Odile Chenal

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Odile Chenal has had an illustrious career as a sociologist and a cultural ambassador in France and her adopted home in the Netherlands over the past 35 years. After graduating in Art History and History (University of Nancy, France) and Political Sciences (Paris/Oxford), she worked as a sociologist at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris from 1975 to 1982. In 1982, she moved to the Netherlands as Director of the Centre Culturel Français in Rotterdam. She later worked as Cultural Attaché at the French Embassy in The Hague before joining ECF in 1990. For 23 years Odile has been the well-known and much loved ‘face’ of ECF in Amsterdam and across Europe. In recognition of her untiring work supporting cultural thinkers and creators across Europe and beyond, Odile received the prestigious Légion d’Honneur in June 2012 – the highest decoration in France.

Imaginez-vous!

Stop complaining,’ said one man in his forties. ‘Create your new utopia. You will never succeed if you think the future in the same terms and models as the past. You have huge challenges? But also new instruments. Use the crisis for change. It is not their, it is your future!'"

Read Odile Chenal's column here (PDF).