The conference “Lessons of the war and the future re-building of the country and society” happened in Kyiv on 9 June. This was the first in a series of visionary meetings on the theme of the future of the renewal of Ukraine after the war’s end, planned on the basis of a joint platform of the Ukrainian Catholic University and Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA).
The participants of the conference “Lessons of the war and the future re-building of the country and society”
Participating in the conference were representatives of both universities and also experts from a coalition of business communities supporting the modernization of Ukraine, the civic initiative Ukraine after Victory, the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption, and the NaUKMA Alumni Association.
“For UCU, the question is how will the re-building happen, or, rather, how the development of Ukraine after victory is already part of the order of the day. We understand that the first and most important prerequisite for this is the end of the war and our victory. However, this does not prevent us from thinking about the future,” states historian Oleh Turiy, UCU Vice-Rector. “One of the important signals that we want to demonstrate with this platform is that great things need to be done by a group. The universities UCU and NaUKMA have a wide network of international partners. This is an important aspect, because we Ukrainians cannot be alone. We need the world’s solidarity and support. We have understood this through the experience of countering Russia’s military aggression. At the same time, we have to be aware that reforms and changes which will happen in the country, and the place which Ukraine holds in the European and world context, demand from us wide partnerships both in the academic sphere and also in civic environments.”
Oleg Turiy and Olesya Ostrovskaya-Lyuta at the conference
Mykhailo Vynnytskyi, assistant professor at the NaUKMA Department of Sociology and professor at the UCU Business School, at a press conference dedicated to the presentation of the initiative emphasized that the platform was created above all for academic interaction and uses the social capital and international contacts of both universities: “In addition to academic discussions, which are important, we also discussed very concrete practical steps.”
Mykhailo Vynnytskyi, assistant professor at the NaUKMA Department of Sociology and professor at the UCU Business School
“The platform which UCU and NaUKMA have organized is very practical, because the civilized formulation of policies in various areas of government administration and their inclusive public discussion are just what should separate the future European Ukraine from its post-Soviet inheritance,” Oleksandr Starodubtsev, assistant head of the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption, added at the press conference.
Valeriy Pekar, co-founder of the civic platform New Country, professor at the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School and the UCU Business School, says: “There is now no fear of Ukrainian defeat – all believe in Ukrainian victory. But there is a fear that, after this victory, everything in Ukraine will be as it was before the war, a fear that we will waste this chance, paid for at such a very high price, the lives of the best people. Another factor is weariness. For us, it seems the 100 days of war have lasted more than one year. But for these days the problems are met with ‘medicine’ – a vision, a shared map of the future. This will help conquer the fear that all will be wasted, inasmuch as a precise strategy goes with the vision: what, by whom, and how this needs to be done. So, how to start this process is very important. And two universities respected in Ukraine and far beyond its borders have done this.”
Volodymyr Turchynovsky, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences of UCU
The next conference in this series of visionary meetings is planned at the start of July in Lviv, at the Ukrainian Catholic University.
UCU Vice-Rector Oleh Turiy states that this meeting will be devoted to themes close to the UCU ethos: “We will focus on values, the ethical parameters of Ukraine’s future development, and we’ll also discuss the context of security and the international environment. We will announce the themes of future meetings based on the results of the two conferences. It is now extremely important to create an open forum for the dialogue of academics, representatives of analytical centers, and the wider civil society.”