The Digital Conversationalist

Why is Putin doing this

#94 Weekend reads – it’s ok to protect yourself from the news right now

Since I started my Weekend Reads more than 94 weeks ago, no question this time is the most challenging. We are all facing so many unknowns, with a potential reordering of the world as we know it, so if you are really struggling, it’s OK to step back from the news if it’s crushing your spirit.

As someone who isn’t stepping away, this is how I cope and I want to offer it to you, in case it’s of value. I never sit in fear of the worst possible scenario, because there are many potential outcomes. I believe if you can try and focus your energy and attention on the great possibilities, it’s a lot easier to cope.

There’s an old saying: where the attention goes, the energy flows, and focusing on the most fearful outcome won’t change anything, it just makes life harder. Many believe our thoughts create our reality, and this isn’t just for individuals, but could also make a difference globally. You may think that’s rubbish, but I’ll tell you something, it’s a lot better to be in this mindset.

As I’ve been watching my community across social media, the feeling of uselessness is strong. I mean what can we do? I suggest taking hope from the amazing unity we’re seeing across the world, and perhaps this is the time we regain trust in our governments? We haven’t seen this level of unity in a long time. For me, it’s a good part of the story during a dark time, and it’s on our leaders to navigate the best outcome for this time. 

One shining light is President Zelensky, as well as his wife, Olena Zelenska. The president is showing great courage and is an example to the world of what true leadership looks like. From my perspective, Zelensky is a man who has seized his moment and I don’t believe Putin expected that. I hope his influence and example ripples out around the world and encourages other great people to step up and seize their moments too, because we have many challenges to overcome.

Look out for A Prayer for Volodymyr Zelensky in The Atlantic.

No question, none of us know what’s coming and it’s an incredibly unstable time. One thing we do know is that the world is now different and it could take years or even decades before we know what that will look like and how it will impact us.

Of course, the nuclear side of this war is very challenging to take on board. From all I’ve read over the years, if this war goes nuclear, it’s the end of life on this planet. Yes, end. We can’t afford nuclear war. Just read the IPCC Report below.

I suppose we must ask ourselves: is Putin capable of doing that? And that’s what we don’t know, because Putin is coming across as unrelenting, but that’s also the game of war. He also appears not to have given himself an exit, so what is he willing to do? What’s his plan? What about his advisors? And the Oligarch’s suffering the impact? Not to mention the Russian people.

We just don’t know. All I can do is believe in the goodness of the human spirit, which is why I really resonate with the idea: where there’s life there’s hope. We have so much uncertainty ahead, so protect your mind and heart if it’s just too much, but remember, where there’s life there’s hope. Our global society can rise to this moment and create a better world. We can, but for now, it’s hard. Take care of yourselves.

Friend’s content and mine

Caring Over Conflict: Why the IB Learner Profile is needed now more than ever – great piece from a school leader, Jason McBride. I am so happy my two boys are benefitting from this very special education.

40 Over 40 – The World’s Most Inspiring Women – congratulation to Susanna Hasenoehrl for making in onto the list of the world’s most inspiring women. I am so proud of you. 

A social leader is in tune with the world’s moments – a blog I wrote this week about participating in alignment with your audience on social media, because if you don’t, you may struggle to keep the respect of your audience.

Self-worth – what is it, how do we lose it and how can we get it back (part 1) – and my first podcast with Cathy Johnson on self-worth. If this is something you struggle with, please do have a listen. We would love to know your feedback too.  

Donation time

If everyone gave #just10percent of their time, talent, money or voice, we’ll change the world. Can you donate? Make it a regular donation to the World Food Programme. Or donate to the UN Refugee Program, PowerOf , , Soi Dog Foundation.  It’s a time for giving and taking care of each other.

If you want to support Ukraine

Red Cross Ukraine

Medicine Sans Frontier

Defend Ukraine – tks Kate Steele

As well as World Food Programme and UN Refugee Program

Content to read

And here’s the content I’ve been reading this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.

Global politics – focus on Ukraine

Main news and opinions

Browder on Putin: When You Believe Your Time Is Almost Up, You Start a War | Amanpour and Company – tks Vicky Coburn

Live Reporting BBC

Former president of Ukraine sends defiant message to Putin

Ukraine crisis: What message was Biden sending to Putin?

