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the Scenes

"Innovation in Isolation" is more than a Corporate Social Responsibility project; it's a testament to Ukraine's enduring spirit of invention and collaboration.
Julia Petryk, former Head of PR at MacPaw, discovered a common thread among many international journalists she engaged with a lack of awareness about Ukraine's rich history and its flair for innovation. This realization set a goal for MacPaw, a dynamic team of innovators led by Oleksandr Kosovan, to highlight Ukraine's overlooked contributions to global heritage and technology. This includes everything from its pioneering engineering talents to its world-class scientific institutions.
While Ukraine's IT marvel and the subsequent surge in startups received global acclaim, the historical roots of this achievement often remained unrecognized. The MacPaw team leveraged their varied expertise and, in collaboration with a network of writers, designers, historians, and dedicated personnel at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute museum, embarked on the "Innovation in Isolation" project. Together, they crafted a narrative linking Ukraine's illustrious IT past with its vibrant present startup scene.
"Innovation in Isolation" is more than a Corporate Social Responsibility project; it's a testament to Ukraine's enduring spirit of invention and collaboration. It's an invitation to explore the depths of Ukraine's tech excellence, nurtured by generations of engineers and innovators, including Oleksandr Kosovan, who inherits his passion from a lineage of engineers.
Dive into the making of "Innovation in Isolation" and witness the collaborative spirit that drives Ukraine's tech sector.

Behind the

Author's Odyssey Photo
Volodymyr Nevzorov's journey as a software developer since 2001 is intertwined with an unwavering passion for both technology and literature. Beyond authoring "Innovation in Isolation," Nevzorov is the founder and owner ARHEVE, a digital library platform, and the Bookwagen project, which provides free e-books for children. With a Ph.D. in Economics and expertise in UI/UX design and printing, Nevzorov seamlessly weaves historical and cultural contexts into captivating narratives.
During his school days, Volodymyr Nevzorov developed a keen fascination for the evolution of electronics, drawn by the captivating tales of visionary hardware and software pioneers. As life advanced, his insatiable curiosity guided him toward exploring the annals of Apple's history. Here, he stumbled upon a notable absence – the scarcity of information about Ukrainian cybernetics. This revelation served as a catalyst, sparking an inspiration to illuminate Ukraine's substantial role in shaping the IT landscape.
Impressed by Nevzorov's unique blend of talents and his deep understanding of both technology and literature, MacPaw’s team approached him to author the book.
Rachel McVey Photo
Editing to
Rachel McVey, an editor and esteemed Fulbright alumna with degrees in history and sociology from the University of Pittsburgh, ensures that the tapestry of "Innovation in Isolation" is compelling and rigorously accurate. As a marketer, Rachel's collaboration extends beyond Eastern European startups to the US-Hungarian Fulbright Commission and Kyiv's Mystetskyi Arsenal National Art and Culture Museum, enriching her multifaceted approach.
Embracing her role as an immigrant in Ukraine, she embarked on a linguistic journey as a language editor, deepening her connection to her adopted homeland and kindling a profound understanding of its history and culture. Reflecting on her experience, Rachel shares, "Ukrainians take immense pride in their scientific accomplishments. Hence, it was a privilege to unveil the human stories and narratives underlying these feats, catering to an international audience."
Aliona Solomadina Photo
Aliona Solomadina, an accomplished independent graphic designer and researcher, is the driving force behind the book's design. Her expertise spans across book design, visual identities, art direction, and design curation. Aliona collaborates with cultural institutions, brands, and commercial ventures. She also plays a vital role in the design research trio 'U,N,A collective' and co-authored the book titled "Znak. Ukrainian Trademarks 1960-1980s."
Within "Innovation in Isolation," Solomadina harmonizes digital and print aesthetics, navigating the convergence of past and present. The book's cover, reminiscent of vintage electronic computers, evokes nostalgia through color, texture, and design, symbolizing a vintage hard drive housing – an embodiment of history. The book's chapters are visual masterpieces, with the first reflecting 1960-80s aesthetics and the second emulating modern website layouts, united by a shared historical narrative.
Dr. Natalya Shlikhta PhotoDr. Tetiana Vodotyka PhotoDr. Yehor Brailian Photo
A team of three distinguished historians undertook the fact-checking process for the book, each contributing their unique expertise. Dr. Tetiana Vodotyka is an acclaimed historian, developing masters programe in Urban Development and Postwar Reconstruction (Kyiv School of Economics). Her remarkable ability to contextualize and shed light on the historical background of the Ukrainian IT industry enriched the book's content.
Dr. Yehor Brailian, an international journalist and scholar, lent his profound understanding of modern and contemporary world history and his specialization in colonialism. Yehor's contribution to the book was in reviewing the storytelling for historical accuracy in describing the Soviet Union, Ukraine, and the role of technology during the Cold War.
The team was further bolstered by the expertise of Dr. Natalya Shlikhta, an associate professor at the National University "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy." With a remarkable academic journey, Dr. Shlikhta brought a comprehensive understanding of the history of Soviet society. Her meticulous research and academic achievements underscored the team's commitment to ensuring the book's historical accuracy and integrity.

