Our world is rapidly changing, and yesterday's rules for quality education and career success are already irrelevant today. Therefore, we talked with a heroine who knows well how to properly prepare for the future in order to meet him with dignity.
Founder and managing partner of Ta Ventures Venture Fund, co-founder of Iclub Private Investors Club and WTECH Women's Business Community. President of the Odessa International Film Festival, head of the supervisory board of the Ukrainian Film Academy.
Victoria, how, in your opinion, is it worth improving the humanitarian education of children at the family and school levels, so that they are ready for complex content – high-quality movies, books?
The modern world is constantly dictating to us new trends. And in culture, and in the social sphere, and in education, new trends appear all the time, to which modern people need to get used to and adapt. Our children have access to a wealth of information. There are both positive and negative points to this. On the one hand, we can discuss with them any topics – from teaching to social. On the other hand, with such volumes, not always useful information is consumed, and besides, often something important can simply be lost. My opinion is that children from an early age should be accustomed to good, high-quality educational content. Search and watch programs and cartoons with them, which describe many key topics and phenomena in words that are understandable to children. Even for me, some of the things in the cartoons that we watched together sometimes became a revelation! And if a child from an early age consumes the right content, then in the future he will be ready for more complicated. In addition, there is no need to be afraid to "overload" the children's brain – children are more flexible in this regard than we are.
You have three children, how do you accustom them to visiting museums, reading books and watching not only blockbusters?
I never force my children to anything. I am just curious with them, and they, I hope, with me. Therefore, of course, it is easy for me to captivate them with something, and besides, I well know the preferences of each of them. We often watch movies together, on trips we try to visit museums, exhibitions – and each time we manage to interest each other. Speaking specifically about the movie, a correctly selected film can even help in a particular situation that needs to be resolved. Sometimes I create whole movie collections – and we watch these films together. In the process, we communicate (unless, of course, we watch a movie at home), I answer questions that arise in children. And then we always discuss what we saw, it happens that we even argue, we develop topics. And it is very interesting to compare the point of view of an adult and a child. In addition, watching movies in the original is useful and educationally – you can pull up foreign languages.
Is it possible to instill good taste in an adult and to accustom to consume a quality cultural product?
This is one of the goals of the Odessa International Film Festival, our mission. We show intelligent cinema, while it is understandable to a wide audience. Our viewer definitely tastes good – in 2019, at the festival, we registered 165 thousand spectator views. We support high-quality cinema, show films, many of which do not go on sale in Ukraine. This is the cinema that forms the modern Ukrainian and international cinema. And every year we see how interest in him is increasing. Thus we step by step accustom viewers to high-quality cinema, we say that it is fashionable to be cinema, film educated. This is not a very fast process, but very exciting and productive.
You initiated the creation of several educational projects for children and adolescents that operate in several Ukrainian cities. Can we already talk about some results of this work? Do you track the fate of the students?
Today, IT-education is one of the basic components of general children's education. Unfortunately, the knowledge that the school curriculum provides in this area is not enough. To enable children to learn programming and innovative technologies, TA Ventures Foundation and I have created and are developing the Code Club UA network. This is an all-Ukrainian network of coding clubs for children 9-13 years old, which is the official representative of the British idea Code Club. Now in Ukraine there are about 800 groups where almost 10 thousand children study. This year we launched the Code Club 2020 project: Reboot, we further strengthen our focus on IT, now children are taught by leading industry professionals. Our goal is that every student, every child can bring their ideas to life with the help of computer technologies, which are so important in the modern world. Are you asking about the results? Yes, we see a powerful feedback – we have an increase in the number of students every year, new partners and cool mentors are joining us. We created another project, the EscapeLAB school, in order to combine the most relevant knowledge and skills needed by a modern child into complexes of disciplines. This is a national network of schools for programming, English, entrepreneurship and the exact sciences for children 7-16 years old. I can say that this is really a new progressive approach to education. We educate children and adolescents on leadership qualities and global ambitions, introduce them to the world's leading technological practices, and reveal their entrepreneurial talents that are already evident at that age. In general, the social component of business today is of great importance. Social impact is the balance that should be present in any business. It is very important. We must support gifted people changing our world for the better. And, of course, raise talented and capable children, who have our future.
Also, about a year ago, you, together with Veroslava Novosilnaya, created the WTECH club, a community for women heading IT and online businesses. What feedback do you get from the participants, what gives them, how does the community help? And what does it give you personally?
The idea of such a community was in the air – the women who became its members were always in Ukraine, just before such a community did not exist for them. WTECH is a unique organization. Our goals and objectives are, first of all, mentoring support of the participants, networking, exchange of experience, assistance with business development, communication with potential partners, search for the right business contacts. I am sure that women now more than ever need support. And we give it to them. Support and real help. WTECH members can meet with top entrepreneurs, get mentor advice. All this is important for any business at all stages of its existence and development. In addition, our community not only opens up new opportunities for women, but also stimulates the development of the Ukrainian IT industry as a whole. For this, we definitely should unite – to develop not only our own projects, but also the entire Ukrainian IT ecosystem.
Surely, you are often asked this question, but you have an extremely busy schedule in which there is a place for work, conferences, meetings and business trips, as well as a gym and recreation with children. How did you learn to balance and find time for everything?
You must be able to focus, because time is always running out. My schedule is unstable – sometimes there are few meetings, and sometimes 30-40 per day. Of course, I would like more time for myself, and I'm trying to cut it out. To sometimes be able to just read in silence or calmly watch a new movie. I try to leave the house no earlier than 12:00. In the morning I accompany children to school, do yoga, go to the gym. And already from 12:00 the active working day begins. You must be able to switch and not keep yourself at the limit all the time so as not to burn out. By the way, yoga and meditation are very helpful in getting rid of stress and relaxing. I recommend to everyone!
The national jazz gold award took place on April 28th. What, in your opinion, has changed in Ukrainian cinema since the first ceremony?
I can say with confidence that Ukrainian cinema is really rapidly developing. At international film festivals we regularly receive awards, Ukrainian films are traditionally presented at the largest film venues in the world. We have a lot of successful and high-quality debuts, young Ukrainian directors create films that easily compete with foreign films. Over the past year, the number of members of the Ukrainian Film Academy has increased – now there are 404. Our industry is expanding, it is active, it works, develops and improves. And the best of the best last year, we will award at the fourth ceremony of "Gold Jin".