World gurus of social marketing and social business visited Ukraine for the first time

Correspondence from Lisovska Oktyabryna, founder & CEO of O2 – Social Business Group, Ukraine

What is social marketing? Can it become “marketing of the future”? Can social business develop sustainably in Ukraine and have governmental support? What effects should citizens receive from social programs? – these questions were discussed by experts of the Conference “Social Partnership – the way to Europe” which was held within the framework of two-day International  Forum “Best Social projects of Ukraine” – 2014. The key goals of the event were: creating a platform for constructive dialogue among business, government, society and representing the world`s innovations for education and local replication.

On October 30, 2014 the Conference gathered more than 100 entrepreneurs, top-managers, representatives of government and NGOs, as well as prominent world and Ukrainian expert speakers in the field of social entrepreneurship.

The event was opened by founders and managing partners of the O2 Social Business Group, the Forum`s initiators – Glib and Oktyabryna Lisovski:

“ .. using social marketing mechanisms will help Ukraine carry out far-reaching reform. Thus, our key aim is to popularize this tendency. For this reason we have held the Forum second year in a row. If you take a little piece of information from our event and then share it with people around you – you launch positive impulse for yourself, for your associates, for our society on the whole”

Social Partnerships

For the first time in Ukraine prominent experts shared their experience: a social marketing guru Jeff French, specialist in microfinance programs Dileep Kumar and partners of local well-being programs Linda Kleemann and Leonhard Nima.

Participants at Social Partnerships Conference

Among participants were also representatives of foreign embassies to Ukraine, activists, leaders of public opinion: Johannes Aigner, Christof Spati, Andreas von Bekerath, Henning Dragger, Olena  Sibiriakova, Iryna Suslova, Kateryna Rigg, Volodymyr Udovychenko, Yaroslav Yurtsaba, Anastasia Borenkova, Vasyl Nazaruk, Oleksandr  Liev, Anna Seniuk. The Forum included 14 exclusive lectures about basic principles, practical tools and successful experiences of implementation of social initiatives in business. The session “Changes in policy and changes in behaviour: system VS individual” stimulated active discussion on the rights and responsibilities of government, business and society in the process of creating and implementing social projects. Participants arrived at the conclusion that Ukraine does have potential for social business sustainable development under condition of constructive cooperation between the above mentioned three parties.


This thesis was confirmed by Jeff French talking about a perspective of social cooperation:

“Ordinary people should control programs and be leaders. If you apply these principles to social projects – this will help both business and society. This is great, but this is what I call a decision of “a small fish”, but we always strive to catch “a big fish” –  we want politics controlled by citizens. If we achieve fruitful trilateral cooperation, we will get a great prize – “The World Cup”, i.e. effective social programs + successful business + more healthy and happy people”

Espresso TV live stream enabled participation of those who were not able to join the event, thus, enlarging the audience several times more.

The second day, October 31, was devoted to Ukrainian students. The Open lecture “How to create positive social changes” took place at the Kyiv National Economic University. Thanks to Jeff French, Dileep Kumar and Leonhard Nima, the youth got answers to key questions about personal contribution to social well-being in Ukrainian realities.

Summing up the event, the organisers, Centre for Social Leadership NGO (which is a part of O2 Social Business Group) have created an interactive platform for Ukrainian and world experts, conscientious citizens and government officials that respond to social requests.

The organisation committee is grateful to all the participants, visitors and partners and express sincere hope for further cooperation and meetings in the next year.

All the information about the International Forum “Best Social Projects of Ukraine”, speakers, organisers and partners is available on the official website

For further information about this event, please contact Lisovska Oktyabryna,