Over the past few years, Lviv Business School in Ukraine, has put in place several new programmes aimed at raising awareness, and supporting development of responsible and sustainable management education. One of these programmes, Reflexio, is an innovative, five-day interdisciplinary retreat that brings together faculty, entrepreneurs, religous leaders, artists, and a range of other individuals, to discuss and explore leadership, ethics, values, and trust.
I had the chance to speak with Halyna Onyshko from Lviv Business School about this innovative programme.
What is Reflexio and how did it come about?
Reflexio (Latin for “reversing”) is the unique ability of the human consciousness to perceive itself during the process of perception, so that the human consciousness becomes self-aware.
Reflexio takes place at the intersection of business, philosophy, and the humanities. The five day programme is set in the picturesque Carpathian landscape, in the tranquil Hoshiv Monastery, to encourage every participant to think about relevant issues of leadership, ethics, values, responsibility, and trust.
It is an invitation to discard what is urgent in order to reflect on what is important. We offer this programme in order to learn how to reflect and grow. Communicating with moral leaders, you will be able to crystallise the true priorities of effective leadership. Our aim is not to teach you but to help you to learn and realise your role as a leader not only within your enterprise – but also in the global context.
What happened during the programme?
The five-day programme had a series of new speakers and opportunities every day. Participants had a chance to meet Bishop Borys Gudzik president of the Ukrainian Catholic University, and practice silence and retreat with Father Vasyl Zakharus on one day. On another day, participants painted pictures together with one of the most famous contemporary artists in Ukraine, Mykhaylo Demtsiu. They studied Eastern religions and the logic of writing hanzi with the director of Shanghai based company RR Commodities, Sergiy Lesnyak. Participants also studied philosophical texts and symbols with vice rector of the UCU, Volodymyr Turchynovksyy, while later, human rights defender Myroslav Marynovych shared his experience and lessons from his life.
What has been the response to this new programme?
The best way to talk about the success of Reflexio is to share the reflections that participants gave to us at the end of the five days. One business participant wrote, “There is integrity in this programme: the atmosphere of a monastery, worship, and people with different and interesting experiences – are all valuable components of a new adventure. In business, there are issues that require strategic thinking and sacrifice in order to achieve aimed targets. The questions are what to sacrifice, and whether the target justifies the means. Here, I realised how important it is to understand your target, the target of your company, and to analyse whether or not the sacrifice is expedient.” Another participant said the programme helped her to rethink her life radically and realise the need for change: “LvBS managed to get together different people from different regions, and during the programme, we became very close. I felt inner peace and learned to listen.” Many participants said that they usually don’t have time to stop and reflect, and that this experience was very useful for that.
What are the next steps for the programme?
Next summer we are planning to continue our programme and make it completely different from first one – to try a new approach, while keep is the intersection of business, philosophy, and the humanities