European peace seems as fragile as ever

Abstention by Emirates for Ukraine passes through Washington

War in Ukraine: Zelensky slams Nato over rejection of no-fly zone

Ukraine: Why has Russia’s 64km convoy near Kyiv stopped moving?

Russia Has Suffered a Crushing Moral Defeat. And Russians Know It.

Sky News team’s harrowing account of their violent ambush in Ukraine this week tks Andrew Psarianos

War in Ukraine: The Russians leaving Russia for Finland

Ukraine: How might the war end? Five scenarios

Ukraine conflict: Who’s in Putin’s inner circle and running the war?

Fox News Correspondent Gives Network Blunt Reality Check About Ukraine On Live TV

Hollywood star Sean Penn joins Ukraine exodus to Poland on foot

ASEAN needs to uphold principles, not neutrality, in Ukraine war tks Karsten Warnecke

Ukraine: Putin’s miscalculations could see him strike harder

Ukrainian activist berates Boris Johnson over Russia response

World turns its back on Russia: Astonishing moment diplomats WALK OUT as Kremlin minister tells disarmament conference Russia was forced to invade Ukraine to ‘stop them getting nuclear weapons’ tks Teressa Bayes

‘The damage is done’: Russians face economic point of no return

Why is Ukraine the West’s Fault? Featuring John Mearsheimer – tks Avi Liran

Ukraine conflict: Dread in Kyiv as huge Russian convoy advances

Russian talk show host claims Ukrainian nationalists are ‘annihilating locals’ in a ‘witch hunt’ after Putin’s ‘propagandist-in-chief’ threatened the West with nuclear destruction in another TV rant tks Teressa Bayes

Ukraine conflict: Further false images shared online

Ashton Kutcher Stands With Ukraine, Homeland Of Wife Mila Kunis

Father Carlson – Tucker Carlson is on Russia’s side.

Jon Stewart Praises ‘Grace’ Of Comedian-Turned-President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

How Should President Biden Respond to Putin’s War?

Turn down heating by 1C to reduce need for Russian imports, Europeans told

Turkey warns countries not to pass warships through straitsA Prayer for Volodymyr Zelensky

Putin Forced To Fight On Multiple Fronts

Russia vetoes U.N. Security action on Ukraine as China abstains tks Karsten Warneche

Liz Truss says ‘nowhere left to hide’ for Putin allies – as it happened

Watch Rachel Maddow Highlights: Feb. 24 – tks Vicky Coburn


‘Stop firing’: A look inside the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant as Russian forces attacked.

Several killed and injured in nuclear plant attack – Ukraine 203,798 203,798

Ukraine conflict: What are the nuclear risks?

Putin signals escalation as he puts Russia’s nuclear force on high alert


Ukraine conflict: Mum in Poland takes in fleeing families

The anxious wait for relatives at Ukraine’s border

Ireland Waiving Visa Requirements For Ukrainians


How Russian Sanctions Work – The Atlantic

Ukraine war is economic catastrophe, warns World Bank

Russian Oligarchs’ Yachts Head for Maldives as Sanctions Levied

Russian economic collapse will be hard to avoid

Sanctions affecting Russian tourists in Phuket

Russia faces major disruptions to oil, commodities flows without SWIFT

War crimes

Ukraine: ICC to investigate suspected war crimes — as it happened

Russia has launched a genocide in Ukraine

Putin’s Historic Miscalculation May Make Him A War Criminal tks Miguel Bernas

Cyberwarfare, business and technology

Russian Billionaire Behind Revolut Fintech App Publishes Anti-War Letter

Keyboard army using restaurant reviews to take on Russian state media

Russian airlines face outcast status as jetmakers freeze parts

Teen Who Tracked Elon Musk’s Jet on Twitter Is Now Chasing Russian Oligarchs  

Silicon Valley Must Pull the Plug on the Kremlin tks Andrew Psarianos

In Ukraine, We as Creatives Now Have One Assignment: Defend Our Land and Stop the War

Google Disables Maps In Ukraine After It Revealed Troop Movements

Shell Follows BP by Withdrawing From Russia as Ukraine Invasion Intensifies

Accenture Discontinues Business in Russia Following Invasion of Ukraine

Russia halts rocket engine sales to the US, suggests flying to space on their ‘broomsticks’

