Holding public events as a tool for achieving goals

Holding public events as a tool for achieving goals

The “Free Nation” public movement aims to unite local and national NGOs and opinion leaders in order to create a single platform and one of the most effective methods for achieving this goal is to hold public events.

With this in mind, in 2021, “Free Nation” started a tradition of travelling to different parts of the country to help ordinary Ukrainians. The first roundtable which took place in Nizhyn city, Chernihiv Oblast, on October 29, 2021 was focused on uniting civil society organizations into a single, determined force. And by the end of the year, the “Free Nation” had already spread its message across large parts of Ukraine including Lviv, Kharkiv, Vinnytsia, Dnipro, and Cherkasy. The following year, before the full-scale Russian invasion began, civil society ideas were discussed in Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, and in the subsequently occupied Kherson region. 

Our largest event to date was the “Free-2021” networking conference, which brought together representatives of 30 Ukrainian NGOs, as well as opinion leaders, politicians, and experts. Guests from the EU and other countries took part in the discussion including: Italy, Austria, Palestine, Libya, Somalia, among others. The conference participants expressed their belief that fostering of rapid development and state-building may not come only from political will and implementation, but also through initiatives by a consolidated public whose priority is individual freedom and rejection of state paternalism. The event was also attended by former Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin, who spoke on security, and Alfred F. Praus, President of the Ukrainian-Austrian Association, spoking on economics.

The war has made adjustments to the frequency of our events, but on November 10, the first club meeting of the Ukrainian business platform “Free” took place, where the economic freedom and security of Ukraine were discussed. In December, three events were held, two of which were devoted to the economy and one to the results of the movement’s past year of operations. The main speaker at these events was Yaroslav Romanchuk, President of the Freedom Institute, member of the global network of think tanks and co-organizer of the future “Free” Business Club. The meetings were attended by prominent international experts Gabor George Burt, Alfred F. Praus and Richard Wright, who offered their visions of Ukraine’s development. During the discussion, the experts expressed their views on the country’s development prospects. They emphasized the importance of certain areas in the development of the economy and society as a whole.

There are ongoing plans for events in 2023 because only through association, and the creation of a large public movement, will Ukrainians have the ability to influence the government and to really understand the public mood and desire for the future direction of Ukraine.

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