Diplomatic World_nummer 55

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Ambassador of











Ambassador of




Ambassador of





Ambassador of




President of Russia’s

Chamber of

Commerce and






The leading

experts of

Amedeo Modigliani



Economic Advisor to

Former US President

Barack Obama

Winter 2017 www.diplomatic-world.com Quarterly edition

P409937 - v.u. Barbara Dietrich, Beiaardlaan 25b, 1850 Grimbergen, Afgiftekantoor Mechelen X


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Barbara Dietrich



ir. Marc Kintaert


Barbara Dietrich


Bruno Devos I Phillippe Billet I Marc Kintaert

Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann I Els Merckx

Barbara Dietrich I Brita Achberger I Stefanie De Jonge

Sylvie Van Cutsem I Lorenz Kintaert I Lejton Vokshi

Liberta Vokshi I Maarten Vermeir I Nina Anne Pahnke




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ISBN 2995-3655

The texts were written in English or Dutch and translated in the other

language. Some expressions can change by the translation. To safeguard the

language and tone of all authors, the author’s initial choice of spelling has

been maintained as much as possible. The editorial staff has done its utmost

to identify and mention sources and beneficiaries of the text and images used.

The publisher has made every effort to secure permission to reproduce the

listed material, illustrations and photographs. We apologize for any inadvert

errors or omissions. Parties who nevertheless believe they can claim specific

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©2017 Diplomatic World Magazine


After winning the second round of the French presidential

election, Emmanuel Macron held his victory speech in front

of the glass pyramid marking the main entrance to the largest

cultural temple in Paris and France. We may consider this as

his first public endorsement as president of the values and

importance of culture and cultural diplomacy for present day

societies in Europe and globally.

Macron’s reception of President Putin in the Palace of Versailles,

and their visit of the Peter the Great exhibition was a further

clear signal of the same philosophy. In his victory speech Macron

spoke of a ‘new humanism’, and furthermore expressed in his first

official interview with eight European newspapers his wish to take

the lead not only in a French, but also a ‘European Renaissance.’

On the Athenian Pnyx hilltop, where all citizens had come

together to exercise their legislative power in democratic classic

Athens, Macron spoke before a dark blue night sky with the

wisely illuminated Akropolis and Parthenon jeweling the

background, about his plan to refund the EU through the three

core values of culture, democracy and sovereignty.

Interestingly, his next major speech concerning further

details about his ‘European Initiative’, held at the Aula of the

Sorbonne University in Paris, was also constructed around

the core concepts of democracy and sovereignty. But in this

speech, he exchanged culture for union. We read in this textual

interchangeability of culture and union that in Macron’s view

culture is an essential element in establishing a union among

states, both in Europe and globally. With our known dedication

to cultural diplomacy, we want to support such a vision and

provide practical and concrete suggestions for the forging of

union, as presented in the past issues of Diplomatic World.

Barbara Dietrich








of France








Ambassador of

the State of Qatar




of the Republic

of Indonesia








Prof. Jan Cornelis








Steven G. Glickman Leo D’Aes




Joachim De Vos

CEO & founder of









Prof. Dr.

Dede Rosyada, MA


Sergey Katyrin







Fabergé Museum



Herman Van Rompuy, Wim Dries, Joachim De Vos

They’ll bill everything automatically. They’ll wait for

their owners, or hire themselves out to other customers

in the interim. Naturally, a smart concept like that


Carl Pendragon

doesn’t stop at municipal boundaries. Smart street

lighting, too, will only be really intelligent if the whole

BULGARIA region IS shares and uses data to provide energy-saving


TAKE OVER lighting THE EU or react appropriately in emergencies. TomorrowLab

will be glad to help drive such efforts with its



H.E. experience Maya in Smart Cities”.


Nikolova Dobreva





The S-LIM initiative OF EVERYTHING is being taken by the Limburg

towns and municipalities. TRANSFORMING TomorrowLab, THE as a strategic


innovation consultancy,


will help these communities

to develop a vision and will ensure that they constantly

exchange learning and practical experiences with


Alexander Shulgin

each other. At the beginning of this year, a survey by

the University of Liège showed that most towns and

municipalities have not yet developed strategies to


On 23 – 24 Maroš May 2018, Šefčovič, 2.000 high-level Pieter EU De and Crem, national Herman policy-makers, Van Rompuy

business executives, civil society and academia representatives will gather at

the Egmont Things Palace like in Brussels mobility for the solutions annual European and smart Business PAUL street Summit. COOLS furniture

are the first applications under scrutiny. GENERAL Naturally, OF MALTA


technology is an important driver, but it SPREADS has to be THE WORD

and extensive media ABOUT coverage. VALLETTA

integrated into the social fabric of a town. One smart



street doesn’t make a smart city, let alone a smart







Ulrike Bolenz





Institute for Scientific

and Documentary

Research in Art History

Marc Restellini


The European Business Summit (EBS) is a renowned debated

platform offering its partners and guests an opportunity to

exchange views on topics shaping the European and international

agenda. In the upcoming 18th edition, EBS would like to

build upon its ability to facilitate constructive dialogue between

countries’ representatives and business community in Europe

and beyond. By bringing these partners together, EBS contributes

to promoting European competitiveness, entrepreneurship

and innovation.

such as technologies, services for food and more, advertising in

the EBS Magazine and benefiting from EBS marketing products

EBS also recommends that its partners join the brand new

Strategy Group, a unique dialogue platform for countries,

regions, business executives and policy-makers. During the

approximately 6 meetings per year, the Strategy Group members

will participate in private sessions with high-level business and

policy representatives and it will contribute to shaping the pro-



Alexis Gautier












Prof. Dr. Jan De Maere






















Dr. Yair Maimon











Ute Gerhards







Randall S. Peterson IN RUSSIA







Yvelle Gabriel




Dieter Brockmeyer

BRAFA 2018

Harold t’Kint

de Roodenbeke


ZUG 2017:






















Pascale Thielemans






When talking to H.E Abdulrahman bin Mohammed

Al Khulaifi, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to

Belgium, Luxembourg, the European Union and

NATO, I can only acknowledge there are many

centers of interest and importance that we share.

The complexity of global scale and consequently

diplomatic challenges, make the relative perspective

and point of view change from each and every angle.

Today, the Middle East is one of the main stages

on a geopolitical and geo-economic level, often

identified as a region of turbulence and extremism,

subject to questions about terrorism and human

rights, fossil or renewable energies, but unmistakably

a region with its own traditions, vast cultural

heritage, and an openness and willingness to share

and build a dialogue with the rest of the world.


The last six months the diplomatic services of

Qatar and its neighbouring states have worked the

extra mile to address important and critical issues.

How do you feel negotiations in the Gulf crisis

with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

will evolve the next coming months? Will the

blockade have an important impact on Qatar and

its resources?

Since last April, Qatar was subjected to an unprecedented

campaign, designed to deviate our policies and our

position on key regional issues. On June 5th, an

unprovoked and unjustified blockade was imposed on

Qatar with the accusation of supporting terrorism!

Qatar, being a loyal and committed member of an

international coalition to fight terror, is committed to the

international conventions on the fight against terrorism

and its financing. Furthermore we are convinced that the

challenges of transnational terrorism are not unique to

Qatar. Terrorism is both a regional and global threat, that

requires collective efforts and political commitment from

all parties involved.

H.E Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al Khulaifi & Barbara Dietrich

welcoming society, authentic traditional visitor experiences, world-class museums,

libraries, galleries and public art installations, historic sites and heritage attractions.

flagrant human rights violations and false accusations against my country

© Embassy of Qatar

lockading countries, Qatar is still ready for dialogue to end the Gulf crisis

n principles Measures which have been do taken not by violate our government international to law and respect the

nty of the state strengthen of Qatar. its counter-terrorism efforts and tackle the root

value and support causes of terrorism the mediation by supporting of educational the Emir projects, of Kuwait HH Sheikh Sabah

al Ahmad al promoting Sabah tolerance end and the peace crisis.

and providing employment

opportunities for young people. In this regard, it is worth

icy stand on protecting human rights, public opinion and the right of people

mentioning the Centre for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies

etermination for this reason the blockading countries are attempting to

based in Doha, which is the first of its kind in the Arab



on it



Centre seeks to create an academic foundation

as been subjected capable of generating to exceptional unique knowledge, circumstances and spreading and faced challenges for

an three months the best because practices in the of field the of imposition conflict management of an and illegal blockade on it by

hboring countries humanitarian . action. It will educate decision and policy

ust blockade



in the Middle


East and North







rights, unfortunately the

appropriate decisions in order to deal with the conflicts

ing countries have taken illegal measures that constitute a grave violation

taking place in their countries. The centre also provides

, economic and social human rights. They include also banning Qatari

opportunities for higher education for researchers and

from travelling practitioners to or of transiting humanitarian through affairs. their territories. This has torn apart

milies and has interrupted education and the right to work .There are about

iolations cases filed with Qatar's National Human Rights Committee over


Qatar was also the first and only Gulf country to sign an

MOU with the United States to stop terror funding. Despite

flagrant civil, economic and human rights violations and

false accusations against Qatar by the blockading countries,

we are ready for dialogue to end the Gulf crisis based

on principles which do not violate international law and

respect the sovereignty of the state of Qatar. We value and

support the mediation of the Emir of Kuwait HH Sheikh

Sabah al Jaber al Ahmad al Sabah to end this crisis.

Our policy promotes and stands on the respect of

protecting human rights, the people’s right of having a

public opinion and the right of self-determination. This is

one of the reasons for the blockading countries’ attempt

to impose guardianship on it. Qatar has been subjected to

10 exceptional circumstances and faced challenges for more

than three months because of the imposition of an illegal

is looking forward to having measures taken against the blockading

s" by the international community). Such measures could only be called intellectual terrorism and constit

secret that the real motives behind the Such flagrant siege measures and violation the could severing of only the of right be diplomatic called to freedom intellectual of opinion terrorism and and express constit


lockade by its neighbouring countries. The blockade

includes banning Qatari citizens from travelling to or

transiting through their territories. This measure has torn

apart families and interrupted education and the right to

work. There are about 26.000 violations cases filed with

Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee about the


It is no secret that the real motives behind the siege and the

severing of diplomatic relations with Qatar are not aimed

at fighting terrorism. Rather, they are an attempt to force

Qatar into a state of trusteeship, to interfere in our domestic

and foreign policy, and to undermine our sovereignty.

This cannot be accepted by any country that enjoys full

independence and sovereignty.

The crisis started with the hacking of Qatar News Agency

websites and the spreading of false news attributed to

Emir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, and was

followed by malicious media campaigns against Qatar.

The international community is invited to shoulder its

legal and moral responsibilities to avoid holding people

responsible for political differences among governments.

The scope of these violations and damages was not limited

to individuals: the blockading countries issued a joint

list, which was prepared unilaterally, including several

individuals and entities and branded them as terrorists. The

list, however, was rejected by the United Nations (UN) as

it violates international legitimacy and human rights and

poses obstacles in the implementation of humanitarian and

development work by humanitarian organizations, some

of which have consultative status with the UN and have

extensive partnerships with various UN agencies. These sets

of measures have opened the door for politicization of the

term ‘terrorism’ in accordance with the narrow interests of

some countries. But the international community should

have a clear and firm stance against double standards

relating to terrorism.

At the end these measures against Qatar could be called

‘intellectual terrorism’ and constitute a clear and flagrant

violation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression,

which was confirmed by the High Commissioner for Human

Rights in his statement issued on June 14 this year.

Qatar is in the middle of an extremely dynamic

region. How can Qatar contribute to the

stabilization of the Middle East, Eurasia, Western

Asia and Northeast Africa regions?

Qatar is an important player on the geopolitical and geoeconomic

stage. Its geostrategic position with enormous

economic resources, and the Al Jazeera channel as an

information resource, has often put it under the limelight.

Its geopolitical position as a coastal country, lying on a

peninsula, allows it to have access to almost all of the

Arabian Gulf and beyond.


© Embassy of Qatar

Many billions were pumped into Qatar infrastructure, developing new stadiums, hotels and commercial centers for the FIFA World Cup

Despite the state’s small size, Qatar was able to develop

sustainable gas resources, transforming Doha into a

prestigious hub. We were able to set up a top-notch airline,

Qatar Airways, and a ubiquitous news channel, Al Jazeera.

And Qatar also snatched the top prize of hosting the 2022

FIFA World Cup.

Our enlightened leadership imported skills from all over the

world in different fields ranging from education to sports,

from architecture to the arts, but also from security to

diplomacy. Internationally, Qatar has become more involved

in foreign affairs in the past decade than ever before. It has

mediated a number of high profile conflicts and through its

network it was able to successfully bring opposing parties to

the negotiation table.

As an active player in backing international peace and

security, Doha is keen to sponsor high level conferences

with the purpose of finding a common ground and a better

understanding to mitigate differences and shape consensus.

In terms of constructing peace agreements, Qatar has a

good record.

In this respect, “Reach out to Asia” was launched in 1995

and sponsored by the Qatar Foundation to give hope

to millions of youth and children across the world by

enhancing their skills and potentialities through education,

sports and other activities as an efficient tool to face

both local and global challenges. This fund is operating

in Cambodia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal,

Bangladesh, the Palestinian territories, Iraq and Lebanon.

Its main task is improving high quality and relevant primary

and secondary education and health care. Qatar’s charitable

efforts are also extended to other crisis affected areas to

provide all types of assistance related to human rights

and decent living. Recently $ 100 million urgent aid was

granted by the Qatari government to New Orleans (USA)

in the aftermath of the passing of Katrina, to alleviate the

sufferings of the victims of the tornado. I would like in

this regard to focus on the role of the Silatech ‏,(كتلص)‏ a

Qatari social organization that works to create jobs for Arab

youth to tackle the alarming rise of the unemployment rate

in order to prevent youth to turn to frustration, which leads

to radicalism.

The end of 2016 was marked by a significant achievement

for Silatech, which succeeded in creating more than 300.000

jobs for Arab youth through a network of more than 150

partners and in signing strategic partnerships to sustain

more than one million job opportunities by 2020 across the

Arab World.


© Embassy of Qatar


In Sudan, Silatech signed an agreement with the Agricultural

Bank of Sudan to promote microfinance in support of youth

entrepreneurs to create 23.000 jobs, in addition to partnering

with the Social Development Bank to create 20.000 jobs

for graduates to start their own enterprises. In Tunisia,

Silatech signed an agreement to create more than 580.000

jobs through providing support to entrepreneurs to start

and grow their own businesses, and support the innovative

Smart Tunisia program in enabling to create 50.000 jobs

by 2020. With the collaboration of Qatar Red Crescent,

Silatech provides training courses for displaced youth in

Syria to develop their skills. In Palestine, Silatech, with the

partnership of the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Group, has launched

the “Khadamati” portal to allow craftsmen in Palestine to

advertise their products and services and connect them

with customers and markets beyond Palestine borders, in

addition to signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU)

with UNRWA to promote employment opportunities for

youth working in the construction sector. Building on the

success of the pilot partnership program, Silatech renewed its

partnership with Attawfiq Microfinance in Morocco, adding

up to 140.000 jobs for Moroccan youth.

Being in Brussels, close to the European Union,

which topics are on the priority list to enhance

the relationships between Qatar and the EU?

Economics, Energy, Finance, Culture, EU relations?

Relations between the EU and Qatar are considered to be

excellent. Over the last few years, both the political and the

economic relationship between the European Union and

Qatar have been deepened considerably by official visits and

rising bilateral trade agreements.

This cooperation is particularly evident in a number of



Periodic meetings between the State of Qatar and the

delegation of relations within the Peninsula in the European

Parliament (DARP), which holds parliamentary meetings

with the Shura Council of the State of Qatar, with the aim

to strengthen bilateral relations and especially parliamentary



As part of European Union efforts to strengthen relations

with the world, the External Action Service (EEAS) has

chosen Qatar as a key country in the region to engage a

special political dialogue on various issues of common

concern and to coordinate our positions on a number of

regional and international affairs. For this purpose, four

rounds of dialogue were held sequentially in Brussels in

2009, in Doha in 2010, in Brussels on June 2011 and

the last one took place in Brussels on the 1st of April


the EU will take a more proactive role in issues related to

the Middle East region apart from humanitarian



Qatar General Civil Aviation Authority recently signed a

memorandum of understanding with the European Agency

for the Safety of Civil Aviation in the German city of

Cologne, (the headquarters of the European Agency for

the Safety of Civil Aviation). The MOU aims to enhance

cooperation and exchange of experiences in all areas of

civil aviation safety. These negotiations were launched in

September 2016.



A first training course was organized during the period

12-17 February 2016 for the Qatari diplomats. The program

(both theoretical and practical) included a series of lectures,

workshops and discussions related to the diplomatic work in

Europe, as well as field visits to EU institutions. A second

training course will be held soon before the end of this year.

We assign great importance to developing diplomatic

skills and capacities to serve the State of Qatar, because

“nowadays diplomacy is becoming more and more a soft

power and a tool of foreign policy.” As a diplomat, I hope



With a view of reinforcing and expanding cultural ties

between EU Member States represented in Qatar and the

State of Qatar, the embassies of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria,

Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary,

Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, the

Netherlands, as well as the British Council and the Institut

français, have decided to join efforts in the field of culture

by signing the founding charter of a European Union

National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC) cluster in Qatar.

Hosted by the Embassy of the Netherlands in its capacity

as the local presidency of the EU Council in the 1st half of

2016, the official signing ceremony of the founding charter

was held on 25 May. The EUNIC cluster in Qatar is the first

of its kind to be established in the GCC region. It gathers

EU countries represented in Qatar with the aim to promote

cultural and linguistic diversity and to develop exchanges

between European and Qatari youth while fostering

European and Qatari artists exchange programs. The

EUNIC cluster in Qatar will contribute to enhancing the

cultural relationships between EU member States and Qatar

and to promoting the cultural diversity of Europe.


© Embassy of Qatar


Renewable energy is on the worldwide priority

list related to the sustainability of our globe and

climate change. How do you see the evolution in

Qatar’s strategy and challenges related to this


In recent years, Qatar has been making itself a benchmark

for all future sustainable and renewable initiatives in the

Middle East. Qatar is committed to creating a cleaner and

more energy efficient environment and to making significant

contributions in addressing climate change challenges and

moving towards a more sustainable future.

In line with Qatar National Vision 2030, Qatar aims

to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Sustainable

development has been identified as one of the top priorities

in Qatar’s National Development Strategy. Environmental

Development is one of the four main pillars of the Qatar

National Vision 2030, which aims to manage rapid domestic

expansion to ensure harmony between economic growth,

social development, and environmental protection.

Qatar Solar Energy (QSE) has officially opened one of the

largest vertically integrated PV module production facilities

in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The 300 MW facility, located in the Doha industrial zone

of Qatar, is the first significant development of the Qatar

National Vision 2030, which aims to reduce the country’s

reliance on fossil fuels in favour of more renewable energy

sources. Qatar’s fledgling forays into the solar PV sector

have gained pace last year, when state-backed Qatar Solar

Technologies (QSTEC) acquired a 29% stake in Solar World

in a move that raised eyebrows throughout the industry.

The second edition of the Power Qatar Summit will be held

on the 13th and 14th of November 2018 and will provide

varied opportunities to create a strong presence in the power

and energy industry. The summit is the only event of its kind

in the region focusing on the future of the power sector in

Qatar with a strong emphasis on renewable energy, smart

energy solutions, smart meters and smart grids. This way the

energy sector will make a significant contribution to achieving

a substantial growth and diversity for the Qatari economy.

In 2022, Qatar will host the FIFA World

Championship Football. This ambitious event could

bring up to 500.000 new visitors to Qatar. What do

you feel these fans and tourists will appreciate and

discover in Qatar? Tourism has been defined as one

of the main growing opportunities in Qatar; how

are these ambitious goals put into reality, from a

structural point of view towards the final hospitality

of inviting and receiving its foreign guests?

Stadiums in Qatar

Al Wakrah stadium


Al khor Stadium

Al Wakrah stadium

Al khor Stadium

Since the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030

(QNTSS) was launched in 2014, strong foundations have

been laid with major achievements to develop this vital


Focusing on new priority industries to meet Qatar’s

development needs, through its 26 contribution to economic

diversification, increasing foreign exchange earnings, and

creating new private sector business and employment

opportunities, and also stimulating construction,

transportation, infrastructure development, trading,

and recreation services. Qatar is constantly investing to

enhance its existing world-class tourism infrastructure.

Travellers can avail of a range of high quality luxury

hotels, worldwide aviation connections, superb sports and

recreation facilities, and state-of-the-art conference and

exhibition facilities. Qatar has outstanding cultural assets.

Tourists can expect a hospitable and welcoming society,

authentic traditional visitor experiences, world-class

museums, libraries, galleries and public art installations,

historic sites and heritage attractions. Our natural assets

are multiple. Visitors can enjoy year-round sunshine,

extensive unspoiled beaches, the Inland Sea, a spectacular

desert scenery, mangrove lagoons and dramatic windsculpted

rock formations.

Khalifa International stadium

The Arabian horse is rooted in Qatar’s history and

shows great strength and elegance. Could you share

with us some of the passion and the ways of careful

breeding, that keeps the heritage alive?

The strong beliefs of care and welfare for the horse are

illustrated in multiple ways by pre-Islamic and early Islamic

poetry, many of which were nearly 500 years old. Most

of the horses are pure-breed Arabians who are revered in

Islamic culture, prized for their beauty, intelligence and,

above all, their endurance. It was


the Arabian horse that

formed the genetic blueprint for the modern racehorse, with

three pure-blooded stallions given to the UK in the 18th

century. Some say the Arabian horse was a gift to mankind

from Allah. The ancient breed is supremely well-adapted to

the unforgiving desert terrain of our region. In this spirit,

the Qatar International Arabian Horse Festival is held at the

end of March and worth a visit to enjoy the most wonderful

horses. The Qatar International Show has a reputation for

having some of the best horses from across the Middle East


On Cultural Diplomacy. The last decade Qatar has

invested in creating international awareness for the

arts and building bridges with the art world, both

on a regional level and a global scale.

Al Rayan Stadium

Khalifa International stadium

Al Rayan Stadium


© Embassy of Qatar


How do you see the soft power of cultural

diplomacy as an effective tool for Qatar to address

an international audience, both in Qatar as abroad

by its diplomatic services?

Art becomes a very important part of our national identity;

every child is born an artist. Children think creativity

and by exposing them to an arts education and cultural

institutions from a young age, it nurtures innate talent.

So our objective is not to turn every Qatari into an artist,

but rather to enrich their lives with the history of art and

the ability to be creative. This would help each person in

their future career, even if it is non-arts related. Art is a tool,

another language that brings people together and creates a

space for innovation and expression.

Nowadays, Cultural Diplomacy is regarded as a tool to

form bridges and interactions within cultures, transcending

national and cultural boundaries. Art is very powerful

because it has no boundaries and you don’t need to belong

to any country or religion or social class. It brings people

from all walks of life together to talk about an idea. Being

the perfect bridge for East and West, Qatar will continue to

foster this concept on a daily basis.

Motivated by this spirit, Her Excellency Sheikha Al-Mayassa

bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (34-years-old) started

buying Western modern and contemporary art that will

adorn the different museums Qatar is creating from scratch

in the desert. The Museum of Islamic Art (inaugurated in

2008) was designed to ensure the link between ancient and

contemporary art. Open since 2010, the Arab Museum of

Modern Art focuses on regional artists and art practices

and an important portion of the Western collection will also

become a part of the new contemporary art institution.

© Embassy of Qatar

As an Ambassador, as a Diplomat and even as

a student you have extensive experience with

Germany, France, Greece, Switzerland, but

also with the USA and China. How did you

experience the fact that our world is becoming

a global village?

Travelling to all of these countries was a great opportunity

to identify the characteristics of each country. But as

you know, no country is an isolated island. Due to better

and faster development of communication the world is

shrinking. The explosion of scientific knowledge and

technological applications has made the world a global

village. Therefore, the Global Village concept can be

conceived as part of a larger effort to make coexistence a

realistic prospect for the future of the whole world, through

sharing the life experiences and through contacts with

the others. In another sense, we can call it the concept of

an interactive world because of the rapid development of

modern technology.

I don’t mind the idea of transforming the world into

a global village. However, it has to be done by sharing

present resources, ensuring peaceful coexistence and using

education to install self-esteem, openness and mutual


The first step to make this concept a reality is to bring

people together and by building knowledge and appreciation

for each other through direct contacts in an atmosphere of

mutual trust. This involves making all parties feel that their

values are understood and their identity is not endangered.

If we can neutralize these perceptions of fear, we can

listen and be taught about the culture of the other. At that

moment, coexistence is possible.

We could banish borders between countries, but it’s very

hard to cancel specificities. In Qatar, we are open to the

other and to new ideas, but at the same time we are also

keen to preserve our traditions and our own culture to


© Embassy of Qatar

which we are very attached and especially proud. For me,

it’s very difficult to visit France without experiencing the

traditional bakeries with the famous French baguette or not

to be able to taste the traditional Belgian waffles because

it might be replaced by McDonalds. We have to ensure

multiculturalism exists and make sure that globalization

does not lead to the eradication of the identity of our

societies by spreading uniform and homogeneous criteria

that stamp out local cultures and traditions. Nowadays

some artists and intellectuals react to the uniformity of

globalization, and start emphasizing their roots and local


Bruno Devos & Barbara Dietrich



© Embassy of Qatar







Nations continually wonder about whether or not

to develop and to elaborate a strategy on cultural

diplomacy. For many centuries France, homeland of

the Enlightenment, freethinking and the Declaration

of Human Rights, has been an exception to this

internal debate, because cultural diplomacy has been

an integral part of its foreign policy for centuries,

embedded in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and

actively spread out by its corps diplomatique.


Going back in time, one might criticise the use of cultural

grandeur as the projection of national prestige that has

characterized France since the time of the Renaissance

King, François I, or Louis XIV, le Roi Soleil. Until today the

essence of the cultural diplomacy of France has remained

remarkably consistent in its vision and practice, in parallel

with the quest for political, military, and economic power.

From the start, the soft power associated with cultural

creativity constitutes a powerful means for asserting French

presence in the international community; a soft power

recently turned into smart power or a diplomacy of influence

in the globalised world we live in. The distribution has been

structured and organised both top-down and bottom-up,

leaving space for numerous local initiatives and the creation

of an organic flexibility in its operations. Via a vast network

of cooperation services in embassies and cultural institutions

like Institut français and Alliance française, both built with

a long term vision, as well as by numerous operators and

specialised agencies in various sectors, the international

presence and influence of France in the domains of culture,

language and communication, or higher education and

research are ensured and valorised. Active partnerships and

cooperation are key words in a decentralised but transversal

approach, which is well-defined for all players involved.

Per definition, being a French diplomat, cultural diplomacy

is an important task on my agenda, but personally I am

also committed to culture and the world of arts. Economic

diplomacy is another part of the main axes that define my

role in Brussels. The importance of cultural diplomacy has

been rooted in the ancient tradition of French diplomacy

since the Ancien Régime. In the Renaissance period France

was already prepared to build bridges and to influence via

its culture and language. The development of literature,

philosophy, history, language, arts and culture, made the

connection with our diplomatic services, creating synergies

which went beyond any other instrument or technocratic


In our history we can find lots of examples of diplomats

being writers or writers becoming diplomats. For centuries

writers were important players and active channels for

political reasons both locally and internationally.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the 18th century, but especially

the 19th century was the highlight of writers playing

important roles on the diplomatic stage like François-René

de Chateaubriand, or Stendhal among others. In the 20th

century, in between the two World Wars, in Paris at the

Quai d’Orsay, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a group

H.E. Claude-France Arnould & Barbara Dietrich

of writers were part of this tradition and they were even

charged with a Diplomacy of Writers. During this period in

Brussels, renowned writer and diplomat Paul Claudel was

stationed as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, at the

end of his diplomatic career.

One could say a writer becomes a diplomat looking for

inspiration and context. But a diplomat on a mission

abroad could aspire literature on a professional basis or

just for leisure, receiving food for thought on a daily basis,

so I wouldn’t eliminate the option. Today, in the corps

diplomatic, we still have several writers in our team.

For Brussels in particular, we have different specificities

that interact in defining goals for cultural diplomacy.

Brussels is the capital of Belgium, but also the capital

of the EU, and host to the headquarters of NATO. With

the French-speaking part of Belgium we already share

the French language, so theatre and literature are natural

partners. We also reach out for an active exchange with

the Flemish-speaking part of Belgium. Cooperation on an

educative level is the main priority. In primary school we

look for exchanges with Flemish teachers. We consult with

Flemish authorities and institutions on how we could help

pedagogically and which needs we could facilitate in schools

and universities.

We are convinced that we should be open to other

influences and cultures and not just limit ourselves to the

dominating position of the Anglo-American culture and

English as the world language. We should be able to activate

our future generations, and get them acquainted on a young

age to as many languages as possible.

From a cultural point of view we are very active in Belgium.

Recent initiatives include the partnerships with several

Belgian structures such as the Kunstenfestivaldesarts via

EXTRA or the Liste Goncourt, Le choix de la Belgique,

where students of 9 universities in Belgium elected their

own award winning writer in parallel with the most

renowned French literature prize, le Prix Goncourt.

Another initiative to mention was the organisation of a

French speaking Haiku competition which involved 1.320

Flemish and German speaking students from Belgium


Beautiful sunrise at the Pont Alexandre III and Les Invalides in Paris

© Shutterstock

accompanied by international students residing in Belgium.

In collaboration with the Japanese Embassy, the award

winning ceremony also involved Herman Van Rompuy,

the first President of the European Council, who is also

recognised as a Haiku specialist.

On the 25th of January 2018, the cities of Brussels, Ghent

and Antwerp organise La Nuit des Idées in collaboration

with the Institut français, the Alliance française and the

French Embassy. ‘The Future’ and ‘Imagination’ will be

the key words around which talks, performances and art

practices will be organized in these 3 cities … until sunrise.

Thought-provoking ideas and activities across disciplines

and age come together and merge. In a spirit of dialogue,

partnership, co-creation and positive thinking, far removed

from any form of cultural imperialism, cultural diplomacy

turns into smart power.

Bruno Devos

The original interview was done in French. Some expressions and certain

nuances can change by the translation.


The Louvre by night

© Shutterstock

good of love pro toto: Volker Hildebrandt, “evolution”, 2011







Recently H.E. the Ambassador gave an interesting

presentation on “Indonesia: A Model of Tolerance,

Pluralism and Harmony”. Could you elaborate on

this topic?