Musk says SpaceX Starlink satellite internet service activated in Ukraine amid Russian invasion

Roman Abramovich gives Chelsea ‘stewardship’ to trustees of charitable arm

My thoughts on war in Ukraine tks Muriel Muriel

Elon Musk answers Ukrainian vice prime minister’s plea to switch on his Starlink satellite network so locals can access internet even if Russia destroys local telecoms system

‘If Kyiv Falls, We Keep Hacking Putin’: On The Cyber Front Line In Ukraine

Vacation rentals in Kharkiv

Deeper reading

A Prayer for Volodymyr Zelensky – The Atlantic

Putin’s Attack on Ukraine Is a Religious War

Pattern Recognition. What’s behind the War in Ukraine. tks Damian Corbet

Ukraine: Lessons not being learned

RUSSIA UKRAINE: What You Really Need To Know | John Mearsheimer // Putin, Crisis, NATO – tks Avi Liran

Can Putin Recover From This?

We Have Never Been Here Before tks Karsten Warnecke

I’m a Cold War Historian. We’re in a Frightening New Era.

History doesn’t start when Sky News arrives – tks Marco Leonceli

Ukraine –  The world invokes peace. The Pattern? 2001 Afghanistan

Is A New Heartland Emerging?

A former head of the Foreign Office on what Putin wants

Ozzy Man Reviews: War in Ukraine – tks Steve Johnson

Other politics

The rightwing US supreme court has climate protection in its sights

The Bad Guys Are Winning tks Wendy Tan

Climate crisis

IPCC Report

The IPCC’s sixth assessment on how climate change impacts the world

IPCC issues ‘bleakest warning yet’ on impacts of climate breakdown

Impact of climate crisis much worse than predicted, says Alok Sharma

Climate change: Five things we’ve learned from the IPCC report

IPCC Report Calls Out ‘Vested Interests’ Delaying Climate Action

Facebook causing ‘catastrophic damage’ to climate by failing to deal with misinformation, research finds

Business Schools Must Do More to Address the Climate Crisis

Why the conversation about climate change and migration needs to change

The geopolitics of climate and security in the Indo-Pacific

Animals on the brink: why extinctions matter

Halfords to start selling second-hand bikes

Rain Bomb’ Hits Northeastern Australia, Killing at Least 9

‘Rain bomb’ hits Australia’s northeast, killing seven in floods

Australia evacuates tens of thousands as heavy rains threaten Sydney

Cities submerged, at least 10 dead in Australian floods

Thousands evacuate worst Australian floods in decades

Wild weather warning tks Willie Wahlin

Innocent drinks ads banned over environmental claim

NSW flood: farmer watches as half of 300-cow herd swept away in eastern Australia floods – video

Countries agree ‘historic’ move to draw up legal treaty to end plastic pollution

What you need to know about the plastic pollution resolution

Flourishing plants show warming Antarctica undergoing ‘major change’

Loss of tree species has cumulative impact on biodiversity


COVID-19 hit the creative industries particularly hard. How can they be supported in future?

Business and technology

Life Reimagined: Mapping the motivations that matter for today’s consumers

TikTok Confirms that 10 Minute Video Uploads are Coming to All Users

New Library Filters And Powerful Import Features Are Coming To Google Photos

Quantum sensing technology is being described as an “Edison moment” that could, scientists hope, have wide-reaching implications.

This Report Shows Why Gen Z Sees Straight Through Your Marketing Efforts

Social issues and humanity

Shane Warne: Australia cricket legend dies aged 52

Moët champagne bottles laced with fatal doses of Ecstasy tks Mireille Barber

Saudi Arabia and Indonesia: Clashing visions of ‘moderate Islam’

Zain Nadella, 1996-2022: Microsoft CEO’s son remembered for love of music, profound impact on his dad

‘In my 30 years as a GP, the profession has been horribly eroded’

Girls’ night in? Catch these inspiring shows to celebrate International Women’s Day

Melinda French Gates says she is ‘friendly’ but not friends with Bill Gates

Passion, humour, history

Teacher had to tell her deaf students that people can hear farts. Their reaction was hilarious.

Dogs Are Getting Electrocuted on New York City Sidewalks tks Lex Johnson

Let me know what jumped out at you? Or share with me what you’re reading? I love that!



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