François Henri Pinault at Kering HQ

On June 14, we were invited to meet François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering, one of the world's largest luxury groups, at the company headquarters in the 17th century Laennec Hospital building in rue de Sevres. FHP, as he is called, told us about his view of the future of luxury (he's aiming at Gen Z, while holding onto older clients who appreciate luxury's history), and he emphasized…


Kiev City Ballet Châtelet Rehearsal

The men of Kiev City Ballet rehearse the original piece “Boys from Kiev” during a visit by the AAPA. Since our meeting several of the men have returned to Ukraine to join the fighting. On June 9, Ivan and Katja Kozlov, Directors of the Kiev City Ballet, invited us to attend a rehearsal at the Chatelet Theatre's Pavlova  studio. The company was performing in Paris when Russia invaded Ukraine...and…


Interpol chief warns of surge in illegal weapons from Ukraine conflict

A surge of illegal weaponry into Europe and beyond from the Ukraine-Russia war is looming, Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock told AAPA members on June 1. "This is inevitable," Stock said, adding that the high availability of weapons "will result in a proliferation of arms in the post-conflict phase, empowering organized crime groups in the region." The European Union and Scandinavia will…


The rise of the far-right in France is no accident

Just 10 days before the first round of the presidential election, the AAPA met Dominique Reynié, founder of the think tank Fondapol, on April Fools’ Day. Summarizing recent political history in France, Reynié dismissed the widely vaunted idea that each improved election performance by the far-right was an “accident”. On the contrary, “something was happening.” In its disappointment with the…


Paris 2024 Olympic Committee shows off its HQ

Our first meeting with the Paris 2024 Olympic Committee was held on Thursday, May 5, at their state-of-the-art, high-tech, sustainable headquarters in Seine St Denis, called "The Pulse." Tony Estanguet, President of the Olympics organizing committee, told us about the committee's three objectives: celebrating sports, engaging with people, and the legacy. He said their 3.9-billion Euro operating…


Russia invades Ukraine: now what?

On Feb 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, we held an on-the-record discussion, Russia-Ukraine-Europe: What Now?, via Zoom with two experts: Prof Marie Mendras, Russian specialist from Sciences Po, Paris and Prof Emeritus Douglas Webber, Political scientist & Europe specialist from INSEAD. Prof Mendras opined that Russian President Vladimir Putin's shocking and unanticipated move into Ukraine…


Freelancer seminar: avoiding payment delays

To help free-lance members develop a strategy for heading off such problems and for confronting them when they arise, the AAPA held a zoom conference on 22 March on recovering payments. Leading the discussion were Hans de Keijzer, Group Head of Organisation & Change – Policy Management at Euler Hermes Group, and Caroline Harrap, a co-founder of the Society of Freelance Journalists,…


US Congressmen discuss Ukraine and US-France relations

More than a dozen AAPA members got to sit down with the two leaders of a US Congressional delegation to France on April 19th at the US ambassador’s residence. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), who is on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and Representative David Cicilline (D-RI-01), who is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told us their eight-member delegation had a busy two days in…


Russian Sanctions: Economic Weapons

The unprecedented barrage of coordinated economic sanctions on Russia in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine is already having an impact on Russian quality of life and could ultimately undermine President Vladimir Putin politically, according to Sciences Po economics professor Sergei Guriev. He spoke to the AAPA via Zoom on March 24, 2022. A former financial "insider" in Moscow, Guriev was…


Who is cancelling whom? French sociologist, Michel Wieviorka, discusses the Woke craze in France.

WOKE: a nebulous catchall word that refers to cancel culture, "Islamo-leftism", intersectionality, anti-colonialism, etc. A concept supposedly imported from American universities that, according to some of France's highest authorities, is contaminating France, maybe quicker than the Covid virus. Hardly a day goes by that it is not referred to in French media, especially as we approach French…