This was an event held by the European Institute for Asian

Studies (EIAS) on 7 November 2017. The topic and title of

the event had been formulated by the organizer. Indonesia

never claims to be a model for any country, but we are

willing to share our experiences and best practices. This is

because Indonesia is also in a learning process.

Indonesia has been successful in managing its diversity.

Although Islam is the religion of the majority of the population,

the Islam practiced in Indonesia has certain characteristics

which protect the right of minority groups, which provide room

for women to contribute to society, which is inherently tolerant

and is respectful of differing cultural traditions.

Indonesia still faces challenges in protecting pluralism

and maintaining tolerance. Sectarian issues are still

raised in the elections, more recently in the last Jakarta

gubernatorial elections. Isolated cases of discrimination

towards some minority groups still exist. These are the

issues we still have to work on and the better we are able to

manage them, the more credible we will be in sharing our

experience with others.

We both face our respective challenges in our efforts to

prop up tolerance, pluralism and harmony. One of those

challenges in Europe takes the form of Islamophobia and a

stereotypical idea of the Islam, which is wrong and should

be corrected. Islamophobia — like anti-Semitism — is a

social cancer. It endangers European values of democracy,

tolerance, pluralism and harmony.

There are various possible areas for cooperation between

Indonesia and the EU. These may include:

• Engaging the media to be better informed about Islam

• Developing deradicalization programs

• Exchange programs for religious scholars and leaders

• Enhancing the culture of tolerance

• Managing social media and ICT not to be misused to

spread messages of intolerance, extremism and terrorism.

Already Indonesia has been active in promoting interreligious

dialogue and sharing our experiences with the

EU. We have been providing interfaith scholarships

to European participants to visit Indonesia and have

firsthand experience about how Islam has been practiced

in Indonesia, which is in line with democracy, peace,

harmony, and modernity.

The EU and Indonesia are important partners. Both are

democracies and therefore we should be able to help one

another. The EU and Indonesia share common values of

tolerance, peace, pluralism, democracy, human rights and



Indonesia believes in cross-fertilization. The EU and

Indonesia should learn from one another and avoid

lecturing the other. After all, the best way for crossfertilization

is through exchanging and sharing experiences.

H.E. Yuri O. Thamrin

EUROPALIA ARTS FESTIVAL INDONESIA: Arco Renz - Curator, Koen Clement - General Manager of Europalia, Didier Reynders - Minister of Foreign

Affairs, Count Jacobs de Hagen - Chairman Europalia, HEM Yuri Thamrin - Ambassador of Indonesia, Ananto Kusuma Seta - Special Advisor to the

Minister of Education and Culture, Dirk Vermaelen - Artistic Director of Europalia, Dijf Sanders

Indonesia has also sent “interfaith delegations” to engage

with various stakeholders in Europe including governmental

officials, parliamentarians and think-tanks with a view to

achieving a better understanding about Islam.

In order to promote tolerance, pluralism and better

understanding about Islam, Indonesia has also supported

programs of Islamic studies in various European universities

and worked with think-tanks to organize seminars or


a middle class that continues to grow steadily. In addition,

Indonesia will always be known for its richness in natural

resources. The combination of these factors makes Indonesia

as an attractive destination for investment. Under the current

President Joko Widodo, Indonesia is currently focusing on

infrastructure development throughout the country. With

better infrastructure, and especially maritime infrastructure

(since there are more than 17.000 islands), the Government

hopes that economic development and prosperity can

accelerate throughout all the regions.

From an economic point of view Indonesia is an

important player in Southeast Asia and Oceania.

How do you see the economic developments in

the region the next coming years? In which way

will Indonesia’s efforts and focus points result in

maintaining its significant role in maintaining

this position?

The Asia-Pacific region, which includes Southeast Asia and

Oceania, continues to be the driver of global economic

growth despite its slowing down in the past decade. This

situation may well continue for the better part of the 21st

century, since China and India are leading this Asian

resurgence, and actors like Japan and South Korea will

always play a significant role.

Indonesia, is the largest economy in the Southeast Asian

region. With an estimated 5.2% growth by the end of 2017,

Indonesia’s economy has proven itself resilient in the face

of global uncertainties. Indonesia has a population of more

than 250 million that mostly consists of young people, with

In the past Indonesia has relied heavily on commodity

exports. However, many efforts are being taken to shift

our economy towards other sectors such as industry,

tourism, and a knowledge-based economy. The future lies

in a knowledge-based economy, which is why there is a

lot of emphasis on education, especially higher education,

and research. At the moment the brightest young minds

of Indonesia are being given the opportunity to study at

the best universities in the world, through a governmentsponsored


We strongly believe that humanism and global

respect can only abide when knowledge about

one’s culture is shared via the universal language

of the arts. Do you have a strategy related to

cultural diplomacy? What are the main goals in this

possible strategy towards your European partners

and the EU?

Cultural diplomacy is increasingly becoming an important

tool in promoting a country’s identity and values.


Indonesia is a country that is rich in culture and traditions,

which we aspire to promote through various programs.

One program that is evident right now in Belgium is the

Europalia Indonesia Festival. But even before Europalia,

cultural missions have always been a part of our strategy to

better promote Indonesia to the outside world.

Every year we organize the Indonesian Arts and Culture

Scholarship through the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.

This scholarship invites young people from all over the

world to participate in a 3-month course on Indonesian arts

and culture. They will be studying at various art schools in

Indonesia and at the end of their stay they will perform in a

spectacle entitled the “Indonesia Channel.”


The main goal of cultural diplomacy is to create better

understanding between peoples, building bridges and

strengthening them. For instance, not many people in

Europe know that Indonesia is multi-cultural. There

are more than 300 ethnic groups, and more than 700

languages and dialects are being spoken. There are six

official religions, but traditional religions and beliefs are

also acknowledged by the Government. Indonesia’s motto

is “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika,” which is Sanskrit for unity in

diversity — similar to the EU’s own motto. Strengthening

cultural diplomacy here would help Europeans better

understand Indonesia, allowing us to acknowledge the

differences and to appreciate the commonalities between us.

Via Europalia 2017, we have the opportunity to

discover the rich history and culture of Indonesia.

What can we expect to discover when visiting

the numerous events related to Europalia? Can

you give our readers some of the must-sees of the


You can expect the very best of Indonesia from Europalia

2017. In total there will be more than 250 events, consisting

of art exhibitions, dance and musical performances, theatre,

literature and film. These events will take place mostly in

Belgium, but there will also be events in the Netherlands,

France, Germany, the UK, Austria, and Poland. The term

used in the selection process for the events is “Rampai

Indonesia” which means “Indonesian bouquet.” Like a

special collection of the most beautiful flowers, Europalia

Indonesia underwent an arduous process in selecting the

finest to be showcased in Europe from October 2017 until

January 2018.

Through Europalia Indonesia, visitors and spectators

can learn more about my country. The selection made by

H.E. Yuri O. Thamrin

Europalia consists of the classical to the contemporary,

something for all tastes. Through Europalia, you can

experience the cultural richness of Indonesia, and you

will hopefully be able to see Indonesia as a democratic,

pluralistic, tolerant, and modern country that is deeply

rooted in traditions. I would suggest readers to see all the

exhibitions and performances if they could! But that is

quite a challenge considering they are so many and they

are quite spread out. For those in Belgium and particularly

in Brussels, you should not miss the two exhibitions at the

BOZAR in Brussels. First is the “Ancestors” exhibition,

which will inform you on Indonesia’s traditional past and

the various ancient cultures throughout the Archipelago.

The second is “Power and Other Things” and provides

insight on Indonesia’s historical progression from colonial

times until the present and the influence it has had on the

arts and culture. In Liège, at La Bovérie museum, there

is the “Archipel” exhibition that focuses on Indonesia’s

maritime heritage.

For performing arts, you have a wide selection from west

to east of Indonesia, from the dance group of Saman Gayo

Lues originating in Aceh, to the musical group Voices of

Papua. You can also enjoy more traditional performances,

such as the Gamelan group of Rahayu Supanggah to the

more contemporary dance of Eko Supriyanto, who both are

internationally renowned artists. With all that we have to

offer, we truly hope that Europalia Indonesia will warm your

heart throughout this winter season.


Shiva ordered Brahma and Vishnu to create a new island

called Java, by cutting the top of the sacred mountain of

Mahameru in India. After cutting it, as the gods carried

it back to Indonesia through the skies, the land suddenly

slipped through their hands into the ocean. As the island

was floating and drifting away, they decided to nail it down,

creating what is today called Mount Penanggungan, the

nailed mountain.

In order to appropriate the power from the summit of

a mountain, we peeled off the vegetation of a hill and

transplanted it onto the island. To transfer the right amount

of grass from the hill, I created a soft scale mold of the

island by knotting ropes together around the structure and

layed it on the summit.

Alexis Gautier - Pulau Jengekerik (Cricket Island)





By Prof. Dr. Dede Rosyada, MA

Diversity of ethnicity, culture and religion of Indonesian

citizens has been at the core of Indonesia since its

independence. The country’s founding fathers were

confidently decided to develop a diverse country with

the spirit to achieve goals of social welfare, justice and

prosperity for all citizens. They believed these goals could

be attained by maintaining togetherness, harmonious

relationships, professional partnerships in business,

bureaucratic services, national defense and services, and

lastly respecting each other in the fields of religiosity,

culture and art.


Nevertheless, promoting a peaceful coexistence between

the different ethnicities, religious followers, and different

cultures is never an easy task. It requires powerful

regulation, smart management and continuous supervision

by the government, and active participation from the

religious leaders and society at large. Indonesia, in this case,

has proven to be the model of religious tolerance, ethnic

relationship, and cultural appreciation.

For decades, religious tolerance has remained an important

program in Indonesia. It is one of the pillars of the nation’s

motto “unity in diversity.” While the country is moulding

its status from a so-called Third World Country into a

developing country by improving its infrastructure and

increasing the people’s social welfare, it requires stability.

To achieve that stability, it is important to maintain a

harmonious relationship within society.

For this purpose, the Indonesian government issued the

bill number 1 year 1965 about blasphemy or preventing

desecration of religion, and then followed by issuing a

joint decree between the Ministry of Religious Affairs and

the Ministry of Home Affairs number 1 year 1979, about

the ways of religious missionary actions and foreign aids

for religious activities. In 2006, under the umbrella joint

decree number 9 and 8 year 2006, the Ministry of Religious

Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs also issued a

Prof. Dr. Dede Rosyada

joint decree about the authority of the governor and regent

in maintaining the harmonious relationship between all

religious followers, establishing a forum of communication

for religious followers, and regulating the building of houses

of worship.

Tolerance also plays a big role in developing the Indonesia’s

goal of achieving social justice. A nation that is facing

ethnic, cultural and religious conflict, will not be able to

improve industry, trade, overseas business networking, or

professional and economical activities. For those reasons,

the government manages tolerance as a political decision

and has mandated the Ministry of Religious Affairs

to develop three tolerance domains: between religious

followers of the same religions, between religious followers

of the different religions, and between religious followers

and government. Some efforts to minimize communal

conflict based on religious understanding, ethnic interest,

or cultural improvement, have been done by the Ministry

of Religious Affairs through cross dialogue that is always

organized through a communication forum for religious

followers, and an active campaign from the provincial and

district government to strengthen harmony in diversity,

toward a prosperous country in the future.

Finally, it is to be mentioned that tolerance is a basic

principle of Islam. It doesn’t mean a lack of principles, or

lack of seriousness about one’s own principles. It doesn’t

mean that Muslims should neglect there own obligations.

Tolerance means that one is free to adhere to one’s own

conviction and accept that others adhere to theirs. It means

accepting the fact that human beings, naturally diverse in

their appearance, situation, speech, behavior and values,

have the right to live in peace and to be as they are. It also

means that one’s views aren’t to be imposed on others.

Tolerance in other parts of the world, might be called

co-existence, but it is slightly different. Co-existence is the

range of initiatives necessary to ensure that communities

and societies can live more equitably and peacefully,

preventing conflict and managing post-conflict and conflict

transformation work, conflict-sensitivity, peace-building,

reconciliation, multicultural and pluralist work. Coexistence

practice and policy activities can find their institutional

homes within governments and governmental institutions,

IGOs, NGOs, community-based organizations and

foundations, business, work, cultural, social, and religious


Today, Indonesia is in the process of using the co-existence

concept in settling religious conflicts, between religious

followers of the same religions, between religious followers

of the different religions, and between religious followers

and government. The Ministry of Religious Affairs is the

mandated ministry to solve interreligious conflicts, and has

tried to empower a center for interreligious communication,

which involves all religious leaders from all religions. They

strive to prevent conflicts by advancing dialogue between

all religious leaders, and by being involved in peace

building and reconciliation. They have even developed

some programs for post-conflict, to prevent an arising new

conflict. The same activities are also organized in provincial

and district levels all around the country.


Year of Birth: 1957


Professor at the Faculty of Education,

UIN Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta on the field

of Research Methodology for Islamic Education.


2015 to date

Rector of the State Islamic University

Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta.


Director for Islamic Higher Education,

Ministry of Religious Affairs.


Acting Rector (Interim) of the State Islamic Institute,

Sultan Thaha Saefuddin, Jambi.


Dean of the faculty of Education, State Islamic

University, Jakarta, second period


Dean of the faculty of Education, State Islamic

University, Jakarta.


Vice Dean on the academic field of the Faculty of

Education, State Islamic Institute, Jakarta.


Head of Research Center, State Islamic Institute,

Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta





By H.E. Maya Nikolova Dobreva

Bulgaria may be a young EU member state (this year

it celebrates its 10th anniversary of EU membership)

but is one of the oldest states in Europe — more than

13 centuries old. Rich with its ancient history, strong

with its traditions and historic experience, Bulgaria

is willing to reaffirm its position in the EU and to

play a constructive role in the EU processes.


Bulgaria is situated in Southeast Europe, in the heart of

the Balkan Peninsula. It is positioned on the crossroads

between Europe and Asia and has been a meeting point

for different cultures. The centuries-long tradition of coexistence

and interaction between different ethnicities,

religions and civilizations is a wealth that Bulgaria cherishes

and is proud of. The traces left by Thracian, Byzantine

and Roman cultures are testifications of the rich past of its

lands, already inhabited 5.000 years BC. Bulgaria is the only

country in Europe that has not changed its name since it

was first established. It has existed under the same name for

over 13 centuries and is preserved by the Bulgarian nation

to this day. Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is the second

oldest European capital after Athens (Greece). Its history

dates back to 6.000 years BC. Plovdiv, the second largest

city in Bulgaria, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in

Europe and the fifth oldest city in the world. Bulgaria ranks

third in Europe for its number of valuable archeological

monuments after Italy and Greece. There are 9 UNESCO

sites in Bulgaria. Every city museum in Bulgaria is full

of antique objects and cultural historical remains, which

reveal the universe of some of the oldest societies, and their

religious, cultural and everyday needs.

Bulgaria is the cradle of the Cyrillic alphabet and has

played a crucial role in the spreading of Slavonic literature

and culture. The Cyrillic alphabet has become a symbol of

Bulgarian national identity and has been a major factor in

preserving this identity over the centuries. Upon Bulgaria’s

accession to the European Union, the Cyrillic alphabet

became the third official alphabet in the EU. Even though

Bulgaria is not yet member of the Eurozone, the Cyrillic

letters can be seen on every euro banknote.

The long history of Bulgaria was marked by many difficult

periods, long periods of foreign dominance, but every time

the strength and perseverance of the Bulgarian people has

made an accelerated rebuilding and development of the state

possible. Bulgaria’s remarkable capacity of catching up was

demonstrated in the beginning of the 20th century when the

country became one of the most developed industrialized

countries in the Balkans after gaining independence from

the Ottoman Empire.

After the collapse of the communist regime, Bulgaria has

embraced the democratic values. Following a period of

painful reforms and transformation of its economy and state

functioning, Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007. Bulgarians

continue to be very pro-European, convinced of the benefits

of the European project, willing to work for its preservation

and further development.

The major challenges Bulgaria will have to cope with while

at the helm of the EU, are quite diverse: the future of

Europe and Brexit, migration and security, financial and

social development, digital progress, the regulation of a

globalized economy and climate change. A special

emphasis will be put on security, fostering growth and

employment, digital single market, energy union and climate


City centre of Sofia, capital of Bulgaria

© Schutterstock

In the field of external relations, the Bulgarian Presidency

will put a special emphasis on The Western Balkans, The

European Neighborhood Policy and Integrated Approach for

the Danube and the Black Sea regions. We will aim at keeping

the EU enlargement process high on the EU agenda because

Europe will not be completed without the Western Balkans

as part of it. The EU has an interest in stable, prosperous

Western Balkans. The process of enlargement is a strategic

investment in peace, democracy, stability and prosperity in

Europe. The informal EU-Western Balkan Summit that will

be held in Sofia seeks to re-affirm EU’s commitment to the

region and to give a new impetus to the Enlargement process.

The chosen motto “United we stand stronger” is inspired

by the slogan on the Bulgarian national parliament “Union

fait la force”— the same as in the Belgian Coat of Arms.

Bulgarians believe these words are more relevant than ever

in the current European context.

As a firm believer in the community method, Bulgaria will

fully support the Commission in its ambitious programme

for a More United, Stronger and More Democratic Union.

Bulgaria will seek balance and foster a broad consensus.

Bulgaria will work on improving competitiveness and stability

through cohesion and on setting conditions for unity and

solidarity. Cohesion and solidarity are core principles of the

union and it is in everyone’s interest to overcome divisions

between East and West, North and South. Overcoming these

divisions is essential, including in the context of the political

environment for the debate of EU’s future.

Although still lagging behind its partners in the EU in terms

of GDP per capita, Bulgaria’s dynamic economy offers

excellent conditions for doing business and sets conditions

for gradually increasing the prosperity of its citizens. Real

GDP growth in 2017 is expected to reach 3.9%, which is

above the EU average.

Bulgaria’s strategic geographic location serves as a bridge

between the EU and the rapidly growing markets of Russia,

Turkey, the Middle East and CIS countries, placing Bulgaria

at the centre of transit between these regions. The country

provides an educated and skilled workforce — 25% of the

population holds a university degree and 46% speaks at

least one foreign language. Bulgaria has a highly developed

ICT sector and communication infrastructure, 4G has been

operational for a few years now, the internet is available

everywhere and speed wise it holds the third place in

Europe and the fifth in the world.

Although Bulgaria is gaining popularity as a tourist

destination (this year it marked 40% rise in the Belgian

tourist market), the country remains an unknown place to

be discovered. Apart from the numerous historic, cultural,

and architectural sites to be visited, Bulgaria presents a

unique combination of diverse natural beauty. The terrain

is varied with large mountain massifs, fertile valleys, eternal

meadows and a beautiful coastline along the Black Sea.

Bulgaria boasts 200 healing mineral springs, making the

country an ideal place for spa tourism.

Bulgaria will be in the spotlight in the coming six months

and is eager to show the best of its capabilities, its potential,

natural beauty, culture and historic heritage, as well as its

talents and creativity. There is no doubt that Bulgaria is a

country worth visiting, discovering and exploring.



Place of birth: Kardzhali, Republic of Bulgaria



02 Mar 2016 — present

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the

Republic of Bulgaria to the Kingdom of Belgium

Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Brussels

21 Oct 2013 — 02 Mar 2016

Ambassador, Director of Southeastern Europe


6 Oct 2014 — 23 Sep 2015

Ambassador, Acting Permanent Secretary

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sofia, Bulgaria

21 Jan 2009 — 15 Oct 2013

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the

Republic of Bulgaria to Montenegro

Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Podgorica

8 Oct 2007 — 11 Jan 2009

Director, Europe III Directorate

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sofia, Bulgaria

28 Aug 2006 — 7 Oct 2007

Head of Department in Europe III Directorate

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bulgaria

12 Jan 2004 — 31 May 2006

Deputy Head of Mission, Chargée d’Affaires

Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Minsk, Belarus

16 Jul 2001 — 11 Jan 2004

Director, Europe II

6 Oct 1997 — 30 Jun 2001

Deputy Head of Mission, Consul

Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Ottawa, Canada

14 Oct 1992 — 5 Oct 1997

Director of Foreign Economic Policy Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sofia, Bulgaria

11 Feb 1992 — 13 Oct 1992

Chief Expert of Foreign Economic Policy Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sofia, Bulgaria

29 Nov 1991 — 10 Feb 1992

Advisor in the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sofia, Bulgaria

1990 — 1991

Expert, Management of Labour and Training

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Services, Sofia, Bulgaria

1988 — 1990

Research Fellow

Center for Organization and Standardization of Labour/


1985 — 1988


SO MAT International Transport State Owned Company,

Pazardzhik, Bulgaria


1980 — 1985

Economics, Master’s Degree

University of National and World Economy, Sofia,


1986 — 1988

Postgraduate Study, “Labour Management and


University of National and World Economy, Sofia,




Certificate - Business Administration, Bradford UK


Certificate - Multilateral Trade Negotiations Techniques

GATT Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland


Certificate - USAID, US multilateral trade policy, USA


Certificate, KOICA, Seoul


Training on EU Institutions - functioning and negotiation

processes; workshops in Helsinki, Finland


English, Serbian/Montenegrin, German, Russian


• Decorations for civil merits by His Majesty the King

of Belgium-Commander of Order Leopold II, by

His Majesty the King of Spain, by the President of


• Decoration by the President of Montenegro

Mr. Filip Vujanovic “Crnogorska zastava drugog

reda” for outstanding achievements as Ambassador

Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of

Bulgaria to Montenegro

Residence Ensor, Wemmel (1780)

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Would you like to know more? Contact Frank Laporte or Olivia Laporte

+32 (0)2 267 60 75 - strombeek@cbi-immo.be - www.cbi-immo.be









history flows as a whole consistent progressive process of

change in the social and economic formations, in which

movement does not follow a straight line, but a spiral, i.e.

some of the features which characterize earlier stages of

historical development reoccur, yet they do so at a new,

higher level.

The word “centralization” came into use in France in

1794 as the post-French Revolution French Directory

leadership created a new government structure. The

word “decentralization” came into usage in the 1820s.

“Centralization” entered written English in the first third of

the 1800s.

Imagining life as eternal circular movement has been

quite usual since antiquity. Ancient societies widely

adhered to the idea of ages changing in cycles, as

celestial bodies recurrently changed their positions, thus

supposedly regulating events on Earth. This view of the

cyclic development of everything existing in the world,

besides such usual forms of cycles as solarand lunarcycles,

sedimentary cycles and life cycles, has passed onto

economic cycles made up of economic rises and falls, as

well as to cycles of political change.

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that the French Revolution

began with “a push towards decentralization... [but

became,] in the end, an extension of centralization”.


While Spengler and Toynbee took specific cultures

(civilizations) localized in time as going through their

specific cycles, the Marxist concept denies the idea of world

history moving in closed circles, as well as the theory of its

continuous mechanical advancement, progressively, along

a straight line. According to historical materialism, world

Alexander Shulgin

In early twentieth-century America, one response to the

centralization of economic wealth and political power was

a decentralist movement. It blamed large-scale industrial

production for destroying middle-class shop keepers and

small manufacturers, and promoted increased property

ownership and a return to small-scale living.

Many books and other works dedicated to decentralization

have been written. Daniel Bell wrote The Coming of Post-

Industrial Society, while Alvin Toffler published Future Shock

(1970) and The Third Wave (1980). Futurist John Naisbitt’s

1982 book Megatrends was on The New York Times Best

Seller list for more than two years and sold 14 million

copies. Many other books and articles were published in

these years. Stephen Cummings wrote that decentralization

became a “revolutionary megatrend” in the 1980s.

However, all of this has so far been a kind of volatility

around the centralization trend, in the same way it has been

with the business cycle or economic cycle and/or trade

cycle, when we see the downward and upward movement

around its long-term growth trend up to the moment

when the technology capable of changing the World, its

organization and way of life emerges. Along with the

distributed ledger technology known as Blockchain, the

time for a bigger cycle is coming into being. Beginning from

the Renaissance, which followed a colossal European crisis

which occurred for a number of reasons including the Little

Ice Age, new breakthroughs in science and innovation,

followed by the start of the Technological Revolution, the

strongest centralization of everything has emerged, be it

power, infrastructure, manufacturing, distribution, finance

and media. This wave, this cycle was much bigger than

the earlier cycles of centralization. By 2000-2010, the

centralization wave reached its peak in social, industrial,

financial and geopolitical spheres, and by then we could

see the emerging blockchain technology to bring to life a

decentralized public ledger.

That means it’s time for a global correction. In terms

adopted by Nikolai Kondratiev, a genius Russian

scientist, to describe the economic cycles he discovered —

improvement, prosperity, recession, and depression — we

are at the beginning of recession. If there are Kondratiev’s

cycles lasting for a period of 50 years, as well as lesser

cycles, such as the Kuznets cycle, Juglar cycle and

Kitchin cycle, then there must be bigger cycles as well.

It is such a Cycle A, Wave A, cycle top, which we have

come to now.


World System Theory (world-systems analysis or the worldsystems


Immanuel Wallerstein and his successors have tried to

uncover such a prospect for a stable model of a geopolitical

future using the old economy model and taking into account

the transforming digital technology as the basis for the

Future Media Space.

In his 1910 The History of Nations, Henry Cabot Lodge

wrote that Persian King Darius I (550-486 BC) was a

master of organization and “for the first time in history,

centralization becomes a political fact.” He also noted that

this contrasted with the decentralization of Ancient Greece.

Marxism added a stress on social conflict, a focus on

the capital accumulation process and competitive class

struggles, a focus on a relevant totality, the transitory nature

of social forms and a dialectical sense of motion through

conflict and contradiction.

This is the prerequisite for decentralization and

redistribution of capital. However, all of this, along

with other attempts to visualize the coming geopolitical

transformation, was futile, for no one could envisage

the emergence of such a technology enabling total

decentralization. Halfway to such decentralization, a

prerequisite for decentralized centralization emerges,

which, according to Alexis de Tocqueville, is “a push

towards decentralization... [but became,] in the end,

an extension of centralization”. Stock market operators

and traders know the laws of the Fibonacci sequence

and Elliot waves, as well as other derivatives of cyclicity,

which means they know that somewhere halfway between

stormy growth and abrupt downfall there is a point of

trend confirmation, at which it is confirmed by a volatility,

jump-back or correction, which is known as ‘dead cat

bounce’ in downward trends. Therefore, before full global


decentralization, which is to be the biggest and therefore the

most dramatic of all previous ones, “…decentralization..., is

an extension of Final centralization”.

So, halfway into decentralization, which will lead to

ultimate global centralization, there will be new digital

Unions, the platform states. Instead of 200+ states and

unrecognized territories, seven digital Unions will emerge

in the form of economic platforms.

Seven digital platforms will be the seven digital single

markets joined not so much geographically, but based on

commonalities in culture, traditions and mentality. Those

will be relatively the same Unions in terms of number of

people and resources, which at some point will be driven

to merge to coexist within the new paradigm. A number

of countries have skills and technology, other countries

have resources, yet other countries have energy. Energy

will play an ever-growing role because computing power

of decentralized systems will require more energy along

the way. Even today, infrastructures which use Etherium

consume as much power as Cyprus, and those which use

Bitcoin consume much more. What’s to happen when

the Internet of Things, Industrial Internet of Things,

smart cities, smart factories etc. become commonplace?

When hundreds of billions of continuously connected

devices are all around us, consuming huge amounts of

energy, still more energy will be consumed supporting this

infrastructure, as well as by Useful Data Mining, necessary

for maintaining real-time data for our future Wisdom


The Digital Environment will account for up to 80% of the

whole global economy. More than 50% of all services will

be provided within the digital environment, and nearly 50%

of all goods and products will be created and distributed

directly within that same digital space. Every one of the

7 Unions, the Digital States, shall have its own standards

protecting its economic sovereignty.


Job for


Life for people

Softwarization, digitalization, robotization and automation

bring immense risk of new luddites, where the unemployed

masses will be a heavy burden on society. They will

have to be paid Universal Income, and immigration

of foreign people into the Unions will be quite painful

both economically and socially for the existing societies.

Therefore, firewall protection and one’s own digital

environmental standards will create a strong border

comparable to the walls and moats of the Dark Ages.

Communications between unions will be managed using

gateways. Today, we are beginning to see such emerging

isolationism: Brexit, Trump’s policy, etc. All the existing

tension in the world is a positioning attempt before

the geopolitical transformation, decentralization and

replacement of the whole monetary system.

Everything will be fairly decentralized for Society within

such a Union, yet Centralization will go through its own

metamorphosis, and Alexis de Tocqueville, if he were alive,

would say that “a push towards decentralization... [but

became,] in the end, an extension of centralization”.

Ultimate decentralization into 7 digital platforms is

necessary to take the next step, which is total global

decentralization utilizing Hyper Centralization of

management and control and a unified Hyper Brain of all

humanity in our little home called Planet Earth will have no

privacy, and we will have nowhere to go in the same way a

passenger can’t leave a plane midflight.

Only one thing will remain, and that is to be Happy in an

absolutely decentralized Society. If we can, if the likes we

accumulate allow it, which will become the social credit of

trust, which we will be using to exchange things. For at this

time, we will not be using money at all.



season 2017 — 2018

Le Duc d’Albe

Gaetano Donizetti - Giorgio Battistelli

from 17.11.17



Giuseppe Verdi

from 13.12.17



Cherkaoui - Verbruggen

from 21.12.17



Jean-Christophe Maillot

from 20.01.18


Pelléas et Mélisande

Claude Debussy

from 02.02.18



Richard Wagner



Selon désir

Foniadakis - Nijinski - Clug - Lock

from 31.03.18


La clemenza di Tito

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

from 06.05.18


Memento Mori

Cherkaoui - Shechter - Forsythe

from 12.06.18


The Gambler

Sergey Prokofiev

from 13.06.18


Kati Heck, Courtesy Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp







Personal views by Prof. Jan Cornelis —

Pro Vice-Rector VUB and China lover, currently

traveling through China Chengdu, China.

Soon after Xi Jinping’s keynote speech at the 19th Party

Congress, I watched an interview of several international

political and economic experts on BBC World. They had not

heard Xi Jinping’s three and a half hour speech and had not

read the text, but gave their comments and advice anyway.

When they started to comment on Xi’s accumulation of

personal power and criticize Xi himself, the TV screen

went blank and the sound disappeared for a while.

