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Frankivsk: re- and co-creation: kmbs impact visit
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Frankivsk: re- and co-creation: kmbs impact visit
22.08.2022
kmbs Impact Visit
Frankivsk: re- and co-creation: kmbs impact visit
The days from August 15 to 19 became extremely powerful for the participants of the two Executive MBA groups (EMBA-37 and EMBA-38). Indeed, during this period, the kmbs impact visit "Frankivsk: transformation and co-creation" took place.

The field trip module's main task was to study the nature of managerial capacity for rethinking in a region considered quite traditional, conservative, and unhurried.

Frankivsk, which must be protected

On the first day, the participants met in Ivano-Frankivsk. First, they met with Roman Havrysh, a native of France, as well as the founder and head of the marketing agency Aimbulance and adjunct professor kmbs. He told the participants not only about the new identity of Frankivsk but also about the city's brand as an attribute of the ecosystem approach to business in general.

Open systems

The second day of the kmbs impact visit was dedicated to cases that combine business ideas with social entrepreneurship and allow you to see examples of interaction in open systems with your own eyes.

Urban Space 100 is a social enterprise that directs 80% of net profit to support public projects in the city. During its existence, 135 projects have already been funded. Marta Hladka, the coordinator of the Urban Space program, told the module participants about them. The most recognizable ones are the restoration of doors from the initiative "Frankivsk, which must be protected," which we met yesterday, the annual music festival "Day of Street Music," and the SortSmart recycling station. Walking around the city, you can see other projects supported by Urban Space 100. Frequent winners of the grant competition are art projects: "Revisionist Syndrome," exhibitions at the "Detektor" gallery, the Center for Contemporary Art, the "Alyarm" graffiti festival, and the Short Metro festival.

Urban Space 100 is part of the "23 Restaurants" network, with the development director of which Oksana Kaminska. The participants had a meeting before lunch. They learned how the network manages not only to work under martial law but also to help the "Return Alive" fund and the Save Ukraine Now initiative.

By the way, the Save Ukraine Now initiative is also actively supported by Promprilad.Renovation and innovation center based on an old factory. After the start of the full-scale invasion, the center, together with its partners, initiated the creation of a platform to support companies that were forced to move their business to Ivano-Frankivsk and the region during the war — Save Business Now. It was possible to help more than 50 companies with relocation, some of which were located at Promprilad. The participants could see everything with their own eyes during a short excursion.

The Promprilad plant is one of the oldest instrument-making enterprises in Galicia. Located in the center of Ivano-Frankivsk, during Soviet times, the plant was a platform for innovation. Products for the industry were manufactured here, but the population was also supplied with goods. For example, umbrellas, known throughout the Soviet Union, and parts for passenger cars were made here. The goods were exported to more than 20 countries of the world. In the 1990s, the plant was privatized and sold off.

Now, using the vast territory of the factory, they are creating an innovation center for the city's development in four directions: education, art, new economy, and urban planning. The "Promprilad.Renovation" project is an example of impact investing when investors invest in a social initiative and convert money into a powerful social impact. The plant is gradually being rebuilt into office premises, laboratories, workshops, exhibition and entertainment centers, a hotel and hostel, a farmer's market, and restaurants.

All the projects that the participants got to know during the second day of the module are implemented within the framework of the platform and the "Teple Misto" public organization. Its purpose is to promote effective communication between the community, business, and administration to improve city life.

One of the co-founders of the "Teple Misto" platform is the co-owner of the "23 restaurants" company Yuriy Filiuk. Naturally, after getting acquainted with all these breakthrough projects, the participants of the module were eagerly waiting to meet the person who managed to attract more than 60 businesses to unite in the triangle of "local government-business-community" and unite hundreds of like-minded people around the idea to make the city innovative and more convenient for residents.

Throughout the day, the participants empirically studied the successful functioning of open systems and examples of interdisciplinary leadership, so an exciting discussion took place at the traditional evening reflection with sometimes opposing views on the studied phenomena. But this is the interest of MBA studies!

The day continued with a meeting with the first deputy mayor of the city Victoria Susanina, who spoke about relocating businesses to the town. After February 24, not only families but also companies began to move to the western regions. The Save Business Now center was created to help businesses and research. Scientific communities relocated to the Ivano-Frankivsk region, and local companies adapted their models to new conditions. According to the authorities plan, the center's activity should significantly strengthen the economic processes in Ivano-Frankivsk and the region.

