The Elfenworks Foundation, in partnership with Kiev Taras Schevchenko National University and Elfenworks Productions, LLC, is pleased to announce the winner of the Elfenworks Student Competition on Social Entrepreneurship, awarded April 25, 2017 to Vitaly Oleksyuk.  [Read the Press Release]

The inaugural Elfenworks Scholarship competition took place at the Institute of International Relations of the Kiev Taras Schevchenko National University in the academic year of 2016-2017. From the initial pool of 135 participants, 24 were selected for the second, juried phase, from whom four finalists – Anna Kikesheva, Vitaly Oleksyuk, Valeriia Slinko, and Oleksander Yaroshenko  – were ultimately chosen. The jury, led by Professor Stupnytsky, Aleksiy, included: Golubiy Igor, Professor, Department of International Business; Gnatovsky Nikolay, Professor, Department of International Law; Andrushchenko Svetlana, Professor, Department of International Relations; Smyrnova Ksenya, Professor, Department of European Law.  

Four finalists met with the Elfenworks team for in-depth discussions during their ten-day stay in the country.  Dr. Vladimir Genin, who oversaw the translation of the book Intelligence & Compassion in Action, outlining the methodology we use at Elfenworks, into Ukrainian, was also in attendance. The team also had the opportunity to meet with nonprofit leaders from across the nation, as well as members of the press and university leaders.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for an Elfenworks Center on Social Entrepreneurship at the university was graced by two adorable children bearing korovai, a traditional bread.  The event was led by Dr. Valeriy Kopiyka, Director of the Institute of International Relations.  Addressing students, Elfenworks CEO Lauren Speeth, who was bestowed both an honorary doctorate and the honorary title of Professor at the event, compared the making of this bread to the process of social entrepreneurship itself, starting with the vision for the outcome. The process requires various special skills, including decoration, and there will be local variation. The bakers, who work in partnership, don’t duplicate each other’s efforts. The process involves feedback, such as knowing if the bread has risen, if the oven is hot enough, and so on. Stay the course until the work is complete, then share in the credit, and the whole community is the better for the effort.  

The university is a powerhouse, and there’s every indication that the students will “cook up” exceptional results. Preparations are already in place for the coming year’s competition, to take place at the Institute of International Relations of the Kiev Taras Schevchenko National University. As with the inaugural year, an initial pool of applicants will be selected for a second, juried phase, to include individual interviews assessing ideals, visions, aspirations, and knowledge of social entrepreneurship as well as a student paper to assess:

  • In-depth knowledge of social entrepreneurship and its importance for society.
  • Analysis of the current status of social entrepreneurship in Ukraine.
  • Personal social entrepreneurship participation experience.
  • Vision for further development of social entrepreneurship in Ukraine and how they see themselves in this context.

To all the students who participated in the competition, we say congratulations and thank you. Keep on making a difference for the greater good.  To the students who have yet to join the competition, we invite your participation. Students of Ukraine, we are so proud of you!


About Elfenworks “In Harmony With Hope”  Scholarships Fostering Student Ripplemakers
The Elfenworks Foundation works for hope by fostering creative and technological solutions that advance change. Elfenworks identifies chasms, creates change, and amplifies success, whether promoting peace initiatives, assisting nonprofits safely navigate IT security, or helping people cope with stress through the Breathing Butterfly project.  Working together with domestic and international university partners, we are fostering a new wave of student social entrepreneurs, through teacher tools, outreach, and scholarship competitions [ ]. Students, we’ll say it again: we’re so proud of you. Never underestimate your ripple! Visit for big and small ways to make a difference.

About Kiev Taras Schevchenko National University
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, a classic university with a distinct research profile, is the leading contemporary academic and educational hub of Ukraine. The staff at the University have a broad range of formal achievements recognized, such as the State Prize of Ukraine in Science and Technology, as well as awards from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and branches of the National Academies of Sciences. University page at; partnership page at