Episode 5

Published on:

3rd Apr 2024

Valerii Pekar: Ukraine's stunning resilience

Two years ago, Ukraine stunned the world with its response to Russia's full-scale invasion. Where did its resilience come from?

Leading Ukrainian civic activist Valerii Pekar has an answer. It's a story of a nation—and a man—undergoing two major transformations after the fall of the Soviet Union. First, a shift into freedom, then an awakening of dignity and civic activism.

Why this matters to you and me: If Russia were to defeat Ukraine, its next likely targets are NATO countries the United States is bound by treaty to defend.

Here's the back story—cultural, political, economic, and personal—behind Ukraine's extraordinary response to Russian aggression.

**Key takeaways**

  • 7:00 The many facets of freedom after the fall of the Soviet Union
  • 10:35 Ukrainians vote for independence
  • 12:30 Valerii shifts from traditional to modern worldview
  • 15:00 Moscow tries to steal an election. Ukrainians take to the streets
  • 19:00 Valerii's speech on the Maidan about Ukraine's three revolutions
  • 20:00 The progressive postmodern worldview emerges
  • 23:00 Ukrainians explore a big question: what mistakes did we make ten years ago
  • 25:30 Valerii is elected to the National Reform Council
  • 29:30 A meeting with the President, who issues an invitation
  • 31:00 Russia invades, and Ukraine's new horizontal networks activate
  • 34:30 My reflections


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About the Podcast

How My View Grew
Origin stories of big ideas about humanity's challenges
If you’re weary of political polarization, nothing is more refreshing than nuanced thinking: ideas that reveal the complexity of what’s wrong in the world and how to make it better. But where does such thinking come from? Often, it’s from someone changing their mind—letting go of an old perspective and growing into a new one. Join executive coach Amiel Handelsman as he interviews nuanced thinkers about the origin stories of their big ideas. Each story offers a window into one of humanity’s greatest challenges like climate change, democracy, the culture wars, the wealth gap, Ukraine, and Israel. In weeks between interviews, Amiel offers tips for training your mind to navigate complex topics and difficult conversations.

About your host

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Amiel Handelsman

Amiel Handelsman is an executive coach, writer, and seasoned interviewer. As a coach, he has 25 years of experience helping leaders and teams navigate complexity. His clients have included C-level business executives, college presidents, middle managers, and teams at every level. He specializes in helping people reframe complex situations and build new conversation habits.

Amiel’s books include Reimagining American Identity, Practice Greatness, and How to Be an Anti-race Antiracist. He writes frequently for Medium about democracy, culture, and the Middle East and has been featured in Fast Company. Recently, Governing.com profiled his experience as a climate migrant.

As an interviewer, Amiel got his start at age eleven asking computer experts about software piracy. Fifteen years later, he got his feet wet conducting biographical interviews for a self-designed family oral history. As an adult, Amiel gained practice by interviewing hundreds of executives and hosting a leadership podcast for five years. He is known for deep-dive interviews that make people think.

One podcast guest, best-selling author Peter Block, commented on Amiel’s extensive preparation by saying, “You frighten me.”

Amiel created How My View Grew to bring together two interests: a commitment to exploring humanity’s challenges with nuance and a curiosity about how people change their minds. In each interview, a big thinker shares the origin story of an idea about climate, democracy, politics, the Middle East, and other complex issues. In between interviews, Amiel offers tips for expanding your perspective and navigating difficult conversations.

Amiel lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife and two sons. Go Blue!

“How My View Grew dives deep into humanity’s challenges by looking at big thinkers who have changed their minds.”