While the Congress was taking place, the security level

was increased in Beijing. There were extra guards at the

entrances of the universities. People were checked for

explosives and other devices. The internet for foreign

connections worked extra slowly, while the internet

speed was normal for internal mail. Like the political

commentators, I have not read the text and have just heard

the main points. So please do not consider my opinion an

expert analysis.

Western model of democracy is not on the agenda while the

socialist model with Chinese accents continues, as Xi had

indicated in his speech in Bruges during his last state visit to

Belgium in 2014.

The discourse continues to be peace-loving, with a warning

not to adopt a cold war mentality, although military

investments will be increased to modernize the army.

Environmental concerns are given high priority, addressed

from an economic perspective and to be implemented, for

example, through electric vehicles and environmentallyfriendly

electricity production. Advances in environmental

technologies are evolving so rapidly that in the medium

term we will undoubtedly purchase our own environmental


China continues opening up to the world, a process started

by Deng Xiaoping in 1978: China has to wade across the

river, carefully groping for the stones under its feet. There

is something for everyone in Xi’s speech. The belt and road

initiative is also included: this is a vision that puts all noses

in the same direction (although no one exactly knows what

that means), a vision in which local actors in China and the

whole world are encouraged to participate. Transportation

and communication infrastructure as well as innovation

are central to this vision. My approach is to make use of

it, rather than reject the initiative a priori as an element of

China’s propaganda or economic dominance. Ultimately

we live in a global economy. The initiatives I see are really

strongly inspired by the free-market economy on the one

hand and the need to accelerate regional poverty reduction

through creative entrepreneurship on the other hand. The

Prof. Jan Cornelis

Chinese new year lanterns

technologies in China. Environmental technologies also

benefit from innovations in other fields. An example

is the development of Artificial Intelligence and crossfertilization

amongst different sectors (including ICT and

the automobile industry driven by the great Chinese ICT

multinationals) that are remarkable in China. It is up to us

to make an appropriate response to all of this.

hour speech standing all the time and without drinking

and over 2,000 people who listen without touching their

smartphones or going to the toilet... that is really impressive.

When I asked at the hotel lobby whether the hotel could

get me the text of the speech, a friendly manager was called

who told me that I could find it through Google: probably

Chinese humour because Google does not work in China.

The Party as a unique policy maker with a strong captain

is essential to the success story of China’s PR, according

to Xi. Professors who are Party members participate in

the discussions and the man in the street is cautious in

expressing opinions. The fight against corruption is broadly


An assistant of the Department of International Relations

of one of the universities we visited sent me a We Chat

message: I am only authorized to confirm the official

position but a 64 year-old man who gives a three and a half

China is clearly a country in transition, and working

closely with my Chinese colleagues is proving highly

stimulating and interesting. On this mission I was trying

to find partners, investors or buyers in China for 6 VUB

smart technology products: maybe a modest contribution

to forging a better understanding of the ways in which

“unity in diversity” can be achieved. Again this is an

exciting new experience for me, in the world of investors

and companies where both parties still have a lot to learn

from each other.








In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, let me start by

sharing my gratitude for a few people that helped make

today possible. First, my wife, Christen, and our son, Elliott,

who traveled to Europe with me. Elliott has already been to

more countries than 2/3 of Americans. He’s 7 months old.

Second, Gunter Gaublomme for his kind invite to this —

and I’m quoting President Trump here — Yuge “Hellhole.”

Of course, I’m only joking. I love the land of beer, fries,

waffles, and chocolates. Criticizing Belgium feels oddly

un-American, given those are all four of Americans’ primary

food groups. Third, Ambassador Johan Verbeke, who I was

lucky enough to get to know during his time as Ambassador

to the United States. It’s an honor to join the Brussels

Diplomatic Academy for this incredible conference that you

have brought together today. By the end of the day, I expect

you will have tackled just about all of the major challenges

facing Belgium and beyond, which is a nice gesture shortly

before the holidays.

I was invited here to tell an American story, but one that

I believe has increasing resonance in Belgium and across

Europe. And there is no story more American than that

which the Thanksgiving holiday celebrates — the journey

of the pilgrims, essentially religious refugees, who arrived

in America aboard the Mayflower seeking a new life. Over

the past year, America seems to have forgotten our roots

— rejecting our legal and moral obligations to refugees and

immigrants like my grandparents, who came to the U.S.

from Europe after World War II via a displaced person in

Italy. But, I’m also not going to glibly dismiss Trumpism and

other forms of right-wing populism as if they are not rooted

in real economic and cultural anxiety being felt by large

numbers of Americans and Europeans.

American voters made Trump the U.S. President not

in spite of his flaws, as many in the American political

establishment would have you believe, but because they were

betting he was just crazy enough to blow up the existing

economic and political status quo.

Let’s be clear, right-wing parties have also made substantial

gains in European Union countries over the past decade,

seven of whom captured over 20% of the vote in recent

elections — (1) the Freedom Party in Austria, (2) the

Danish Peoples Party in Denmark, (3) the National Front

in France, (4) Jobbik in Hungary, (5) Law and Justice in

Poland, and (6) the Swiss People’s Party. Of course, the

seventh member of that group includes the New Flemish

Alliance, a right-wing separatist group right here in Belgium.

So, why are we seeing so much anger, anxiety, and yes,

hate, in the ninth year of a global economic recovery?

Because for nearly half of the Western world, the economic

recovery has looked more like a continued recession.

Regional inequality, declining rates of entrepreneurship,

and increasingly powerful corporate monopolies have

trapped many communities in both America and Europe

into a downward spiral of aging industries, low-wage jobs,

depressed investment, and little hope for the future.

Very simply, Western economies are facing an emerging

crisis of epic proportions from the hardening divides along

geographic lines, which could rip apart our institutions,

destroy the legitimacy of democratic politics, and lead to

social unrest at a massive scale. While plenty of ink has

been spilled about income inequality, it is the inequality

of opportunity between the connected and disconnected,

the large city and the small town, the corporate monopoly

and the entrepreneur, which is exacerbating the lack of

economic opportunity in far too many communities.

Rather than “Securing Our Economic Prosperity,” my

call to action today is “Ensuring More Broadly Shared

Economic Prosperity.” It’s the central economic challenge

facing the U.S. and Europe, even if most people don’t

realize it yet.

Professor Steven G. Glickman, Georgetown University

But before I delve into the details, let me share some

quick tidbits about my background. I spent over four years

working for President Obama in a number of different roles,

essentially during the entirety of his first term in office

between 2008 and 2013. About half of that time was spent

as Chief of Staff of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial

Service, which is the arm of the U.S. government

responsible for commercial diplomacy. The second half

of my journey in the Obama Administration was as a

senior White House advisor responsible for small business,

manufacturing, and trade and investment policy at the

National Economic and National Security Councils.

There is no doubt that under President Obama’s

leadership, the U.S. led global efforts that pulled the world

from the brink of an economic disaster. I am proud of that

work. And yet despite the fact that the U.S. is achieving

2-3% national GDP growth, it’s unemployment rate is

around 4%, and the U.S. stock market and corporate profits

have never been higher, a majority of Americans are really

angry about the state of our economy. That paradox led

me to co-found a small research and policy organization in

Washington, DC nearly five years ago called the Economic

Innovation Group, which studies the economics and

politics of America’s left behind communities and our

national decline in the rate of new business creation and

entrepreneurship. As our research and data on the U.S.

economy bears out, the populist anger expressed in the

2016 American elections was not an irrational response

to globalization or technology, but an entirely rational

reaction to the widespread local economic stagnation that’s

just below the surface of the promising national economic

statistics. In short, national growth alone is no longer a tide

that lifts all boats.

The most important lesson of the Great Recession is that

the 21st century economy favors the large over the small,

and the connected over the disconnected. Truth be told,

the tide of increased growth never lifted all boats, but

as recently as the 1990s, the majority of U.S. counties

grew with the national growth rate. But, in this economic

recovery, only 25% of U.S. counties experienced the


national growth rate. So, which counties are growing? Well,

as recently as the 1990s, the answer was small counties,

under 100,000 people, which saw twice as much growth

as large counties. But, fast forward to the 2010s, and you

see the exact opposite picture, with large counties growing

twice as fast as small ones. Prosperity in the U.S. is now

fundamentally a major metropolitan phenomenon.

Similarly, the UK has one of the widest inequality gaps in

Europe — most of its regions have roughly half of London’s

GDP per capita, including Scotland, which had been

making gains prior to the Recession. So, shouldn’t we be

asking ourselves whether Brexit was as much a rebellion

against London’s dominance as it was a desire to separate

from the EU itself?


What’s most troubling is that for most parts of America

— particularly small-town America — they are no longer

planting the seeds that will generate future prosperity

— new businesses and entrepreneurship, the source of

virtually all net new jobs in the American economy. In

fact, new business creation in the U.S. is on a long-term

decline, and currently hovering around a 40 year low.

If we go back as recently as the 1980s, just about all

metropolitan areas saw a net increase in new businesses.

Nowadays, though, more businesses close than open

in a majority of metro areas. America’s largest, most

diversified metropolitan hubs have proven to be its

most resilient. Those with 1 million people added new

businesses at a rate comparable to prior recoveries, but

smaller counties, including many sizable metropolitan

counties, are still underwater.

This phenomenon is not an American one alone.

Economic disparities within EU countries appeared to be

narrowing prior to 2008’s recession, but we are learning

now, that the economic success of Europe’s largest cities

masked widening gaps between second and third tier places

in decline. According to a Financial Times report from last

year, regional economic divergence impacting the Southern

portions of Spain and Italy have been growing at alarming

levels. Southern Spain alone contributed over 40% of

Spain unemployment following the Recession. And, while

the enormous economic gaps between Milan and Sicily in

Italy have been there for years prior to the Recession, it

surprised me to learn that Belgium ranks at the very bottom

of the EU, along with Italy, as the countries with the largest

regional disparity in employment rates, according to the


While the poor are getting poorer, the wealthy cosmopolitan

centers of Western Europe are capturing many of the gains.

In some ways, Madrid has more in common with Brussels

and London than their countrymen and women outside the

capital cities. For example, the Brussels’ metropolitan area

accounts for about one-third of Belgium’s GDP, but with

only 18% of Belgium’s people.

Europe’s story is a carbon copy of the economic and political

trends we are seeing in rural and small-town America. This

part of America supported Donald Trump overwhelmingly.

In fact, 90% of small counties under 100,000 people voted

for President Trump in 2016, which means that over 2,000 of

them were with Trump, while just over 200 voted for Hillary

Clinton. If you’re living in one of these counties, it makes

perfect sense to reject the established political leadership,

because your home town is 11 times more likely to be

economically distressed than bigger cities. In fact, the vast

majority — 85% — of America’s persistently poor counties —

those that have a 20% poverty rate for at least 30 years — are

small or rural. These are places that are disproportionately

dependent on traditional banking to buy houses or start

businesses, yet over 10,000 bank branches closed across

the U.S. Bank of America, the second largest bank in the

country, closed 80% of its rural branches since 2009. This

was also an economic recovery characterized by premiums

paid to those with a higher education — 99% of the net jobs

created went to people with at least some college and 75%

went to those with at least a bachelor’s degree. Yet, over half

of rural Americans have no schooling beyond high school,

and less than 20% have a four-year college degree, compared

to 1 in 3 Americans with a college degree nationwide. Simply

put, these communities are dying, and the children born here

are far less likely to do better than their parents.

So, the Recession has put Western economies in a pretty big

hole. And what’s the first rule of holes? Stop digging. Or, in

other words, let’s start by recognizing the extent to which

regional inequality is a driver of so much political unrest

and economic anxiety. The current consensus on economic

policymaking is simply not delivering enough good results

for enough people. Once we stop digging, it’s time to assess

where we need to get to, so the second rule of holes is to

look up — at some of the common characteristics of highperforming

places. Successful communities tend to do or

have the following:

First, they are high-amenity places in which people want to

live. While some places benefit from natural assets like great

weather and access to the outdoors, others have doubled

down on investing in their infrastructure, workforce, culture,

and local government.

Second, these places are magnets to educated young

people and welcoming of immigrants, two groups

disproportionately connected to entrepreneurship and

business creation.

Third, they have robust and diversified knowledge

economies, often anchored by one or multiple research

universities. Alternatively, places that are closely identified

with industrial and agricultural sectors of the economy, as

opposed to the digital economy, have the most stagnant and

least dynamic economies in both the U.S. and Europe.

Fourth, these cities are close to investors, lenders,

and capital markets, and spread that capital across

neighborhoods. Access to capital is the lifeblood of growing

the homegrown businesses it takes to launch the virtuous

cycles of investments that communities need.

make up the most diverse, dynamic, and technology

enabled economies in the U.S. Yet, unlike America’s 20th

century focus on land grant universities, transportation

infrastructure, and rural electrification, there are largely

no new 21st century place-based economic development

programs that incentivize place-based investment.

We need a bold new agenda that’s focused on new

approaches to economic development that doesn’t

get bogged down in the all-too-common scapegoats of

globalization, immigration, and technology. In fact, with

the exception of the manufacturing sector, there is little

evidence in the U.S., at least, that globalization and

technology are destroying too many jobs. In fact, the

opposite is largely true — we have far too little creation

— both in terms of businesses and jobs — not too much

destruction. While there is no silver bullet, if you asked me

to recommend one core focus area for national, regional,

and/or local governments, it would be to better plant

the seeds of their economic future through a focus on

entrepreneurship and new businesses creation.

Fifth, they have a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem — and

they take deliberate steps to make this ecosystem socially

and geographically inclusive. That means everything from

establishing incubator and accelerator spaces to lower

regulatory barriers for entrepreneurs to publicly funded

angel capital funds.

Sixth, these cities embrace public-private partnerships, and

activate networks of business people, investors, and civic

leaders with a commitment to their cities. I can’t emphasize

this element of the equation enough — these problems

cannot be solved by the public sector alone, they require

private sector buy in and investment.

Seventh, and most of all, successful places are physically

and digitally connected to the world. They’re plugged into

networks of people, goods, and information.

The good news is that America and Europe both have a rich

history of making investments in places left behind as a way

to ensure that prosperity is widely shared. For example, a

defining feature of former President Franklin Roosevelt’s

New Deal was a commitment to developing rural America

and the American West at a time when the agricultural

sector was under a tremendous amount of pressure and

people were fleeing to cities to take advantage of the

Industrial Revolution. Today, Western States in America

Belgium, in particular, has a long way to go here with

extremely low rates of start-up activity connected with very

high regulatory burdens and an unfavorable tax regime.

Surprisingly, at least to me, Belgium ranks last among EU

countries in terms of entrepreneurship culture. A new

approach to entrepreneurship entails a number of policies.

For example:

• Supporting expanded entrepreneurship visas that are

geographically tied so immigrants are incentivized to

seek out new places to grow roots;

• Adopting regulatory reforms that reduce or eliminate

barriers like non-compete agreements, as well as other

more commonplace obstacles like the compliance costs

for starting a business, which in Belgium is about 60%

higher than the EU average; and

• Incentivizing investment in distressed communities —

everywhere from traditional banking to angel capital

to high-growth venture capital. One example here is

a bipartisan proposal in the U.S. Congress called the

“Investing in Opportunity Act” which would create a

simple, but powerful tax incentive for investments in lowincome


Recently, Belgium instituted tax incentives for investments

in startups, which seems to have had some early success,

but without these incentives being tied to where there’s

geographic need, Belgium risks further reinforcing its

regional inequality.



The collapse of business formation in the U.S. has also

coincided with a transformation of America’s corporate

landscape. The 21st century economy is fast becoming

a golden age for global corporate monopolies. In the

U.S., since the late 1990s, a full two-thirds of America’s

industries saw an increase in market concentration, and by

2012, the four largest companies captured at least 25% of

the market in nearly half of all American industries. Perhaps

an even more powerful statistic — in 1 in 7 U.S. industries

— take telecommunications, department stores, hospitals,

and airlines for example — the four largest companies

claimed more than 50% of the market. In Belgium, several

industries show a similarly high degree of concentration,

particularly in sectors like telecom, IT, and transportation.

Meanwhile, corporate profits in the U.S. as a share of GDP

have nearly doubled in 20 years, approaching unprecedented

heights, and it’s happening without the commensurate local

investment in the country’s future.

The growing dominance of large firms can be traced, in

part, to the premium globalization pays just for being big.

And this is where diplomats can and should step up their

game — they need to make entrepreneurship diplomacy the

very centerpiece of modern economic diplomacy. I mean

that both in terms of whom commercial diplomats serve,

and in terms of the tactics used to support entrepreneurship

all over the world. First, commercial diplomacy should

increasingly target the smaller towns and regions, as well

as the smaller companies, that are struggling to break into

international markets. This would be a dramatic reversal

from the existing bias of economic diplomacy, which has

traditionally focused most of its energy around how to

help larger companies secure big deals — through export

financing, political advocacy with foreign governments,

large-scale trade negotiations, and other tools and tactics.

Increasingly, governments need to diversify their

services, and move from a 20th century analog version

of international business matchmaking to a 21st century

digitally enabled hub of information that would connect

more places and companies to the global economy.

Entrepreneurs don’t seek out government assistance, they

avoid the government, and use the internet to find the

resources they need. When I worked for President Obama,

I was tasked with creating a modern website and intake

platform for the 19 trade-related Federal agencies that touch

the thousands of companies engaging in global trade. Yes,

19 Federal agencies and departments. Removing duplication

of how Federal agencies engaged business customers and

increasing information sharing would have enabled the U.S.

government to reach far more small businesses over a far

larger geographic area. But I failed. Badly. And, still today,

commercial diplomats in the U.S. tremendously underutilize

technology in connecting with businesses. Turns out that it

can be just has hard to deal with government bureaucracy,

as it can be to negotiate with the Chinese or the Republican

party. But, I’m sure that’s not a problem here in Europe…

Second, despite all of the flaws and shortcomings of

the U.S. economy, we are still the most entrepreneurial

country in the world by many measures. In addition to

Silicon Valley, Boston, and NYC, you now see robust

entrepreneurial ecosystems in less well-known cities like

Austin, Denver, and Salt Lake City. Europe has its share of

major success stories, as well — Amsterdam, London, and

Stockholm can hold their own with any city in the world —

hopefully, Brussels will join these ranks someday soon.

As Western governments face the reality of having less and

less capital to invest and the corporate sector is even less

invested in places that have fallen behind, it will be the

scrappy, creative, ambitious entrepreneurs that will need to

fill the gaps. Diplomats can empower entrepreneurs, invest

time and resources into them, and deploy more of them in

underserved places throughout the world.

Regional inequality in the U.S. and Europe is not just a

political and economic failing, it’s a moral failure, as well.

And our societies can no longer afford to ignore it. We can

complain about the rise in populism in our societies — the

insecurity, anxiety, and oftentimes, hate expressed by our

fellow citizens — or we can recognize it for what it is and

do something about it. But, to the extent we care about the

American and the EU experiment, it starts here. To the

extent we want to see more global economic cooperation,

not more nationalist outcomes, it starts here. And, to the

text we want to do more economic good for more people, it

starts here. Thank you for inviting me to join you, and enjoy

the rest of the day.



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The Institute of Russian Chambers

of Commerce and Industry celebrates

the centenary this year. Yet the history

of Russian business self-governance

began much earlier. That is what the

interview by CCI of Russia President

Sergey Katyrin is about.

Every organization, especially with such history

as Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry,

has its symbols, signs, and emblems. What is the

meaning of the caduceus?

Today, the rod of Mercury (the caduceus) is a golden staff

entwined by two golden snakes looking at one another.

Mercury received the caduceus (a walnut tree branch) from

Apollo. The caduceus was topped by the golden winged

helmet of Hades (the legend says it was Hades, the ruler

of the underworld, who gave the helmet to the god of

commerce and Mercury used it to deter the attack of the

Titans on Mount Olympus).

The caduceus worked miracles: it could reconcile and bring

together any conflicting sides. Mercury once tossed his

branch into a ball of fighting snakes, the snakes stopped

fighting immediately, entwined the branch, and looked at

one another peacefully. This is how the rod of Mercury we

know, the symbol of reconciliation and accord, came into



Sergey Katyrin

The caduceus decorated coats of arms of some noble

families, cities, and provinces of pre-Revolution Russia.

Nowadays, the staff is an element of the Russian Customs

Service’s emblem and the official symbol of the Chamber

of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation.

The staff of the Roman god of commerce, Mercury is bound

to stop quarrels and reconcile enemies; in the modern

context, it is destined to reconcile entrepreneurs in an arbitral

proceeding and seek accord in global trade. To a large extent,

the modern caduceus is the symbol of fair competition and

partnership, as well as quality goods and services.

So how did the history of the Russian Chamber of

Commerce and Industry begin?

The government first tried to create an association of

Russian merchants and industrialists in February 1727.

I can assure you that many Russian businessmen, and

above all, members of our Chamber, are aware of the order

of Catherine I. The document, and I am citing it by a

photocopy, prescribed “a certain number of manufacturers

[…] to come together in Moscow for at least one month

in winter and seek counsel, while the Commerce Board

should be informed whenever important matters required

the issuance of an order.” Regretfully, the order signed

almost 300 years ago (its 290th anniversary was marked this

year) was never implemented. The only thing done was a

commission receiving complaints from manufacturers.

In fact, Russian merchants and craftsmen had united before

to agree on rules of commerce and to protect their interests.

For instance, special weighting scales were installed in

places of business, and designated officials verified the

correctness of weight and transactions. A weighting duty

was levied on sold goods. Merchants resolved their disputes

in a commercial court. Besides merchants, industrialists and

seafarers formed commercial unions to lay down common

rules. Craft and merchant guilds, which appeared in the

Middle Ages, can be called forerunners of chambers of

commerce and industry.

Peter the Great established the Board of Commerce in

his government. Its regulations stipulated assistance to

merchants, including their protection from duress and

harassment by the customs, free and unhampered trade, and

measures against monopolies. Hence, the order issued by

Catherine I in February 1727 to unite Russian merchants

and industrialists did not start the process from scratch.

Still whatever orders the imperial rulers created can

hardly be called free civil unions, which chambers

of commerce and industry actually are.

Yes, it so happened then that the structures uniting business

people were an element of Russia’s state machinery rather



than civil unions for a long period of time. But businessmen

had more opportunities to represent their interests. For

example, the 1869 Charter of the Moscow Exchange

Committee gave its members the right to discuss proposals

on the development of trade and industry and submit them

to government agencies. I should say that back then the

word ‘exchange’ signified not only the place of trade but

also the community of participating parties. In other words,

in contrast to those in Western Europe, Russian exchanges

(i.e. the community of their participants) assumed some

functions of chambers of commerce via their committees.

In the case of Moscow, the community was

gathering on Ilyinka Street.

Exactly. The first building of the Exchange erected on

Ilyinka Street in 1839 cost half a million rubles. There was

a terrace between two arch entrances to the Exchange, and

brokers who for some reason refused to work in the central

hall for a long time, gathered there, in the open air, at first.

The transformation of Ilyinka into the main business street

of Moscow was completed in the second half of the 19th

century. The square in front of the Exchange was named

Exchange Square. The Exchange was overcrowded, so it

underwent profound renovations and expansion from

1873-1875. Today, it accommodates the Chamber of

Commerce and Industry of Russia.

But let’s go back to our history. In the early 20th century,

once again at the proposal of the authorities, Russian

exchange committees started working on a model of Russian

chambers of commerce and industry. The work was slow.

Why is that? Was it the notorious bureaucratic

red tape?

Oh no, bureaucracy has nothing to do with that.

Interestingly, except for the Moscow Exchange Committee,

every other exchange committee, which, as I have already

said, was executing functions of chambers of commerce

and industry, as well as merchant boards and factory

councils that once called for business self-governance were

obstinately stalling territorial chamber projects. The reason

was simple: they did not want to lose their privileges,

opportunities, and representative capacities. One way

or another, the process was set in motion. First, Russian

chambers of commerce were created abroad, such as the

Russian Chamber of Commerce in Alexandria (1902), the

Russian Chamber of Commerce in London (1915), etc.

A number of bi-national or mixed chambers came into being,

among them the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce in

St. Petersburg (1908) and the Russian-American Chamber

of Commerce in Moscow (1913). In addition, a number of

strictly domestic chambers of commerce were formed with

emphasis on boosting foreign trade.

Nonetheless, the Regulations on Chambers of Commerce

and Industry were approved only on October 19 (formerly

6), 1917, to lay down the institutional foundation of Russian

business self-governance; the document defined principle

objectives, tasks, and powers of chambers of commerce and

industry in Russia. The new law envisaged the establishment

of territorial chambers of commerce and industry and the

mandatory participation of every business entity, the clear

territorial jurisdiction within one province, the obligation

to execute state duties, and the payment of membership

fees. Hence, as I have said before, the national system of

chambers of commerce and industry marked its centenary

in October of this year.

Then you are sort of coeval with the October

Revolution, about which so much has been said

and written?

I am not sure this is symbolic. No doubt, the birth year is

the same. But after the Socialist Revolution, the CCI was

definitely not an organization of business self-governance,

simply because there was no entrepreneurship in its current

meaning in the Soviet Union and the government owned all

means of production. Nevertheless, the All-Union Chamber

of Commerce that was established after the revolution

(renamed the USSR Chamber of Commerce and Industry

in 1971) had the status of a civil organization, actively

participated in the development of the national economy,

promoted contacts with foreign trade and economic

organizations, including chambers of commerce, export

companies, exchanges, etc., or actually performed every CCI

function possible in a socialist state.

The CCI of Russia held a founding congress in 1991 after

socialism fell and the Soviet Union collapsed. Nineteen

regional chambers and several dozen business associations

took part in it. That happened on October 19, 74 years after

the adoption of the first law on chambers of commerce and

industry. A historical circle or, if you prefer, a historical

cycle was completed.

How did you begin?

It was not easy. I was directly involved in the establishment

of the Russian chamber and worked for it from the start, so

I can say there is a huge difference between how we started

and what we are now. I mean we inherited practically every

material asset from the Soviet chamber, including our

building on Ilyinka Street, and we are extremely grateful to

our predecessors for that. However, the chamber was part of

the state in the Soviet Union and had no powers in the field

of legislation, etc.

Our work on the market started from scratch. The old

economy was in ruins, and the new economy was just born.

We had to learn to represent the interests of business under

those circumstances and actually create the enterprise

development institute, which the country barely had.

Now you are the biggest, leading business

community of the country.

Right you are. Today, the national CCI system stands

for 180 chambers, over 50,000 enterprises and entities

of various forms of ownership aligned to the Chamber,

more than 200 unions, associations, and other groups of

businessmen operating on the federal level, 500 regional

business associations, as well as committees and councils

of the CCI of Russia working in various business fields and

branches. The Chamber represents and defends interests of

businessmen with the authorities.

True, there is an important reservation to make — we

defend and represent the interests of small, medium, and

big business unless their interests contravene the public

ones. Our “zone of responsibility” embraces every sphere

of enterprise, such as industry, domestic and foreign trade,

agriculture, the financial system, and services. We bring

together big, medium, and small business. Most of Chamber

members are small companies.

There are lots of problems in Russia, and businesses,

especially small and medium one, sometimes find it hard

to live and work. Still, when there is business in the country,

it is developing. And this is our biggest achievement.

Good of love pro toto: Volker Hildebrandt, “human globalisation: the united states of love”, 2015





If companies and financial growth are linked to

degradation and emission, it means you are

addicted to ruining the planet.

Carl Pendragon is inventor, philosopher and entrepreneur,

with over 25 years experience in energy markets. Since the

early 1990s when he set up his first purchasing group for oil

and electricity, he has been a part of a multitude of projects.

He is the CEO of Skymining, a company and a process of

turning atmospheric CO2 into a renewable solid fuel.

On the panel Discussion: “Climate Smart Agriculture as a

Systemic Response to Climate Change”, he not only names

problems and addresses failures, but shares solutions to

global economists.




“All the CO2 we send to the atmosphere first heats up the

air and then heats up the ocean. Water is 600 times more

dense than air. So heating up the ocean takes a long time.

What we have felt today is global warming until 1992 and

we have not felt the global warming after 1992 yet.

The carbon, we have admitted since 1992 is equal to all the

carbon that was admitted until 1992 since 1750.

So if we stop burning fossil fuels today, we will have 30

more years of heating. Let’s look at the facts. If you look

at the current global energy supply, 82% still comes from

fossil fuels and 10% is burning biomass. That means that

mankind with all its technological advances is still getting

92% of all energy from burning fossil fuels or biomass. We

do have amazing technologies but they are less than 8%. The

actual causes of climate change, in my belief, is that we have

decoupled our minds from our hearts and also decoupled

from nature. What we need is to restore and regenerate.

We need to fix what we have broken. And only nature can

do that.”



Carl, DW is pleased to meet you. During the

panel you have made things quite clear. As CEO

of Skymining you transform exponential economic

growth into exponential sustainable growth.

What is your approach?

Well I think the most important thing is to look at the

facts of climate change instead of the thousands of stories

that are floating around. If you reduce it down to the core,

the cause of climate change is twofold. First, too much

carbon that is already in the sky and second the human

behaviour that put it there. Those are the two main causes.

Decarbonizing energy systems but not changing the

behaviour that is putting carbon up there, is like cleaning

everything down here, but never changing the attitude of

the one polluting it up there. We have a false layer of reality

called “the economy” and we need to address the behaviour

of humans putting carbon up there.


Barbara Dietrich & Carl Pendragon

Nina Anne Pahnke & Carl Pendragon

What is “ecologically negative”


All of us are in pursuit of happiness and growth and most

people want to have more income the next year, not less.

Most companies are hoping for quarterly revenue growth,

and I have never seen a business model where a company

says to the chairholders: “We are trying to get less

turnover and profits every year for the next ten years.”

Why is that a problem? Because if you expand your

company, and if your growth is linked to the degradation

of nature or a decrease of resources, it means that your

growth is directly attached to degradation and emission.

Why is it a false layer?

It is a false layer, because we use terms like profit and wealth

creation when in fact the way to make profit and wealth

creation for shareholders is to ruin something, for example

distroy a forest to make palm oil. In reality we are actually

reducing the wealth of the planet, and are increasing CO2

emissions to create a so-called-wealth for shareholder

companies and people. The basic and fundamental

problem is our false ideal of wealth creation linked

to the degradation of the real world.

This world is addicted to growth, which is set around

countries, set around companies, especially stock

exchange registered companies that are in pursuit of

quarterly growth increase. Since that growth is linked to

degradation and emission, it means that you are addicted

to ruining the planet. What we see as the problem is

actually the business model of mankind, hidden in a false

layer of reality called “the economy”.