Publishing Under Fire

During the time of war in Ukraine, bringing "Innovation in Isolation" to life presented numerous challenges beyond typical publishing obstacles. The physical logistics were further complicated by scarcity caused by the full-scale russian invasion, leading to paper, ink, and printing equipment shortages, resulting in production delays. The disruption of transportation routes also strained distribution networks. Despite these obstacles, the unwavering determination to share history prevailed.
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Embracing Ukraine's Tech Legacy

The collaborative efforts of Volodymyr Nevzorov, Victoria Ugrumova, Rachel McVey, Aliona Solomadina, and the MacPaw team shed light on Ukraine's vital contribution to the global tech legacy. But the story doesn't end there. Building on this legacy and with the support of its robust IT education system, Ukraine is currently undergoing a new technological revolution.
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Authors: Volodymyr Nevzorov, Victoria Ugriumova Commissioned by: MacPaw Translation to English: Hanna Leliv, Reilly Costigan-Humes
Editor of the English text:
 Rachel McVey Idea: Yuliia Petryk Project coordinators: Alyona Gorbatko, Ievgenii Kalnyk, Nina Bohush, Oleksandra Lytvynenko
Art Direction:
 Aliona Solomadina Proofreader: Ganna Bendiy Historical advisors: Natalia Shlikhta, Tetiana Vodotyka, Yehor Brailian
 Ihor Borysov, Oleksandr Strelnikov, Vitalii Sidorenko, Volodymyr Falin, Semen Grozyan Photo editor: Maksym Bilousov


The authors would like to express their deep gratitude to the
following people for their invaluable research contributions:
Borys Malinovsky Pavlo Shevelo Vira Glushkova Georgy Gimmelfarb Viktor Perchuk Volodymyr Petrukhin Vira Bihdan Vladyslav Husev Volodymyr Puida Maryna Tarasova Oleksandr Kovalenko Dmytro Cherepanov Mykola Shcherbyna Oles Maygutyak Oleksandr Rybak Stefan Mashkevych Volodymyr Grynchuk Mykola Shvets Ben Peters Lev Zaslavsky Volodymyr Gurovych Tamara Malashok Ihor Karev Sergii Prokofiev Dmytro Yashanov Lyubov Borovkova Vasyl Pihorovych Kateryna Horiaieva Yuliia Shakhnovska Maryna Rohova Sergii Legusha Sergii Frolov Dmytro Sergeev Oleksii Pedosenko Yaroslav Azhnyuk Max Lytvyn Alex Shevchenko Dmytro Lider Denys Zhadanov Oleksandr Kosovan Oleksandr Konotopskyi Roman Mogylnyi Oles Petriv Yaroslav Boiko Den Dmytrenko Kyle Sygyda Ivan Altsybieiev Dima Shvets Roman Prokofiev Yevhen Sobakarev Dmytro Gryn Iryna Paliienko

The MacPaw team extends additional thanks to:

Natalia Pysarevska, Director of State Polytechnic Museum at Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, and Kostyantyn Antonenko, Staff Scientist, for providing access to archival and historical materials.
Borys Malinovsky Pavlo Shevelo Vira Glushkova Georgy Gimmelfarb
for legal advice
Anthony Bartaway
for assistance with editing
Alona Korolova Ivan Taranenko Yuriy Fedorenko Mykhailo Alvares Oleksandr Koval Pavlo Romaniuk Iryna Mazurak Yaroslav Valentyi
for creating the website and promotional materials
Yevheniia Palash Tetiana Bronytska Daria Perekosova Mykhailo Berveno Anna Manukhina Nadiia Kolesnykova Yurii Husynskyi
of MacPaw team for assistance with the project

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All proceeds will go to help the people of Ukraine,
through the MacPaw Foundation