“We stand with Ukraine”: how Google, Netflix and WPP support Ukrainian culture and economy

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Today, a panel discussion “From Protecting Ukraine’s Cultural Heritage to Promoting Investment Advantages Globally” was held at Ukrainian House in Davos

The participants of the discussion – Ukrainian and international government officials, as well as representatives of the global technology companies Google and Netflix – spoke about the experience of cooperation in the framework of preserving Ukrainian cultural heritage and supporting the country’s economy during the russian full-scale war against Ukraine.

During a speech online, the Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko outlined three main issues that are currently in the focus of the Ministry: preservation of Ukrainian cultural heritage, assistance to Ukrainian artists in Ukraine and the fight against russian disinformation and protection of the Ukrainian information front.

“But the war also opened up new opportunities for us, in particular, the promotion of Ukrainian culture abroad and the development of various types of collaborations. This allows people all over the world to be aware of how rich Ukrainian culture is and why it is important to protect it during wartime. After all, this is a war against our identity, which reflects the Ukrainian cultural heritage, and we have to fight for and defend our own history, language and culture,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko.

The Minister of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania Simonas Kairys continued the opinion of his Ukrainian colleague, noting that the current war began long before February 24 and even in 2014.

“This is a long-term war with a long history, so it is very important to think about the future. Ukraine and Lithuania have always been partners in the cultural sector, and this cooperation became closer during the war, but this is not a surprise to me. Lithuania will support Ukraine in its bids for Ukrainian cities to become European cultural capitals and join UNESCO world heritage sites,” summarized Simonas Kairys.

The Director, CEE & Transatlantic Public Policy, Google Marta Poslad spoke about the preservation and protection of Ukrainian culture through the promotion of Ukrainian creative and cultural industries in the world, as well as the creation of Ukrainian digital content.

Thus, as part of the cooperation between MCIP and Google, at the end of 2022, an online space about Ukrainian culture “Ukraine is Here” was created and launched. According to Marta Poslad, Google did not have any contradictions or doubts about the need to launch this project.

“Technology is best used in the hands of the best people… When the war had started, we realized that we needed to do more for Ukraine and cooperate with the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, as well as with other specialized organizations. As a result, many Ukrainian cultural artifacts can now be seen online, so if they need to be restored after the war, people will know what they should look like. We never hesitated with Google, whether to do it,” emphasized Marta Poslad.

The topic of digitalization and popularization of Ukrainian culture in the world was continued by Alex Long, Director for Public Policy, Opportunity Territories, EMEA, Netflix.

“I would like to start with the fantastic cooperation with the team of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, the Ministry of Digital Transformation, etc. in such extremely difficult times. Recently, Netflix has launched the Ukrainian interface, and we consider this an extremely important achievement of cooperation. At the same time, the Ukrainian interface is available today not only for users in Ukraine, but also all over the world, which is a great step for us. We really consider Ukrainian films, series, and documentaries as an essential part of Ukrainian cultural heritage, so we continue to add new films and series dubbed in Ukrainian every day,” said Alex Long.

He also mentioned the initiative that the service launched together with the Ukrainian Film Academy and the House of Europe.

“We want to show our support for the Ukrainian audiovisual sector, so we are doing the following: we have provided $15,000 in grants to 50 project teams; 100 grants to the audiovisual sector for the development of professional skills; we cooperate with international experts in the field of audiovisual art, providing educational courses for Ukrainian professionals during the war. Therefore, I want to assure you: we will continue to work with the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy in 2023. We stand with Ukraine, we support Ukraine in this difficult time,” concluded the Netflix representative.

Another revolutionary partnership is the cooperation of the Ukrainian government with one of the world’s largest advertising companies, WPP, to attract investment to Ukraine and help restore its economy. Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine Oleksandr Gryban talked about how Ukraine attracted investments during the war and who helps us in this.

In particular, within the framework of cooperation with WPP, a large-scale investment attraction campaign – Advantage Ukraine – was launched.

“Advantage Ukraine is an incredible opportunity offered by Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko and WPP. We launched the campaign in September, it was a landmark event with a loud message – “Ukraine is open for business”. The idea was to start talking to the international community about Ukraine not from the side of the war, but to find a different focus. We want foreign investors to attract funds to the economy of Ukraine already now and to think about us in the same way now. We want to be on the agenda and we have every right to do so. We feel the approaching victory and do not want international business to waste time, so we encourage you to consider Ukraine as a platform for potential development. Thanks to WPP, we launched a large information campaign so that the whole world could see the promotion of Advantage Ukraine. And we continue to do it,” summed up the Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine.

At the end of the discussion, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine and moderator of the meeting, Anastasia Bondar, thanked those present for participating in the discussion, adding: “Cultural values are what determine our behavior precisely in dark times, not when everything is fine. So we are not here to say we are victims, we are here to say we are fighters and we will win”.

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