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The ninth DSC session took place on June 21-22, 2019. This session was divided into two parts: discussion of the topics urban development, journalistic ethics and innovative break-throughs in today business. Three high-level experts who had come to also speak at the Pulse of Ukraine Forum, on 20-21 June 2019, stayed for a day longer at the Centre to share their expert assessments through more interactive, intimate and direct contact with the Scholars. The session’s second day was devoted to the final presentation of the group projects, and the conclusion of the DSC 2018-2019 year, on June 22, 2019.

The session’s first meeting was conducted by Marianne de Bie, Deputy Mayor of the city of Breda, The Netherlands. She held, with the scholars, an open-air discussion on the topic of how to create and advance a sustainable, popular and healthy “Living culture in the public space.” The debate referred to her rich practical experiences with the development of the city of Breda, the 9th largest city in Holland.

In the session’s second meeting “Pluralism in media,” the renowned former “Financial Times” correspondent and current Chatham House Fellow, Ouentin Peel from London, shared his life-long experience as a journalist, in a round-table with the scholars. Peel spoke about the ways journalistic standards can be kept, and the many challenges that journalists face today when, on the one side, defending pluralism of the media, yet, on the other side, confronting manipulation of information flows, propaganda campaigns and plain fake news.

In the DSC’s 2018-2019 last inspiring discussion “Start-ups: ‘Wirtschaftswunder 2.0’ (economic miracle)” Robert W. Czajkowski, Founder and CEO of the magga Beteiligungs GmbH, spoke about his experience as a finance expert and entrepreneur in Germany. In his large survey of difference business cultures, he drew some larger conclusions about various types of economic systems. In spite of Germany’s advanced business landscape with many small and medium enterprises, most of the disruptive inventions of the recent decades that fundamentally changed technology did not come from Germany. Czajkowski discussed with the Scholars why Germany has been economically successful in some ways, but in others not.

The last Sunday and meeting of the 9th DSC session and DSC year was devoted to the concluding presentations of the Scholars’ four year-long projects. The scholars presented:

  • a training project on a series of open digital education seminars for unemployed women over the age 45 to improve their chances on the job market or earn money by themselves, and the high resonance the scholars had with this offer in Ukrainian provincial cities,
  • a research project on the role of Orthodox churches in the escalation and reduction of societal conflicts in post-Soviet countries (Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Moldova), the complications in researching this project, and first publication successes on the sites of the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, or weekly “Dzerkalo tyzhnia” (Mirror of the Week), in Kyiv,
  • a children project on the development of a board game “Bizne$khody” that teaches school pupils some basic information about the creation, functioning and development of a private company, and the positive feedback the scholars received from children and educators about the game, and
  • a media project on the creation of the investigative journalism site “Mediator” that publishes in-depth explorations of important, yet currently under-discussed political and social topics ( and spreads the via social networks like Telegram and Facebook.

These presentations included websites, pictures, videos, TV clips and data. They documented the considerable amount of work and impressive results that the scholars achieved during the DSC year. The session concluded with a farewell of Barbara Monheim and Iryna Chernysh from this year’s DSC scholars group.

That is all news from the last and eighth working session of the DSC. We wish you all the best in your further career, and look forward to hear from your achievements and successes!

Materials for the session: