Long Story Short

As a multidisciplinary storyteller, facilitator, educator and speaker the connective tissue of my work is in catalyzing change through storytelling and a curiosity-first approach. Changing the way we tell stories changes the way we relate to ourselves and one another.  

I am here to create meaningful dialogue that inspires change.  Whether I’m leading a virtual organizational training, holding an individual session, or hosting a conversation on the VIKA TALKS show, my highest priority is to stretch and elevate the level of awareness and compassion. 

In the re-examination of my own stories, I have found a deeper sense of meaning and responsibility.  My own healing journey led me to study with masters of philosophy, gender equity, Bon Tibetan wisdom, and narrative practice. It’s clear how little I know and how much work there is to do – my commitment is to champion and encourage that wide-eyed curiosity and evolution in myself and others as a tool for true growth. 

I believe our stories reflect our beliefs, which become the religion of the mind. Freedom and truth, then, are found when we understand the power of story on an individual and collective level. 

Short Story Long

Born in the former Soviet Union, we immigrated to America when I was a toddler. I grew up in Atlanta where I attended Atlanta International School and Georgia Tech while juggling multiple jobs and internships where I learned the value of hard work in the real world. Graduation coincided with the economic crash of 2008 and my parents’ sudden divorce, so I bought a one way ticket to Vietnam to escape.

For the next five months, I solo backpacked SE – sometimes volunteering at orphanages and always making friends with strangers. At 23, I accidentally moved to New York where I spent the first eight months living on my sister’s couch working odd jobs at night and weekends while I earned my stripes as a media sales executive during the day. Selling and strategizing multi-million dollar media campaigns through my twenties, I gave my all to my career. By 29, I was burnt out and plotting next steps. 

Above all, I knew my life would be unconventional. I froze my eggs – unexpectedly landed a 2 pg piece in TIME and my VICE piece went viral. Then, I won a NYC MOTH storyslam for my story “ Lost and Found”. The amalgamation of these events helped me understand the power of storytelling. 

Bidding farewell to the city that made me, I embarked on a 28 month solo backpacking world tour. A brand new speaking career blossomed.  “Hacking Human Connection” “ Modern Manhood: Tension & Release” and “ The Power of Curiosity” interactive talks were shared on stages from Germany to Tasmania to hundreds of folks. I felt at home, at last. 

The sudden death of my grandpa, gave way to a new project. Hungry to understand what I did not know, I curated an international underground men’s dinner salon series. From Berlin to TLV,  Sydney to SF, these dinners gathered a few great men to share unheard stories on modern manhood (the basis of my book). 

Two years ago, I moved to LA to be close to my family (my grams, big sister, her kiddos, and my mom live two blocks away). I launched a coaching consultancy helping impact-driven leaders become better through a communication and mindset curriculum I developed.

Fancy for My Conference Folks

Vika teaches the power of stories that shift us forward with her curiosity-first methodology. Whether she’s speaking, teaching, or writing – one thing is clear: her mission is finding your highest success through powerful storytelling. 

Her own story involved retiring as a top ad sales executive in NYC to embark upon a 28 month solo backpacking expedition. Vika’s curiosity led her to curate a global men’s dinner salon, gathering men from Sydney to Berlin for a philosophical night of conversation on contemporary manhood (her upcoming book). 

As a voice, Vika has written for VICE and Aplus, been interviewed in TIME, the Dr.OZ show, and won a NYC MOTH Storyslam. Her students refer to her work as “life changing” and Entrepreneur’s Organization LV gave her talk the highest rating of the year. As a student, Vika is currently earning a certificate in Intersectionality and Equity in Therapeutic Practices from CIIS. 

With her evidence-based methodology marrying the science and art of narrative, Vika trains leaders and teams to craft and deliver impactful stories in physical and virtual worlds via her virtual keynotes and coaching. The second arm of her consultancy focuses on guiding men out of the labyrinth of their conditioning and into true freedom. She only works with people she likes. 

Honorable mentions: Vika writes and narrates her own guided sleep stories for the app SleepSpace. Use code: VIKA for 30 days free. She is an avid Bon meditator, has a penchant for eastern philosophy, and is a trained latin dancer turned hip hop rebel. She feels most at home writing poetry barefoot in the woods and wishes she could be a third as funny as Ali Wong. She is most grateful for her big fat Ukrainian family and her mother’s endless stream of entertaining content. 

Connecting People and Places Through Storytelling

An adventurer and storyteller of life and work, Vika, a native-born Ukrainian, is a MOTH StorySLAM winner and contributing writer for VICE. She lends her voice to bring the stories of people and things that inspire her in hopes of making the world a little sunnier.