Since 2016, a public movement for the restoration of historical heritage, called "Frankivsk that must be preserved," has started in the city. It was created by public activist Maria Kozakevych and told the module participants about her initiative. It all began with the preservation of the old front door. In a few years, it was possible to assemble a team of carpenters, blacksmiths, stained glass restorers, and activists who spread the idea of ​​heritage restoration. Executive MBA kmbs participants could admire the results of their work while walking through the streets of Frankivsk together in the company of Maria.

Soil quality

The third day of the module was devoted to studying the "soil," the socio-cultural context of the Ivano-Frankivsk region. After all, without understanding the context, it is impossible to know how the system functions.

First, the participants visited the Ivano-Frankivsk National Academic Drama Theater, named after Ivan Franko, accompanied by his manager Rostyslav Derzypilskyi. This theater has always been distinguished by unprecedented creative "explosions," which from time to time reminded the Ukrainian cultural world about the active artistic position of the collective. Even now, the Rostyslav Derzypilskyi theater's creative palette stands out from many other, even the most successful, theater in Ukraine.

With the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia, the Frankiv Drama Theater went into the mode of a "creative hideout," creating a humanitarian logistics center, "Movement of Resistance — Movement of Help," on its base and becoming a refuge for artists from various regions, IDPs and soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Ivano-Frankivsk has long been considered a city of students. Currently, 10 universities and their branches work here. The most famous is probably the Prykarpatsky National University, named after Vasyl Stefanyk. Its rector Ihor Tsependa spoke about the history and modernity of the university.

By the way, during the war, the university not only did not stop scientific and pedagogical activities, actively conducted an admissions campaign, and engaged in joint work for the sake of victory. For example, he maximally contributed to the relocation of the Kyiv company "Extrusion in motion": he helped to equip a production workshop and find housing for employees. Before the full-scale war, this enterprise made elements of medical equipment, engineering structures, and sculptures and now manufactures tourniquets and orthoses for soldiers using its technology.

The participants continued to study the region excitingly — in the game "Majestic Pan." Its rules are similar to the well-known "Monopoly," but it was created considering the local flavor: there are historical cards and characters that help you learn more about Ivano-Frankivsk. The process was moderated by Serhii Matusov, the founder of the Velichnyi Pan brand.

Cultural exploration of Ivano-Frankivsk would not be complete without addressing the Stanislavsky phenomenon, with one of whose representatives, Taras Prokhasky, the participants met in the evening. He shared that sometimes it is a pity to feel how the atmosphere, the spirit, and the unique energy pass away in different dimensions — in the city, communities, or institutions. On the other hand, you cannot cling to the past, just as you cannot deny the natural course of things. True, it is worth preserving special symbols and constructs because it is still essential for a person to recognize something familiar even in new stages of life. This is how the term "recognizable innovation" arose in the conversation. That is, novelty, which contains elements of the past, adds warmth to it and helps to accept it.

During the reflection, the participants spoke about the fact that development as a permanent and directed change is possible only with the involvement and proactivity of all parties. For this, you need to change the focus of your internal questions from "what will the government give me?", "what will the university provide me?", "What is the labor market ready to help?", "What did my partners do to me?" etc. — on "what can I create for the city, university, labor market?". This inner readiness, as well as the developed ability to build bridges rather than waiting or demanding something, is our area of ​​development.

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Mountains and traditions

Frankiv region is a region rich in various projects based on tradition. Participants of the kmbs impact visit traveled to the mountains to get to know some of them.

But first, they visited Kosiv, where they met with the mayor Yuriy Ploskonos. They talked about the development strategy of the region, the development of which the community approached as thoughtfully and thoroughly as possible. After several iterations with third-party consultants, the decision was made to listen to the opinion of the people who live here because they know the specifics of the area very profoundly. In the end, several positions were chosen for development: tourism, skiing (by the way, the community is quite proud of its compatriot Bohdana Matsotska, a skier, Olympian, and multiple winners of FIS international competitions and Ukrainian tournaments), and craft production.

The participants visited one of the enterprises that produce carpets. However, it is not traditionally local but moved to the Frankiv region from Novaya Kakhovka after the start of a full-scale war. Vandra Rugs is a Swedish company producing rugs with traditional Scandinavian patterns. In 2007, she began cooperating with an entrepreneur from Ukraine, Larisa Boden. Carpet production was launched in Nova Kakhovka. 24 masters worked at the enterprise, making Scandinavian carpets on various looms and going to Sweden to study manufacturing technology. The studio exported its products to Sweden, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, France, Norway, the USA, the Netherlands, etc.