Nina Anne Pahnke & Carl Pendragon




On the panel discussion you call for a different

manifest for economy and companies: “being big and

doing good”. What is included in this approach?

What we need to do, and what we try to offer to the world

is to decouple growth, pursuit of happiness and pursuit of

growth from degradation and emissions, and couple it to

restoration and CO2 removal. Skymining is unique, in that

it can be attached to any business model. When we talked to

Amazon last week in London, for example and we proposed

to them, that every time they send a package to somebody,

they remove that emission and a little more.

A fascinating concept, nowadays the bigger businesses

become, the more harm they do. But if you remove more

emission than you emit, then the more business you do, the

more you can improve the world. In other words, you are

repairing the harm you did and a little more.

So imagine if they wake up tomorrow and say: “If we double

our business size we can double the amount of good we do

in the world.” We did the math for Amazon: they have about

1.7 billion packages a year they send to people. The average

value of a package is $80 and it would only take 2 cents

to compensate the emission and more from sending each

package. Every consecutive year the removal of the emission

just of that package becomes a 10th of 2 cents. So you have

to only add 1 thousandth of the price of the transaction to

actually do good instead of harm. Nowadays if a company

like Amazon doubles in size, whatever harm they are doing,

it would double unless they do something drastic.



What we are suggesting, is to attach acts of doing good, like

ecosystem restoration, removing CO2, creating farms, to

our business models. If a company doubles their business,

the farm would be twice as big and twice as good. Twice as

many people working on the farm, creating fuel, fiber, food.

An amazing idea and this is a really important message for

everyone. If we couple pursuit of growth to regeneration

of ecosystems to CO2 to removal, then suddenly growth

becomes a positive thing. Today growth is a negative thing.

That is the most fundamental issue that we need to address.

We need to decouple growth from degradation.

Nina Anne Pahnke & Brita Achberger

Source: http://carlpendragon.com,


Brought to you by

13 March 2018

Paris, France

Financing Innovation for a Low Carbon Future

Join 250+ decision-makers from the investment community,

governments, and think tanks at the inaugural must-attend

Sustainable Investment Forum Europe. Register now!

High-level speakers include:

Olivier Guersent,

Director-General for

Financial Stability,

Financial Services and

Capital Markets Union,

European Commission

Eva Halvarsson,

Chief Executive Officer,

Second Swedish National

Pension Fund (AP2)

Carine Smith Ihenacho,

Global Head of

Ownership Strategies,

Norges Bank Investment


Andreas Hallermeier,

Sustainability Manager

and Assistant to the Chief

Investment Officer,



Joel Prohin,

Head of Portfolio


Caisse des Depots

Who will attend?

C-Level representatives and investment decision-makers from the European and global investment community

will be present, as well as influent policy-makers, regulators and think tanks.

• Asset owners

• Financial service providers

• Credit rating and indices firms

• Insurance companies

• Large private sector companies

• European, national and local governments

europe.sustainableinvestmentforum.org |

@Climate_Action_ | #SInvEU



On 23 – 24 May 2018, 2.000 high-level EU and national policy-makers,

business executives, civil society and academia representatives will gather at

the Egmont Palace in Brussels for the annual European Business Summit.


The European Business Summit (EBS) is a renowned debated

platform offering its partners and guests an opportunity to

exchange views on topics shaping the European and international

agenda. In the upcoming 18th edition, EBS would like to

build upon its ability to facilitate constructive dialogue between

countries’ representatives and business community in Europe

and beyond. By bringing these partners together, EBS contributes

to promoting European competitiveness, entrepreneurship

and innovation.

EBS enjoys the high patronages of His Majesty the King of the

Belgians, the Belgian Minister of European and Foreign Affairs,

Didier Reynders and EU Commission President Jean-Claude

Juncker. EBS is also supported by BUSINESSEUROPE and

Federation of Enterprises in Europe (FEB).


EBS encourages countries or regions to join the event and

showcase their national business and investment opportunities.

Proposing various tailor-made partnership agreements ensuring

country’s needs and expectations are met.

Country or region representations could benefit from speaking

possibilities at EBS during plenary debates, roundtable discussions,

interactive Agora talks or Meet the Expert exchanges. In

addition, EBS partners can host a side or a main event of any

size and scope, open to EBS participants or by invitation only.

The experienced EBS team will ensure high-level organisation

and promotion of this event. EBS also offers branding options

such as a booth in the Networking Village – the most visited

location at the Egmont Palace - placing advertising products

such as technologies, services for food and more, advertising in

the EBS Magazine and benefiting from EBS marketing products

and extensive media coverage.

EBS also recommends that its partners join the brand new

Strategy Group, a unique dialogue platform for countries,

regions, business executives and policy-makers. During the

approximately 6 meetings per year, the Strategy Group members

will participate in private sessions with high-level business and

policy representatives and it will contribute to shaping the programme

of EBS and associated events. The partnership is the

best way to further impact the content and strengthens the voice

at the Summit.


AT EBS 2016

The European Business Summit 2016 hosted a session entitled

“CETA: A New Deal for Europe”, organised together with the

Embassy of Canada to Belgium and Luxembourg.

Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade debated the

Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, known as CETA,

with Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade in the

Canadian Government, Daniel Kelly, President and CEO of the

Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The panelists discussed the advantages and opportunities

of CETA for businesses communities looking to build new

partnerships and establish or expand their operations in Canada.

EBS also facilitated meetings between EU policy-makers, business

leaders and representatives from Canada present at the Summit.


- 2 - days 2 days of of high-level debates

- 1700 - 1700 participants

- 250 - 250 speakers

- 10 - 10 EU EU Commissioners

- 50 - 50 sessions

- 100 - 100 international journalists

Save Save the the date date for for the the 18 18 th EBS th EBS edition:

23-24 23-24 MAY MAY 2018 2018


- 3 - years 3 years of of debating CETA at at EBS EBS

- - Special session with with EU EU Commissioner


- High - High visibility among EU EU policy-makers

and and business community

- - Increased business opportunities for for EU EU

and and Canadian companies


Arnaud Thysen Thysen - - Director General - - at@ebsummit.eu - +32 - +32 (0)2 (0)2 645 645 34 34 83 83

Bartosz Lasota Lasota - - Business Development Manager - - bl@ebsummit.eu - +32 - +32 (0)2 (0)2 645 645 34 34 85 85

Jamie Jamie Nuttall Nuttall - - Business Development Manager - - jan@ebsummit.eu - +32 - +32 (0)2 (0)2 645 645 34 34 84 84




The artist Jean-Marie Waelkens and chef

Marc Clément of the restaurant The Bistronomy

are joining forces with the HOOOP project for a

good cause. With the proceeds, they will support

BelHospice, an initiative that is close to the heart of

Leo D’Aes, the Belgian ambassador in Belgrade.

It is really not to be missed. The award-winning, innovative

restaurant The Bistronomy in Brussels has recently been

occupied by a small army of wooden HOOOP puppets. They

are the handiwork of the artist Jean-Marie Waelkens. In

his daily life, Jean-Marie designs wooden dining tables and

other wooden objects. One day, he was asked to design a

lamp and, while looking for the ideal design, came up with

a figure that closely resembled Pinocchio. This first wooden

puppet soon acquired a series of friends, and so the idea for

HOOOP was born. Jean-Marie Waelkens has been referred

to as a “wood reader”. He goes in search of different types

of wood, the tree rings of which are suited to certain

types of design. These give the puppets their distinctive


The Bistronomy. For him, too, the story of the reused

wood was very important, certainly in an era when we are

trying to avoid food waste at all costs. Marc Clément:

“In my kitchen nothing is wasted. Everything edible or

usable in dishes finds a purpose. That is why I feel such a

close connection to Jean-Marie’s art. The inspiration he

puts into his puppets is what I put into my dishes.”


The HOOOP puppets are in reality much more than a

parade of wooden puppets. The marionettes made of wood

have a deeper message. The decision to spell “HOOOP”

with 3 Os was a deliberate one. They stand for “hopen,

dromen, geloven”, Dutch for hoping, dreaming and

believing. The puppets are quite abstract and summon up

a fairy-tale nostalgia. With this the artist seeks to refer to

the carefee days of childhood. Childlike imagination soon

brings abstract forms to life.

Jean-Marie Waelkens: “With my art, I want to create a world

of hope, a world in which one can continue to believe in



In this way, the wood scraps left over from his daily

activities are put to a meaningful and artistic use.

This is how the link was made to chef Marc Clément of


Both chef Marc Clément and the artist Jean-Marie

Waelkens want to send a message with this initiative. They

would like to encourage people to realize their dreams.

They hope that the HOOOP puppets, that are now exhibited

in the restaurant will find a place in people’s homes or

offices, and remind them that they should continue to

believe in their dreams. As long as that is possible, there is

hope for the future!

Ambassador Leo D’Aes

The Bistronomy by Living Tomorrow

Indringingsweg 1 - BE–1800 Vilvoorde

www.thebistronomy.com - info@thebistronomy.com

Jean-Marie Waelkens

Marc Clément



The two artists, each in his own domain, are now joining forces for a good cause. Based on the story

of the HOOOP puppets, master chef Marc Clément has developed a HOOOP menu drawing on his

own creativity and vision. The surprising result caresses both the eye and the taste buds. Thus, the

wooden relief of the puppets is translated into the dishes and one can even recognize the profile of

Pinocchio’s head in the chocolate dessert.

A good percentage of both the sale of the HOOOP puppets and of the HOOOP menu goes to

BelHospice. This centre for palliative care accompanies cancer patients in Serbia, and is a project at

which Leo d’Aes, the Belgian ambassador in Belgrade, is chair of the support committee. The centre

offers free palliative care for terminal cancer patients in Serbia. Given the difficult history of the

country, this care is far from straightforward.

If you buy a HOOOP puppet, you are giving the patients there hope and an accompaniment that

honours their dignity. Each of the HOOOP puppets is unique, and comes with a certificate of












The technologization of cities has become big

business. Many companies are targeting this growth

market with their products, data services or apps,

and are trying to persuade cities to adopt their

applications. The global market for smart cities in

2020 is estimated at 400 billion dollars. However, a

city is also a complex interaction between social and

technological systems which continually align with

each other and their surroundings; how can they

mutually strengthen each other? A conversation

with Joachim De Vos, CEO of TomorrowLab, which

helps cities and towns to become Smart.



Joachim De Vos: “Cities or regions are ‘smart’ whenever

they make use of innovation, technology or creativity in

order to achieve a certain goal. The goals will vary from

city to city, but you can group them around three different

pillars. The first has to do with increasing comfort, the

quality of life and citizen well-being. Second, you can seek

to make efficiency gains or to limit risks by introducing

long-term thinking. A third pillar is sustainability, whereby

cities and regions try to reduce their footprint. Think for

instance of air quality, the environment, etc.”



Technology unquestionably plays a very important role, but

it is not because something is possible that it is always also

desirable that it be done. Human beings are at the centre of

the story, the question is simply how government can create

a top-down environment in which bottom-up initiatives can

grow. For truly long-term vision, you need a larger scale in

order to work efficiently. A typical example is infrastructure:

roads, logistical centres, hyperloops, etc.

Herman Van Rompuy, Wim Dries, Joachim De Vos

They’ll bill everything automatically. They’ll wait for

For that you need a top-down approach by the government

and stakeholders to create the framework. But once that

framework is present, innovative entrepreneurship from

below needs to grow. That should lead to creativity, as

frustration is often the source of innovation.

Facebook, Google, Apple, Uber, etc. already do all that, but

they have a different approach to privacy, of course. Living

Labs can play an important role in that bottom-up story.

Otherwise, it must be clear that Smart City is sometimes

more about fast failure than about quick wins.


A government should be able to ensure that they make data

available from the top, for example. Whenever you talk

about data, sooner or later the issue of privacy comes up.

A government can incorporate privacy into the system from

the outset, creating a context where data is used smartly,

while respecting the privacy of citizens. Players such as



Cities must be aware that they must keep their options

open as far as possible, and not become dependent on a

single supplier, for example, which is known as ‘vendor

lock-in’. That is something to be wary of, and is easy to




Cities sometimes have the tendency to each work in their

own corner, which is much more difficult to solve. It is

unfortunate, for although it is in a sense understandable,

this approach gives rise to a series of separate silos. That

is counterproductive, since cities cannot, for example,

devise a smart parking policy without the neighbouring

municipalities getting involved. Traffic obviously does not

stop at the city limits. That is why we are so proud of the

S-LIM project, in which we have brought together more

than 44 different cities and municipalities around the table,

in order to develop a single strategy for their region.

That is perhaps the greatest pitfall, the lack of strategy.

Everything starts there.









If a Bugis had to leave his village to seek a better life

elsewhere, he would take with him some soil from his old

dwelling-place. Once he arrived at the shores of his new

home, he would scatter the soil while saying “this is the soil

from my former home, now I spread it here… Thus this is

where I reside now”.

Bugis Beliefs about the classification of the cosmos.

Halilintar Lathief

Alexis Gautier - Pulau Jengekerik (Cricket Island)





November 25, 2017 — March 25, 2018

Fabergé Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

In November 2017, the Fabergé Museum in St. Petersburg

opened its exhibition titled Modigliani, Soutine, and Other

Legends of Montparnasse, thus continuing its series of shows

on the most famous and influential artists of the twentieth

century. This will be the third major showing at the Fabergé

Museum in the last two years, following the immensely

successful Salvador Dali exhibition this year, and Frida Kahlo

the year before that.

of pilgrimage: in the 1910s, the regulars in its many cafés

were all leaders and ideologists of the European Modernist

movement. Ilya Ehrenburg wrote about the famous café “de la

Rotonde” located on the Montparnasse Boulevard: “Starting

early in the morning, in the hot, stuffy, smoke-filled back

room, at four or five tables sat Russians, Spaniards, Latin

Americans, Scandinavians, people from all corners of the

Earth, utterly destitute, wearing god-knows-what, starveling,

In the exhibition, the Russian audience can see for the first

time a unique collection of paintings by leading artists of

the School of Paris from the first third of the twentieth

century, a collection assembled by their contemporary and

patron Jonas Netter. Works by the most famous names and

the most important showpieces of Netter’s collection are on

display: paintings by Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine,

Maurice Utrillo, and also works by Moïse Kisling, Maurice

de Vlaminck, André Derain, Suzanne Valadon, and other

legendary masters of Montparnasse.


Montparnasse is a district in Paris that became the center

of its artistic, intellectual, and worldly life shortly before

the First World War, and retained this unique atmosphere

until the outbreak of World War II. An integral element of

Parisian life during this period was internationalism: artists,

writers, politicians, and businessmen from all over the world

gathered there, and many ended up living there. For artists

and poets who wanted to immerse themselves in the latest

schools and trends in art, Montparnasse was a genuine place

© Barbara Dietrich

© Fabergé Museum

where they talked about painting, recited poems, discussed

ways they could get five francs, argued and reconciled. In the

end, someone would inevitably get drunk and be ejected from

the room.”

The new culture of Modernism, inspired by the end of the

First World War and the following economic upturn, made

art even more relevant and popular, and in the geographic

center of this movement, Paris, gave rise to the atmosphere

of unprecedented, boundless freedom. Fernand Léger writes

that a man in those years “could finally lift his head, open his

eyes and look before himself; he could shake off tension, and

regain his taste for life, eagerly long to dance, throw money

about, walk with a long stride, shout, wail, and squander.”

Montparnasse was thriving on free living, free love, and the

freedom of the arts.

However, the Bohemian life of this era was far from being

carefree for those who lived it. Young artists — Modigliani,

Soutine, Utrillo, and many others — lived in poverty, and

the public perceived their paintings as scandalous, so they

only rarely found buyers. Modigliani’s friends nicknamed

him “Modi” not only because of his surname, but because it

sounded similar to the French word ‘maudit’, which means

‘cursed’. This nickname became entrenched both for him and

the artists of his circle, whose lives were full of hardships and


One of the first serious collectors of their work, entrepreneur

and art-lover Jonas Netter played an enormous role in the

fate of these artists. He began to assemble his collection after

being introduced to art dealer Leopold Zborovsky in Paris in

1915. Zborovsky began working for Netter: communicating

with artists, collecting, exchanging, and re-selling their

works. With Netter’s financial backing, Zborovsky concluded

agreements with artists, paid them salaries, gave them money

to rent studios, and to purchase materials for painting and

other supplies. In that same year, 1915, Netter and Zborovsky

signed a contract with Modigliani, under the terms of which

they paid the artist 300 francs a month, for which they would

receive all the canvases he created. By 1917, the monthly

amount paid to the artist had grown to 500 francs and, by

1919, it had risen to 1.000 francs. Similar agreements existed

between Netter and Zborovsky with Soutine and Utrillo.

Netter’s enthusiasm for their creativity, as well as for the

works of Moïse Kisling, Suzanne Valadon, André Derain,

and other masters contributed to the emerging demand for

artists of the School of Paris and created a new segment in

the art market. Jonas Netter died in 1946, leaving his heirs

an invaluable collection of works by artists who are now


fully embodied in his paintings, and in his creation of his

own version of Expressionism. Netter’s collection includes

examples of all the genres in which Soutine worked: portraits,

still lives, and both urban and rural landscapes. Considering

himself a successor of the old masters, Soutine claimed

that the motif of animal carcasses was suggested to him

by a Rembrandt painting “The Carcass of a Bull”. Soutine

painted his version of the picture from life, buying a carcass

in a slaughterhouse and hanging it in his studio. The artist

worked slowly, and the stench became so unbearable that his

neighbors complained to the city’s sanitation service. In order

to give Soutine the chance to finish his canvas, the sanitation

workers offered to treat the bull’s carcass with formalin. A

few days later, the desiccated meat had lost its rich color,

so Soutine obtained a bucket of fresh blood from the same

slaughterhouse. The bull, smeared with blood with the help

of a brush, became “even more beautiful than it had been



© Pinacothèque de Paris

recognized as the most important artists of the twentieth

century. For more than seventy years Netter’s collection was

not available to a wide audience, and only recently has it

begun to be shown in Europe.

The masterpieces of Netter’s collection are, undoubtedly, the

piercing and refined portraits created by Amedeo Modigliani

in the final years of his short life. Among them are two

portraits of his muse, Jeanne Hebuterne. The artist first met

the young woman at the end of 1916. Jeanne was nineteen

years old, a student at a private art school. Despite the

objections of her parents and Modigliani’s taste for alcohol,

Jeanne soon began to live with the artist, and subsequently

gave birth to his daughter. Modigliani created more than

twenty portraits of Jeanne. Their love story, embodied in the

portraits he created, became one of the most famous romantic

tales of the art world of the twentieth century. Jeanne shared

all of Modi’s adversity, and on the day after his death on

January 24, 1920, she committed suicide.

The exhibition also features a wonderful selection of paintings

by Modigliani’s close friend, Chaim Soutine, a Russian

immigrant. Like his friend, Soutine lived and worked in

poverty and was known to be a neurasthenic, morbid, and

hypersensitive person. The feverish nature of the artist is

The paintings of Maurice Utrillo are represented by an

entire series of landscapes drawn from the best of his ‘White

Period’. The first painting lessons Utrillo received were from

his mother, the artist Suzanne Valadon, who had in her youth

been a favorite nude model for both Renoir and Toulouse-

Lautrec. Valadon’s works can also be seen in the exhibition.

Utrillo became a master of monochrome, distinguished by

a refined sense of the tones of urban landscapes, conveying

a sense of loneliness and melancholy. In a vivid contrast

with Utrillo’s ephemeral work are the color-rich paintings of

Moïse Kisling, among which are a portrait of the collector

himself, Jonas Netter. He had become friends with Kisling,

which was not surprising: Kisling was the true soul of

Montparnasse, a man who, according to his contemporaries’

testimony, radiated “energy in which vitality, love, sexuality

and creativity were mixed.” He was a regular visitor to the

cafés “la Coupole”, “de la Rotonde” and attended numerous

costumed balls, which were arranged in studios, private

houses, and salons.

Altogether, the exhibition includes more than 120 works by

artists of the School of Paris, which constitute the core of

Jonas Netter’s unique collection.

The exhibition is organized by the Cultural-Historical

Foundation “The Link of Times” and by Fabergé Museum in

St. Petersburg. The curator of the exhibition, Marc Restellini,

is an art historian and the world’s leading experts on the body

of works of Amedeo Modigliani. The exhibition is open to

public until March 25, 2018.

© Pinacothèque de Paris


© Pinacothèque de Paris © Fabergé Museum

The official opening ceremony of the first privately owned Fabergé Museum in Russia took place on November 19, 2013, in the

Shuvalov Palace in St. Petersburg. The founding organization of the museum is the Link of Times cultural and historical foundation,

which was established in 2004 by Viktor Vekselberg with the aim of repatriating items of cultural significance to Russia.

The idea of creating a series of museums in Russia dedicated to the works of the great jeweler Carl Fabergé first came to the Link

of Times in 2004. In that year, Viktor Vekselberg purchased a one-of-a-kind collection of Fabergé works which had been collected

by Malcolm Forbes. Since then, the foundation has been collecting Russian works of decorative and fine art and has amassed more

than 4.000 items today. In terms of its size, diversity, and the quality of its pieces, many of which belonged to the royal family and

other members of the royal courts of Europe, the collection is without a doubt one of the best in the world.

The most valuable items in the Museum’s collection are the nine Imperial Easter Eggs created by Fabergé for the last two Russian

emperors. Each of them is a masterpiece of jewelry and art, as well as a unique historical monument to the reign and personal life of

Alexander III and Nicholas II.

The exclusivity of the Fabergé collection acquired by the Link of Times foundation also comes from the fact that this collection

represents all of the areas the House of Faberge specialized in: objects of fantasy of all kinds, jewelry, small goods, silverware, and

interior and religious objects. In addition to works by Fabergé, the collection also includes works by his contemporaries, including

famous Russian jewelers and silversmiths such as Sazikov, Ovchinnikov, Khlebnikov, Rückert and many others.


Fabergé Museum, 21, Fontanka River Embankment, St. Petersburg, Russia - Fabergemuseum.ru

© Pinacothèque de Paris


Vladimir Medinsky - Minister of Culture of Russia, Silvie Bermann

- Ambassador of France in Russia, Maksim Sokolov - Minister for

Transportation of Russia, Viktor Vekselberg - President of Renova Group,

Vladimir Voronchenko - Chair of the Board of the Link of Times Historical

and Cultural Foundation, Director of Fabergé Museum © Barbara Dietrich

Silvie Bermann - Ambassador of France in Russia, Maksim Sokolov - Minister

for Transportation of Russia, Vladimir Medinsky - Minister of Culture of

Russia, Vladimir Voronchenko - Chair of the Board of the Link of Times

Historical and Cultural Foundation, Director of Fabergé Museum

© Barbara Dietrich

Viktor Vekselberg, Vladimir Voronchenko

© Fabergé Museum

Vladimir Voronchenko, Viktor Vekselberg, Andrey Shtorkh

© Fabergé Museum

Vladimir Voronchenko, Marina Medinskaya,

Vladimir Medinsky, Marc Restellini

© Fabergé Museum

Viktor Vekselberg, Vladimir Medinsky, Marina Medinskaya

© Fabergé Museum


© Fabergé Museum Vladimir Voronchenko, Ekaterina Puchkova, Rinat Umarov © Fabergé Museum

Roman Thaker, Mikhail Ovchinnikov, Ilya Zlotnik

© Fabergé Museum

Oleg Urazmetof, Barbara Dietrich & Marc Restellini

© Fabergé Museum

Barbara Dietrich & Nic Iljine

© Barbara Dietrich

Barbara Dietrich & Vladimir Medinsky

© Barbara Dietrich

Yury Dormidoshin & Natalia Dormidoshina © Fabergé Museum Viktor Vekselberg & Barbara Dietrich © Barbara Dietrich

© Barbara Dietrich

© Barbara Dietrich






After more than 25 years of experience in the

field of catalogues raisonnés, scientific analysis of

artworks and documentary research in Art History,

Marc Restellini is adding a new string to his bow

by creating his own Institute for Scientific and

Documentary Research in Art History:

The Institut Restellini.

While being a main contributor — during the past two

decades — to the world of culture, of museums and of

successful exhibitions, Marc Restellini has also been a

major pioneer in the scientific area of Art History. First

of all during his studies, when he elaborated, as early as

in his Master’s thesis, a catalogue raisonné based on the

most recent data processing methods, which had never

before been applied to that field of human sciences. He

then created in Paris I — Panthéon — Sorbonne, under the

impulse of Professor Marc Le Bot, a postgraduate seminar

of methodology in Art History, in order to link data

processing to the doctoral students’ research. He oversaw

that seminar in conjunction with the CNRS (represented

by Professor Levaillant) to set up the teaching of the

methodologies, which he had himself developed for his own


He was once again a pioneer when he decided, in 1997, on

Daniel Wildenstein’s invitation, to devote himself to the

elaboration of Amedeo Modigliani’s catalogue raisonné,


Marc Restellini

© Pinacothèque de Paris

imposing new scientific criteria never before utilized in the

field of research on works of art. By imposing his own methods,

he has created a new type of catalogue raisonné, whose model,

the Catalogue Modigliani remains unique worldwide. With

its 600 scientific files on the whole of Modigliani’s corpus

(genuine and fakes) and systematic analyses for each work,

Marc Restellini created a unique comparative calibration,

which he associated to a systematic usage of every new

technology as soon as it appeared. He was thus the very first to

set up a protocol of comparative pigmentary analysis, for the

elaboration of a paintings catalogue. He is also the first to use

magnetic resonance, for a non-intrusive pigmentary analysis.

He was the first to systematize, for a catalogue of artworks,

the use of infra-red plates and, later on, the first to employ

innovative methods like the digital processes of “fake colors”,

providing very effective results.

Unique in the world, the Institut Restellini is a pioneer

in the contribution of the most advanced technologies

to the field of art history, and of documentation, by

combining the scientific methods with the traditional

stylistic and historical analysis. The Institut Restellini has

as its vocation — in total and absolute independence from

the art market — to work alongside the best scientists, on

any work of art, and not only on works by Modigliani. In

order to achieve that goal, it closely collaborates with the

SGS laboratory in Geneva, and thus performs complete

research for any work of art: be it ancient, modern or

contemporary. While integrating the latest scientific

techniques, it is able to produce most scientifically

accomplished catalogues raisonnés. The Institut Restellini

has decided to offer an electronic publication of the

catalogue raisonné of Amedeo Modigliani, which is being


For every work, the Institut Restellini calls upon recognized

specialists of the artist, experts, authors of catalogues

raisonnés, scholars and academics, museum curators,

gallery owners worldwide, thanks to the international

network developed by Marc Restellini over the years.

The Institut Restellini can offer a due diligence report,

which summarizes the results of scientific analysis together

with the expert’s opinion, as a complete updated record on

each work:

- Technical examination report (analysis of the medium

and technique)

- Stylistic comparative analysis

- Documentation (history, exhibitions, literature)

- Conclusions of the study.

Amedeo Modigliani (Livorno, 1884 − Paris, 1920)

Portrait de Chaïm Soutine, 1916, Oil on canvas, 100 x 65 cm

© Pinacothèque de Paris

You are specialised in early 20th century painting

which covers an important period in the period of

“l’Art Moderne”. What is the relevance today of

this period towards our contemporary times

and the 21st century audience?

Each period in art history finds its roots and is nurtured by

previous periods and experiences. Can one imagine Picasso

without Cézanne’s legacy, or Bacon without Soutine, who

himself was inspired and touched by Rembrandt, Corot and

Delacroix? The 21st century artists cannot escape from this

logic and I don’t see a disruptive change from this basic

premise. The old masters, and other artistic predecessors

have laid the artistic fundaments for future generations of

contemporary artists.

How are the artworks created in this early 20th

century period and the practice of these artists

still resonating and influencing our contemporary

artists today?

Today these artworks often live on in a spirit of

breakthrough artistic practices and as part of the

transgressive evolution of contemporary artists.




(R)evolution is supposed to be part of the contemporary

art practice and conceptual art becomes the new academic

path to follow for a young emerging artist. Transgression

is part of the DNA of our new generation of artists

where they follow new paths in parallel with the mere

academic approach. Yet this doesn’t automatically mean

that this path is the right one to follow because in the

end it would become the new conformism again and even

the new academic style of developing art. But again, it

could mean that opportunities are missed when dogma

starts ruling and this will happen again in the future. It

is clear that academic’s failure to discover and welcome

the Impressionists in the 19th century should not happen

again and we should not miss new art geniuses for

academic reasons. We should create an open atmosphere

that becomes a fertile soil to accept new ideas and

practices. I was worried once that we should also miss the

new wave of graffiti artists and that is why I organised the

expo “Pressionnisme”, to stress that a 100 years after the

first failure, a second one was happening to these graffiti

artists. The world changes more rapidly than ever but still

we don’t always learn from past experiences and mistakes.

The impact of this 20th century period on today’s

art market is still extremely high, thanks to the

enormous amount of creative energy that was

used during those modern and exciting times in

Paris and thanks to the romanticization of the

artistic scenery of the main protagonists. From

a monetary point of view this period is one of the

most acclaimed related to financial values. Can

you explain the relative value of this period in

comparison with other important periods in art

history ?

© Pinacothèque de Paris

First of all we are confronted with an unhealthy speculation

in the art market right now, which goes beyond limits. More

recently a second factor rose up: the power and valuation

of culture that is demonstrated on a global scale. I could

criticise myself here because I have been one of the main

protagonists in the last 20 years to display art all over the

world and bring new approaches in demonstrating and

combining art projects. But I must admit I feel a bit sad

that this display of culture fuels the speculation in the

global art market today. Just the thought that a painting

that is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci could be sold for

such a huge amount (Salvator Mundi was sold at Christie’s

New York in November for 382 Mio EUR), through the

knowledge that it could attract millions of visitors to

museums, is a breakthrough in thinking about the art

market. This will have an impact on price developments in

the near future. It is only the second time in recent history

that this type of museum or should we call it merchandising

and investment-oriented approach was communicated on

such a big scale. The first time it occurred was with a nude

of Modigliani bought by a Chinese collector to advertise his

museum with an iconic piece of art (in 2015 at Christie’s

New York Liu Yiqian bought Modigliani’s Reclining Nude

for approx. 144 Mio EUR).

