The Russian invasion of Ukraine is now entering its second week, and very sadly all aspects of this crisis – from the intensity of the fighting, to the suffering of the Ukrainian people, to the international condemnation of Russia’s actions and leadership – are intensifying, rather than decreasing. 

Our first reaction at IMD was to organize a Vigil for Peace. It was very moving to see all the groups comprising the IMD Community coming together to share their thoughts and express their feelings over the tragic events that are unfolding in Ukraine.

During the Vigil we proposed links to a number of humanitarian organizations that are providing on-the-ground support to the Ukrainian people. Building on an idea proposed during the Vigil, we have also set up among IMD Faculty & Staff a humanitarian collection of various articles that will be sent in the coming days to Ukrainians refugees in Poland.

We also need to take additional actions as an institution. We have decided with immediate effect and until further notice to suspend all Custom Programs with Russian companies. We do not do so gladly, because we believe that the work we do is actually part of the solution, by helping develop more progressive and skilled leaders able to work across differences. But we must be part of the effort the world is making to put pressure on Russia’s leadership to stop this madness and start working toward a resolution.

We are also in the process of creating a special scholarship fund for Ukrainian participants across our MBA, EMBA and Executive Education programs. IMD’s own contribution to this fund will be supplemented by Alumni donations.

We should all hope that the Russian leadership will make significant immediate efforts to move toward a rapid resolution. But as we often say in our classes, hope is not a strategy. Inside IMD and through our Alumni community, we are taking a number of actions that will hopefully make a positive contribution. Like Mother Theresa used to say, “we know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something”.