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"Kyiv. The winning capital”: Presidents’ MBA kmbs field trip module
"Kyiv. The winning capital”: Presidents’ MBA kmbs field trip module
"Kyiv. The winning capital”: Presidents’ MBA kmbs field trip module
Last week, Presidents' MBA participants spent five eventful days exploring various aspects of the functioning of Kyiv today.

One of the concepts that all participants of kmbs MBA programs are familiar with is the Quadruple Helix, i.e. the interaction of the state, business, education and civil society to achieve meaningful goals. Complex systems are often about the interaction of elements of different nature, which is why during the KYIV field trip module. THE CAPITAL THAT WINS participants explored a variety of topics: from public administration to education and business.

Day one

On the first day of the module, the participants visited VNDH. During the tour of the territory, which was conducted by the General Director of the VDNG Yevhen Mushkin, the participants learned a lot of interesting facts from the history of this monument of the Stalin era.

Opened 65 years ago, the expo center includes 180 buildings and structures, among which 19 have the protected status of monuments. The area of the Expo Center is 287 hectares, by area it is the fifth largest exhibition center in the world. In the 1990s, there was a long period of desolation of the VDNG, however, since 2015, the exhibition space is experiencing its revival. In 2017, the VDNG development strategy for 40 years was presented. Currently, a number of large-scale festivals are held here, new attractions and initiatives are gradually appearing, including the Museum of Guitars, the Museum of Science, an educational and innovative cluster, an art cluster, an urban park, and even the RAGS. The team headed by Yevhen Mushkin confidently demonstrates an example of effective management of state property by creating an ecosystem in which all partners are comfortable.

The participants also had the opportunity to talk with Dmytro Vasiliev, co-founder and chief architect of Archimatika architectural office. This company works according to the BIM (Building Information Modeling) methodology - this is designing by creating a single three-dimensional digital model of the building with a high degree of detail in each section of the project. The Bureau implements projects not only in Kyiv, but also in other cities of Ukraine. And in the conditions of war, when construction cannot be called that sphere of the rapidly developing economy, it enters the international market.

And on the first day of the module, the participants got acquainted with the volunteer initiative "Dare to Restore". In addition to clearing debris and construction, the initiative collects and distributes humanitarian aid, which helps people rebuild their homes and survive the winter. Also, "Dare to restore" won a European grant for the restoration of 15 schools that were damaged as a result of the occupation.

Day two

If all the meetings of the first day of the module in one way or another related to construction, then the second was devoted to production. The participants talked with the CEO of IT-Enterprise Oleg Shcherbatenko, who himself is a graduate of the Presidents' MBA kmbs. The focus of the company, which for 34 years has created and implemented an incredible number of IT solutions for various production and service industries, is the client and his needs. The IT-Enterprise team has moved far enough away from the product itself and actually works in a completely different direction, actively using system thinking.

Another point of the program was a visit to one of the establishments of the Honey-Zavertailo network. Creative and brand director Marina Frolova talked about the owners of the chain, Anna and Stas Zavertaylo, about their gastronomic quests, new events, challenges of war, scandals and crisis communications, work with personnel.

And during the visit to the pharmaceutical company "Darnytsia", the participants of the module visited the production. Innovative, state-of-the-art equipment, superpowers, compliance with the highest GMR standards make "Darnitsa" one of the undisputed leaders of the Ukrainian pharmaceutical industry. However, Andriy Obryzan, the general director of the pharmaceutical company "Darnytsia" had something to add about the rapid total digitalization of the enterprise, and about continuous investments in new products, and about the evolution index, and about increasing market share during the war.

Day three

On this day, the participants had the opportunity to see the creative side of Kyiv. In particular, they visited the Art Arsenal, where they talked with the general director Olesya Ostrovska-Lyuta. She said that the Art Arsenal is one of the largest national institutions with a very interesting past: from a military facility with imperial roots to an artistic space. "This is a very interesting turn of history," says Ms. Olesya, "when something that was created for the purpose of domination and subjugation actually turns into a center of resistance to domination and subjugation."

After talking with Ms. Olesya, the participants visited the exhibition of works collected by the Arsenal team and which document the war - from 2014 to the present. The collection was formed over the course of a year and became a source of phenomena that are interesting to consider even now. Part of the project included interviews with artists, which allow us to see how much their work has changed during the war - and how they themselves have changed.