When we talk about financial value, forgery

and falsification come into play. An issue of all

times, although in the past a copy could be a

‘reproduction’ and when well-executed you were

accepted with honors as a good copyist. Today you

are one of the worldwide experts in analysing the

works of Amedeo Modigliani. Could you explain

how you scientifically approach this task and decide

which artwork is real or could be classified as a

forgery ?

High market values bring in the temptation of forgery,

which has been happening for ages. My approach is simple,

coherent and based on science. My 3 tools are these: first,

I work with my eye, the most subjective tool I’ll admit, but

indispensable to lay the basis for further research steps;

the eye already defines how I will proceed in the process of

analysing the artwork. The other two criteria are objective

ones; diving into documentation, which has to be authentic

and older than the first known falsifications, in the case

of Modigliani best before 1925-1930. The last step is the

scientific analysis, but also in this domain today’s market is

spoiled by would-be analysts who pretend to use technology

and scientific studies on the artworks. To make things even

more complex and dubious, I could say there are false

researchers too. The test results of the laboratory should be

measured via a strict protocol, testing them to a database

that is comprehensive, historically built and correct. When

all the criteria are positive and there is no doubt on any

of these, the artwork can be certified as authentic. But the

smallest amount of doubt should make the analyst dare to

say the painting is hazardous and perhaps not authentic.


Chaïm Soutine

© Pinacothèque de Paris

La Folle, c. 1919, Oil on canvas, 87 x 65,1 cm

Chaïm Soutine

© Pinacothèque de Paris

Le Bœuf, c. 1920, Oil on canvas, 81 x 50 cm


I can imagine there is a lot of pressure on the

experts when they start the valuation of a piece.

I am sure you have a sound understanding of your

responsibility towards this matter. How do you cope

with this pressure?

The pressure is enormous and it is important to protect

yourself from it. To control it means to focus on the

research, by studying the painting and performing the

scientific research in the laboratory, but most importantly

by not listening to all the players of the art market. Auction

houses, art dealers in the secondary market, or commercial

agents have no idea about the time needed for thorough

research and making a good evaluation. Sometimes others

have a hard time understanding what I do during my

scientific research.

How come you became so passionate about art, as a

student, and still to this day? Is passion a conditio

sine qua non for you in your daily practice?

In the world of arts, without passion nothing is possible

in the long run. Art has been my life since I was a child. I

was raised in an intellectual and artistic environment where

my grand-father was a painter, my brother a musician, and

another brother a historian, professor and writer of a large

oeuvre of books. I myself am above all a historian and art

historian. Surrounded by paintings and artworks, I was

immersed as a youngster in this world of the arts and rich

culture and finally became a professional. Before entering

the world of museums, I spent 15 years at La Sorbonne in

Paris as a student and teacher. I started as a director in a

state-controlled institution and later in my own museum,

La Pinacothèque de Paris, to develop my own programming

and to install my vision. All of this can only be achieved

with passion; a passion that sometimes makes you do crazy

things, jump and cross borders.

How do you approach an exhibition as a curator?

Could you define your curatorial style?

I would like to define it as universal and transversal. I was

one of the first in my field to experience the closing of

the gaps between different forms and practices of art and

culture. Today this has become evident, but already in 2003

I was talking about a transversal and universal vision, even

before the Louvre at Abu Dhabi was considered. I was also

one of the first to include ‘Wunderkammers’, or cabinets

of curiosity in a museum presentation at the Pinacoteca in

Paris in 2011. The instalment and presentation of light and

colour in combination with the montage of the artworks

are defining for this vision. Since the 1950s museums

completely forgot to create dialogues and confrontations

between artworks, which is something I have always


Bruno Devos & Marc Restellini

Chaïm Soutine (Smilovitchi, 1893 − Paris, 1943), Le Lièvre pendu, c. 1923, Oil on canvas, 61 x 37,8 cm

© Pinacothèque de Paris



Marc Restellini, born in 1964 in Saint-Omer

(Pas-de-Calais), is an art historian and French

museum director. He is the grandson of painter

Isaac Antcher. He is the founder of the Institut

Restellini and is internationally recognized as

one of the leading experts on the artist

Amedeo Modigliani.


He is keen to see a more innovative reading of Art History

based on the cross-disciplinarity of works. His novel

approach as an exhibition curator has played a notable part

in the modernization of the French cultural scene.

For the uninitiated, his name will not necessarily conjure

up any images, whereas for all those who are interested in

art, its history, and the places where it can be seen, Marc

Restellini is an emblematic figure in the French cultural

landscape. His work as one of the greatest experts on

Modigliani and as founder of the Pinacothèque de Paris,

has profoundly altered the way we see the organization and

design of art exhibitions. For Marc Restellini, exhibitions

have always been his favourite method of expression.

Through a very particular medium that makes it possible

to create a balanced mix between education for the general

public and scientific erudition, Marc Restellini has offered

the public many cult exhibitions which have sometimes

turned out to be outstanding popular successes. Out of the

10 most visited exhibitions in the past 20 years, at least five

have been curated by Marc Restellini.

In particular, this medium has enabled him to change the

way people perceive artworks and the way artworks are

interpreted among the public. When he embarked on his

professional career, the museum world had been in a state

of rupture for 30 or 40 years with the model of the “old

museum”, where the works were hung against red wall

hangings less than four inches apart, from floor to ceiling.

That break, which occurred in the Malraux years, took

an opposite stance and resulted in hanging works 30 feet

apart on a white wall, with cold lighting. To the point of

removing all warmth from the setting, and sometimes even

killing the work. This approach culminated in making the

interpretation of the work extremely desensitized, rendering

it merely intellectual, by making a definitive break with the

aestheticism, which the fashion of the day railed against.

Marc Restellini, a virulent opponent of white walls, would

reintroduce colour onto walls, by adding an architectural

language to the setting through colour, altering lighting

systems and conceiving specific lighting for works, in order

to reintroduce emotion into the way a work was read.

Putting works closer to one another in a logic of dialogue

between them, and also introducing education to enable

the person reading the work to assimilate those notions of

art history represented by iconography and comparative

science, lie at the heart of his approach. He would thus be

the first person to impart the concept of cross-disciplinarity,

which also makes it possible to compare cultures and

civilizations in one and the same exhibition.

So the very famous Modigliani exhibition at the Musée

du Luxembourg, which he sub-titled “Modigliani, l’Ange

au Visage grave” [Modigliani, the Angel with the Solemn

Face], was a complete re-reading of the Italian artist’s

œuvre. In size, it was also the largest show ever held of

Modigliani’s work, with more than 110 paintings and more

than 40 drawings. That ambitious project was especially

well-acclaimed among the general public: almost 600.000

visitors saw the show, more than the figure for the “Picasso-

Matisse” exhibition which was held at the same time in the

Grand Palais. We should also bear in mind a re-reading of

Van Gogh with the double exhibition “Van Gogh, Dreams

of Japan” and “Hiroshige, the Art of Travel”, which

established the compulsive relation between Van Gogh and

the art of the Japanese print in the 18th and 19th century.

That exhibition was incidentally one of the major successes

of the Pinacothèque de Paris with more than 800.000

visitors in five months.

Marc Restellini, Institut Restellini

© Pinacothèque de Paris




The ‘Column of Peace’ by the German-Belgian artist

Ulrike Bolenz shall unite and reconcile continents

and peoples. Central to this artistic idea are the

human ideals of peace and freedom.

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the State of

Israel and of the Sheba Medical Center, both created in

1948, the “Column of Peace” will be formally presented

in June 2018 to the Josef Buchmann Gynaecology and

Maternity Center at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel.

This column, created by the German-Belgian artist Ulrike

Bolenz, is part of the PEACE GLOBAL ART PROJECT:


Barbara Dietrich, Art Curator for “Living Tomorrow”

and owner of the Diplomatic World Magazine, who will

personally present the column during the anniversary

celebrations at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel.

The Josef Buchmann Gynaecology and Maternity Center

at the Sheba Medical Center is Israel’s leading OB/

GYN center of excellence. The center offers high quality

and compassionate clinical care to advance women’s

reproductive health.

To meet growing demand for patient services, and to meet

the demands of modern technology and science, Sheba

seeks to grow the Buchmann Center into a full-fledged,

multidisciplinary, and comprehensive Women’s Hospital.

The beautiful new lobby is just the beginning of a long and

difficult road of comprehensive renovation and expansion

works that will transform the Women’s Hospital into a

modern, friendly and pampering environment for both the

women and the staff.

The ‘Column of Peace’ by the German-

Belgian artist Ulrike Bolenz shall unite

and reconcile continents and peoples.

Central to this artistic idea are the

human ideals of peace and freedom.

The columns contain very finely

created and highly aesthetic images of

women who are expressing joy by their

posture and their laugh. The artist has

chosen women as motifs because they,

particularly as mothers, must convey zest

of life, optimism and courage to their

children. Thus, in reality, the woman

already leads a new member of the

human society to a peaceful joy in life

and harmony between races, cultures and religions.

The final destination of the column is a permanent home at

a museum of the country which will receive the column as a

gift. In the spirit of the artistic idea of this artwork, people

in the country will be brought mentally close to the ideals of

freedom and peace.

The concept is that an institution or a personality who

contributed to human rights and rights for education etc., is

going to hand over the column to a museum in their country

together with Diplomatic World Global Art Forum.

The column is a gift, thus there are no obligations of any

kind by individuals or by the country !

Behind this idea is a peaceful harmonious central theme

of the Peace Global Art Project, in which country-specific




customs and traditions will be respected and considered.

Additional Columns of Peace will be going to Russia,

China, Israel, Belgium, USA and to countries in Africa and

South-America (to be determined). There will always be a

small but dignified ceremony. In this respect the wishes of

the country concerned will be considered.

The project is headed by Barbara Dietrich, Chairwoman

Global Art Forum at Diplomatic World.





Freedom, understanding, sympathy, soulfulness, optimism, self-confidence, sovereignty — positive terms which are brought

in conjunction primarily to human laugh. Laughter can be understood as a form of communication between people, which,

in its conflict-reducing effect, encourages the human interaction, creates a community spirit and consensus.

But this positive effect of forming a strong sense of community also contains a hidden essential anarchic feature of laugh:

the critical questioning of and disrespect for authorities. Thus authorities often feel provoked by this openly emotional

expression — as recently became public. The subject “laugh” can rarely be found in the history of art, as on one hand

the early clergy condemned laughter as unchristian and as on the other hand the cause of laughter cannot be pictured in

works of Fine Arts like paintings, sculptures, etc. Nevertheless several early Masters such as Frans Hals, Rubens, etc. have

been dealing with this subject, lately also Chinese artists. In her installations and paintings the artist Ulrike Bolenz often

embeds social, political and scientific time-critical themes and thus broaches the issue of fears of the modern man. Her

artistic works are emotional, touching and are food for thought. For twenty years now, the topic humor in the expression

of laughter is already part of the oeuvre of Ulrike Bolenz. In 1996 an installation of hers, a group of laughing women,

has been on display at the famous Berliner Dom, in the following years in French churches and 2005 in Ghent in the

chapel Campo Santo. The delight, expressed in the artworks with the topic laugh, shows Ulrike Bolenz also understands

it as a resistance against the human atrocities in our time. The latest tragic situation in Paris in November 2015 confirms

“a fortiori” the topicality of her works and can also be understood as an artistic effort to preserve optimism and joie de

vivre, and to reduce people’s fears. The artistic work of Ulrike Bolenz includes sculptures and large-scale installations in a

unique photo sculpture technique and works on canvas and wood in oil, acrylic and mixed media.






Paul Cools’ activities and operations intertwine

from legal entrepreneurship to diplomacy to the

world of performing arts and being a collector of

contemporary art. Since 1992 Paul is founding

partner of LA-ON Lawyers based in Antwerp and

Florence, specialising in international advisory and

debt collecting. In all these legal activities Paul Cools

and his firm focus on mediation and negotiation.

This experience has brought him almost organically in

playing several other roles as Honorary Consul General of

Malta and being for almost 10 years engaged as a member

and president of the board of The Flemish Opera house, the

most important cultural institution in Flanders from political,

budget and number of employees point of view. As member

of the board of the Opera he recently was an advocate of the

larger integration of the Royal Ballet of Flanders into one

organisation, Kunstenhuis, Opera Ballet Flanders. Today he

is active as member of the board of the Fashion Museum in

Antwerp (MOMU).

Consulates are anchor points for smaller countries abroad

and facilitate its introduction and active presence. But in a

large country such as Brazil, Belgium is represented in Belo

Horizonte by Henrique Machado Rabelo, who nowadays as

Honorary Consul General, apart from his legal activities,

is also representing the Antwerp Harbour in the region.

His diplomatic experience and negotiation skills are critical

factors in his daily entrepreneurial life but also into his

diplomatic and cultural activities. As a diplomat, since

1993, with an extensive network in business and politics,

the impact of culture as a soft power has proven its potential

leverage during the course of these 25 years. When dealing

on a human level, either in politics or business, interaction

only becomes successful when there is a mutual respect and

understanding, and often cultural activities instigate this


As Honorary Consul General, he always serves the citizens

of Malta but often aids Belgian citizens or companies in

their search for tourism or business opportunities in Malta.

Building bridges on all levels is the best reason to keep


motivated and keep track of the results of his diplomatic role.

Paul Cools

© Herman Selleslags

The harbour in Valletta

So the partnership with local and experienced forward

thinking persons can be profitable in addition to the corps

diplomatique and the services of the Ministry of Foreign

Affairs, hence a public private partnership can benefit several

parties and institutions.

even offering financial incentives. The tax shelter created

for the film industry, is one of the reasons for collaborations

between Belgium and the Island. The attractiveness of Malta

as a destination for tourism and business incentive has been

increasing recently.

Valletta 2018 as cultural capital of Europe, is the highlight

of 25 years of cultural exchange between Belgium and Malta,

with a wider international horizon. For Paul Cools this high

level event gives him the opportunity to invite his customers

to several events. The program for Valletta 2018 is rich,

especially focusing on performing arts that will create a sense

to experience the famous Maltese Festa and for one year

Malta invites visitors from all over the world to be part of this

cultural party. The contribution of Belgium for Valletta 2018

focuses on performing arts with for example De Munt/La

Monnaie, Muziektheater Transparant and Laika staging and

performing productions and collaborations in Valletta.

In recent years, Malta has become one of Europe’s most

popular film and television locations and the Maltese Islands

— Malta, Gozo and Comino — have been home to several

Hollywood blockbusters, thanks to the islands’ beautiful,

unspoiled coastlines and breathtaking architecture. Malta has

structured the possibilities for international film productions

via The Malta Film Commission. MFC is a government body

set up with the aim of assisting in the production of films

in Malta and promoting the islands as a filming location,

For Cools, cultural diplomacy and art will keep playing

an important role in both his professional and personal

life. As an innovative legal firm, artworks are part of the

biotope of his legal firm. Paul Cools firmly believes the

contemporary artworks that inhabit his home and LA-ON’s

working space add something extra, inspiring employees but

also surrounding them with beauty. The employees at the

company, when not working at home, change seats every day,

which confronts them with a new neighbour, colleague and

artwork every day. It also changes perspectives and leads

to discovering new angles inside the office but also of the

outside view to the river Scheldt or the old port of Antwerp,

with the MAS Museum as neighbouring landmark. Art as

a motivational tool, plays a specific part in creating new

concepts and models of human resources that the LA-ON

firm incorporates in its daily habitat.

Valletta 2018, opens as European Capital of Culture

with a unique celebration that’s worthy of the traditional

Maltese Festa from the 14th to the 21st of January. Valletta

2018 brings an exciting year-long celebration — a cultural

programme that starts in the capital city and reaches out to


towns and villages all over Malta and Gozo. In the opening

week music and entertainment, street artists and performers

will spread word of the opening around the capital’s

streets. Exhibitions set in diverse venues around the city,

open days that re-discover Valletta’s fascinating historical

spaces, community storytelling events centered around the

city’s residents and the spaces they use create a total Festa


The Valletta 2018 Cultural Programme kicks off on the 20th

of January 2018: a collection of over 140 projects and 400

events taking place throughout the year. Valletta 2018 has

invested strongly in a programme that sees the involvement of

around 1.000 local and international artists, curators, artist

collectives, performers, workshop leaders, writers, designers,

choirs and film-makers. While a number of international

artists are collaborating with locals throughout the 2018

programme, Maltese artists are travelling to the twin

European Capital of Culture, Leeuwarden in the Netherlands

as well as other cities in Cyprus, Japan, Poland and Greece.

Orfeo & Majnun is an interdisciplinary, participatory musictheatre

project that connects two myths from different

cultures, combining the Greek myth of Orfeo and Eurydice

and the Middle Eastern legend of Leyla and Majnun. A theatre

of emotions about love, loss and longing and the power of

music, Orfeo & Majnun will be an enchanting production

that uses multiple textures, including shadow puppet theatre,

to express a new take on these well-known tales. The project

extends into workshops and collaborations with local citizens

of all generations and backgrounds where students, choirs,

musicians and artists participate in the process of co-creation.

This fascinating piece builds up to a powerful community

experience that makes it one of the biggest participatory

projects on our programme. Local and international artists,

together with citizens participating in workshops, will present

their work for the first part of the Orfeo & Majnun project.

Orfeo & Majnun is produced in partnership with the Valletta

2018 Foundation, La Monnaie in Brussels, Festival d’Aixen-Provence

in France, Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna,

Operadagen in Rotterdam, Santa Maria da Feira in Portugal

and the Krakow Festival Office in Poland.

Darba Waħda is an intergenerational project giving two

generations the opportunity to meet over a creative platform.

Elderly people have a wealth of information and experience

that makes them valuable members of our communities.

Children, on the other hand, in their simplicity and

youthfulness, are inspirational. Through various creative

methods including drama, games and exercises, arts and

crafts, storytelling and improvisations, the two generations

have the opportunity to relate, to share, to exchange, to learn

and to create… and most of all have fun together. This project

explores this relationship and creates a bridge between the

two generations.




La-On Lawyers, founded by Paul Cools in 1992, focuses

on commercial law and debt collection with a branch

specialized in real estate and construction law. The

company has bases in Antwerp and Florence, assisting

customers all over Europe with unpaid invoices. La-On

has developed its own software that allows them to log in

directly to their customers’ IT network and create profiles

for their clients. This in turn gives customers digital

access to the information in the files.

In 2016, La-On was nominated as the most innovative

law firm in Europe. Their drive for innovation has only

increased and in the last year, La-On joined hands with

a scientific analysist and developed a statistic model that

can predict the success of a summons. The algorithm is

being refined daily to make sure La-On can create the

perfect trajectory for each profile, for both amicable

settlements and court cases. Through this system, La-On

is able to get the ideal cost optimization and highest

number of recoveries for their customers.

La-On specializes in mediation. “Our goal, as opposed

to that of some of our colleagues, is to avoid trials at all

costs. This enables our clients to keep their customers

and it contributes to one of our core values: sustainable

business”, says Paul Cools. Every person at La-On is

reminded of the company’s approach each day thanks

to the motto hanging in the office kitchen: “Customer

service is not a department but an attitude”.

www.la-on.eu | paul.cools@la-on.eu


Nightshade: Aubergine

© Lisa Tahon



Fruit, pleasing

To taste, fattened

By water gushing in all

The gardens, glossy cupped

In its petiole, ah heart

Of a lamb in

A vulture’s claws

Ibn Sara van Santarém


“A certain esteem for each other is evident in all who eat together.

This is already expressed by the fact of their sharing.

The food in the common dish before them belongs to all of them.

Everyone tries to be fair and not to take advantage of anyone else.

But the touch of solemnity in their attitude cannot be explained by this alone;

their mutual esteem also means that they will not eat each other.”

Elias Canetti







When I meet Claron McFadden, backstage, an

hour before her performance in the theatre play

L’humanité at Le Théâtre de Namur (BE), I am

enchanted by her presence, attitude and motivation

to bring music and minds together, tearing down

walls, with several spontaneous laughs in between,

as a weapon of mass human bonding. A woman and

female artist who has been on the most prestigious

opera stages in the world, but now looking for

a new mission, focusing, and engaging in deep

musical experiences, in search of common roots

that bring people from all over the world together.

Communicating with or without words, gesture,

music, songs, performance and dance and even an

aubergine turned into a dish; food as an instrument,

being a valuable member of Claron’s band.


Claron McFadden goes in search of the common roots of

our various cultures by focusing on one of the most iconic

ingredients on the culinary scene: the aubergine.

Despite the huge migration that it has experienced, this

age-old fruit has always managed to adapt to its culinary

surroundings, without losing its striking identity. Documentary

maker Lisa Tahon and McFadden are retracing this epic

migration back to its origin. During her journey, starting in

The Mediterranean, McFadden spends a few days with a host

in different countries. At each stop, she is taught a traditional

dish and a song, and she takes the recipes and melodies

with her. Together with a group of musical colleagues she

is contributing a new chapter to the tradition of migration.

Nightshade: Aubergine shows how mutual cross-pollination

can strengthen our common identity, and allows the audience

to experience the rich tradition of aubergine-based cuisine,

in combination with live music and a “road-movie” travel


“When I look at the map of the world from left to right

and back again, wherever the aubergine goes the first thing

it always meets is distrust and morbid curiosity. Some

considered it an afrodisiac ‘poma amoris’ - the apple of love.

Others called it the apple of madness: ‘mala insana’.”

Around 1600 this English herbalist who’s name was Gerarde,

tried to warn his fellow countrymen against this purple

menace from the East: “In Egypt and Barbarie, they use to eate

the fruite of Mala insana boiled or rosted under ashes with

oile, vinegar, and pepper, as people use to eate Mushroms.

But I rather wishe Englishmen to content themselves with

the meate and sauce of our own country, than with fruite and

sauce eaten with such perill: for doubtlesse these apples have

a mischeevous quality; the use thereof is utterly to be forsaken.

... Therefore it is better to esteeme this plant and have him in

the garden for your pleasure and the rarenesse thereof, then

for any virtue or good qualities yet knowne.”

Nightshade: Aubergine

© Lisa Tahon

As I keep looking at the map of the world I see cultures

on the move from East to West and back again and People

try to stick to their traditions but it’s always too late ‘cause

nothing stays the same’.

with her on her shoulder. In this first part she travelled from

Belgium to the Mediterranean Sea. In the second part (in

2018-2019) they travel from the Mediterranean region to

the far East.

Since 2017 the American-Dutch soprano Claron McFadden

is one of the artists in residence of Muziektheater Transparant.

This production house in Borgerhout (Antwerp, BE) thus

supports McFadden’s artistic creations including

‘Nightshade: Aubergine’.

McFadden has been fascinated for years by a phenomenon

that appears to be universal. “It doesn’t matter if you are

rich or poor, black or white, but when people eat the first

bites of a meal, a silence seems to come over them, just

before they swallow the food, a silence which lasts for a

couple of seconds.”

In 2016 the vibrant and young soul McFadden decided to

explore her fascination by means of her favourite vegetable

from the Mediterranean kitchen, the eggplant. But after

some research it turned out to be originally from Myanmar

and going all the way to China. She decided to follow the

migration routes of the aubergine from the Mediterranean

sea to the Oriental roots, together with documentary maker

Lisa Tahon who followed Claron as if she was travelling


For the first part of this adventure she found five hostesses

and hosts, through friends and acquaintances, in five

countries (Spain, Morocco, Italy (Sicily), Greece and

Turkey) who were prepared to teach her to make a local

dish with eggplant, and also taught her a song. Some of the

hosts had a song ready for her before she arrived, others

chose it after they had actually met her. Coincidence or not,

the melodies often matched her melancholic personality.

“The Greek song, for example, comes from a man who had

cancer. The song is a metaphor for his death in which his

predeceased parents advise him to stay on the other side,

with both feet firmly in life, where it is so much better to


“That whole journey was permeated by melancholy. I

heard sad stories but at the same time encountered so

much warmth and sincere affection. For example, I met

an incredibly friendly waiter in Turkey, I will call him

Yusuf, which is an alias. He was sentenced to death in

his homeland because he is gay. He is currently in Turkey


Nightshade: Aubergine

© Koen Broos


awaiting permission to go to another country where he

can build a new life. He travels four hours a day to works

as a waiter in a restaurant. He lost everything, his house,

his family, his money. It moved me to see how cheerful he

always was despite all the misery he went through.”

During the performance we will meet the people and stories

that McFadden collected during these three weeks. In the

background we will see video images of the documentary,

while the music will switch from recordings to live

performances. Claron’s classical musical background is also

discussed briefly when she meets a lady who sings opera in

Istanbul. “An amazing experience”. Besides so many others.

For Claron, this trip became an inner journey which made

her realise that she too still suffers from prejudices about

her fellow man, while thinking that she is open-minded. “It’s

an inner journey as well as an outer journey”. That’s why

she selected the photo with the taxi driver from Morocco

as an image of the production that reflects her experience

and perhaps even her life. “It is not a cheerful but rather a

mysterious image. You see distrust in my eyes, fear of the

unknown. Because when you start such a journey, you don’t

know where you will end up. When we boarded the taxi, we

assumed that the driver would cheat us. But as soon as

I started talking to him, my prejudices disappeared.

He turned out to be a very friendly man and he taught me

how to gesticulate in Arabic. We really had a good laugh

during that car journey.”

And that is the feeling Claron and her artistic entourage

want to convey with Nightshade: Aubergine. The feeling of

connection, the questioning of why we build so many walls

between people and the confirmation that we as people on

the same planet have so much more in common than we

think. “If we are not careful, history repeats itself with wars

and large migration flows due to distrust and exclusion.

Life is too short not to learn from each other. Afterwards

we can all eat something and talk about what we have seen

and heard. And who knows, keep silent together for a few

seconds when we swallow our first bite.”

Concept | Vocals: Claron McFadden


Tuur Florizoone, Osama Abdulrasol, Yannick Peeters

Composition ‘Evlerine Varagele Usandım’:

Ryan Francesconi, Dan Cantrell, Tobias Roberson,

Paul Brown, Brenna MacCrimmon




Soprano Claron McFadden (b. 1961) is artist in resident

at Muziektheater Transparant. After her studies at the

Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York,

she became a great name in both the baroque and

traditional and modern repertoire. The popular soloist

was nominated for a Grammy in 2002 and received the

Amsterdam Arts Prize in 2007. www.claronmcfadden.com

Lisa Tahon (b. 1989) is an Ostend filmmaker. She

studied direction at the RITS. Since 2010 she has been a

permanent filmmaker at Vrijstaat O. In 2012 she made her

first documentary Upside Down in Palestine. In 2014 she

performed Parallel Lines together with dancer Bui Ngoc

Quan. Lisa also created trailers and dance reports of Bára

Sigfúsdóttir (The Lover), 3art3 Company (Untold) and

Vittoria De Ferrari Sapetto (088). In May 2015 she created

the documentary Gloed about the work of choreographer

Serge Aimé Coulibaly for CC De Grote Post. For the

province of West Flanders, she made the documentary

Tegoare Sterker about the West Flanders poverty


Nightshade: Aubergine

© Koen Broos

Nightshade: Aubergine 2018

Hackney Empire, London (UK)

20 - 21 January

Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam (NL)

15 February

Handelsbeurs Gent (BE)

17 February

Theater Tilburg (NL)

7 April

St Aloysius College Theatre (Valetta, Malta) 1 September

Concertgebouw Brugge (BE)

18 November


Going from the artistic and social topicality, production

house Muziektheater Transparant enters into an

intensive dialogue with artists from various disciplines

and creates, renews and presents music theatre in its

entire diversity for a wide audience. The voice is placed

firmly at the centre of the projects, and it continually

blends the old and the new. Other disciplines like

visual arts, film, video, graphics are integrated in the

productions. The company pays particular attention to

offering contemporary musicians the chance to develop

and try new work. House artists are for example Wouter

Van Looy, Wim Henderickx, Annelies Van Parys,

Claron McFadden and Luigi d’Angelis. In TRANSLAB

Muziektheater Transparant opens its doors to young

makers of music theatre and offers them support, training

and opportunities for creation like the annual Youth

Opera. In this way there is a long-term commitment to a

new generation of performing artists with inspiring artists

who act as their coach. Transparant is internationally

active and it has performed at many venues, festivals,

opera houses and at several European Capitals of

Culture. This variety of shows, artists and production

methods gives Muziektheater Transparant a unique

national and international character.





An intro from Claron McFadden


It seems that we are becoming more and more concerned

with what separates us from our fellow human beings,

whereas I think we have much more in common than we

might like to admit.

About 15 years ago I was invited to spend the day with the

family of a close friend whose roots are Jewish/Yemeni. His

mother welcomed me with open arms, even though not one

word was exchanged between us. Language was not needed

because we were communicating on a deeper level and the

warm reception I received that day planted the tiny seed of

this project.

Several years after that, as a panel guest on BBC’s radio

program FORUM, I was asked to make a 60 second pitch

on how to improve the world. I said that if on a given day,

everyone in the entire world started to eat at exactly the

same time, for the space of about 10 seconds, there would

be absolute world peace.

I believe that something takes place in the brain directly

connected to our survival instinct when we take our first bite,

and this lasts about 10 seconds. The hungrier we are, the

longer and more intense the silence seems to be… Whether

collectively or individually, this tiny unit of time seems to

always be present. This is my starting point for exploring just

how connected we human beings really are.

I’d like to retrace the journey of the aubergine, one which

runs parallel to the iconic silk route, but do it in reverse,

from Spain, all the way to China. Documentary maker Lisa

Tahon will be my travelling companion, filming “over my


The result of this journey will be a live performance, in the

form of a musical documentary and incorporating music,

film footage and the public getting a sampling the dishes


Starting from the most westerly point of the Mediterranean

and moving eastward, I will pass through several countries

learning from a host how to cook an aubergine recipe as

well as learning a traditional song. I also hope to learn a bit

more about their personal “transmigration” and sense of

identity along the way.

I have 5 wonderful hosts on this trip to Spain, Morocco,

Italy, Greece and Turkey, who agreed to spend two days with

me. On my final evening in each country we will eat together

with family/friends, and the dish I learnt to cook will be

presented. And after dinner I will sing the song I learnt,

which might be unexpectedly entertaining at times.

I’m looking forward immensely to starting this journey

of discovery, and I’ll certainly be looking out for that tiny

portion of “world peace”…

Music and food are an important part of most cultures,

today, as in prehistoric times. Due to vast migrations over the

ages and the “cross-pollination” of cultures and customs, it is

becoming more and more rare to find food or music which is

“purely” English, German, Nigerian, etc.


