Because of the coronavirus quarantine in Ukraine, we had to change the format of the DSC working sessions and move in an online environment. The ninth DSC session wasn’t an exception. In June, we had several meetings via Skype. A great deal of time was devoted to the development of group projects. The final meeting of the DSC 2019-2020 took place on June 20, 2020.
Between June 9 and 11, every group had a Skype meeting with Dr. Niclas Rüffer, the DSC Senior Fellow, to summarize the progress and challenges of the group projects. The groups working on the research projects have discussed further steps in connection with the materials publishing. The group working on the project “Business/Commercial” has got advice on strategic management and development of the project beyond the DSC 2019-2020.
On June 20, 2020, the final working meeting was opened with a lecture on Strategic Management by Dr. Niclas Rüffer. The lecture completed the Basic Business course and was intended to review the material and summarize the knowledge received by the students during the DSC course of studies.
Barbara Borzymowska, Main Specialist in the Centre of Friendly People-Animal Relations, and Dr. Rafał Dutkiewicz, the DSC Senior Fellow, conducted the open discussion “The role of the presence of an animal during crisis in human life”. Besides, Dr. Rafał Dutkiewicz came up with some findings about essays prepared by the scholars and identified the winners.
Group working on the project “Business/Research” has prepared a comprehensive research on the topic “Women in startups: Startup situation in Ukraine and Moldova following the EU Association Agreement”, which shows the dynamics in business and startup communities in Ukraine and Moldova after signing the Association Agreement. Through this research, the group has found out, that the AA has really influenced the situation with women entrepreneurship and offered more opportunities resulting in the emergence of new programs and organizations.
In the framework of the research, the group prepared the following papers:
- one electronic publication “WOMEN IN STARTUPS”;
- 16 interviews with women in business in Ukraine;
- records of 5 interviews with women in business in Moldova.
Group working on the project “Women in Focus/Research” presented the results of their research. The main objective of the research was the identification of core problems, faced by women, especially in career development, raising awareness among key stakeholders, and drafting recommendations to the government on how to deal with these issues. In course of the research project, the following materials have been prepared: policy recommendations on gender issues, short infographics and booklets, reflecting the main findings of the research, as well as research papers: “Problems of women’s career development in two spheres of business and public administration”, “Better understanding and raising awareness of gender issues in career development”, “Better understanding of further actions for improving the situation”.
The main idea of “Business/Non-for-Profit” project was to help people who had already got the idea of their business and how to develop it further or to start it from scratch. The program was developed in such a way that the participants were equipped with all necessary basic knowledge and skills to achieve corresponding outcomes.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, the project was transferred into online instead of offline format, which served very well the purpose of the event and enabled the team to provide wider support to the participants. Within a week, the speakers in various fields have been holding their lectures in order to deliver valuable information to the participants. The audience was responsive, cooperative, constant, and sophisticated. Having implemented the project, the organizers’ team sent out the materials to the participants for further study.
Overall, the project reached its primary objectives, creating an innovative space for the participants to be able to jump start their business. Organizers successfully overcame challenges, especially the one with COVID-19, respectfully providing the participants with due care and support.
The DSC Group working on the project “Women in Focus/Non-for-Profit” designed the project which addressed the problems of women unemployment, low level of education of women in the provincial areas, gender discrimination, and domestic violence in the peripheries in Ukraine and Armenia.
With such project activities as webinars, workshops, awareness-raising through the online platform, social media campaigns, face-to-face meetings, it was intended to raise awareness of women from different vulnerable groups of their social rights, support them in gaining access to equal education and work opportunities, create a network for further cooperation and extension of the project idea.
The group managed to get 90 women from different age and social groups involved, run 4 workshops with trainers on specific topics (listed below) related to gender equality, female empowerment, education and work opportunities for females in the field of education, science, and politics in Ukraine and abroad.
This project “Solar energy. Challenges and Opportunities” (“Business/Commercial”) was intended to promote and encourage the use of solar energy in Ukraine by creating a specific location for communication between interested parties – the so-called platform, which contains: 1) information on solar panels and photovoltaic power stations (PPS); 2) legal and technical aspects of installing and operating photovoltaic power stations for individuals and legal entities; 3) opportunities, grants and innovations in the field of solar energy; 4) contacts of persons and companies involved in the development and installation of photovoltaic power stations.
This project is designed both for newcomers and experienced businesses. Newcomers in business and solar energy can develop appropriate skills of operating solar panels and PPS’s as well as learn how to start their business or manage PPS’s for individual needs, understand how and where they can get grants and find any donors or investors. Competent businesses can share their experience with individuals and companies interested in solar energy by offering their services, through communication, providing them with the related services.
After each group presented its project, Dr. Iryna Chernysh, the DSC Project Manager, and Dr. Niclas Rüffer, the DSC Senior Fellow, made closing remarks about the DSC 2019-2020 and group projects. The scholars shared their impressions of the participation in the DSC 2019-2020 and the experience gained in the course of it.