In February 2022, the city was under occupation, and the question arose of what to do next — to close or not. And they decided to relocate — part of the equipment and part of the personnel, those who remained in Ukraine, were taken out under shelling. The destination was Kosiv, which already had its weavers. Now the company has adjusted its work and started sending the orders it owed during the forced shutdown. However, customers are ready to wait because these carpets are exclusive and often made to order.

But the next place visited by the module participants was the most traditional for this region — "Grandfather's Hut." The co-founder of the project, Oleg Lukanyuk, inherited this estate. Six generations of his family lived here. Then the hut burned down, and Oleg decided to rebuild it. Not just a house, but generally the whole way of life to preserve tradition. And so that it does not look like an imitation, Oleg and his wife, Daryna Furmanyuk, approached it very thoroughly: they carefully collected knowledge about the traditional Carpathian system from various sources — from the stories of a neighbor-grandmother to monographs in the library.

Therefore, continuing the traditions of their ancestors, for whom one of the main activities has always been sheep farming, the owners of "Grandfather's Hut" also breed sheep, make carpets from their wool and make cheese from milk — all according to unique, authentic recipes.

This is the fertile environment in the Kosiv community — production using foreign technologies and our traditional crafts can successfully develop here. And even in the most challenging times for the country. By the way, 650 men of the Kosovo community are currently at the front, and this is undoubtedly a severe test for all its members. But these people have ancient traditions of courage, stability, and endurance.

Reflections for Managers

An integral component of kmbs impact visit, wherever it takes place, is a task on which participants work for several days. And the natural conclusion of the module is the presentation of the results, discussion, and assessment of achievements. This became the "highlight" of the last day of the kmbs impact visit "Frankivsk: re- and co-creation" — August 19.

During the previous days, the participants had to reflect and find answers to several questions, particularly how to determine if (and when) your organization needs to be rethought. How to read your "melting rate"? What enables the team to review, find and implement strategic opportunities, i.e., co-creation? And what is the role of more comprehensive systems and partnerships in this?

To work on the task, the participants were divided into four teams, each of which had representatives from EMBA-37 and EMBA-38. Thus, the study also became an exercise in community building and networking — after all, the two groups were firmly united within a few days.

The teams presented their conclusions to the commission, which included Kateryna Martynenko, a graduate of EMBA-27, and Oleg Lepenin, a participant of RMBA-22. The team members reflected on the questions and provided examples — both cases they met during the kmbs impact visit and well-known global companies. Therefore, the participants' conclusions were multidimensional: from the local context of the Carpathian region to the large, worldwide one. Interestingly, some of the teams' findings coincided, but each had unique ones. And so, by combining all four presentations, the participants received a library of management tools and observations.

All the teams were prepared in detail, but according to the commission, the "S team," which included Dmytro Bakaev, Vitaly Gaiduchenko, Tetiana Hrybenyuk, Volodymyr Sheyko, Vitaly Shpak, Anna Grynchuk, and Serhii Dokolyasa, received the most points. They chose the metaphor of the burning sun and used it in their answers to each question. And the members of this team resorted not only to business cases, graphs, and figures but also to the artistic dimension to illustrate their answers.

kmbs impact visit to Prykarpattia has ended, but managers' reflections and work on changing systems — both their own and broader ones — continues. The head of Executive MBA kmbs Olena Zhyltsova shared: "Perfetskyi, a character in Yuriy Andruhovych's novel, who, by a pleasant coincidence, is a native of France, said: 'I know many words from different languages, but I don't know any language.' As usual, we approached Frankivsk's research through the Quadruple Helix model. It focuses on the interaction of four main subsystems: education (along with scientific research), business, government, and society. According to the model, true large-scale innovation (and therefore development as a result) is not a product of isolated internal developments but arises from the cooperation of all participants in the system.

We saw many exciting institutions and initiatives during the module — "many words." But we met a few ensembles; it seems that the language of interaction is just being developed. After all, this is characteristic not only of Frankivsk, as our participants agreed, reflecting on their contexts.

It seems very important to me that such modules provoke us to start thinking in the Quadruple Helix model, both of the participants and of the cities and places we visit, which ask about the level and quality of interaction."

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