In 2019, the International Institute for Ethics and Contemporary Issues (IIECI), the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Analytical Center at the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) launched an Annual International Conference Series within the framework of a broad theme titled Integral Human Development in the Digital Age. The underlying aim of the series is to bring diverse fields of study into a fruitful multidisciplinary dialogue on matters of public relevance with special reference to 'Integral Human Development' (human ecology); such a topic cannot be effectively dealt with by any one specialized domain of knowledge and thus demands a multidisciplinary approach.
The context of such an approach is Catholic Social Teaching (CST), wherein 'Integral Human Development' is employed as a key concept for facing the complex challenges and opportunities involved in dignified human development and social progress. It offers an important and rich perspective on the unity of human life and experiences, significance of the authentically human relationships, and the meaning of responsibility in the context of a rapidly emerging digital world.
In 2021, Ukrainian Catholic University starts wide IHD program. It will be implemented in the context of the UCU complexity framework:
(1) when it becomes ever more difficult to formulate a right decision in an uncertain complex situation, there is a clear demand for agents with distinct moral character and sound practical judgement. It is important for an UCU graduate to possess and apply in his or her professional and personal life the vision of the sacredness of human life and ethical nature of all human affairs;
(2) this entails his or her ability to master technological advancement and the advent of a digital age while affirming and promoting the value of humanity as well as learning
appreciation for "robot-proof" way of life;
(3) human flourishing is impossible without a harmonious relationship with the environment, so UCU graduate should manifest an attitude of care for creation and master skills to pursue a sustainable development agenda in his or her professional life;
(4) economic disparities and growing inequalities make people self-referential and
pursuant of their private self-interest and self-preservation. An UCU graduate should
develop a sense for social justice and an empathy for marginalized, dispossessed and displaced, especially those hit by the refugee and migration crisis as well as contemporary health care predicament;
(5) the pressure of the above-mentioned challenges makes liberal democracy questionable and more fragile, contributes to civic alienation, democratic deficit and breakdown of communities. An UCU graduate will develop an appreciation for the common good and community service. UCU invites students to serve during their studies as well as cultivates an awareness that university education is not about getting access to more privileges but about preparing for service;
(6) the renewal project for genuine liberalism could only succeed if the trauma of communism and its tragic lesson is reflected upon in depth. The deep reflection on and repentance over the Nazism experience made the West alert and careful on certain lines that should never be crossed. It made certain ultra-rightist ideas concerning the experimentation with the human person and society repellent and utterly unacceptable in the civilized society. But with the leftist ideas this has not happened at all. The ultra-leftist proposals on social engineering are still alluring for many people in politics. There are no agreed limits on the left beyond which we must never go in our social experimentation. UCU graduates should be able to preserve the lived memory of the tragedy of communism and help the liberal democracy making it immune to the
radical leftist social constructivism utopias.