Valérie Luebken

French Consul General (Consule Générale) in Hamburg and former Head of Office (Cheffe de Cabinet) at the French Embassy in Berlin, political adviser in Tel-Aviv, Israel and New York, USA, and Senior Policy Officer at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium.

Je m’apelle Valérie Luebken.

Voici ce que je fais: Je suis diplomate de carrière, récemment nommée Consule générale de France à Hambourg et directrice de l’Institut français. J’ai occupé différents postes au cours de ma vie professionnelle, notamment celui de conseillère de presse à Los Angeles et à Washington, un poste de fonctionnaire détachée à la Commission européenne, et de cheffe de Cabinet à l’ambassade de France à Berlin.

Voici ce que je pourrais vous apprendre (quelque chose que vous ne pourriez pas apprendre d’un livre ou d’un manuel): La diplomatie est complexe et comporte de multiples facettes. Elle génère une série d’interactions qui ne sont parfois ni explicites ni intentionnelles. C’est là où interagissent des perceptions du monde radicalement différentes. La diplomatie s’exprime à tous les niveaux imaginables des relations politiques, culturelles, économiques et individuelles. Distillée dans sa forme la plus simple, la diplomatie, c’est aussi aller à la rencontre des autres, et profiter du contact ainsi créé et …parfois soigneusement préparé.

Voici ce que la culture signifie pour moi: Au cours de ma carrière, j’ai eu la chance d’être affectée aux États-Unis, au Moyen Orient et en Europe.
Être loin de la France m’a souvent amenée à réfléchir à ma culture et au pays que je représente. La France est difficile à résumer – de ses habitants à ses paysages ou sa gastronomie, en passant par ses lubies…Elégante et douce, elle peut être aussi intransigeante et incompréhensible. Parmi les nombreuses choses qui me rendent fière de ma culture figurent sans aucun doute les arts et notamment la littérature. Je suis une lectrice passionnée, et les livres ont toujours fait partie de mes longs voyages.

C’est ainsi que mon travail reflète ma culture: J’ai beaucoup de chance : tout ce que je fais professionnellement reflète ma culture ! En tant que Consule générale et directrice de l’Institut français de Hambourg, la culture et le gouvernement que je représente imprègnent tous les aspects de mes activités quotidiennes. Les contacts entre les peuples ainsi que les valeurs de liberté et d’égalité sont pour moi d’irremplaçables valeurs.

Voici mon utopie: Pourquoi ne pas s’autoriser à rêver à un monde où les femmes pourraient occuper toutes les positions qu’elles méritent amplement, malgré tous les obstacles qui existent toujours dans nos sociétés ?  Pourquoi ne pas rêver à un monde moins dominé par la concurrence et la violence et qui a de si néfastes conséquences sur notre planète ?

Réponses rapides

Mon genre de livre préféré: les romans

Mon livre préféré: Le Lion de Joseph Kessel

Mon endroit préféré pour lire: au lit

Où j’achète mes livres: dans les librairies inspirantes et sur les brocantes

Mon musée préféré: Le Petit Palais à Paris

Mes artistes préférés (peintre/sculpteur/performance): Karl-Schmidt Rottluff et Mark Rothko

Ma/mes source(s) préférée(s) d’actualité/d’information/de formation continue: Arte TV

Mon plat préféré à manger: les huîtres

Mon activité extérieure préférée: la plage (nager, marcher, lire)

Mon endroit préféré à Hambourg: les bords de l’Alster à la Rabenstrasse

English translation

My name is Valérie Luebken.

This is what I do: I am a career diplomat, just recently posted as the new Consul General of France in Hamburg and Director of the Institut Français. I have occupied a variety of positions throughout my professional life including press attaché in Los
Angeles and Washington D.C., a temporary position at the European Union in Brussels and Head of Cabinet at the Embassy in Berlin.

This is what I could teach you, that you cannot learn from a book: Diplomacy is multi-faceted and complex. It occurs in a series of interactions that sometimes are neither explicit nor intentional. It is the interaction of perceptions of the world and this occurs on all levels imaginable from the political, the cultural to one-on-one relationships. Distilled into its simplest form, diplomacy is the meeting of people and arises from the connection they create in a small (sometimes carefully crafted)
encounter.

