Five Ukrainians listed among ‘best and brightest’ in Central and Eastern Europe

Five Ukrainians have won places on the New Europe 100 list of 100 of the “brightest and best people” in Central and Eastern Europe.

The third annual list, which was organized by U.K. business daily Financial Times, the Visegrad Fund,  Google and Polish journal Res Publica, includes 100 business and social leaders, creative inventors and go-getting entrepreneurs from Europe. The list was released on Nov. 15.

Those listed are reckoned to have a global impact due to their courage in innovation, expertise in emerging technologies, unique skills and social outreach.

Ukraine Venture Capital Association executive director Olga Afanasyeva, 30, who made it onto this year’s list for “building a bridge between the new generation of Ukrainians and global society,” is modest about the honor.

She says she’s proud almost all of the Ukrainians in the list are from the information technology industry. “Now we ourselves have to learn to be proud of our country and its achievements, to build a (positive) image of Ukraine,” Afanasyeva told the Kyiv Post.

“[We as a nation] have lots of victories that are known about all over the world,” she added.

The four other Ukrainians apart from Afanasyeva who made it onto the list are Victor Shaburov, the founder of facial-recognition app Looksery, which was acquired by Snapchat for a reported $150 million; Dmytro Dubilet, the IT director at the country’s largest bank, PrivatBank, and the co-creator of iGov – an Internet service where people can request official documents from governmental institutions; the founder and editor of fact-checking website, Olga Yurkova; and the founder of tech startup PetCube Yaroslav Azhnyuk.

The aim of the list, according to the Financial Times, is to raise the profile of world-leading changemakers in emerging Europe, and to “build connections among those in the vanguard.”

The challengers were selected by Res Publica, the Warsaw-based journal; tech company Google; the state-supported Visegrad Fund, which promotes integration within Central Europe; and the Financial Times. Representatives from these bodies analyzed nominations from national institutions, think tanks and the public before selecting the final list of 100 people, split into four categories: business, society and politics, science, and media and culture.

The final one hundred was chosen from nominations submitted by the nominating partners and the general public. This year, the largest group of finalists are individuals and teams working in business (54 percent), in society and in politics (29 percent). The science category accounted for 10 percent of the nominees, and media and culture 7 percent.

“The idea behind the New Europe 100 was to show the potential and creativity of people from Central and Eastern Europe,” Executive Director of the International Visegrad Fund Beata Jaczewska said in a statement on Nov. 15.

“We believe this is the best way to support the advancement of fresh, innovative ideas, the progress of which benefits all of us in the region.”

This story first appeared in Kyiv Post, a syndication partner of Ukraine Digital News. 

Topics: International, News, People
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