Discussion Club “Open World”

Discussion Club “Open World” is an educational project for socially active young people. Its goal is to raise a new generation of responsible leaders.

Monthly the Foundation holds lectures with renowned experts, politicians and public figures, during which they discuss ways of effective solutions to social problems in Ukraine and the world.

«Ukraine has both internal and external conflict. It involved Russian military forces and Ukrainian people. This situation is similar to the situation in Syria. Because there are internal forces in Syria that are fighting with each other (Assad and different insurgents groups). But also we have Iran, Russia, «Hezbollah» and perhaps we have Turks» - the well-known diplomat, Chief of Staff to Prime Minister of Great Britain Tony Blair (1995-2007), author of «The New Machiavelli», «Talking to Terrorists, how to End Armed Conflict» Jonathan Powell said during the Discussion club «Open World».

The «Open Ukraine» Foundation within the Discussion Club «Open World» organized the meeting with the well-known Ukrainian political expert, director of Berta Communications Company Taras Berezovets, within a framework of which the book «Annexation: The Island of Crimea. Chronicles of «hybrid war» was presented.

«Annexation: The Island of Crimea. Chronicles of «hybrid war» is the prehistory of the information war of Russia against Ukraine. During the meeting Taras Berezovets told about the facts, emotions, senses and memory of people for whom it is important to know and feel that they have a Heaven and Earth, their native Motherland.

In April 2016 the meeting of the Discussion Club «Open World» with public activist nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 Tore Naerland, who is also a president of the organization «Bike for Peace» was held. During the event the lecture told about the development of the initiative «Bike for Peace» and how civic initiative managed to become one of the nominees for Nobel Prize for Peace. Mr. Tore Naerlanad shared his experience on meeting world leaders during realization of his initiative and share his thoughts on how to make world peaceful and secure. 

To have a state means daily investments in that what is called the state. In Ukraine it means to build and create stable and effective government institutions. It was said by Head of the European Union Delegation to Ukraine Jan Tombinski within  the Discussion Club «Open World» organized by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation.

Despite the social peripeteia, every person stays the individual, who always has the right to choose and the right to its own opinion. It was noted by a famous psychologist, an author of popular articles, scientific publications, lectures, expert of TV talk shows Tina Beradze during a meeting on the theme "The Power of Love: to find, to feel, to save" organized by Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation on February 5, 2015 in Kyiv.

The main task which Ukraine is facing today is a ceasefire in the Eastern part of the country and the beginning of social and economic transformation. The hope that bloodshed may be stopped and the reforms may be started was given in the meeting of the Normand format in Minsk, February 12. This idea was said by Oleksandr CHALYI, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine within the scope of the Discussion club Open world organized by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation in Kyiv, February 17.

First of all, it is necessary to achieve a ceasefire in the Eastern Ukraine, and then with joint efforts of the EU countries, Ukrainian government and civil society it is necessary to strengthen the economy and get social stability in Ukraine. This idea was said by Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag (Germany) Franz Tenness within the scope of the Discussion Club Open World, organized by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation  in a partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

Meeting of the Discussion Club Open World, organized by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation was held on 21 April at the National University «Lviv Polytechnic». The guest of the meeting was the expert on IT issues Ihor Malchenyuk. During the meeting he spoke about the innovative project for cities «Smart City» and focused on the development plan of the Lviv through innovative technologies.

During the meeting of the Discussion Club «Open World» organized by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation September 10 2015 the Ambassador of Lithuania to Ukraine Marius YANUKONIS spoke on Lithuanian support of Ukraine, business circles interested in Ukraine and how young people and experts would help Ukraine overcome difficulties.

Minsk agreements can be implemented only on condition that EU puts the pressure on Russia using sanctions as it is impossible to achieve progress only through diplomacy. Economic sanctions are necessary to strengthen the EU's position in negotiations. Such opinion was expressed by German politician, Member of the European Parliament Rebecca Harms during the Discussion Club «Open World», organized by The Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation.

The Minister Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, the Director of the Analytical Center of globalization and regional cooperation Stepan Grigoryan within  the Discussion Club «Open World» told about the interstate cooperation between Ukraine and Armenia, shared his thoughts about the Armenia being a part of the Eurasian Union and expressed the hope that Ukraine will soon show impressive indicators, which will stimulate other countries in the post-Soviet space for development.

Member of the European Parliament, Minister of Administration and Digitization of Poland (2011 – 2013), Minister of Labour and Social Policy of Poland (1991) Michal Boni within the Discussion Club «Open World» told about The European Neighbourhood Policy, which is aimed at creation of stability zone, peace and prosperity to the south and east of the new borders of the enlarged European Union by establishing close long-term relations with neighboring countries. He paid attention to new approaches that EU should elaborate for closer cooperation with Ukraine and express his own views on further steps of Ukraine to speed up integration into European space.

«In order the changes in Ukraine finally took place today there is no necessity to reinvent something. You just have to change the mindset of the actors. Europe has a great hope that this finally will happen» - it was said by the Authorized Representative on Ukraine of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of German Johannes Rehenbreht during the Discussion Club «Open World».

On 15 July during the meeting with a Canadian professor Igho NATUFE, who is an expert in international relations as well as foreign policy of Russia and the USSR issues of Russian foreign policy and its influence on the other countries of CIS were raised.

