September 27, 2015

Why Social Media and Blogging is Important in Russia

When I was 16 I decided to publish school journal with my classmates. It was about social, educational, teenage topics. The 30-pages journal was printed in a single version and shown to Head Master of my school, who forbade to spread it. We found sponsor for the first mass edition but we had to refuse help in order to stay at school.

The second editor Nastya left Russia after that situation. Now she’s happy in Israel. I decided to stay and fight for freedom of press and for education/school changes. I started a blog on Livejournal, the platform for activists and politicians with a huge audience, which is mostly opposed to the current United Russia party and Putin.

I was the first in Russia, who was really trying to raise awareness of school problems. It was unusual in that time. Nowadays there are only 2 sources of such information: and The first one interviewed me as a specialist and invited me to 1st International educational conference in Moscow - EdCrunch - as a speaker.

My aim was to share the best international practices with Russian teachers, students and parents. Very few people in Russia can fully understand English texts. So I translated and collected cases for them.

For example, many new schools are building and many are renovating here. But they do in a way they did 50 years ago: terrible design, repulsive interiors, uncomfortable furniture. My posts where I compared Russian and American-European approach to schools gathered hundreds of thousands views on the Internet. I believe that changes people’s attitude to the places where their children spend half of their lives.
Echo Moscow (Эхо Москвы)
my blog

In my school they made walls’ colour lighter and installed small sofas in the hallways. I talked much about it with Subhead of my school. They finally did what I was asking for 3 years. Furthermore, my school became the most bicycle-friendly school in Russia. I was the first, who started the tradition, and others just followed me. It couldn’t be possible without my blog and the influence it gave me.

During last 2 years I wasn't really immersed in school topic because I worked a lot and entered university - the best business-school in Russia. But a lot has been made by our community.

Edutainme project became the most influential source of information about education. They held the 1st education conference in 2014 (2nd in 2015). EdX, Coursera, Khan founders, business representatives were invited as well as many teachers and government representatives. People’s attitude to education is changing rapidly. They are becoming more interested in what children are doing, learning and reading at school and university. I interviewed founder of Steve Jobs Schools and founder of Coursera.

Me and the article about me in one of the most popular newspaper in St. Petersburg

When nation is keen on education that’s a good sign for the future. It’s my firm belief, that country’s welfare is starting from changed paradigm on education and it’s importance. Edutainme positive impact really inspired me to move forward and raise awareness of education to the new level.

Last year I became a student of the most elite place in Russia — Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg State University. It gave me so many opportunities to express myself in business, leadership and case championships. Now I feel like I can do everything that I dream about. I can take part in changing environment, people’s attitude, government. I study hard to get skills that will help me to develop the world, Russia, in a better way.

I’m working on different projects, writing articles for my blog about self-development. I try to tell my country that they are capable to change environment around them. All they need to do it to work harder and not to stop when they are facing difficulties. Only dealing with challenges and staying honest will bring Russia to the new era, new stage, to the future. My generation is the one who should make Russia really European; country, where people matters.

Now I'm working on other topic - orphanges. I became a volunteer a year ago. I visited many orphanages, talked to many adults, children, pictured the terrible conditions they are liveng in. I hope I can tell the world about the life under government breeding so people will make authorities to improve the situation. Stop punitive psychiatry or bulling, for example. These children need to be heared. They need someone who can care after them or even adopt them.

Internet and social media are becoming more and more influential in the world, especially in Russia, where it’s the only source of fact-based true information and the only platform for independent opinions and debates. I became a blogger after reading numerous Alexey Navalny’s posts, protest of 2011-2012, where social media played leading role.

I believe social media will gain audience and importance as soon as political and economical situation in Russia are getting worse. I know many cases when the audience helped to deal with authorities, emerge social changes and raise awareness, so the government can’t just ignore it.

Social networks help to spread the information rapidly to everyone. Even people in far away towns or apathetic to social-related topics can get the information from their friends on their Feed. I’m glad to a part of it.

My popular posts, which gained thousands of viewes