starting at 8:00 am Pacific / 11:00 am Eastern / 7:00 pm Moscow. 

Fort Ross Dialogue was launched in 2012 as we celebrated the 200-year anniversary of the founding of historic Fort Ross. In the years since, we have grown this platform to be an international, high-profile event that strives to keep open channels of communication between the two nations. Fort Ross Conservancy remains committed to providing this meaningful platform for US-Russian exchange regardless of the troubling state of bilateral relations and the terrible human tragedy unfolding in Ukraine.

Watch live-stream in English:

To watch live-stream in Russian: 


Panel I. Safeguarding Whale Populations in the Pacific 

                 8:00 am PST / 11:00 am EST / 7:00 pm Moscow

The Pacific Ocean is home to a diverse array of whale species. However, these magnificent marine mammals face an array of threats that jeopardize their populations and the delicate balance of the marine ecosystem. One significant challenge is the increasing noise pollution from shipping traffic, which disrupts their communication and navigation. Collisions with vessels also pose a severe risk, particularly for slower-moving species. Additionally, pollution, climate change, and overfishing further compound the challenges for these marine mammals. The delicate interplay of these factors demands urgent attention and comprehensive strategies to safeguard the whale populations in the Pacific Northwest.

International collaboration is crucial in addressing these threats and protecting whale populations effectively. By fostering cooperation between nations, sharing scientific research, and implementing unified conservation policies, we can create a comprehensive approach to ensure the survival and well-being of whales and other marine mammals in the Pacific. 

This panel aims to foster a dialogue between Russian and American experts to explore innovative strategies, exchange knowledge, and brainstorm joint conservation initiatives.

Moderator: Tim Kelly, Interim Executive Director, FRC


  • Michael Stocker, Executive Director, Ocean Conservation Research 
  • Vasily Borisov, Co-founder, Whale Protection Fund - Russia

Panel II. Deciphering Artificial Intelligence in the Business World  

                   9:00 am PST / 12:00 pm EST / 8:00 pm Moscow

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the landscape of business conduct in various industries, ushering in a new era of efficiency, innovation, and opportunities. This panel aims to explore how firms in Russia and the United States are adapting to this new reality and leveraging AI to enhance their operations, decision-making processes, and customer experiences. By comparing the approaches of these two influential economies, the panelists will shed light on the unique challenges and strategies employed by businesses in each country, considering factors such as government policies, cultural aspects, and technological advancements. Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of AI, its impact on business conduct, and the future of these two global economic powerhouses.

Moderator: Robert Agee, President & CEO, American Chamber of Commerce in Russia


  • Ron Lewin, Co-Chair of American Chamber of Commerce in Russia IT Committee 
  • Peter Loukianoff, Managing Partner, Quantum Wave Fund, Managing Partner, Co-founder, Phystech Ventures 
  • Oksana Selendeeva, Founder & CEO, CODDY, international programming school for children 
  • Pavel Ozerov, Deputy CEO, Mains Insurance Brokers & Consultants 
  • Kyle Shostak, Director & co-founder, Navigator Principal Investors, AmCham Banking & Finance Committee Co-chair 

Panel III. Timeless Ties: Honoring 200 Years of Fort Ross - Sonoma Mission Connection

                10:00 am PST / 01:00 pm EST / 9:00 pm Moscow

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the visit of the Russian Imperial Navy frigate Kreyser to Alta California, a remote province of the newly independent Mexico. On board the vessel was a nineteen year old navy officer, Dmitry Zavalishin - an outspoken supporter for Russian American Company’s expansion into California in the 19th century.

In just a few short months, during the winter of 1823-1824, he managed to integrate himself into the local society, in hope of swaying the elite to support his vision of future discourse of California. Allegedly, one of the biggest supporters of Zavalishin's "dream" was Father José Altimira. Fr. Altimira was a Spanish Franciscan priest who founded Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonoma, the last — and arguably most controversial — of the Alta California missions. It was the only mission established in 1823 under Mexican rule to prevent possible Russian expansion further into California. Over the years, the mission at Sonoma and Settlement Ross formed a unique relationship that we are going to discuss here as part of our Fort Ross Dialogue 2023. 

Moderator: Igor Polishchuk, Director of External Relations, FRC


  • April Farnham, Independent Historian, Interpreter, CA State Parks 
  • Yulia Egorova, Historian specializing in Russian American Company’s History 

Panel IV. Documentary Filmmaking - Transcending Borders 

                 11:00 am PST / 2:00 pm EST / 9:00 pm Moscow

Historical documents attest to Fort Ross's role not just as a commercial outpost, but as a vibrant center for the exchange of paintings, statues, literature, and other culturally significant items. Today, over two centuries later, Fort Ross remains a crucial link fostering dialogue between the United States and Russia, transcending geographical and political boundaries.

In this Fort Ross Dialogue panel, we delve into the thought-provoking documentary, "THE STRAIT GUYS," by Berlin-based American filmmaker Rick Minnich. As the United States and Russia have achieved successful collaborations in space, the film challenges us to ponder: What impediments exist to similar collaborations here on Earth?

At the heart of "THE STRAIT GUYS" is a visionary proposal—the InterContinental Railway—a bold initiative to link Asia and North America by rail. The documentary explores how this ambitious project could alleviate strain on Pacific ports, enhance global supply chains, and potentially ease tensions between two superpowers. Yet, the film raises essential questions about the feasibility of the required cooperation for achieving the envisioned "peace, progress, and prosperity" for all.

Attention Fort Ross Dialogue viewers! Here's an exclusive opportunity for you to enjoy a sneak preview of the documentary "The Strait Guys" at an incredible 50% off discount. This limited-time offer allows you to access the film, which is not yet available for streaming anywhere in the world. To take advantage of this special deal, simply visit the provided link ( 

Moderator: Marianna Rybinok, Independent Film Producer, Script Writer, Director

Speaker: Rick Minnich, Independent Film Producer, Script Writer, Director