In this project, the Aubergine is a metaphor for this musical,

culinary and anthropological “trans-migration”; from the

Orient to the Mediterranean, the aubergine has adapted

itself to its surroundings, yet always retaining its distinct

texture, colour and flavour. It doesn’t assimilate, but

integrates without losing its identity.

Pages 89 - 95


Photos performance ©Koen Broos

Photos film stills ©Lisa Tahon

© Muziektheater Transparant

© Claron McFadden and Lisa Tahon













Cricket Island

Alexis Gautier (1990) has spent two months in Indonesia

looking for the definition of an island: “there is a bored god,

a handful of dust and a floating island. I hear my name in

the speakers of the mosque, a night fisherman with a lamp

on his forehead and a prayer with open hand palms. They

tell me about a buried egg, a hidden door and about one

single cricket.”

About Pulau Jengkerik

By Laura Herman

What makes an island? French artist Alexis Gautier offers no

single answer to this question in his sprawling exhibition at

BOZAR. Through films, artefacts, and drawings, Gautier takes

viewers back to his allegorical floating island moving over the

waters around Flores, a group of islands in the eastern half of

Indonesia. Rather than focusing on the co-creation process with

local craftsmen, the works on view in the exhibition unravel the

multiple meanings and values accrued by the tiny body of artificial

land in an attempt to describe islandness as living experiment.

Though the exhibition may be read as an archipelago in itself,

allowing thought to drift off to its different parts, the works

are loosely hinged around three themes, namely the emergence

of myths, the prestige of discovering land, and the island as a

node in a geopolitical maze. Pulau Jengkerik functions less as

the protagonist of Gautier’s exhibition, than as the pretext for

making a documentary about the fantasy of territorial sovereignty,

geography, and belonging.

First, there was the encounter. As the small island was released

into the sea and travelled to different villages – whose inhabitants

speak various languages and follow multiple religions – it was

first met with suspicion. Then came expressions of astonishment,

enthusiasm and curiosity. The island quickly acquired different

names including Pulau Jengkerik (referring to its sole inhabitant, a

cricket) or Pulau Buatan (man-made island). Yet, most importantly

it brought forth a flood of stories and conversations about the

status and ontology of the island, often linked to shifting territories

and belief systems. If today artificial islands are commonly built

for the love of money or to rule the waves, the floating island once

belonged to the realm of fantasy and mythology. The myth of the

origin of Java Island, for example, goes something like this: moving

freely in the ocean, Batara Guru (Shiva) wanted to make the Java

island stay still. He instructed the gods Bragma and Vishnu to

move the tip of Mahameru and attach it to Java in order for it to

remain still. This story, told as way to mystify the unexplained, is

mimicked in the creation process of Pulau Jengkerik, which was

covered with the peeled off vegetation of the top of a hill.

Myths and stories are closely intertwined with the discovery of

lands and the act of taking possession of them, and it is no

coincidence that the sight of the bare stripped area reminds us

of humankind’s violent venture to subdue or master nature, and

exploit its resources. Simultaneously, the vegetation covering the

island refers to the contemporary legal definition of what makes

an island according to Indonesian law. An island is only an island,

and not a rock in the water, when it appears high on tide and

accommodates vegetation, preferably a tree.

A similar definition has been given for what constitutes a micronation.

The most ephemeral of states requires an office, enjoys

recognition, and fashions its own currency. One may speculate

that the woven banknotes on view in the exhibition operate as a

currency for Gautier’s fictional island. Based on original, historical

currency from the archipelago, but made with a diagonal weave,

the woven notes reflect a drifting perception of space, upending

the standardised cardinal points of the compass: north, south,

east, and west. When leaving the island by boats, many islanders

turned their back to the sea and the future, keeping sight of the

shore and the past. Woven from the experience of time and space,

the notes suggest a different relation to direction, land, borders,

and neighbours. Along those lines, Gautier’s cricket isle can also

be viewed as a meandering landmark, constantly shifting its spatial

relation to the world’s geographical axes.

Finally, many other stories of volcanic eruptions and natural

phenomena permeate and extend from Pulau Jengkerik as it

pushes the imagination of everyone who encounters it. Above all,

the floating island points to the permeability of stories and belief

systems – the capacity to absorb and integrate stories to make

multiple versions of the world we inhabit, and wherein we can

occupy both sides of the divide between fiction and reality.

Pages 23, 61, 96, 129 & 141


© Alexis Gautier




Prof. Dr. Jan De Maere

The geopolitical context changes radically

nowadays. This forces Europe to adapt and to

speak with one voice. This also has implications

for creativity, art and culture, and its relation to

artificial intelligence (AI). The Anglo-Saxon art

market is 60% of the world market, and will soon

be defining its own rules. It is based on different

principles, less regulation and better policing of

the code of conduct by professional art market

organizations. How will the European art market

survive at a bureaucratic excess? Will Europe make

a prerequisite of the respect of intellectual property

rights in its diplomatic relations?

Our democratic institutions adapt with hope and courage

to the new European order, soon without Great Britain.

Regardless of the quality of Brexit negotiators, it is

nevertheless Mrs Angela Merkel who will largely decide the

outcome of European trade regulations with the UK. The

path to optimise coordination between European countries

and their many regions, is strewn with pitfalls. This

provokes some jolts as we see in Cataluña. Some countries

have a tradition of strong centralization, others are a

federation of regions with a central government and great

subsidiarity at each level of competence. The transformation

of the artistic world and creative industry, has to find a way

between a free and globalized market, allowing to shine

without borders, and the ukases of the ‘politically correct’

state management artistic life, inherited from times, not

so long ago, when Marxism was intellectually fashionable.

Stardom, immediacy, short attention-span and social

media, leave little room for poetry, procrastination and

contemplation. The dimension of time is shrinking every



Territorial integrity and Western values of free expression

are undermined by revenge and by the disrespect for the

rule of law in many countries. Each century adapts its

Jan De Maere

Leonardo da Vinci, ‘Christ Savior’, Christie’s New York, sold $451.000.000

forms of diplomacy to the requirements of its times. As

two hundred years ago at the Vienna Congress (1815),

a new international system points at the horizon. Based

on the historic primacy and brutality of the great powers,

their desire for regional hegemony modifies more and more

the balance of power and transforms it in geographical

spheres of influence. The great powers are historically

always nationalist and only globalist when it suits them. The

American primacy resulted from the end of the Cold War.

Today, the fragile balance of powers is renegotiated between

the USA and China, both playing on the lack of European

cohesion. Advancing in a dispersed order is never a good

idea, as Ambiorix, king of the Eburones (Gallia Belgica),

and Vercingetorix (Averni tribe) found out, fighting against

Julius Caesar, which exploited Gaulish internal division two

thousand years ago.

In a world obsessed with efficiency, where in most countries

education neglects history and culture, artistic creation is

a fragile area of freedom. Economic Europe is becoming

stronger, socio-political Europe is looking for its identity,

while a Europe of culture has yet to be firmly established


Ioan Sbârciu & Jan De Maere, Cluj-Napoca 2015


and defined. In this digitalized world, there is a direct

link between the economics of the art market and cultural

education and consumption. Quality can only be expressed

through the critical sense of a healthy civil society,

imposing the complexity and diversity of its reflection. Free

movement of people and goods is the general European

principle, respected by all. Countries, facilitating exchanges

between different cultural regions and countries, outperform

others. Art intensifies the cultural discourse and

science, which cannot exist without creative hypothesis.

Therefore, it’s on the margins of society that creators

reveal their fragile niches, which, in their individuality,

bear a universal dimension that grabs us emotionally. Selfawareness

has only a lucky outcome when the story we

unconsciously tell about our self, finds its parallel in the

global and lasting discourse of humanity, which is expressed

through its creativity. That is where our doubts are qualified

and hope is born.

A well-functioning world needs an active and critical

civil society that offers solutions and takes interest in the

suffering of others. The desire for discovery, exchange and

innovation should not use ad hominem arguments nor

stigmatization. The search for the common universal base of

our European values requires from public authorities a great

capacity to listen to the fragility of the nascent creation.

Their task is also to organize a common cultural memory

with respect for all nuances of diversity. But, their attempts

bring them far from the roots with which people establish

the foundation of their subjectivity. Public cultural policies

are part of the continuity of the history of peoples. But,

they have to avoid alienation; only meaningful content could

transform emotion into feelings.

The present is conditioned by the past, as much as the

future is by the present. The integration of our concepts of

time and place in our subjectivity is mediated through art

and cultural management. The regulation of the transfer

of cultural immaterial values is part of the economy of

culture, but some great countries hardly respect intellectual

property rights. In a hypocritical opportunist reflex, a

great number of other countries do not contest this bad

attitude in their diplomatic relationships. They do not

want to know that hereby they weaken themselves. It is up

to the democratic state to define the framework in which

his cultural economy can function in an optimal way for

all. Incentive, distributive and corrective measures must

reconcile the terms of cultural exception, free trade and law,

taking into account European values. Countries that have

maintained or developed totalitarian tendencies, if they have

the ambition to trade with Europe, should be required to

respect freedom of opinion. Article 36 TFUE recognizes for

those member states of the European Union that they can

partially derogate from the principles of free movement; but

free expression and information is protected by the Charter

of Fundamental Rights of the EU (Title II, art 11).

threshold set in their category and a procedure for the

return of cultural property unlawfully transferred from one

Member State to another with retroactive effect for illicit

transfers done from 1 January 1993.

The state plays a great role in all markets, it regulates

them and negotiates international agreements. Legal,

administrative and fiscal rules are drawn up in order to

guarantee buyers and sellers a minimum of transparency

and fairness. Each European country has its legal

specificities about intellectual rights and the concept of

authenticity. The Anglo-Saxon market, which dominates two

thirds of the international art market, is based on “common

law”, which considers authenticity a matter of opinion and

due diligence. As for the European continent, it derived its

laws from the Napoleonic code. In France, Jurisprudence

sees authenticity in cultural matters as a ‘fact to be proven’.

But, also there, legal truth and connoisseurship are often

in conflict. Because there, legal expertise is also only a

matter of diagnostic based on an educated opinion and on

material analysis, it’s only a legally accepted opinion. A

good example is ‘Le Jardin d’Auvers sur Oise’. A French legal

decision established the authorship of Vincent Van Gogh.

Nevertheless, the painting has been unsellable ever since,

because a majority of connoisseurs does not believe in it.

Each system has its advantages and its handicaps, but it is

clear that an excess of regulation is harmful and does not

improve the quality of the practice of the art market. It are

its actors and their professional organizations, which are

best placed to ensure transparency and fairness.

Special tax procedures can contribute to the growth of

public collections. This is the case of the ‘payment in

dation’, which allows the payment of tax by handing over

works of art to the State. Those exemptions from taxes can

be, as in the United States, a powerful incentive for the

donation of works of art to museums. Tax measures can

help to foster creation. In many countries, companies can

deduct a portion of the purchase price for works by living

artists from their profits. The state may also encourage

individuals and companies to acquire and preserve

patrimonial assets.

The disappearance of physical checks at European internal

borders has made it necessary to set up a European Union

system for controlling the circulation of objects and works

of art. It is based on two procedures: the requirement

of a license for the export of cultural property outside

the European Union for cultural property exceeding the

The degree of patrimonial preservation is the indicator

of society’s relationship to its history. Private collectors

are the first guardians of the treasures of creation; they

have been generous donors since the Enlightenment. The

distance in time necessary to evaluate the lasting impact of

today’s contemporary art should be the task of museums

and connoisseurs in the coming centuries. This selection

works as an ongoing and informal peer-review of influent

connoisseurs, scholars, art galleries and collectors, essential

elements of the market economy. They shape the eye of the

next century, even if most of them are isolated individuals

with a refined eye. They allowed artists such as Marcel

Broodthaers, Vincent Van Gogh and Johannes Vermeer to

live and paint, while living on the margins of the fashion of

the day. Political correct mainstream art can never become

a creative avant-garde.

Until now, most countries in Europe and the EU

administration have unfortunately considered and taxed

works of art only as a commodity, and seen the professional

art market organizations as a nuisance. This has caused

the decline of the continental European art markets to

the benefit of external markets such as the United States

and Switzerland. Even in Europe, their politicians always

defended Great Britain’s art market privileges by delaying

EU regulations. They have confidence in the professional

law-abiding art market associations which is why they

dominate the world market.

Normativity, i.e. reference systems, dominates the

digitalized world and social media. The word of a simple

honest man, searching for his subjective truth, is rarely

heard in the concert of the interest of nations. The question

of identity, place, history and of what unites us in our

differences, cannot be solved in the contempt of tradition

and culture. Nothing new is ever born out of itself! It is not

by spreading standardized information on the internet that

ignorance will resist media manipulation. Tolerance towards

others begins with doubt and critical self-understanding

and needs time, a rare commodity in a digital world.

When Artificial Intelligence (AI) will imposes more and

more predefined single thought, it will eliminate complex

individual diversity. Art is the only salvation. It has the right

to the last word and the highest price.





The German artist, Yvelle Gabriel, is currently

working on the new Sheba Synagogue project

— located in the main lobby of the most

comprehensive medical center in the Middle East.

Beautiful stained glass windows, which profoundly

touch the contexts peace, hope and consolation.

The Chaim Sheba Medical Center is the most

comprehensive medical center in the Middle East. With 1.5

million people passing through Israel‘s largest and most

important medical facility every year, visiting the Synagogue

is an important spiritual experience. Many of the medical

center’s patients, their families and visitors, as well as Sheba

staff, make daily use of the central synagogue. At times of

medical crisis and uncertainty, all people — from all walks

of life — seek a place to pray. The current construction of

the new Sheba Synagogue triples the size of the old one. A

new concept and architectural design, adding a second floor

and integrating the unique glass art of the German artist

Yvelle Gabriel.

• 2 large front windows, each 1.20 x 6 meters high. Subject:

“The profound journey of the Jews: Genesis: Exodus:


• 1 hanging, oversized glass Torah Ark in the form of a threedimensional,

modified “Star of David”

• 1 three-dimensional glass ceiling diamond, “The tree of life:

7 fruits of Israel”, 3 meters diameter

• 2 large entrance doors each with 12 small windows. Subject:

“12 tribes of Israel”, in cooperation with the famous Bezalel

Art School of Israel

• 1 large window in the staircase leading to the women’s area.

Subject: “Intention of good prayers and wishes”


Barbara Dietrich, Yvelle Gabriel and Ulrike Haen at St. Stephan Mainz


In 1959, Marc Chagall was commissioned to create 12

windows of the then largest Israeli hospital “Hadassah”.

At the inauguration in 1962, he said: “My hope is that

through this, I may extend my hand to the culture seeking

poets and artists among the neighboring peoples.” After

this, he designed many glass windows with his French

partner and friend Charles Marq in collaboration with the

Jacques Simon Workshop in Reims and the unique, mouthblown

antique glass works in St. Just sur Loire.

He completed his crowning achievement in the

St. Stephan’s church in Mainz. Chagall’s windows

in Germany were a very personal statement after the

Holocaust and Nazi Germany: a gesture of goodwill

from a Jewish artist connecting and bridging Jewish and

Christian faiths. Chagall finished this German-Jewish

project in Mainz shortly before his death. Mainz is also

the birthplace of Yvelle Gabriel, where he was baptized in

1969. For many years, the artist had a vision of continuing

Chagall’s very special work. Now he is able to pick up

this delicate thread and return it to the “Holy Land”.

Gabriel grew up close to the first “wild concentration

camp” Osthofen and was beaten by some Neo-Nazis in

his youth. Gabriel illustrates this in some of his art and



Yvelle Gabriel, Barbara Dietrich and Ulrike Haen at St. Stephan Mainz

“I am dedicated to this art project for the Jewish

synagogue, in the largest Israeli hospital — a place of

healing and recovery, especially for Jews — it is a great

opportunity. On reflection, for me personally, the

conciliatory circle is symbolically complete. A reaching out

of hands in the healing process of our own German past —

between successive generations of Christians and Jews,


a “generation of grandchildren” — German and Israeli. In

the seven years of my Israeli travels, I was invited to many

Jewish festivals. I took an in-depth part in Jewish life and

embraced many sons, daughters and grandchildren, whose

parents and grandparents were killed in concentration

camps in Germany. I can only look back symbolically at

these deep wounds — and soothe the scars lovingly when

they no longer bleed. Only if I am permitted to, of course.

However, as grandchildren we can handle this much more

consciously. Time heals all wounds? Ultimately, the love and

dedication of our and future generations, will be ready for


I am only too aware that my work will lead to controversy

after its installation in 2018. A German artist, a non-

Jew, creates the windows of the Orthodox synagogue

— the spiritual and religious heart of the most important

Jewish clinic in the Promised Land. But, for me, the focus

will be on a peaceful completion of deep generational

reconciliation, peoples and nations: A world-embracing

artist, whose heart and soul artistically builds bridges

between all cultures and religions — in the spirit of Chagall”.


Gilles Florent and Yvelle Gabriel

“My hope is that through this, I may extend my hand to all

the Jews in Israel and that they will ultimately accept it as a

gesture of friendship.”

“During a tour in 2017, my Israeli Studio Partner, Gilles

Florent, and I purchased some unique antique glass from

the last French glass works, St. Just. In April, we visited the

Studio Marq in Reims, where Marc Chagall once built his

windows for Israel and Mainz. Here the inaugural piece of

the front windows was created and transported to Israel:

“the Jewish flame”. Later in the year we opened our new

Glass Studio in Ramlah — inside the old Templar building

of the Arab metal artist Nihad Dabeet. Now that our studio

community has been established, visitors are welcome:

From heart to art.”

“When I look through the stained glass I am fascinated. It is

comparable to seeing my whole life pass by. There are small

bubbles, glittering wonderfully in the sun — interwoven with

countless structures, in the warm back light of this unique

moment. On the surface I perceive thousands of shimmering

facets. The last seven years in Israel, an incomprehensible

period of a thousand moments, seem to have melted into it, now

crystallized and frozen — in a unique matrix, an artistic hologram.

In early 2018, this profoundly expressive glass will be installed

in the synagogue of the largest Middle-Eastern clinic and many

people will be able to read from it in the coming decades — a

deeply touching personal experience. Generational Reconciliation

through the conviction and belief in this holy work, of a German

artist in Israel. The glow of glass is hidden in darkness — one

divine light brings it forth. It penetrates our souls absolutely.”



BRAFA 2018







The first international art fair of the year, the next edition of

BRAFA will take place between 27 January and 4 February

2018 at Tour & Taxis (Brussels), and will bring together

133 galleries and art dealers from some fifteen countries.

Continuity and an increased international presence will

be the watchwords of a fair that has not stopped evolving

in recent years and has established itself as an unmissable

event on the art market calendar. Quality and eclecticism

are the golden thread guiding visitors through each of the

specialities represented, which cover the history of art from

antiquity to the contemporary era from every possible origin

and region. From 46.000 in 2012 to more than 61.000

in 2017, the number of visitors to Brafa is growing each

year, in search of top level works of art and discoveries in

disciplines as diverse as archaeology, jewellery, painting,

sculpture, furniture, design, glassware, ceramics and

porcelain, clocks, objets d’art, antique frames, panels

and original drawings by comic strip artists, as well as

contemporary creations.

If this ever-increasing growth in attendance reflects the

steady rise in the prominence of the event, it also creates

ever greater expectations that the organizers must not

disappoint. And so, there is but one credo: that of the

highest possible quality. That became the leitmotif repeated

in unison by each of the exhibitors, of which there will be

133 for the 2018 edition — one more than in 2017 — made

up of a core of faithful galleries that have been present at

the event for many years and the new international galleries

that are joining their ranks.


Galerie Schifferli, ‘Santa Conversazione’, ‘Santa Conversazione’

Max Ernst (Brühl 1891-1976 Paris)

As compared to the 2017 edition, then, 13 major new names

will participate for the first time in 2018:


(London - archaeology, numismatics);

Galeria Bernat

(Madrid / Barcelona - Haute Epoque);

Galerie Chastel-Maréchal

(Paris - 20th-century decorative arts);

Gladstone Gallery

(Brussels - contemporary art);

Galerie Maeght

(Paris - 20th-century paintings and sculptures);

Guilhem Montagut Gallery

(Barcelona - tribal art);

Renaud Montméat

(Paris - Asian art);

Osborne Samuel Gallery

(London - modern and contemporary art with focus on

Modern British Painting and Sculpture);

Galerie de la Présidence

(Paris - 20th-century masters and figurative painters

of the 1950s);

Galerie Ratton

(Paris - tribal art);

Repetto Gallery

(London - Italian post-war art, Arte Povera, Land Art);

Galerie Schifferli

(Geneva - 20th-century paintings and works on paper);

Theatrum Mundi

(Arezzo - 21st-century cabinet of curiosities).



“It’s really a great

source of pride for

Brafa to be able

to present such a

panel, comprising

so many galleries of

international renown

and such strong

sections. I think the

quality will never have been as high, and I am delighted

at the prospect. We have never been ready this early, our

list of participants having been finalized in June. This is

strong testimony to the attractiveness of BRAFA, and

constitutes recognition on the part of our colleagues.

We are looking forward with great anticipation to being

able to open our doors to our visitors!”

Boon Gallery, ‘L’oracle’, Circa 1931, René Magritte (Lessines 1898-1967 Brussels)


BRAFA 2018




Christo was born in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. His father,

Vladimir Javacheff, was a businessman and ran a

fabric factory, and his mother, Tsveta Dimitrova, was

the secretary at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia.

Professors from the Academy who visited his family

observed Christo’s artistic talent while he was still of a

very young age. Christo studied art at the Sofia Academy

from 1953 to 1956 and went to Prague, Czechoslovakia

(now Czech Republic), until 1957, when he left for the

West by bribing a railway official and stowing away with

several other individuals on board a train transporting

medicine and medical supplies to Austria.

Christo quickly settled in Vienna and enrolled at the

Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. After only one semester

there, he traveled to Geneva and moved to Paris in 1958.

His life in Paris was characterized by financial hardship

and social isolation, which was worsened by his difficulty

learning the French language. He earned money by

painting portraits, which he likened to prostitution and

signed with his family name “Javachef” while his early

works were signed “Christo.” In 1973, after 17 stateless

years, Christo became a United States citizen.


Jeanne-Claude was born in Casablanca, Morocco, where

her French military father was stationed. Her mother,

Précilda, was 17 when she married Jeanne-Claude’s

father, Major Léon Denat. Précilda and Léon Denat

divorced shortly after Jeanne-Claude was born, and

Précilda remarried three times. Jeanne-Claude earned a

baccalauréat in Latin and philosophy in 1952 from the

University of Tunis.

During World War II, Jeanne-Claude lived with her

father’s family while her mother fought in the French

Resistance. In 1946, Précilda married the influential

General Jacques de Guillebon. The family lived in

Berne from 1948 to 1951, then in Tunisia from 1952 to

1957, when they returned to Paris. She was described as

“extroverted” and with natural organizational abilities.

Her hair was dyed red, a color she claimed was selected

by her husband and she smoked cigarettes, and tried to

quit many times until her weight would balloon. She did

not enjoy cooking. She took responsibility for overseeing

work crews and for raising funds. She said she became an

artist out of love for Christo (if he’d been a dentist, she

said she’d have become a dentist).

Jeanne-Claude died in New York City on November 18,

2009, from complications due to a brain aneurysm. Her

body was to be donated to science, one of her wishes.

Former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg

described The Gates as “one of the most exciting public

art projects ever put on anywhere in the world — and it

would never have happened without Jeanne-Claude.”

Jeanne-Claude said, “Our art has absolutely no purpose,

except to be a work of art. We do not give messages.” She

also said, “Artists don’t retire. They die. That’s all. When

they stop being able to create art, they die.” When she

died, she and Christo were at work on Over the River, a

set of fabric panels over the Arkansas River in Colorado

(begun in 1992) and The Mastaba, a stack of 410,000 oil

barrels configured as a mastaba, a trapezoidal prism, in

the United Arab Emirates.

Source : Wikipedia

27 JAN - 04 FEB 2018






The former goods station and the multimodal

distribution platform on the site entitled

‘Tour & Taxis’ bear witness to Belgium’s

prominent position within the world economy

at the start of the last century.

For almost a century, the huge Tour & Taxis customs and

warehousing complex was the capital’s freight transport

hub. Its construction (1902-1907) along with that of the

seaport, gave great impetus to the industrialization of the

neighboring quarters of Molenbeek and Laeken and the

entire Brussels area. Its rationalist design by engineers

Bruneel and Zone and architects Van Humbeek, Bosmans

and Vandeveld provides direct access by water, road and

rail. The complex has three vital functions: the speedy

reception of goods, their storage in bonded warehouses

and the collection of taxes and excise duties. The layout is

designed to optimize use of the railway track network.

The site extends over 37 hectares of what was previously

marshy grassland. It is a world-class monument

to the Golden Age of industrialization, a mine of

information on industrial architecture, civil engineering,

metalwork, stonework and the use of natural light. It

is contemporaneous with Orsay and Antwerp railway

stations, where the same materials were used. As European

customs barriers were removed and competition from road


transportation increased, the importance of the complex

gradually declined. Serious iconoclastic threats to the

site have now been safely removed. Thanks to the efforts

of La Fonderie and sympathetic organizations at home

and abroad, Tour & Taxis is now a protected site. The

promoters and the present owners are extremely sensitive

to the heritage aspects. The complex has huge conversion

potential and ideas are being carefully vetted. The heritage

value has become the key asset in the development process.

Consultations have been launched with all the economic,

cultural and social interest groups with a view to converting

this site into a new slice of town.

The cultural heritage, which luckily has been preserved, is of an exceptional

architectural quality and reflects the standard of technical engineering at

the time of its construction. This book analyses and resituates each building

and installation on the site to enable this past to be taken into account when

pursuing development. In this way the history of the site can be preserved and


Whilst retaining full respect for the site as it is updated, from now on Tour

& Taxis offers undoubted value if you are organizing shows or events or if

you want to make available long-lasting office spaces. In the near future, a

new park will be developed and the site will be welcoming a host of activities

on the theme of the long-lasting business and the economy of knowledge.

Ambitions in terms of an economy based on energy and the re-use of

renewable energy will be particularly daring. The site will inspire feelings of

well-being and will be a place where there is always something to experience

and discover. What is more, top-quality dwellings can be offered right next to

the center to allow optimum mobility. In this way Tour & Taxis will once again

become an important driver of the economic and cultural development of


Baron Luc Bertrand

Chairman of the Board of Directors - Project T&T S.A./N.V.









Organized in concertation with the Estonian Ministries

of Foreign and Economic Affairs, and HE Mr Lembit

Uibo, Ambassador of Estonia in Belgium, the DEAC

Days, in cooperation with CIDIC’s strategic partners,


DIPLOMATIC WORLD, were acclaimed as highly

successful by all participants.

After a number of meetings at the Tallinn University of

Technology and the Tallinn University, the delegation of

about 25 people ended the Mission with the European

CIDIC Awards Ceremony.

HE Mr Carl Peeters, Ambassador of Belgium to Finland and

Estonia, gave a European CIDIC Award to Katoen Natie

Tallinn, Professor Abdellah Touhafi of the Vrije Universiteit

Brussel, Skeleton Technologies Estonia and Lainergy

Estonia. The Ceremony was followed by a reception

offered by the Belgian Embassy to all Belgian and Estonian





These excellent results have further enhanced our

determination to continue the development of our DEAC

Days concept by organizing DEAC Days and other

activities with the country holding the six-monthly rotating

Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

We are, more than ever, convinced that these six-monthly

DEAC activities contribute to re-dynamising the European

inland economy, and the sense of a shared European



The Belgian delegation at Kumu Museum

Kumu Museum

Kumu Museum

Kumu Museum, Kadriorg park, Tallinn.





The CIDIC (European Centre for Economic,

Academic and Cultural Diplomacy) Diplomatic,

Economic, Academic, and Cultural (DEAC)

mission to Tallinn, 10 - 12 October 2017, in

cooperation with UNICA, VUB-Brussels

Diplomatic Academy and Diplomatic World,

Universities and research centres at work during

the Estonian DEAC Days

Report by Jan Cornelis, Academic Attaché, CIDIC


The mission’s two academic workshops were undoubtedly

the highlight of the DEAC Days in Estonia. The subjects

were chosen to attract a mixed public of governmental

decision-makers, and diplomatic and private sector

representatives. While we did not succeed in breaking down

the walls separating these distinct communities in Estonia,

the workshops were very successful in bringing Estonian

and Belgian scientists who share a real interest in creating

international societal and economic impact closer together.

The workshop on Digital Society and Big Data took place

in Tallinn Technical University’s Mektory. Mektory is a

special place. The gap between a new idea emanating from

university research or an individual inventor and a good idea

supported by a sound, sustainable business venture is still

a difficult hurdle to surmount. In this “new-to-good idea”

translation process, besides attracting investors, there is

an even more urgent need for training in the fundamentals

of business and (technology) entrepreneurship, and for an

appropriate transit ecosystem including physical facilities

before moving to a business incubator, a science park or an

independent setting. Mektory (Modern Estonian Knowledge

Transfer Organization foR You) provides such an ecosystem.

It is the missing link that exists in many other countries.

Mektory unites all functions that in most countries

are fragmented with only limited cross-fertilization:

technology transfer bringing together scientists, students,

schoolchildren, inventors and entrepreneurs, coaching of

student start-ups, addressing upcoming generations to show

them that engineering is exciting, internationalisation by

bringing together different cultures, working habits, ideas

and out of the box solutions, fabrication laboratories —

small-scale workshops offering personal digital fabrication

to a public of all ages, startup competitions, free office

space for (pre-)incubation activities, meeting places and

show rooms where the latest IT infrastructure can be used

and demonstrated. It is this integrated approach in one

building and the associated network that makes Mektory a

unique and well-appreciated innovation and business centre

without any need for window-dressing.

e-Estonia is a reality, known worldwide, and hence choosing

Digital Society and Big Data as the subject of one of the

workshops was an obvious winner. e-Estonia is more than a

label — it is a very efficient and fully operational information

society. The beauty of e-Estonia is its organizational aspect,

the interaction of different systems that exist in other

countries too but as independent applications, often only

used by early adopters of digital technologies. The story

of digital Estonia started shortly after the restoration of

Estonia’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

It needed some courage to immediately choose the digital

option to modernize the country, as Rector Jaak Aaviksoo

pointed out in his historical overview. Internet was in its

CIDIC Awards

infancy, mobile communication and digital data repositories

about the citizens were non-existent and digital literacy of

the citizens still had to be developed. In 1998, all schools

were equipped with computers and internet connections.