On 3 September 2014 representatives of such volunteers organizations  as «Volunteering Hundred of Maidan», «Volunteering Hundred «Ukraine - World», The «Vostok - SOS» Initiative told how they joined the volunteering movement, about activities of their organizations, about the best and the worst moments in the work of a volunteer, and also they answered numerous questions from the audience.

On 8-12 September 2014 the series of meetings with  German politician, Bundestag member in 1976–1998, President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in 1994–1996 Karsten VOIGT was organized in Dnipropetrovs’k, Kharkiv and Odessa. The theme of the meeting was «Russia, Ukraine and the pan-European security: a view from Germany».

On 6 October 2014 well-known Ukrainian diplomat, minister of foreign affairs of Ukraine (February – June 2014) Andrii Deshchytsia became the guest of Discussion Club. He expressed the hope that Ukraine will be able to establish good neighbor and partnership relations with Russia but stressed that «it will be possible only when Russia understands that it should communicate with Ukraine as an equal partner, not as the younger one».

On 5 November 2014 a Director of Civil Society Program at the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research Maksym LATSYBA and Founding director of School of Political Analysis of National University «Kyiv-Mohyla Academy» Oleksiy HARAN told about reforms that are the most relevant and urgent in Ukraine and the role of civil society and young people in developing an action plan for reforming Ukraine.

On 18 December 2014 during the Discussion Club Senior Analyst on Defense in the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies Stephan De SPIHELIR defined the term «propaganda» and offered ideas on how to help the Russians to withdraw from the surreal reality.

In 2013 the Open Ukraine Foundation held eight lectures hosting renowned experts, political, and civil leaders where efficient solutions to social problems in Ukraine and the world were discussed.

On February 27, the meeting with Berenice Rendon TALAVERA took place, featuring the theme “Mexico: Uniqueness of the Country and Features of its Foreign Policy”.

Berenice Rendon TALAVERA, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mexico to Ukraine «…Mexico is a bridge between civilizations – between North and Latin America. The most influential newspapers in the world identify Mexico as having a strong economy in the future. The media have written that “the age of Mexico has arrived”. Indeed, today Mexico is at the beginning of a new cycle of new development within which the country will become a more and more powerful country in the world».

On March 18, the Discussion Club hosted Kristina WILFORE to speak on the theme «The Role of Women in International Relations».

Kristina WILFORE, Regional Director of the National Democratic Institute (the U.S.A.) in Ukraine «…It is necessary to overcome the gender gap and encourage women’s broader representation in politics and business. The Verkhovna Rada in Ukraine is a platform where this policy can be promoted. However, here women need even more support. They will need support of civil society, and for this end it is necessary to create women’s organizations. Women need solidarity».

On June 4, the meeting with representatives of the International Municipal Lawyers Associations, Chuck THOMPSON and Ben GRIFFITH, to speak on «Fighting the Corruption in the U.S.A.».

Chuck THOMPSON, Director of the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) «…Today there is no country in the world totally free of corruption. It must be admitted that among us there are many people who are affected by its negative influence. Therefore, while developing the mechanisms of operation of local authorities, we must minimize opportunities for corruption. Openness of meetings, access to information, transparency of public procurement – these are techniques that help reduce corruption».

Ben GRIFFITH, Head of the International Committee of the Association (IMLA) «…Openness of meetings of local authorities is a key condition for the fight against corruption. You, as a member of the public, have the right to monitor meetings of local councils».

On June 5, the Discussion Club with Steven PIFER on the theme «The Foreign Policy of Ukraine: the Forecast for the Near Future».

Steven PIFER, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Ukraine (1998-2000) «…The President of Ukraine has to make a choice between the European and the Customs Unions. This is not an easy choice, but it has to be done. This choice is not only about the economic performance indicators that will be subject to different changes in case of accession to the European Union or the Customs Union. This is also about some change in values. It’s not only about the foreign policy, but Ukraine’s domestic policy too».

On June 18, the Discussion Club with Daniel WARNER on the theme «The Changing Nature of International Relations. Where is the World Going to?».

Daniel WARNER, Deputy Director for International Relations at the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces «…Globalization is OK, however, the threat of losing one’s national identity is increasing. We often think of the state, forgetting about the nation».

On September 26 the meeting with Christoph WEIL on the theme «Ukrainian–German Relations in the Context of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU».

Christoph WEIL, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Ukraine «…The priority assignment of Ukrainian government is the road of reform. Ukraine must transform, reform the judicial system and economy. We want to see how civil society and democracy are built in Ukraine».

On October 10, the Discussion Club with Herta DÄUBLER-GMELIN on the theme «Problems of the “Human Dimension” in Global Security».

Herta DÄUBLER-GMELIN, former German Minister of Justice «…Politicians must be aware that on the international level there is a legal control of their activities. This is good for their discipline as well as for every citizen».

On October 17, the meeting with Martin DAY and Oleksandr BOHOMOLOV on the theme «Players of the Syrian Conflict: Who is who?».

Martin DAY, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Kyiv «…We see that six millions Syrians were made homeless, many people were killed. It proves that authoritarian regimes must listen to the needs of their citizens».

Oleksandr BOHOMOLOV, President of Association of Middle East Studies «…Large number of Syrians are dying, children do not get education. The sick do not get treatment. And millions of Syrians seek refuge in other countries. The Syrian conflict demonstrates the failure of the UN system».