The idea to carry out Leontief Readings occurred to honor memory of one of the greatest economist, Nobel Prize winner – Wassily W. Leontief, whose name was given to the Research Centre. Carnegie Moscow Centre approved that idea and, by joint efforts, the first Leontief Conference dated for Wassily Leontief Commemoration and devoted to summarizing of the decade of economic reforms in Russia was carried out in February 2000 in St. Petersburg. The Conference was held successfully. It got public resonance and demonstrated the relevance of such events. As a result of the first Conference the initiators decided to carry out Leontief Readings annually.
There is an annual tradition in February of every year to organize the conference which joints together lead world and Russian scientists, politicians, experts, specialists, journalists dealing with actual problems of Russian development, with the purpose of discussion and presentation of their own vision on actual political, social and economic problems of Russia reforming (summarizing of results and perspectives of further developments). Main targeted audience of the Conference is scientific and business society of St. Petersburg and North-West of Russia.