Later, access to the internet was declared a human right

so that the whole country became “connected”. Estonia’s

digital society is the result of visionary political decisions,

a sustained public effort and consequently a mixture of

public and private initiatives.

In his talk about Online big data analytics — finance,

social nets, smart cities and multimodal imaging, Nikos

Deligiannis, VUB, sketched some state of the art research

issues and challenges of big data analytics. “We currently

experience the dawn of the age of a data deluge, 50 billion

devices on the web by 2020”, says Deligiannis. Extremely

large data sets are analyzed computationally to reveal

new patterns, trends and associations, that hitherto

remained hidden, especially relating to human behaviour

and interactions. VVV, the three initial descriptors and

challenges of big data: volume, variety, and velocity. Data

sets are so voluminous and heterogeneous in nature that

traditional data processing and management software are

failing to deal with them. It is the volume and variety of

data that primarily determines value and potential insights

that can be extracted from them. Velocity refers to the

speed at which the data is generated and must be processed

and hence also to the massive computer power needed.

Nowadays, we speak about the 5V challenges: VVVVV, value

and veracity were added later.

Jüri Riives, of the Innovative Manufacturing Engineering

Systems Competence Centre — IMECC gave a talk on

“What can be expected from Industry 4.0”? Industry 4.0

is the name for the current trend of automation and data

exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyberphysical

systems, the Internet of Things, cloud computing

and cognitive computing. Industry 4.0 creates what has been

called a “smart factory”. Within the modular structured

smart factories, cyber-physical systems monitor physical

processes, create a virtual copy of the physical world and

make decentralized decisions. Over the Internet of Things,

cyber-physical systems communicate and cooperate with

each other and with humans in real time, and, via the


Internet of Services, both internal and cross-organizational

services are offered and used by participants of the value

chain. Such concepts are creating a revolution in the

rather traditional sector of Manufacturing. That is why

IMECC is an essential interface for industry to promote

and design novel manufacturing and create preconditions

for the development of efficient, intelligent and competitive

production, based on Industry 4.0 concepts.


The subject chosen by Kairit Tammets of Tallinn University

(TLU) was Towards data-driven education in Estonia.

Although the Tiger Leap programme, launched in 1996

for setting up IT infrastructures in schools, updating

educational curricula and providing teacher training, was

a successful large-scale project emanating from a visionary

government policy, we heard a few critical notes among

Tammets’s concluding remarks: “ICT has not supported

the main processes in educational institutions, we miss

the systemic habit to learn from our innovations, although

learning analytics provides a variety of possibilities for

higher education institutes to improve the educational

services, the culture is not there yet but we are on the way.”

Eerik Muuli, a software engineer in STACC (Software

Technology and Applications Competence Center —

University of Tartu) gave a refreshing talk on Recommender

systems. He explained the role of machine learning in

recommender systems that consider peculiarities of

each client, get smarter day by day, emphasize business

objectives, reconfigure business rules. A spontaneous

reaction in the public brought us back to Earth: “How

can we switch off these types of systems?” This poses the

question: are these recommender systems subtle enough?

Do we really want them? How can we control their degree

of intrusiveness in our lives? Do we have to revise the

concepts of privacy?

Innar Liiv of Tallinn University of Technology (TTU)

talked about Predictive e-Government and Big Data. Liiv

emphasized the need for conceptual frameworks that help

to make sense out of Data for Policy as an emerging field of

interdisciplinary study. Liiv’s talk also touched upon policy

challenges and opportunities, cutting-edge technologies, big

data sources and emerging research (computational social

science and political bots). “The next wave of e-government

innovation will be about analytics and predictive models.

Taking advantage of their potential for social impact will

require a solid foundation of e-government infrastructure.

The most important questions to start with are as follows:

What are the relevant new data sources? How can we use

them? What should we do with the information? Who cares?

Which political decisions need faster information from

novel sources? Do we need faster information? Does it come

with unanticipated risks? These questions barely scratch

the surface, because the complex interplay between general

advancements of computational social science and hovering

satellite topics like political bots will have an enormous

impact on research and using data for policy.”

At Tallinn University (TLU), we were welcomed by Rector

Tiit Land for the workshop on Social Entrepreneurship.

First, Nikolay Dentchev, VUB, talked about “Social

entrepreneurs need your help: Let’s care, share and

support”. Dentchev presented the VUB crowd-sourcing and

-funding platform (https://www.vubsocialentrepreneurship.

com/). He launched an open invitation to use and adapt

its model to create several of these collaborating platforms

for augmenting coaching and evaluation capabilities and

improving best practices. The platform created in 2015

is developing sustainable business models for social

enterprises involving universities, profit and non-profit

sectors. The main objectives of the social entrepreneurship

chair are to: generate internationally recognized scientific

research, develop a platform that supports social

entrepreneurs, and create a vibrant interdisciplinary

network that benefits social entrepreneurship.

In his talk on Fablabs and remote digital international

collaboration, Abdellah Touhafi launched an invitation

to establish a network of internationally and fully

interconnected fablabs, with unseen capabilities. His goal

is to create an environment in which students can make

everything. In a first step, his fablab evolved from a classic

clean lab environment to a machine-based digital creation

environment with an outreach far beyond the student

population, e.g. artists, entrepreneurs, architects and

companies. In a second stage, he developed an appropriate

IT infrastructure to support the interconnection of diverse

fablabs wherever they are, through remote user interaction

and collaboration. (http://fablab.hylas.be/fablab-english/)

Merle Ojasoo, TTU, shed light on Social entrepreneurship

in an ageing society. Ojasoo emphasized that “Social

entrepreneurship is also a process of identifying and

addressing neglected problems in society through innovative

sustainable solutions.” On the one hand, there are not

sufficient resources for social services for senior citizens

and on the other hand, creating new purposes with new

opportunities and roles for the elderly has market potential

and reduces social isolation. Even though social enterprises

are often not-for-profit, business plans are essential to ensure

the mixed goal of sustainability and social impact. Ojasoo

advocated entrepreneurial education for older people,

specific financing channels, political initiatives and adapted


Zsolt BUGARSZKI, TLU, addressed the subject of Social

impact & problem penetration — Business

metrics for social entrepreneurship. Social return on

investment (SROI) is a principles-based method for

measuring extra-financial value (i.e. environmental and

social value, not currently reflected in conventional

financial accounts) relative to the resources invested. In

a slightly provocative style, Bugarszki mentioned Tesla to

illustrate how traditional business metrics are outdated if

we try to understand the success of Elon Musk’s company

by relying on metrics like profit, market penetration, and

market share. “Tesla is not the market leader in electrical

vehicles. Tesla keeps losing money, so why is it worth

more than Ford?” Tesla is a Category Creator — beyond

incremental innovation, it changes the rules of the road

entirely by creating a new category. In that landscape,

our established modes of measurement just do not work.

Bugarszki proposed Problem Penetration as a metric to

address the core problems and challenges posed by new

product or service introduction. Besides addressing the

immediate problems in the society, and satisfying an unmet

need, this metric also motivates innovative thinking in the


Tallinn. The choice of the location was primarily inspired by

Estonian’s membership of the EU.

Skeleton Technologies, represented by Taavi Madiberk

and Oliver Ahlberg. The company has developed

high-performance energy storage solutions based on

breakthrough graphene material. Skeleton Technologies

already received the best start-up award at the Ecosummit

2015. It is currently scaling-up its production capacity and

international customer base. CIDIC wanted to express its

appreciation for a start-up company based on breakthrough

technological innovation and an exemplary early company

evolution since 2009. (https://www.skeletontech.com/)

Lainergy, represented by the whole team, including Nikon

Vidjajev and Jan Trentjev. Lainergy is an entrepreneurial

spin-off residing in Mektory that has developed technology

for affordable renewable energy from ocean waves, based

on its own invention, namely a new type of ocean wave

energy converter. Renewable energy gained from the power

of wind and sun is one of the current global priorities,

but the potential of the sea and its waves remains largely

unexplored. The team deserves encouragement for further

development of both its energy harvesting technologies and

the associated business models. The CIDIC award was given

in support of the challenging endeavour of exploiting a new

eco-friendly energy source technology at its best.


Prof. Abdellah TOUHAFI, VUB, received the European

CIDIC award for his multifaceted career as a socially

engaged entrepreneur, self-made man, director of the

RAPPTOR research lab, professor in electronics and ICT,

initiator and coordinator of interconnected fablabs, CEO

of VUB’s spinoff company, Lumency. As a first-generation

Moroccan immigrant, he was automatically pushed to follow

a professional education like all other immigrant students of

his generation (in the late eighties). He successively became

an industrial and later an academic engineer and professor.

He continues his social engagement for the immigrant

Moroccan community.

European CIDIC Award Ceremony in the presence of the

Belgian Ambassador, HE. Mr. Carl Peeters and Katoen

Natie Estonia, represented by Mart Melles. The CIDIC

Award emphasized the immersive economic collaboration

in Estonia of a well-established company. Katoen Natie

launched a logistic site in the harbour of Muuga, close to


Prof. Jan Cornelis, Academic Attaché CIDIC, on Social Entrepreneurship.

Prof. Tüt Land, Rector TLU

Mr. Eerik Muuli of the University of Tartu’s Software Technology and

Applications Competence Centre, on Recommender Systems.

Ms. Kris Dejonckheere, Secretary General of UNICA

Mr. Carl Decaluwé, Governor of the Province of West-Flanders,

Prof. Tüt Land, Rector of the Tallinn University and

Mr. Hervé Jamar, Governor of the Province of Liège

Tallinn University. Group photo of the professors.


Mr. Jaak Aaviksoo, Rector of TTU, starting the program on Digital Estonia

HE Mr. Carl Peeters, Belgian Ambassador to Finland and Estonia with Baron

Ernest de Laminne de Bex, President of CIDIC, opening of the CIDIC Awards


Ms. Kris Dejonckheere - Secretary General of UNICA, Prof. Dr Roland GUEUBEL-B-Life Director, Baron Ernest de Laminne de BEX - CIDIC’s President,

Mr. Christian J. Mouvet - Secretary Général CIDIC, Mr. Frederic De Pryck, CIDIC’s Chairman of the Executive Committee,

Mr. Jean Dewaerheid - Communications Officer CIDIC.

The nominees Katoen Natie Estonia, Skeleton Technologies, Lainergy Oü and Prof. A. Touhafi (VUB)





No matter where you work, teams are an inevitable fact of

life — partly because they can achieve things that no one

individual can, partly because they are oftentimes a forum

for resolving conflict, and partly because an effective team

gives its members a sense of belonging. Teams are the

fundamental building blocks of human civilisation. They

sit at the heart of our everyday lives. But that does not

make them easy to lead. Indeed, because they are doing

such important work is part of why they are difficult to

lead effectively. So are there any basic and straightforward

principles for leading a high performance team?

Research has indeed revealed some basic principles and one

hundred plus years of scholarly research suggests five simple

keys to leading high performance teams.


Diversity matters — if you don’t have all of the perspectives

around the table, you can reach resolution, but you’ll never

really solve the bigger problems, and you’ll never have all

of the necessary skills combined to resolve the issues.

So, assemble a team that is diverse in skillset as well as

one that represents all of the stakeholders you need to



People talk and operate at cross purposes, even within the

same organisation. Someone from marketing will talk about

a topic, and may even use some of the same words, in a

completely different way to someone in operations. We may

think we’re talking about the same thing, but it turns out

we’re not. I’m talking feet and inches and you’re hearing

centimetres and metres. Teams with diverse information,

perspectives and values are likely to experience these kinds

of coordination failures early on. And research shows teams

are very good at dividing up work and pulling apart, while

being notoriously bad at putting those pieces back together

again. Once a coordination problem occurs, team members

tend very quickly to start explaining it by looking for

people who are different. So, why did this not work? Why

are we having problems? It’s not simply that we come from

different worlds, it’s because that person looks different,

they have different values to me, and it’s obviously their

fault that this is not working.



Once you have built a diverse team you’ll need to combine

those different views, perspectives, knowledge, experience,

interests, motives and personality types to get the job

done. Your next challenge is to build a team that has

the capacity to deal with the issues. It is easy to see the

absolutely central role of trust. When there is trust, people

can disagree about a task or process without it turning

personal. Without trust, people tend to interpret things in

the worst possible light. Start your team by building trust

before you move onto decision making and action. If you

start with decisions rather than building relationships, you’ll

likely experience unhelpful conflict pretty quickly. With low

trust levels, members will then start thinking: “I’m really

different from them.” Then they start disliking each other,

which leads to a further decline in trust and poor group


Randall S. Peterson

So the challenge is to create coordination early on, watch

out for problems and, if they do come up, avoid finding fault

and focus more on how to work together going forward and

ensure this coordination failure doesn’t happen again.


Clearly the best situation is a cohesive group that agrees

with the decision. But in reality it is rare that everyone will

come to complete consensus on a single plan of action.

When you are struggling to get agreement, which is most of

the time, there are three options. The best option is qualified

consensus: everybody can live with the decision, even if they

may not think it is the best. Second-best is that the matter is

discussed and the team leader decides. The advantage is that

this doesn’t disenfranchise or disconnect any subgroup that

perhaps doesn’t like the result. It maintains a relationship

between the leader and the individuals so is it a better, more

reasonable way of going about things.

remember that nothing worthwhile is ever that easy.

Prof. Peterson, London Business School, will be in Brussels

for an exclusive leadership programme with colleagues from

Insead, Saïd at Oxford University, Esade Barcelona, London

School of Economics. Organised by Global and Diplomatic

World. For more information and deadlines go to


What you should actively avoid is the third option: majority

rule. Most people think this works because it is a wellknown

form of democracy. But it’s associated with really

angry people, disenfranchised or disconnected subgroups,

and really poor team performance.



With all these challenges you might well be thinking:

“Why bother with teams at all?” And indeed one of the

reasons I started studying teams and conflict was because

I couldn’t understand how groups of really great people

can come together and make bad decisions. But much of it

revolves around how they manage conflict, or in many cases

how they don’t manage conflict.

Additional Reading

• Ferguson, A. J., & Peterson, R. S. (2015). Sinking slowly:

Diversity in propensity to trust predicts downward trust

spirals in small groups. Journal of Applied Psychology,

100(4): 1012-1024. doi: 10.1037/apl0000007

• Peterson, R. S., & Ferguson, A. J. (2014). Strategies

for Developing Trust Through Constructive Conflict

Resolution in Teams. In O.B. Ayoko, N. Ashkanasy &

K. A. Jehn (Eds), Handbook of Conflict Management,

p. 193-204. Cheltenham, UK.: Edward Elgar.

• Behfar, K. J., Peterson, R. S., Mannix, E. A., & Trochim,

W. M. K. (2008). The critical role of conflict resolution

in teams: A close look at the links between conflict type,

conflict management strategies, and team outcomes.

Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 170-188. doi:


The secret to managing conflict is to tackle it head-on, by

being pre-emptive — that is anticipating the types of conflict

that might emerge in the team and pre-empt the negative

effects of those conflicts before they happen. Secondly, you

need to create conflict resolution strategies that focus on

what is good for the group versus what is good for specific

individuals within the group. Overall, if you can keep

focused on these five basic principles, you’ll have a much

better chance of looking back on your team experiences

with appreciation rather than frustration, and anticipation

for the next opportunity rather than dread. That still won’t

make leading a high performance team easy, but just

Dr. Randall S. Peterson is Professor of Organisational

Behaviour at London Business School and Director of the

School’s Leadership Institute. Randall holds a Ph.D. in

Social and Organisational Psychology from the University

of California, Berkeley. He teaches leadership on the

Executive Education, Accelerated Development and Senior

Executive Programmes. His research has been published

in the leading scholarly journals in the field including

journals such as the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Randall has also published work in important outlets for

managers including Harvard Business Review and

New Yorker Magazine.



“Facing Change!” is an ongoing column by

senior media industry expert and Diplomatic

Council’s Chairman Global Media Forum, Dieter

Brockmeyer. He throws a light on burning issues of

our digitalization driven global societies from his

own perspective.


It’s a pest indeed, the sudden rise of so-called fake news

distributed via the internet and social media channels trying to

influence public opinion. Authorities are panicking and their

reactions may even prove dangerous to our societies, more

dangerous than the fake news itself. Passing legislation making

platforms block and/or erase fake news and their authors is

censorship that opposes the right of free speech! This right

is essential to democratic societies granting to express your

opinions and beliefs, even if it is mere nonsense. There are

other and better ways to tackle the problem:

Yes, in digital environments nonsense spreads rapidly. On the

other hand, they also react to nonsense at the same speed.

The impact of fake news is limited since almost immediately

another wave of corrections will be out. The problem is only

for those serious media adopting to something that appears to

be spectacular too fast and unreflective. For a big newspaper to

have to correct a negative image due to being too unreflective

is painful. However, there is also a learning curve. By now,

everybody knows double-checking is essential. The problem is

with those who believe in fake news.

They can’t be influenced by regular media channels. However,

such filter bubbles are not a new phenomenon. It was hidden

before social media allowed everybody to become a global

publisher in their own interest, and it was hidden from

“conspiracy activists” who found a loud and global voice. Our

societies have begun to recognize the problem. However, the

term “conspiracy activist” sounds as if there was only a small

problem, that it’s people with limited education and influence.

Wrong so! The more people are dissatisfied with our societies

or feel cheated by politics and media the more even academics

are attracted at least by some of these ideas.

The good thing is that we can no longer ignore the problem.

That’s the first step to finding solutions! This cannot be

censorship because that would be hiding the problem again!

There is no covering up in digital networks. Communications

would be hidden again but nevertheless be quite effective, for

instance, via Facebook closed groups or WhatsApp. Certainly,

many of these radical activists can be heard much louder

than ever, and many who hadn’t expressed their discomfort

and fears before are now doing so. Not all of them belong

into conspiracy corners. But their discomfort opens them to

alternative and fake news sources. This creates a spiral that

can’t be stopped with bans. On the contrary: Why do you ban

anything when it is nonsense?

We must return to the values of our democracies including

open debate of ALL opinions, even if we feel hurt. I’m sure

we have plenty of arguments and the better ones! By excluding

opinions, we prepare the ground for more radicalism, in

the worst case we make them mainstream. Even worse, our

defending democracy may itself bury the freedom it stands

for. We must leave our comfort zones and argue rather than

cover up. There are many references to the pre-WW I and II

period from clever minds. We are in times of rapid change

and many have already lost their comfort or social status.

There’s similarity, for sure! However, we are living in a different

environment: Then, international relations were limited to

the elites. Today there is mass tourism and most business is

international. Then, wars still were considered to be “Ultima

Ratio” — the final logic. Today, most people are aware of

the consequence of a new world conflict. Euphoria as in the

beginning of WWI seems not to be very likely anymore.

We have the chance to avoid the fatal mistake of our ancestors.

Let’s take this chance — it will not return!

The Grand Tour

Diplomatic World presents two remarkable events in Brussels:

one regarding people management and leadership whereby diplomats, civil servants and

managers are confronted with world authorities from no less than 4 of

Europe’s leading business schools: London Business School, Insead,

Esade Barcelona, London School of Economics.

one regarding Advanced Negotiation Techniques with Prof Tim Cullen, Oxford University

Go to www.globalmagevents.com








On the 30th and 31st of October 2017 the small

city of Zug Switzerland was host to a historic event

taking a big step forward in the fight towards climate

change. The SIIA Impact Summit 2017 marked the

beginning of new collaborations and commitments

and highlighted innovations in impact investment

and climate action.

For the second year running the Swiss Impact Investment

Association (SIIA) called to Zug for the Impact

Summit. SIIA invited entrepreneurs, thought leaders,

philanthropists, financial institutions and investors, to

speak and present new ideas for impact investing and

report on new approaches and inspiring changes in the

investment sector. The conference was co-hosted with

the Alliance of Religions in Conservation (ARC) and the

canton and city of Zug, in the heart of Switzerland.

The conference boasted a diverse range of 55 speakers and

topics. Keynote speakers included Jamison Irvin of the

UNDP, Jo Andrews of Equileap, Robert Rubinstein of the

TBLI Group, Jouni Keronen of the Climate Leadership

Council, and Cardinal Turkson of the Vatican, who

touched upon key topics such as sustainable development,

gender equality, and faith-based investing. Panels and

speakers’ series were formed on a range of SDGs,

and presented new approaches of impact investing in

unexpected sectors.

gave a platform to numerous showcases, among them the

innovation of 1bank4all Founding Association, the first

global social bank.

A highlight of the first day was the signing of the Zug

Declaration by numerous Swiss based NGOs and

foundations. SIIA gathered influential and effective actors

to publicly commit the use of their financial means to

contribute to and support the UN SDGs and impactful

investment. Among the first signatories were the Robert F.

Kennedy Foundation, WWF, and Gold Standard, as well

as an Argentinian foundation making the first step towards

expanding the Zug Declaration globally.


The conference saw panels held on ‘How to Invest in

Gender Equality’, as well as ‘Block Chain for Good’

recognising the new possibilities in digital technological

advancements. One afternoon was dedicated to the ‘Save

the Forest’-Symposium held by Everland. Speakers of

renowned research institutions and organisations, such

as NASA and the UNDP, addressed the realities of

climate change and its implications to the forests. SIIA

Cardinal Turkson giving his key note speech at the Impact Summit 2017.

The Procession reaching the conference centre with banners representing the Faiths, ARC, and the UN.

The second day of the conference was dedicated to

‘Faith in Finance’. Religions are considered to be often

overlooked when accounting global investment assets

and their effective potential for positive change. ‘Faith

Consistent Investing and Impact Investment have much in

common, and we wanted to highlight these commonalities,’

explains Klaus-Michael Christensen, President and cofounder

of SIIA. Martin Palmer, Secretary General of

ARC, also pressed that recognising this new actor in the

investment community is crucial to the future of impact

investing. Their billions of dollars in assets and influence

as global communities should not be missed when thinking

about impacting sociological and economical change. At a

parallel conference to Impact Summit ARC, the UN, and

other key impact investment funds worked closely with

the faith leaders of more than 30 different faith traditions

representing over 500 faith investment groups to write a

Guideline for faith investors.

The Zug Guidelines were ceremoniously enacted by the

Faiths and joint conference attendees of SIIA and ARC.

As the highlight of the two day conference, after an evening

prayer in Zug’s Liebfrauenkapelle on the waterfront of

the Zuger See, the Faiths led a procession through the

centre of the city of Zug. The procession ended on the

conference stage with the signing of the Guidelines by

all representatives of the faiths, pledging to invest in

sustainability. ‘I am so proud that SIIA was able to play a

helping hand in the tremendous effort that ARC has gone

through in preparing the Faiths for the Zug Guideline,’

says Christensen. ‘We found terrific synergies between

the Faiths and business, upon which we now can build to

strengthen the relationship between them in the years to

come. I am very excited that SIIA will be instrumental

in establishing a permanent dialogue on values and

entrepreneurial innovation between Faiths and Business in

Zug.’ The Summit closed with the Handclasp for the Future,

symbolising the Faiths’ commitment and collaboration.

The second SIIA Impact Summit has been deemed a great

success by attendees and the SIIA team. As a next step

SIIA will facilitate a permanent independent ‘Multi-Faith

Impact Investment Conference’ alongside SIIA’s annual

conference. A Multi-Faith Alliance Committee will be

composed of representatives of the Faiths that will take

leadership of the annual Faith Consistent Investing agenda.

As Klaus-Michael Christensen asserts, ’SIIA’s goal is to

bring back an equilibrium between economic and social

development through the means of how we invest in our

collective future.’

Brita Achberger


Klaus-Michael Christensen closing the conference with the Faith representatives at the signing of the Zug Guidelines.


The Alliance of Religions and Conservation

(ARC) is a secular body that helps the major religions

of the world to develop their own environmental

programmes, based on their own core teachings,

beliefs and practices.

ARC helps the religions link with key environmental

organisations — creating powerful alliances between

faith communities and conservation groups.

ARC was founded in 1995 by HRH Prince Philip.

They now work with 11 major faiths through the key

traditions within each faith.

SIIA is a non-profit association founded in Zug in

2016 with a mission to showcase investments and

companies with societal impact. The association

was founded with the mission to heighten awareness

in and around Switzerland for impact investment

and aiming to bridge impact with finance, through

conferences and networking events.

SIIA is a platform for best practice impact

investments and seeks credible risk, return and

impact investment opportunities to showcase. SIIA

encourages all stakeholders to jointly develop a

narrative for impact investment for society to adopt.


The words ri olo and ri munri are an interesting study in that

the Bugis equate the front with the past and the back with

the present. This indicates that the Bugi’s time orientation

is towards the past, with the future behind, in a reverse of

the usual order. This reflects perhaps the Bugis’ heritage as

seafarers who are afraid to lose sight of land, hence they

always faces the mountain from where they were sailing.

Their homeland was always the standard reference for their

new home.

Bugis Beliefs about the classification of the cosmos.

Halilintar Lathief

Alexis Gautier - Pulau Jengekerik (Cricket Island)





In life, foresight enables you to identify potential risk. Similarly, the new Volvo XC60 reads the road ahead and

reacts, faster than humanly possible, to steer car and driver to safety. It’s one of Volvo’s world-fi rst and SUV-fi rst

advancements to help keep you moving forward.



Introducing an automotive world-fi rst solution: the digital key.

Bringing greater fl exibility, the XC60’s ‘keyless’ innovation

allows drivers to open, close and start the vehicle from their

smartphones via Bluetooth or the Volvo On Call app. This

pioneering feature saves drivers time and allows you to run

a more fl uid, interchangeable fl eet – with multi-person access

so colleagues can share, drop off and collect cars with no

concern over logistics or physical handover.

And for an intuitive way of working, the XC60’s Sensus Connect

touch-screen interface is now the familiar smartphone portrait

format. The Volvo On Call app delivers new connected services

where drivers can send locations from calendars to the car’s

navigation, fi nd fuel stops, and more. While the app’s redesign

makes it simpler to monitor up to ten fl eet cars.


Aside from reducing the risks, the XC60’s D5 powertrain

innovations supply all the power of an SUV while offering

impressive effi ciencies on CO 2

emissions and fuel. SUV-fi rst

PowerPulse is just one example, where if the accelerator is

pressed at a standstill, or when driving under 2,000 rpm in

fi rst or second gear, compressed air is released to activate

the turbocharger with practically no lag. This means your

business can excel without counting the costs.



Because, like you, Volvo looks to the future to prepare for

today, its Scalable Product Architecture replicates and resizes

engine and electrical infrastructures across models. This organised

modular system enables drivers to access new technologies,

while improved weight distribution makes for a dynamic driving











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Diplomatic Director – ACB Group Managing

Sales Director

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2,1 - 7,7 L/100 KM 2,1 I 49 - 176 7,7 G L/100 CO 2

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02 743 81 81

02 686 06 40

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743 81 81 02 686 06 40

02 686 02 712 060 40 70

Leuvensesteenweg 381

Brusselsesteenweg 343 Leuvensesteenweg 430

ACB LOUIS Leuvensesteenweg


Leuvensesteenweg 381

Schaarbeek ACB OVERIJSE 381


3090 343

Overijse ACB Brusselsesteenweg ZAVENTEM


1930 430343


02 743 81 81

1030 Schaarbeek 1030 Schaarbeek

brussels@acbrussels.be 02 686 06

3090 Overijse@acbrussels.be



02 712



1930 zaventem@acbrussels.be


Overijse Zaventem

brussels@acbrussels.be Overijse@acbrussels.be Overijse@acbrussels.be


Leuvensesteenweg 381

Brusselsesteenweg 343 Leuvensesteenweg 430

1030 Schaarbeek


3090 Overijse


1930 Zaventem











Mechelen is accessible to everyone. The city is

located in the heart of Flanders about 25km from

Brussels and Antwerp. From the Brussels airport to

Mechelen it takes only 11 minutes by train. Thanks

to its largely uncongested road network, travelling

to and from other surrounding countries/cities from

Mechelen whether by bus, train, plane or car is also

easy and doesn’t take much of your time. Major

commercial and industrial centers such as London,

Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Luxemburg are

only a few hours away.


Wondering where employers will come from for your

business? No need to stress! The biggest college in

Flanders, Thomas More, University College is found

in Mechelen. Therefore, it provides a steady supply of

multitalented workers as it has about 4.000 students and

more than 15 academic programs. Businesses can readily

handpick the finest talent while the brightest graduates

from neighboring universities in Leuven, Antwerp and

Brussels strategically settle in Mechelen. In recent years,

Mechelen has been transformed into the new hotspot of

cross media activities. The young talent pool of highly

qualified, multilingual workers and the city’s own dynamic

business climate has attracted several communication,

marketing and multimedia companies.

nice historical buildings. The city has about 400 inspiring

historical buildings that bring about the cultural diversity

of the city. The restaurants and cafés are charming and

have diverse choices.



This museum is so much more than a collection of

(cultural) historical objects. It also serves as a beacon for

research and experiments and is a hotspot for classical

and contemporary heritage, from where you can follow

the traces of Burgundian influences in today’s culture.




There is certainly more to learn and do in Mechelen

during leisure and free time. The fact that Mechelen is a

pocket-sized world city means that everything is within

walking distance. It is also one of Flanders’ prominent

cities of historical art, therefore as you wander along the

narrow streets you will be able to feast your eyes on the


Discover the history of the Burgundian Netherlands in

the new museum Hof van Busleyden in Mechelen as of

March 2018. Learn more about how the Burgundian

court culture left its mark on the contemporary city in a

stately sixteenth-century city palace. The new Museum

Hof van Busleyden is a place for encounters, discoveries

and admiration.

It answers questions like, how did the Burgundian rulers

manage to create such a great empire? Which impact

did the resulting internationalization have on Mechelen?

What is so special about the paintings of the Flemish

Primitives, about Flemish polyphonic music and the

products of Burgundian craftsmen? What prompted the

rapid developments in medicine, botany and cartography

in this era?


A family can easily combine a spot of history with

activities that both the parents and children can warm up

to. One of the largest toy museums in Europe is located in

Mechelen. You can also visit a hands-on science museum,

Technopolis. A walk among the penguins in the city’s zoo

Planckendael is a ‘must do’.


In the last couple of years more and more businesses

have come to recognize Mechelen for its true worth: its

midway location within Flanders and Europe, its high

speed connectivity, access to highly skilled and flexible

employers with an always-on attitude and lastly its

excellent quality of life. Even the mayor of the city himself

agrees with the fact that Mechelen is not only the best

place to live but indeed offers everything for successful

business investments and outstanding conditions for a

growing business.