This is what culture means to me: Throughout my career, I have been fortunate enough to be posted across the United States and Europe. Being far from home has sometimes meant reflecting on my culture and the country that I represent. France is difficult to summarize – from its people to its landscapes, it can be described as elegant and soft but also harsh and in-your-face. France, like any country, comprises
a unique multitude of attributes. Some, like the quality of our food, are more appreciated than others. One of the many things that makes me proud of my culture is the richness of our literature and our art. As someone who is an avid reader, being away from home sometimes means delving into a French novel at the end of a long day. 

This is how my work reflects my culture/s: Everything I do professionally reflects my culture! As a diplomat, and now Consul, my culture and the government I represent is in every aspect of my day-to-day activities. I strive first and foremost to translate France’s values of cooperation, freedom and equality. I aim to bring a proactive and empathetic spirit to all of my professional endeavors.

This is my utopia: A utopia is hard to imagine in a field so fiercely ruled by the reality of our world. However, for me, an ideal scenario would be to see women empowered to occupy all the positions that they rightly deserve despite the hurdles
thrown their way by today’s societies. I wish for a world not so starkly ruled by competition and violence (in all its forms). Fundamentally, it is a broader sense of equality that I seek to see between individuals, groups and states.

Quick bits

My favorite book genre: novels 

My favorite book: Le Lion de Joseph Kessel

My favorite place to read: in bed

Where I buy my books:  in inspiring bookshops and on flea markets 

My favorite museum: Le Petit Palais in Paris

My favorite artist (painter/sculptor/performance): Karl-Schmidt Rottluff and Mark Rothko

My favorite source/s for news/information/further education: Arte TV

My favorite dish to eat: oysters

My favorite outside activity: beach (swimming, walking, reading)

My favorite place in Hamburg: the banks of the Alster near
Rabenstrasse


Chad Cowan

Former Harvard professor and principal faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, CEO and Co-founder of Clade Therapeutics.

My name is Chad Cowan.

This is what I do: I am the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of a biotechnology company Clade Therapeutics. At Clade, we discover and deliver the next generation of cell medicines to improve the lives of patients.

This is what I could teach you, that you cannot learn from a book: How to translate discoveries in the lab to create new medicines. Why some discoveries you read about in a textbook, or a scientific paper become new medicines and why others do not.

This is what culture means to me: Culture is often referred to as the way of life for an entire society. I spend a considerable amount of time thinking about certain aspects of culture. In particular, our scientific knowledge and its depth and breadth in certain areas of biology. I also think about the norms and habits that help build effective teams, as this is an important part of building a company.

This is how my work reflects my culture/s: Western culture has become a very science driven culture, and as a result, my
forming a company that leverages recent discoveries to create new medicines is the culmination of one story line in modern culture.

This is my utopia: In my utopia, we would all work together in the service of the world and/or humankind.

Quick bits

My favorite book genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

My favorite book: Grapes of Wrath

My favorite place to read: Our sunroom

Where I buy my books: I don’t buy books, I check them out from the library.

My favorite museum: The Cape Ann Museum

My favorite artist (painter/sculptor/performance): This is too difficult a category to name just one.

My favorite source/s for news/information/further education: I read the New York Times and Wall Street Journal every day. I get a tremendous amount of information from scientific publications. I also read a lot of non-fiction books.

My favorite dish to eat: I love sea food

My favorite outside activity: Anything on, in or near the water

My favorite place in Annisquam: Wingaersheek Beach


István Javorek

Former national Olympic weightlifting coach, retired head strength and conditioning coach, Professor Emeritus

Javorek István vagyok.

Ez az amit csinálok: Nyugalmazott egyetemi tanár és edző.

Ez az, amit neked megtudnák tanítani, amit könyvből nem tudsz megtanulni: Egyszerű súlyzókkal és kalesztenikus gyakorlatokkal a mindennapi emberek egészségét megvédeni, erősíteni.

Ezt jelenti számomra a kultúra: Számomra a kultúra az emberek olvasottságát, irodalmi, művészet, sport, technika terén való alapfokú ismeretségét jelenti.

A munkám igy tükrözi a kultúrámat: A munkám, gyerekekkel, fiatalokkal, híres és átlag sportolókkal, diákokkal való tanitás, edzés volt egyrészről. Másfelől, több mint száz, tudományos cikkeket közöltem nagyszámú sport magazinokban és szak folyóiratokban.

