• Client: Canada Ukraine Chamber of Commerce and Knowledge Café
  • Year: 2023

How to reimagine Canada & Ukraine’s next generation business ecosystem in wartime and the future?

Design for victory.

Fuse human centric philosophy, with multiple strategic design processes coupled with diverse tools to unlock creative flow of Ukrainians and Canadians to integrate a united vision, and deliver an innovative, vibrant and authentic next generation business ecosystem built for victory.


On February 24, 2022, Russia further invaded sovereign Ukraine.  On November 20, 2023, 24 people from Canada and Ukraine reimagined the next generation Canada-Ukraine business ecosystem in Toronto, Canada.  Held the day before the Canada Ukraine Chamber of Commerce (CUCC) “Rebuild Ukraine 2.0 Conference” in collaboration with Knowledge Café,  Canadian and Ukrainian companies, non-government organizations, financial institutions, community, education and religious organizations participated.

DECIDIUM used collaborative software ConceptBoard and fused 4 problem solving approaches  (Human centric design, Co-design, LEGO Serious Play and Strategic Doing) into a first of its kind, fast-paced and fun 7 hour experience.  The result was 550+ insights, 300+ photos, and 90 LEGO models including 5 complex ecosystem designs, merged into a single strategic platform leveraging the modernized Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) 2023 and proposing 20 action items as outputs.

The next generation ecosystem is built on a set of common values including transparency, respect for ancestry, trust, sustainability with a growth mindset that is agile and socially profitable.  CUFTA Chapters 16 (Trade related cooperation) and 24 (SMEs) combine to create a Canada-Ukraine Innovation Platform.  Multi-year funded and outcome driven, the goal is to increase well-being of people in Ukraine and Canada through human-centric design, sustainability and technology.  The platform contains an Innovation Lab, a multidisciplinary talent pool across Ukraine and Canada and a bilateral partner network ready and able to test prototypes and scale.

The challenge was how to create a future model during active war.  Ukraine continues to produce goods and services despite difficult business challenges in mobility, production, distribution, investment, etc.  Designing for victory during war and post-war is complex, time and asset dependent.  The LSP session had people building LEGO models that identified their personal and professional assets, combined them with colleagues to quickly understand how existing assets can be leveraged now during war to shape the next generation ecosystem.

Action 12 proposed the “design and launch of “Ukraine by Descent” program for people and companies anywhere in the diaspora”.  On January 22, 2024, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy registered a draft law in the Verkhovna Rada called “On Certain Aspects in the Field of Migration, Regarding the Conditions and Procedure for Acquiring and Losing Citizenship of Ukraine” on multiple citizenship – effectively putting Action 12 into practice.


“The Bricks never lie. Thank you for facilitating such an extraordinary, never-been-done before opportunity to imagine the future Canada Ukraine Business ecosystem with such a high-powered group of Canadians and Ukrainians! The systems Design Engineer in me and LEGO enthusiast was LOVING the process!”

Katherine Velligna, Chief Executive Officer, ZIRKOVA Vodka, Oakville, Canada
Main – Ukrainian Fin Tech Organizations – Ruslan

“Вже майже два роки минуло від початку повномасштабного вторгнення росії в Україну. Перед кожним з нас стоїть питання як ми жили “до початку вторгнення” і як будемо жити та будувати Україну в майбутньому? Хто справжні партнери та друзі України у цей важкий час? Багато відповідей на ці запитання я знайшов для себе під час участі в LEGO session. Лише протягом одного дня на сесії стратегічного планування LEGO в малих групах, в дискусіях та натхненному спілкуванні про можливості Канадсько-Українського розвитку вдалося отримати надзвичайно важливий вказівник, що містить напрямки та ідеї розвитку Канадсько-Української бізнесової екосистеми на багато років вперед. Особиста вдячність Chrystia Chudczak за підготовку та проведення цієї події, а також підготовку презентації Reimagine Canada-Ukraine Business Ecosystem!”

Ruslan Kostetsky, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board Ukrainian Association of FinTech and Innovation Companies, Kyiv, Ukraine
Logo – Maple Hope Foundation

We live in a historic and dangerous era. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shown that peace cannot be taken for granted. Disruptive civic engagement is needed to strengthen collective institutions and preserve social fabric. Our LEGO SERIOUS PLay session gave us tools to do just that – disrupt, reimagine, and re-create. This session was the first of its kind in the Ukrainian diaspora and it was timely and necessary as Ukraine fights Russian aggression and defends democracy globally.”

Sofiya Kominko, Board Member (Communications), Maple Hope Foundation, Vancouver and Ottawa, Canada

“Building trust and understanding brick by brick between Canadians and Ukrainians is a key element to speed up recovery processes and investment inflow to Ukraine.”

Oleksandr Bondarenko, Managing Partner, Bureau of Investment Programs and Industrial Park NOVO, Kyiv and Volyn, Ukraine
Cropped Green and Clean logo

“Lego Serious Play encouraged creativity and innovation, serving as an amazing tool for imaginative thinking about the future of Ukraine. It really encouraged diverse perspectives and helped ensuring that all voices were heard. The process led to a comprehensive and inclusive approach to designing the future of Ukraine after the war.”

Victoria Umin, Director & Co-Founder, Green & Clean Global and Vice-President Canada Ukraine Chamber of Commerce (CUCC), Winnipeg, Canada
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