Mechelen has activities for both children and older

people. In and around the lively city centre, there are

activities that suit every indoor and outdoor taste.

More info:

www.mechelen.be / www.visitmechelen.be


The TAL Center for Integrative Oncology is located within

the largest Oncology Institute in the Middle East, the

Sheba Hospital at Tel Hashomer. The center aims to change

the culture of cancer treatment and serves as a Center of

Excellence in the field. The TAL Center is the first in the

country to offer a combination of complementary medical

treatments and scientific research as an integral part of the

Oncology Center. Today, more than ever, there is a need

for a medical center that meets the unique requirement of

oncology patients.

The Tal Center was created to honor the memory of Tal

Yaakobson. Tal’s name means water and more specifically

“dew”. Water can be both harmful and give life. The morning

dew is just about giving life and has a positive nature. In that

respect we are very much following this line of thought.

Cancer is becoming an epidemic. How can we best provide

a better life for cancer patients?

The Tal Center for Integrative Oncology Medicine

promotes the use of natural therapies that support and

work in conjunction with conventional oncology; meeting

the unique needs of oncology patients, helping them battle

the disease and increasing their chances of survival.

With the aim of proving the efficacy of integrative

medicine in the treatment of both cancer and the side

effects caused by conventional medicine, the Tal Center

conducts clinical and para-clinical studies, examining

the influence of medicinal herbs and their active

mechanisms, on cancer cells and the immune system.

The Tal Center’s uniqueness lies in its ability to conduct

in-depth scientific research, mainly as a result of the

exceptional partnership the center has established with

the Sheba Medical Center - Tel Hashomer. The Sheba

Oncology Center, the largest in Israel, has provided the

Tal Center with a state-of-the-art laboratory to support

its groundbreaking research. This advanced technology

enables the in vitro growth of patients’ cancer and

immune system cells, making it possible to examine

their response to anti-cancerous herbs and provide truly

personalized medicine; while expanding the Tal Center

treatment experience and knowledge-base.

Working closely with oncologists, the Tal Center has begun

the process of ‘translating’ the wisdom of Chinese medicine

into western practices, and conducts pioneering, global

clinical research in a diverse range of fields, including

oncology nutrition, botanical formulas, homeopathy and



Chinese Acupuncture decreases the side effects that develop

during chemotherapy, including nausea, fatigue and pain.

By integrating Western practices with the holistic approaches

of Chinese medicine, through unique collaborations with

leading centers in Israel and abroad; the TAL Center is

transforming vision into reality and becoming a center for

international excellence.

“The TAL Center is a center of excellence. It sounds a bit

presumptuous to say but the truth is that we strive for and

we are on our way to be excellent, which is quite an amazing

thing” and thus Dr. Noah Samuels set the bar high in this

interview. This is my second visit to Tel Hashomer Sheba

Hospital and the TAL Center and I feel at home.

The first impressions of my September visit were confirmed

the minute I entered the gates of the hospital grounds

today. This place is the center of energy, empathy, safety

and medicine of the highest standards. The TAL Center is,

as a massive benign growth onto the oncology department,

living proof that the perfect marriage between Western and

traditional Chinese medicine does exist. We meet for a round

table discussion in the heart of the TAL Center.

“My specialty is internal medicine and my sub-specialty is

complementary integrative medicine”, Dr. Noah Samuels


or medication? Does it have side effects? Is the treatment

going to be dangerous? Is the outcome going to be good?

“Like any treatment we do in medicine everything has side

effects (except chicken soup). We must make sure that what

we are doing, does not go against what the oncologists or the

hematologists are giving. Especially in cancer care.”


Integrative medicine is complementary medicine within the

conventional medical system. Cancer patients are looking

for ways to heal and they are trying all kinds of different

treatments, sometimes taking supplements and most of the

time the oncologists don’t know exactly what they are trying.

Here at the TAL Center the doctor makes the diagnosis,

gives the painkiller, the nurse calls the physiotherapist, refers

to the acupuncture department down the hall, makes all

the other appointments and puts all this information in the

patient file. Everything is one stop, it’s all concentrated in

one place.

“We have all that here at SHEBA. In the TAL Center we

work inside the hospital. Not just geographically, also

logistically. Today doctors at Tel Hashomer referred two new

patients. One patient had hot flashes because of hormone

therapy and another patient was suffering from severe

neuropathy from the chemotherapy. She could hardly walk

and said it was as if she was walking on needles. She couldn’t

close her shirt because she could not manipulate the buttons.

There is no conventional treatment for this, so the doctor has

sent her to the TAL Center. What the TAL Center offers can

be very effective for a lot of side effects.


The TAL Center for Integrative Oncology serves as a Center

of Excellence, advancing the integration of complementary

medicine in standard oncology care.

Integrative physicians are conventional physicians who

believe in conventional medicine but know and are familiar

with the whole world of complementary medicine and the

aspects that are evidence based in that the treatments can

help and not harm. Because those are the big questions: does

it help? Does it harm? Does it interact with other treatments

A Center of Excellence is a team, a shared facility, an

entity that provides leadership, the best practices, research,

support, and training. The TAL Center is working on all of

these aspects. “If you do only one thing, that’s fantastic but

it’s not going to make a change. The nurses, the doctors, the

patients must know that all of these treatments are good and

helpful. We are in Tel Hashomer, the largest cancer center in

the Middle East. We see 5.000 new patients every year and

treat some 20.000 patients per year.”


How the treatments are impacting patients is registered,

everything is evidence based. Studies show what helps and

what does not harm. Patients are all supervised, making sure

that they get healthy without side effects. All of this makes

the treatments very safe.

Dr. Yair Maimon brings with him the vision of bridging the

gap between Chinese Medicine and the Western world’s

pharmaceutical industry

The integrative physician works with the oncologist.

“Everything we do is in the patients’ file so that the

oncologists know what is happening. Our main goal is

for people to feel better and to get through the cancer

treatments which have terrible side effects like neuropathy.

The conventional treatment for neuropathy caused by

chemotherapy, is to stop the treatment or reduce the dose

or switch to something less toxic. We can help the patient

complete their chemo at the intended dose.” There are

studies that show that if you help people reduce symptoms

and help them to feel better, that helps their survival.

“We work from the lab to the bedside. We are closely

working together to get all the results in real time. The

complementary integrative treatments are effective and

not expensive, not just to the patients but also to the


Doctor Samuels has been doing clinical research for 20

years to observe what happens in real time. There are

different types of research. The main type of research

that the center is focused on is called pragmatic research.

One patient might get acupuncture while at the same time

another patient benefits from other treatments. This is

how a center that offers a multitude of treatments works.

Pragmatic means real time. In order to know what is really

happening, the pragmatic trials are very effective.

It’s not ‘clean’ research, it is not very exact but that’s

how people are being treated, each one according to their

symptoms, liking and results.



The TAL Center for Research is conducting state of the

art research into the effect of herbal medicine on cancer

cell cultures and immune cells. “There are 2 big aspects in

the research that we are doing. We are working with other

centers; we are collaborating.”

Dr. Samuels is in charge of the clinical work of the center

and Dr. Yair Maimon oversees the lab studies and research.

The pragmatic trials are very important and work in

a systems approach, a patient approach. “There is a

study on neuropathy that we are doing with Technion in

collaboration with 4 other medical centers. To show the

power of the effect of a treatment you need to work together,

join forces.” In another study with brain tumor patients we

are helping with their symptoms.

There is a project running with the Patient Registry through

the patient files. We published a study on homeopathy.

Yesterday we started a study on neuropathy and we are

running another one in gynaecology.


Education is the key. We have medical student programs;

we offer conferences for medical professionals, doctors,

nurses and offer lectures for the public, and we have an

internet site.

Dr. Samuels is an integrative physician. When patients

consult him, he recommends different types of treatment,

whatever is most appropriate. There are some 100 studies

on acupuncture, reflexology, touch therapy, yoga and

meditation about how good all this is, how important it is.

It is all evidence based. People also need to hear what really

happens. They need to know that people are affected by

these treatments in a positive way and how it changes their


As a nurse the most important for me is the patient and

I believe that we can help them. I have seen it. We can

help them reduce stress, relieve pain, see them through hot

flashes or nausea. Their whole well-being is very important,

more important than anything else when you go through

cancer. I hope this field will be more and more integrated in

the regular treatment because it will improve survivorship.

I see it in the patients, I see it all the time.”

“For the patients that survived cancer, we need to maintain

their whole well-being. Usually afterwards they suffer from

anxiety and stress. They can’t go back to their regular life,

because it is not easy.”

“We know some patients will not survive and there is

nothing we can do about it. But it is important to know

that we can help them. The way we do something for them

is more important than the outcome because some of the

patients will die regardless of what we did for them.

On top of that we have the whole administration, the

management guidelines, the accreditation. As nurses, we

have both sides of the job.”

“The patient comes in and is seen by the physician, we start

the treatments and ask the patient to report back to us. We

want to know if the patient did benefit from the treatment

and we need to record it in the patient file for the oncologist

to consult.”


Einat Brinenberg is the oncology nurse with vast experience

in patient care, as well as an Integrative Medicine nurse

with training in Chinese Medicine and Reflexology. Einat is

involved in both the treatment aspects of the TAL Center,

as well as helping us run the center efficiently and effectively

in an administrative capacity. She is involved in the whole

process and in the follow up with the administration of the

patient file. “I have been an oncology nurse for 15 years now

and I have seen cancer patients from all departments.”

“At the center we offer a tailor made and personalized

treatment. Some patients don’t want acupuncture because

they don’t like needles, others don’t like to be touched and

do want the needles.”

“The knowledge of oncology helps a lot. I enrolled in a

course in Chinese Medicine because it is good for all nurses

and doctors to know both sides of the treatment, to know

what you can combine when you give treatment. We care

about the patients and the treatments they get. We keep

patients safe. We know what the side effects are, we have

the detailed computerized medical files. We are the bridge

between East and West.



In a perfect world this would all be funded but we live in an

imperfect world. But that is not what happens. ‘The way to

a man’s heart is through the stomach’ they say, well ‘the way

to an oncologist’s heart is through lab research’ and through

showing proof of the molecules, receptors, and genes.

Bringing in new medications into the clinical settings, ‘from

the lab to the bedside’ is very important.

When the patient comes in, one of his choices should be

whatever we are providing. Patients should not have to go

elsewhere, looking for practitioners and therapists. When

the normal medical system cannot provide them with the

right treatment options, we are a very legitimate option.”

“We are living in very interesting times. Western medicine

is about 50 to 80 years old, that means that all the

treatments patients are receiving are relatively new. What

we observe and what we are pioneering in the center and

in other places in the world, is not relevant just to the use

of natural medicine in cancer. It is also relevant to human

consciousness and deeper understanding of healing. We

believe that will see great change in the next ten years.

Much of it is due to unexpected future discoveries. We are

observing many changes in cancer patients and we keep on

asking the question: “How can we prove what we observe?”

Patients are doing well, but people are asking us for proof.

Prevention, and prevention of recurrence and improving

quality of life is the aim.”

“Even more important, there is the science of medicine and

the art of healing. These two should combine. Hospitals

sometimes focus too much on the science of medicine

and could therefore forget the art of healing. What we

are providing is not just a treatment. We are proving

another point, another important statement to the medical

community: we are stressing that, because of too much

focus on science, there is a tendency to forget the healing.

“We forgot that the healing is within the patient, not

in the medicine, not in the molecules. That has a lot of

ramifications on how you look for a personalized treatment,

how you can improve the quality of life of the patient and

how the patient is treated. Also helping them to die in the

proper way because western medicine tends to concentrate

on the cancer and not on the system and the patient. The

word ‘healing’ is the key word. It is very easy to go into the

molecular world and forget that the healing is not done on

the molecular level.”


Doctor Yair Maimon is the head of the research department

and he has a very clear vision about the TAL Center. “The

TAL Center is a visionary place, and it is up to us to fulfill

the vision, one way or another. The vision is very clear: to

do whatever we can do to change the way cancer is being

treated. To bring in different natural treatments we know

are effective. To prove that they are effective. To change the

protocols of cancer patients.

“There is a big difference between evidence-based medicine

and patient-centered medicine. Evidence-based medicine is

a two-edged sword, it does not always work to the benefit

of the patient. Some patients might want something


“Zoya, the head of my lab is a scientist, she is a molecular

biologist. Last week she came to the clinic while I was

treating a patient. I told her to come in because we are

always in the lab, researching herbs, and it would be good

if she could witness what we can achieve in the practice.

There was a lung cancer patient who had been taking the

herbs since she came to me a year ago. At that time, she

had a terrible cough, was very highly medicated and on

steroids. Her life expectancy was very low. By the expected

medical criteria, she was not supposed to still be here when

Zoya saw her. She still has metastatic cancer, but she is

not coughing. She goes out, she is driving, her swelling

reduced, she reduced the cortisone. To Zoya, the labs’

molecular biologist, to hear this from the patient, to see that

the patient has improved, to her this is evidence that the

treatment is useful and above all safe.”

“Patients should get the very best treatment options, that’s

the bottom line. When they come to the hospital, they

should get the best the medical system provides. What we

are providing makes sense and should be part of it.”

Dr. Yair Maimon is a practitioner and a researcher. When

they started the TAL Center he took charge of the research

department and was very keen on proving that it is a center

of excellence.

“It’s not easy to do research”, he continues, “everybody

likes research, everybody wants to talk about research, but

research is very difficult to do. Especially when it’s not

well-funded and even more so when you research something

which is strange.”

“It is easy to research a molecule, but it is difficult to

research multi molecule herbs. When you research 2 herbs it

is even more difficult. The more variables you have, the more

difficult it is. The classical research method is to research

one molecule for one result. One intervention and one result.

You know the mechanics and you can use the result. We are

totally 180° on the opposite side of this spectrum.

“I know that we will be part of the treatment and I think

all the reasons are there, especially if you look at it from

the patients’ perspective. A concept we are implementing

here, is called ‘patient-centered medicine’. The medicine is

centered around the patient, not around the hospital or the

doctor or anyone else. We are all health care providers, we

provide service, we are here for the patient. A lot of the time

this is forgotten, especially in the care for cancer patients.”



The topic of discussions or studies is always the disease.

In Chinese medicine there is no word for ‘disease’. Western

medicine is focused on disease; Chinese medicine is focused

on balance and imbalance.

One way to create change is to change the belief system.

One of the great advantages of science is the ability to learn


more, to know more. We are in a hospital for a reason, we

are not against science, we are not against progress and

certainly not against progression of modern science.

We use science to prove that what we know is working and

this can be very surprising. It surprises me all the time.

Now I am doing something totally opposite to Chinese

medicine or natural medicine. I go to the molecule. I go

back to see what TCM does in a cell. A cell can teach you a

lot of surprising things.

Let me tell you about one of our findings to illustrate this.

We are using an herbal formula which consists of a few

herbs and is called LCS101 in our research protocol. We

are trying this on cancer cells and on normal cells. To our

surprise we saw that when you put the herbs on the normal

cells, nothing happens to them. When you increase the

dose, nothing happens. Actually, they are very happy, they

even thrive better. When you put the herbs on the cancer

cells, this almost immediately kills them. The formula is

selective, it has its own wisdom: it kills cancer cells and

does not affect normal cells. It goes even further: if you take

chemotherapy that kills both normal cells and cancer cells

— which happens at the same speed and at the same rate

— when you take the herbs, they protect the normal cells

and immediately kill the cancer cells. It offers a selective

protection and that is phenomenal to observe. We published

it already, it is quite unique.

What herbal medicine is doing in the immune system is

exiting as well. We take the patients’ blood and look at

how the herbal formula is protecting the blood. We take

patients tissue and grow their cancer cells in the lab. We see

how the herbs are reacting to the cancer cells. We are very

advanced in our vision of proving that what we are doing

is not only effective but safe. We can provide clinical proof

and laboratory proof that we are not just dreamers. It has

nothing to do with dreaming. The more we can prove in the

lab that what we are doing is potentially very interesting,

should be researched further, and should be implemented —

and herbs are the most difficult to implement in a hospital

setting - the further we can move forward.

of change. Reinventing nature suddenly is going to be

interesting. We talk about “the amazing wisdom of nature”.

The breakthrough in Western medicine will also happen

through researching the immune system. It is not through

providing drugs targeted at cancer cells.

There are three reasons why we are going to see great

change: The first one and the strongest one relates to the

reason why integrative medicine is popular. It creates a grass

root movement: the patients are asking for it. Second: there

is, and there will be an advance in science which will help

to bring in other criteria into what is evidence and what is

not. The outcome of pragmatic studies through observation

will be regarded as evidence. The third issue is money. The

cost of the medicine that is administered to the patient is

ridiculously high and becomes a real burden. The cost is

becoming a burden on the system as well, not just the chemo

but also the cost of drugs like the ones given against nausea.

A patient is being given a medicine that is not really curative,

maybe to help him survive better, maybe even palliative and

it will cost $100.000 to $200.000. This to get a medicine of

which the chance that it will help him is small. But how can

one not allow a patient who is going to die medicine when

there is a small chance that it will help him? The treatments

we are providing in TCM are not only effective but also very

sensible, very cost-effective and needed for cancer patients

on so many levels.

The main reason why I believe we can create a change

in cancer care, by using traditional Chinese medicine as

integrative complementary medicine, relates to the fact

that it is safe and more cost effective than conventional

medicine. We have to look at a ten-year process. What we

are saying now, will come. We are a visionary place.

Everything we do starts with a thought, a believe or a wish

for how things will develop.

It is much easier to implement other alternative therapies in

the hospital like acupuncture or touch therapy because there

already is a lot of evidence backing it up.


A hundred years ago herbs were very much implemented.

All the wisdom is in nature. We must go back to observing

nature with respect and care. We are living in a time


A friend of mine had a crazy story about land property, she

is English and she bought an island here in the National

Park a couple of years ago. She knew about some cases of

people taking possession of islands by coming overnight to

build a hut and put a goat, claiming ownership to the

government. So this friend decided to hire a farmer to keep

her island protected. She built a house for him, had a goat

and planted a garden, and the farmer lived there.

When she came back a year later, the farmer had claimed

the island as his, and had received a certificate of ownership

from the government. They are now in a law court and it’s

very complicated because it’s difficult to prove who was

there first. There was always someone first.

Nina. Labuanbajo, 2017

Alexis Gautier - Pulau Jengekerik (Cricket Island)






Discover our fascinating story, our store localisator or buy online at:




Strolling between shops while

ships glide by, at night,

a twinkling competition between

the trees and the stars in the sky.

Presents on offer, earrings

and ties, high-tech and low tech,

finding is easy, choosing is hard,

Sunday Christmas shopping

in Knokke-Heist,

makes you feel Young at Heart.


christmax myKH





Christmas, or WEIHNACHTEN, is considered to

be the most wonderful time of the year by Germans.

To be “kissed” by Christmas season does not mean

to only worship Christmas shopping! Germans don’t

even celebrate “boxing day”!

The Germans’ most important wish is “happiness and

peace for all”. All of us live different Christmas traditions

such as cutting down a tree at our favourite Christmas

farm, to enjoy “Advents Sundays” listening to grandma’s

music box, but most of all we love our four candles on the

“Adventskranz” sweetened by the smell of Mum’s handmade

“Baumkuchen”. Some of these traditions may have been

passed on for generations. They are perfect to bring the

whole family together to celebrate.


The most popular song, not only on German radio, the

Christmas Carol symbolizes dreams of the deep and merry

wish of a Winter Wonderland. Unfortunately it only snows

about every years in the lower regions (the temperature in

December is mainly about 28-40 degrees Fahrenheit). But

you might be lucky to enjoy snow in the higher regions such

as Bavaria and the Black Forest.



to be picked up by the Christkind at the beginning of the

Advent season.

People celebrate St Thomas day on December 21st, the

shortest day and the longest night of the year. December

24th is THE day of exchanging all the gifts! All kids around

the world would be quite jealous knowing that German

children received their presents 12 hours earlier! The next

few days are rather quiet and peaceful, visiting friends and

family. Germans are a little less consumption-oriented than

the US or Great Britain. December 26th, is our second

Christmas day and we relax in a very festive atmosphere.


Generally speaking, Germans are no big snack or junk food

eaters. But no need to worry, you definitely won’t go hungry.

On Christmas Eve we generally eat light food such as a

simple potato salad and sausages. On Christmas day the

family tucks into stuffed or roast goose (Weihnachtsgans)

with red cabbage and potato dumplings (Kartoffelklöße)

and wine-flavoured sauce. There is no special technique


As soon as the first Christmas feeling is in the air the

countdown starts several weeks ahead with the Advent

season. This period is the time of waiting, hope, love,

peace and joy for all. Inviting the family to slow down and

celebrate with the scent of fresh pine green in every room!

Isn’t that lovely smell of baked apples, cinnamon and

marzipan what Christmas is all about? Advent invites us to

take a deep breath and to appreciate this most wonderful

time of the year. In some parts of the country, mainly in

the Southeast, children write letters to the “Christkind”

asking for presents. These letters are decorated with sugar

which is glued to the envelope to make it look attractive and

sparkling. Children leave these letters on the windowsill

in preparing this dish, apart from the sauce of wine, the

juices produced while cooking the goose and a gravy. Many

German restaurants offer this dish during the Christmas

Season and of course many German families cook it as well.


Most likely it was the Germans who invented the Christmas

Stollen, but this was a long time ago! This cake was first

mentioned in 1330 in the village Naumburg/ Saale, as a

special privilege granted by the bishop to the bakers’ guild.

There is no English translation that we know of but this

German cake uses the best ingredients to create an aromatic

and delicious Stollen dough. Each loaf is lovingly formed

by hand. It contains plenty of raisins which are soaked

overnight in rum, candied lemon and orange peel, sweet and

bitter almonds and good butter.



This is a long story. Germans like to decorate a freshly

cut Christmas tree in a bit of an old-fashioned way.

Nevertheless the traditional tree continues to create this

unique atmosphere through real wax candles. We use special

candleholders and know how to manage this safely as these

candles are not meant to burn for a long time! The religious

reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546) is said to have

started this Christmas tree tradition, but the tree was first

mentioned long time after Luther’s death. The Christmas

tree tradition dates back to the early 1550’s, as the first

written “Tannenbaum Ballads” were circulating at that time.

It is very important to any family with young children to

have a Christmas tree at home. Mostly it is the mother who

decorates the tree very secretly in the morning of the 24th

of December. Did you know that every year the world’s

tallest Christmas tree stands in Dortmund’s Hansaplatz

and a 4-meter tall angel crowns the top of it? In total 1,700

fir trees soar 45 metres into the sky! Around 48,000 lights

beam festive illumination for the approximately two million

people visiting Dortmund who come to delight in the

Christmas spirit of the Dortmund Christmas Market.

From traditional handicrafts and quirky ornaments to local

delicacies and sweet-scented mulled wine, there’s absolutely

nothing you can’t find in a German Christmas market,

whether you choose to wander the most popular ones or

visit those hidden in some quaint medieval village. As for

the gifts, no worries, this superb winter display features

stands filled with authentic Christmas handicrafts, pottery,

candles, handmade toys, wooden ornaments, and much,

much more.

This colourful German Christmas tradition has found

its way to parts of France, England and other parts of

the world. Beginning in late November, in almost any

German city of any size, one or more Christmas Markets

will pop up on the local square and often in several other

locations. These markets usually continue through the four

December weeks leading up to Christmas Eve. Frankfurt,

Munich, Berlin, Hamburg and Nürnberg, each town has

its own spirit. The Nürnberg Christkind officially opens

the Christmas market on the Friday before Advent starts.

Dresden “Striezelmarkt” is Germany’s oldest Christmas

market and celebrates its 583rd anniversary in 2017. The

name “Striezelmarkt” is historical and takes its name from

the “Striezel” or “Stollen” which Dresden is famous for.

There is much more to tell about German Christmas

traditions such as Barbarazweige, Christmas Carols,

the Wooden Angels of Erzgebirge and numerous other

fascinating elements of our traditions and values.

Have a Merry Christmas — Fröhliche Weihnachten überall !

Ute Gerhards.



Nothing says Christmas in Germany better than its

charming, quintessential Christmas markets that decorate

the country during this magical time of the year.



Christmas (rus. Rozhdestvo Khristovo) is a

feast deeply rooted in Russian history. While for

Orthodox Christians Easter is undoubtedly the main

event, Christmas remains an extremely important

hallmark in religious life. It has also become part

and parcel of the Russian cultural tradition and


In Russia, Christmas is celebrated according to the Julian

calendar, that is, 13 days later than in Europe, on January 7.

This fact gave rise to a unique tradition — celebrating “the Old

New Year” at night of January 13. Of course, not all Russians

celebrate it, but some do, as well as many expatriates who

take advantage of this custom to meet friends in a warm and

completely informal atmosphere.


In Soviet times political powers tried to replace religious feasts

with civil ones. Thus, New Year acquired some Christmas

features and became more popular. Though by the end of the

20th century Christmas regained its status, New Year is still

celebrated on a large scale.

Nowadays winter holidays in Russia last all week, from New

Year to Christmas. Russian cities are prepared in advance for

it. In early December, the streets are decorated with lights and

big Christmas trees, traditional Christmas markets are set on

large squares. Christmas wreaths made of spruce branches or

other material with the Nativity icon inside or with figures of

the Holy Family are placed in front of the churches. People

thoroughly prepare their homes for the holidays: they clean up

apartments, decorate the Christmas tree, put colorful garlands

all around, hang flashing lights on windows and chandeliers,

and buy presents for family and friends.

During the winter holidays, everyone enjoys skating, skiing,

snowboarding, driving in a sledge, riding horses, making

snowmen and having snowball fights. Many travel abroad —

some spend a few days at the seashore, others go to different

European cities. Belgium with its fairytale like sites has

become a very popular destination for Russian tourists during

Christmas season. Parents often bring their children to

Christmas shows where they meet fairy characters: Grandfather

Frost (rus. Ded Moroz) and his granddaughter the Snow

Maiden (rus. Snegurochka). Grandfather Frost is an old kind

man who brings presents to children. Little ones often get

ready to meet Ded Moroz, preparing a song or poems.

A lot of people go to churches on Christmas night. The

Patriarch serves solemn Vespers and the Divine Liturgy in the

Cathedral of Christ the Savior in the heart of Moscow. The

service is broadcast on TV live, thus everyone in the country

has an opportunity to be a part of the event. At midnight the

air is filled with merry chimes. There is also a tradition, albeit

not very common these days, of singing Christmas carols.

Young people gather in groups, dress up in colorful costumes

and visit friends with songs glorifying the Birth of Christ and

wishes of a happy and prosperous year. In return, singers are

given sweets or money.

After the church service or in the morning, the whole family

usually gathers around the festive table. The main dish is

supposed to be a goose or a duck with apples. The next

11 days after the holiday are the Holy Days (rus. Sviatki).

It used to be a festive period, but with the holidays spent

before Christmas, it is mostly “back to work” mood, which

nevertheless is lit with bright memories of wonderful winter






Review by Pascale Thielemans


First advertised as a “mind-stretching experience,” Nicolas Roeg’s

The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) stunned the cinema world.

A tour-de-force of science fiction as art form, the movie brought

not only hallucinatory visuals and a haunting exploration of

contemporary alienation, but also glam-rock legend David Bowie

in his lead role debut as paranoid alien Newton.

Based on Walter Tevis’s 1963 sci-fi fable of the same title,

The Man Who Fell to Earth follows alien Newton from his

arrival on earth in search of water; his transition to wealthy

entrepreneur, leveraging the advanced technologies of his

native planet; his sexual awakening with the young Mary-Lou;

and then the discovery of his alien identity, his imprisonment,

abandonment, and descent into alcoholism. Throughout, Roeg

coaxed a beguiling performance from his cast, presenting not

only Bowie in ethereal space-traveler glory, but also pitchperfect

supporting performances from Candy Clark, Rip Torn,

and Buck Henry.

TASCHEN’s The Man Who Fell to Earth presents a plenitude

of stills and behind-the-scenes images by unit photographer

David James, including numerous shots of Bowie at his playful

and ambiguous best. A fresh introductory essay explores the

shooting of the film and its lasting impact, drawing upon an

exclusive interview with David James, who brings first-hand

insights into the making of this sci-fi masterwork.


In the fall of 2016, I had the opportunity of going to London to

view the musical Lazarus, written by David Bowie before

his death at the beginning of 2016. The musical is a sequel

to The Man Who Fell to Earth, the 1976 science fiction film

by Nicolas Roeg with David Bowie in the lead role. In order

to fully prepare myself for the musical and in order to fully

understand the story, I felt obliged to watch the film. The film

comes across as very experimental, even now 40 years later,

and tells the story of an alien who comes to earth in search of

water. Thomas Jerome Newton as the alien is named on earth,

uses the very highbrow technology of his planet to become

a very wealthy person planning on building a spaceship to

transport water to his planet, saving the arid planet and with it,

his wife and two children.

Sadly enough he is discovered

as an alien and becomes

the subject of a scientific

investigation. He is locked in

his house, unable to age and

fighting an alcohol addiction.

Despite his technological genius and efforts he is not able to

bring back water to his planet. In Lazarus the same hopeless

situation continues. Newton is still stuck on earth, emprisoned

in his own house, he is sad, sad because of his lost family, sad

because of his addiction, wanting only one thing, being able

to meet his family and live on his planet. Will he be able to


The book is filled with stills from the film but also from Bowie,

and his young son Duncan, and the other actors on the set.

It gives us the opportunity to see a very young Bowie playing

a very strange role. The essay included by Paul Duncan is

anecdotal and talks about the making of the film, how Bowie

reacted to the script, apparently not even reading the script but

accepting the role based on Roegs reputation. “It was probably

the best decision based on absolutely nothing, other than a

man’s previous work, that I have ever made.” It is the time of

his Diamond Dogs tour and the recording of Young Americans.

Bowie plays a magnificent role, he manages to get all the things

right, perhaps aided by his cocaine addiction in that period. As

he confesses himself: “I actually was feeling as alienated as that

character was. It was a pretty natural performance… a good

exhibition of somebody literally falling apart in front of you.

(…) I was stoned out of my mind from beginning to end.”

Thank you Taschen for this wonderful book, giving us an

insight in the making of one of the most alienating films

I have ever seen, bringing back to life one of the most talented

performers I have ever seen. One can only hope that there will

be a similar publication of the sequel Lazarus.




Paul Duncan, Taschen Bibliotheca Universalis 2017




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