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Great Ukrainian-Canadian economist and philanthropist Bohdan Hawrylyshyn dies at 90

Bohdan Hawrylyshyn. Photo:
Great Ukrainian-Canadian economist and philanthropist Bohdan Hawrylyshyn dies at 90

Bohdan Hawrylyshyn, prominent Ukrainian-Canadian economist, professor, philanthropist and social activist, passed away quietly in his Kyiv apartment on October 24, 2016.


Bohdan Dmytrovych Hawrylyshyn was born in the village of Koropets, Ternopil Oblast on October 19, 1926. He received a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toronto, an MBA from the International Management Institute of Geneva, and a PhD in Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Geneva. For 18 years, he chaired the International Management Institute in Geneva. Doctor Hawrylyshyn was member of the Club of Rome, the World Academy of Art and Science, the International Academy of Management, and was awarded an Honourary Doctorate by seven universities in Canada and Ukraine.

Dr. Hawrylyshyn founded the International Centre for Policy Studies, the International Management Institute in India, and later in Ukraine. He co-founded the European Management Forum in Davos (now known as the World Economic Forum). He also acted as consultant to General Electric, IBM, Unilever, Phillips, and advisor to several countries.

Dr. Hawrylyshyn was adviser to the first President of Ukraine, four heads of the Verkhovna Rada and three prime ministers of Ukraine, as well as Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Presidium of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. He initiated several youth organizations in Ukraine, and was an active member of the Lisovi Chorty (Forest Devils), Ukrainian Scout Organization Plast.

In Ukraine, Dr. Hawrylyshyn will best be remembered for his determined and unwavering support of Ukraine’s independence and his vocal but constructive criticism of the Ukrainian government. Below are some of his most pointed comments:

  1. “People that are always competing against each other feel they don’t need to work together or support one another. In Ukraine, the Maidan was able to overcome this negative aspect of human behaviour. Ukrainians showed that they cared for each other. No one told them how to organize medical services, soup kitchens or lessons on the Maidan. No one told them how to help internally displaced persons from Donetsk and Luhansk, or how to support the army. Our new values are based on responsibility, as well as on self-organization and mutual assistance, while many societies in other countries are not yet ready for this. Ukraine may start transforming Europe, and even Europeans have gradually started to realize this.”
  2. “Ukraine does not need a national ideal, but national action!”
  3. “The main problem with reforms in Ukraine is that there is NO REAL IMAGE OF THE FUTURE… Our image of the future should start with the individual, and not with numbers and figures.”
  4. “There are very few effective governments in the world that can meet my four criteria: political freedom, a decent income without notable distinction between the rich and poor, social justice and respect for nature. Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Norway and Sweden are closest to this ideal image.”
  5. “Today, Ukrainians have enough optimism and faith in their own strength to achieve an economic miracle. But, corruption must be eradicated! This is the most important condition for Ukraine’s future.”

Dr. Bohdan Hawrylyshyn will be remembered as a staunch but wise patriot by Ukrainians and friends all over the world.

Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Foundation Conference, June 4, 2016, Kyiv
Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Foundation Conference, June 4, 2016, Kyiv
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