Ez az én utópiám: Egész életemben azon dolgoztam, kísérleteztem hogy az egészséges, de a korlátozott fizikai adottságokkal rendelkező személyek életét is, könnyebbé tegyem, edzés és gyakorlat módszereimmel.

A jelszavam az hogy: mosolyogj és mindig mondjad hogy szereted amit csinálsz. Töltsd meg a sejtjeidet pozitív energiával.

Gyors kérdések

Kedvenc könyves műfajom: Szeretem a klasszikusokat és imádom az írók, költők, zeneszerzők életéről szóló könyveket.

Kedvenc könyvem: Ady Endre és József Attila összes költeményeik

Kedvenc olvasási helyem: Egyedül egy csendes Európai temető padján, vagy a kertemben a virágjaim között

Ahol vásárolom a könyveimet: Már nem veszek könyveket, rengeteg van a házi könyvtárunkban, magyar és angol nyelven.

Kedvenc múzeumom: Nincs kiválasztott. Nagyon szeretem a festészetet bemutató múzeumokat, akárhol amerre járok.

Kedvenc művészem (festő/szobrász/művész): Nehéz válaszolni, de ha muszáj, akkor Michelangelo és Leonardo Da Vinci lenne.

Kedvenc hírforrásom/információim/továbbképzésem: Az én koromban, úgy érzem, hogy elegendő a napi kallózás az interneten, a helyi TV adókban, és a színházakban, szimfonikus koncerteken és operában való rendszeres járásom.

Kedvenc ételem: Sárga paszuly leves, hideg tejföllel, friss zöld hagymával, és utána pedig frissen sült hagymás csirke máj, leöblítve egy pohár Cabernet Sauvignonnal.

Kedvenc tevékenységem a természetben: Napi tizenötezer lépés gyaloglás egy közeli dombos parkban, és könnyű súlyzókkal való edzések a kertemben.

A kedvenc helyem Kansas Cityben: Nelson–Atkins Szépművészeti Múzeum

English translation

My name is István Javorek.

This is what I do: Retired university professor and coach

This is what I could teach you, that you cannot learn from a book: To protect and strengthen the health of everyday people with simple dumbbells and callisthenic exercises.

This is what culture means to me: For me, culture means people’s reading, basic knowledge of literature, art, sports, and technology.

This is how my work reflects my culture/s: My work has been, on the one hand, teaching and training children, students, young people, as well as performance and amateur athletes. On the other hand, it has been writing more than a hundred scientific articles in many sports magazines and professional journals.

This is my utopia: Through the use of my training methods and classes, I have worked all my life to make the lives of people easier – and this not only for performance athletes, but also for people of average or challenged health and physical ability.

My motto has always been: smile and always say that you love what you are doing. Fill every cell in your body with positive energy!

Quick bits

My favorite book genre: I like classics and I love books about the lives of writers, poets, and composers.

My favorite book: All the poems of Endre Ady and Attila József

My favorite place to read: Alone on the bench of a quiet European cemetery, or in my garden among my flowers.

Where I buy my books: I don’t buy books anymore. We have plenty in our home library, in both Hungarian and English.

My favorite museum: I cannot pick just one. I truly enjoy art museums and art galleries in general.

My favorite artist (painter/sculptor/performance): This is a hard question to answer, but if I had to pick, it would be Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci.

My favorite source/s for news/information/further education: At my age, I feel that my daily browsing on the Internet, watching the news on our local TV stations, and regularly attending theatrical performances, symphonic concerts, ballets, and the opera is quite sufficient.

My favorite dish to eat: Yellow bean soup with cold sour cream and fresh green onions, followed by freshly fried chicken liver with onions, and washed down with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

My favorite outside activity: Walking fifteen thousand steps a day in a nearby park with rolling hills and training in my garden with light weights.

My favorite place in Kansas City: The Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art


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Sebastian Junge

Head chef and owner of Wolfs Junge, country and handmade organic restaurant specialized in regional products.

Ich heiße Sebastian Junge.

Das ist was ich mache: Ich bin liebevoller Vater von 2 wunderbaren Kindern, Ehemann, Küchenchef und Inhaber des Bio-Restaurants Wolfs Junge in Hamburg.

