Class Notes

Ukrainian alumna combines passion with purpose to launch new app

Olga Kravchenko (MA Arts & Cultural Management, 2018)

Alumna Olga Kravchenko (MA Arts & Cultural Management, 2018) was moved to action once the Ukraine war broke out. She immediately set about providing information on how people could help those affected by launching a new app, SunflowAR, that uses powerful metaphors to cut through news-fatigue and to motivate people to give their support.

She said:

‘SunflowAR is the product of me as a Ukrainian national and as a UK founder. So it ended up enabling me to make a difference in a way that is suited to my skills.’

She continued:

‘As a Ukrainian, you want to feel supported and the King’s community has been right behind us. In the first couple of weeks, alumni from my course and the Entrepreneurship Institute reached out to see how they could help.

‘It’s also really nice to see how the Ukrainian refugees are being supported by King’s. One of the most popular questions I get from my community are about what they can do if they come to the UK. Can we go to uni? What kind of qualifications do we need? I think King’s is doing an incredible job, especially in articulating what is available, how to access potential scholarships, and the other support that is available – for mental health, for example.’

Olga shares that at the beginning of the war, there was an incredible response, but now, Ukraine only makes the news if there is a massive deadly missile. She believes it is important for King’s to continue to be a source of credible information about the military invasion and to continue emphasising that the humanitarian aid into the country is still a critical priority.

SunflowAR follows a little girl called Sonyashnyk (meaning sunflower in Ukrainian), who appears in users’ homes using the power of smartphones and augmented reality. She invites users to see symbolic representations of Ukraine, including a vast and blooming sunflower field overtaken by the war. Find out more here: