The First in-person Seminar for Teenagers, “AspenTeens: Fight for UA dream,” after the full-scale invasion: inspiration, motivation, and new ideas

“You have given me back my faith in the future of the country,” – said one of the seminar participants for teenagers, “AspenTeens: Fight for UA dream,” during a group reflection.

For three days, with 24 participants, texts by leading Ukrainian and foreign intellectuals, hours of discussions, and dozens of new ideas — the Aspen Institute Kyiv and the Klitschko Foundation held the first in-person seminar for teenagers since the full-scale invasion. 

Participants aged 14 to 17 from different parts of Ukraine engaged in discussions of the ideas that define society, shared their thoughts on the future of Ukraine, and analyzed the challenges of today and ways to solve them. Participants gave special attention to the discussions on resilience — nurturing and strengthening in the face of war. 

During the seminar, the participants also had several types of group work: they formulated the main narratives about Ukraine for the world, offered ideas on how to find ways to increase the motivation of young people to study, and traced the main stages of Ukraine’s historical development. 

Denis Poltavets, Program Development Director at the Aspen Institute Kyiv, and Olga Maslova, a PhD in Biological Sciences, cell biologist, science popularizer, and co-founder of the Nobilitet Initiative, moderated the seminar. 

We thank the participants from all over Ukraine for their thoughts, meanings, and enthusiasm. We hope that the young people strengthen and inspire each other and take a step towards a deeper understanding of their role in building the future of Ukraine.

We are also grateful to our partners from the Klitschko Foundation for the collaboration on the project!