Das ist, was ich dir beibringen könnte, was du nicht aus einem Buch lernen kannst: Ich könnte dir beibringen in einer professionellen Küche zu überleben, wirklich hart und schnell zu arbeiten und mit Druck, Wut, Angst und all den Psychopathen, die deinen Weg kreuzen, umzugehen, und das alles ethisch und mit moralischem Bewusstsein am Ende des Tages!

Das bedeutet Kultur für mich: Kultur bedeutet, menschliche Schöpfungen anzuerkennen und zu feiern, die mit Leidenschaft und Liebe geschaffen wurden.

So spiegelt meine Arbeit meine Kultur/en wider: Erstens ist meine Arbeit ziemlich hart und anstrengend. Mich auf die kulturellen Aspekte zu konzentrieren, fällt manchmal ganz schön schwer, auch wenn wir unser Essen und unsere Kochkunst sehr stark an ein politisches und kulturelles Ideal binden und heute und in Zukunft um seinen angemessenen Platz im Leben und in der Gesellschaft kämpfen.

Das ist meine Utopie: In einer Welt zu leben, in der niemand für meine Nahrungsmittelproduktion oder meinen Konsum leiden muss, in der es keinen Hunger oder Armut gibt und in der Natur, Menschen und Tiere respektiert und mit Würde und Respekt behandelt werden.

Kurze Fragen

Mein Lieblingsbuchgenre: zu viele Optionen

Mein Lieblingsbuch: Wieder zu viele Optionen

Mein Lieblingsort zum Lesen: im Urlaub

Wo ich meine Bücher kaufe: in einem kleinen unabhängigen Laden oder online bei buch7, einem Buchhändler, der seine Gewinne für soziale Projekte spendet

Mein Lieblingsmuseum: Für einen Museumsbesuch fehlt mir leider die Zeit, geschweige denn, ein Lieblingsmuseum zu haben. Aber kürzlich war ich in Kopenhagen in einem naturhistorischen Museum, das die menschliche Evolution zeigt. Das war ziemlich cool!

Mein Lieblingskünstler (Maler/Bildhauer/Performance): Irgendwie mag ich Janosch

Meine Lieblingsquelle(n) für Nachrichten/ Informationen/ Weiterbildung: Deutschlandfunk, mehrere politische Podcasts, Online-Nachrichten

Mein Lieblingsgericht: Wieder zu viele Optionen. Es hängt von der Jahreszeit ab, wo ich bin, in welcher Stimmung ich bin usw.

Meine liebste Freizeitbeschäftigung: Sport treiben

Mein Lieblingsort in Hamburg: Dort, wo meine Familie ist.

English translation

My name is Sebastian Junge.

This is what I do:
I am the loving father of 2 beautiful children, a husband, a head chef, and the owner of the organic restaurant Wolfs Junge in Hamburg.

This is what I could teach you, that you cannot learn from a book:
I could teach you how to survive in a professional kitchen, to work really hard and fast, and to deal with pressure, anger, fear, and all the psychopaths who will come along your path, and to do it all ethically and with moral consciousness at the end of the day!

This is what culture means to me:
Culture means recognizing and celebrating human creations that were made with passion and love.

This is how my work reflects my culture/s:
First of all, my work is pretty hard and exhausting. Focusing on the cultural aspects of it is quite hard sometimes, even though we connect our food and our culinary art very strongly to a political and cultural ideal and fight for its appropriate position in life and society now and in the future.

This is my utopia:
Living in a world where no one has to suffer for my food production or consumption, where there is no hunger or poverty, and where nature, people and animal are respected and taken care of with dignity and respect.

Quick bits

My favorite book genre: too many options

My favorite book: again, too many options

My favorite place to read: on a vacation

Where I buy my books: in a small independent store or online at buch7, a bookseller that donates its profits to social projects

My favorite museum: unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to visit a museum at all, and much less to have a favorite museum. But recently, I was in Copenhagen in a natural historic museum that shows human evolution. That was pretty cool!

My favorite artist (painter/sculptor/performance): I kind of like Janosch

My favorite source/s for news/information/further education: Deutschlandfunk, several political Podcasts, online News

My favorite dish to eat: Again, too many options. It depends on the season, where I am, what mood I’m in, etc.

My favorite outside activity: Doing sports

My favorite place in Hamburg: Wherever my family is.


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