Ukrainian superpower: the first international conference on Ukraine's national brand was held in Kyiv

Ukraine's soft power became the main focus of the event as it helped win the hearts and minds of millions of people worldwide amid Russia's full-scale invasion.
June 16, 2024, 12:52 a.m.

On June 6, the first BRAND UKRAINE  International Conference took place in Kyiv. This year, the event focused on Ukraine's soft power: amidst full-scale war, it transformed into a true superpower that impressed and inspired millions of people.

Experts in strategic communications, brand development, and global research shared insights on how the full-scale war has altered Ukraine's key narratives in communications in recent years, and how Ukraine's positive global image can contribute to post-war recovery in the future.

The speakers list for the conference included:

  • Simon Anholt, the author of the concept of the national brand of countries, founder of Good Country Index і Nation Brands Index;
  • Louis Brooke, Executive Director of Research and Strategy at Zinc Network;
  • Konrad Jagodzinski, Director of Place Branding at Brand Finance;
  • Viktoria Lialina-Boiko, Director of the Department of Communications and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine;
  • Alina Tornahi, Head of the Marketing and Communications Department of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine;
  • Olena Shapovalova, Director of the Ukrainian State Center for International Education;
  • Serhiy Derkach, Deputy Minister for Community Development, Territories, and Infrastructure of Ukraine.

Conference participants had the opportunity to attend two panel discussions on Ukraine's soft power and the power of its brands, as well as to choose from one of four workshops

Workshops from BRAND UKRAINE, UNITED24Media, Zinc Network, Detector Media, and other Ukrainian and international organisations covered various topics including creativity, working with international media, artificial intelligence, digital storytelling, and countering disinformation.

"Systematic work on Ukraine's perception is directly linked to global solidarity and support for our struggle. A strong and influential Ukrainian brand on the international stage is crucial for ensuring ongoing support. Building a country's brand is challenging but achievable, especially when approached systematically and grounded in data. Over time, a well-formed multifaceted Ukrainian brand will translate into investment flows, partnerships, tourism, and the attraction of global talent, all of which will drive our reconstruction," shared Maria Lypiatska, Head of BRAND UKRAINE.

The conference concluded with a presentation by Sergiy Klimov, founder of the Kyiv Food and Wine Festival and author of the book "The Untold Story of Ukrainian Winemaking." His talk on how Ukrainian wine could become an unexpected way to promote Ukraine on the international stage was complemented by a tasting of Ukrainian wines and modern Ukrainian cuisine.

This year's conference took place at PARKOVY.

The BRAND UKRAINE International Conference was not selling tickets this year. Instead, all participants had the opportunity to contribute to the fundraiser by the Come Back Alive Foundation and, the official pages of Ukraine on social media. The goal is to raise UAH 900,000 ($22,800) for 30 metal detectors for sappers on the front lines. The opportunity to contribute is still open via the link.