Ukrainian leaders gathered for dialogue to overcome divisive national discourses

On October 23, the seventh seminar of the “Reinventing Ukrainian Identity” Project took place. As a platform for leadership dialogue, the Aspen Institute Kyiv implements it to overcome divisive national discourses.

A discussion gathered Ukrainian leaders: high-level civil servants, politicians, business and local government leaders, and public intellectuals. One of the project objectives is to develop a culture of dialogue between those who determine the directions of development, form public opinion.

The participants of the seminar did not try to prove that their position was the only correct one. Despite the differences in opinions, they listened to each other and had a dialogue.

—During the seminar dialogue sessions, we do not try to come to one point of view. At the same time, Ukrainian leaders must learn to hear each other and have space to seek mutual understanding. As a platform for leadership dialogue, we strive to create this space. We believe that sincere ideas exchange is critically important in the context of overcoming divisive discourses, — said Yulia Tychkivska, Executive Director of Aspen Institute Kyiv.

At the seminar, participants built a dialogue based on the texts of modern thinkers. Among the issues they discussed:

  •  Are Ukrainians a nation of dreamers, or perhaps, what we can do now is more important to us?
  •  What role does education play in the formation of a political nation?
  •  Do Ukrainians, as a nation, need positive audacity? Could the communication of historical victories help to achieve more?
  •  What are the reasons for the lack of strategic planning at the state level?

Seminar moderators were Taras Shevchenko, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, and Anton Drobovych, Chairman of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory.

The project was initiated by the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine and is implemented with the financial support of the European Union.