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Margaret Atwood and Historian Timothy Snyder to Headline Ukraine Benefit Conference

From March 17-19, 2023 the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy will host an international benefit conference to establish a Centre for Civic Engagement at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy in Ukraine. The conference will take place online.

‘What Good Is Philosophy? – A Benefit Conference for Ukraine’ will examine the role of academia during times of crisis. Over three days, a series of distinguished authors and leading thinkers will analyze the public impact of their academic research and discuss the relationship between the academy and civil society.

The keynotes will be delivered by celebrated author and political activist, Margaret Atwood; Timothy Snyder, preeminent historian and scholar of Ukrainian history; and two of Ukraine’s most recognized public intellectuals, Mychailo Wynnyckyj and Volodymyr Yermolenko.

Many of the world’s most influential philosophers will also give presentations. Those speaking will include Peter Adamson, Elizabeth Anderson, Seyla Benhabib, Judith Butler, Agnes Callard, Quassim Cassam, Tim Crane, Simon Critchley, David Enoch, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Sally Haslanger, Angie Hobbs, Barry Lam, Melissa Lane, Dominic Lopes, Kate Manne, Jeff McMahan, Jennifer Nagel, Philip Pettit, Kieran Setiya, Jason Stanley, Timothy Williamson, and Jonathan Wolff.

Philosopher and academic Aaron Wendland, Vision Fellow in Public Philosophy at King’s College (London) and Senior Research Fellow at Massey College, is the principal organizer of the conference.

This benefit event will provide individuals and organizations around the world with a way to directly support students, scholars, and civic institutions in Ukraine.

Reports from the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science suggest that seven thousand scholars have fled the country with thousands more have been displaced during the time since Russia invaded on February 24, 2022. To date, over 170 Ukrainian institutions of higher education have been damaged and more than 20 have been destroyed. The academics who remained in Ukraine now conduct their research, teaching, and public service in embattled conditions.

“Universities around the world began helping Ukrainian academics in exile through a mix of publicly and privately funded ‘scholars at risk’ initiatives, which have helped Ukrainian refugees very much. However, academic institutions in Ukraine still need major international assistance,” says Wendland. “The Centre for Civic Engagement will aim to address the needs of the Ukrainian academy by offering institutional, intellectual, and financial support for students, scholars, and publicly engaged academics in the country.”


Live stream: March 17-19, 2023 on the Munk School’s YouTube Channel or the conference website.

Social Media Hashtag: #philosophyforukraine

Handle: @munkschool
Contacts: Aaron Wendland,; Lani Krantz,, 647- 407-4384