The next visit of the day was a visit to the Pomitni production center and a conversation with its co-founder, Presidents' MBA kmbs graduate Iryna Horova and her colleagues. In addition to the story about the production center, Iryna shared with the participants of the field module her memories of her education and its connection with business transformation. And at the meeting, they talked about bold experiments that often work when working with "stars", about rebranding the company, about the secrets of creating a creative product.

At the end of the day, the participants immersed themselves in another artistic sphere - theater. They met with the founder and director of "Wild Theater" Yaroslava Kravchenko. In the past, Ms. Yaroslava worked as an investigative journalist and saw a lot. "And when I saw real life, I could no longer create a theater where everyone comes to escape from reality. I was interested in showing people who live next to us today," she says. So, in "Wild Theater" you can see unpleasant things - as well as those in which you recognize yourself.

Day four

For the participants, this day was rich in meetings with representatives of both state institutions and private organizations. It began for the participants with an introduction to Olena Plakhova, director of reputation management and marketing of the Nova Poshta group of companies. Although the first association with the "New Post" is its branches and postmen, it is actually a huge system that can flexibly change in response to new challenges. In particular, Ms. Olena said that the company already has its own gas stations at the terminals and its own gasoline trucks, and Nova Poshta has direct contracts with gasoline and diesel suppliers. The goal is to be as independent as possible and able to work autonomously.

"New Post" is about speed in all dimensions: from the time of parcel delivery to the speed of document circulation, processes, etc. Ms. Olena said that the company is constantly looking for ways to get rid of unnecessary costs and make the system as transparent as possible. Therefore, many people in the company have "black" and "white belts" in LEAN.

During this eventful day, the participants talked with Oleksandr Starodubtsev, deputy chief of staff of the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption. He shared that he has experience in business, government, and civil society. Therefore, Mr. Oleksandr looks at the world through these three different lenses - and in the end a balanced view is obtained.

"When business looks at the state, it is a priori a bit biased. We have not had the experience of having our own state for 400 years, so our approach is kind of paternalistic: someone has to provide everything for us, - says Mr. Oleksandr. - But when the war started, we interviewed the leaders of public opinion, sitting in the basements of NAZK. Yevgeny Hlibovytsky very aptly said that the state is being appropriated. The appropriation of the army has already taken place: Ukrainians have understood that the army is ours, so it must be helped."

The participants devoted another part of the day to meetings with representatives of the Ukrspecsystems company, which produces unmanned aerial vehicles and software products for the military, and the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. And in the evening, a traditional discussion with the head of Presidents' MBA kmbs Eduard Maltsev was waiting for them. The participants shared their impressions of what they saw and heard, reflected on the strategy, culture and meanings created by managers in different systems and different dimensions.

Day five

The topic of the last day of the module was education. In particular, the participants visited "Osvitoria" - an organization that has existed for 10 years and aims to reform and develop Ukrainian education. The founder of "Osvitoria" Zoya Lytvyn said that she and her team believe in Nelson Mandela's thesis: education is the most powerful weapon for changing the world.

In the conversation with Ms. Zoya, it was about the critical mass that is needed for serious changes, about the creation of innovative educational products that act as "pilots" of a new, better system, about access to education. "Education is a social elevator," the speaker is confident. "You can become anything if you had access to a quality school and university."

90% of Ukrainian children will not be able to afford to study in private schools. That is why the "Osvitoria" team strives to make non-private education as high-quality, accessible and progressive as possible. And private schools can act as R&D centers where innovations are born and tested. By the way, this is how the "New Ukrainian School" was born - teachers who became agents of change were trained in private schools.

Also within the framework of this day, the participants talked with Tetyana Shapovalova, the general director of the Academy of Modern Education A+, and saw one of the campuses. The history of A+ began in 2012 with an elementary school, and today it is a whole network of institutions for children from 1 to 18 years old.

Mrs. Tetiana talked about the management of the educational institution, formation of the price policy, development, etc. Twice a month, she meets with the directors of all departments - 28 managers in total. "I have devoted the last few years to the training of managers - so that they are adepts of our philosophy and carry it further into their teams," the speaker shared. So, first of all, it was worldview training.

The five days of the field trip module turned out to be full of events, meetings and impressions. The participants received a considerable amount of material for reflection - enough for the next module!

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