When I arrived in Geneva a few years back, many things impressed me. From the open box with the paying newspapers to the amazing gardens of the city parks (see Jardins Anglais, Parc de la Grange, etc). From the punctuality of the buses to the politeness of the people. I figured that this was a modern, almost perfect city. Then I saw posters of the mayor of the city. And my impression of the city was confirmed, almost exaggerated. You are kidding me, right? This is the mayor? The guy is young, handsome, with a killer smile. You’d think he jumped off a page of GQ or starring in a NYC TV series.
I admit it that it all started with his looks. Then I realized that he was the youngest mayor I knew. This world, and definitely politics, need the creativity, the energy of the young. I am more interested in exceptional people than in political parties and therefore I started following his career. Following him over the years, he actually gained my ardent admiration for the values he represented, what he has done and wants to do for Geneva and us, the people living here.
Let me share a few examples :
– “Gouverner Geneve est plus qu’un metier, c’est un art.” When I read his quote somewhere, I knew that we would see great things from him. An artist is more likely to create miracles than just a professional.
– He uses the word passion when he talks about his goals, what he wants to achieve around security, against crime and drugs.
– I subscribe to his vision for an ambitious Geneva, recognized for its quality of life internationally.
– He focuses on the right priorities, housing, employment, mobility, when it comes to Geneva life.
– He is down-to-earth and authentic. I found it beautiful when he said in an interview that his wife was working while he was finishing his studies… Balance, pragmatism and recognition for his spouse (they say behind a strong man there is a stronger women, right?). At the same time he protects his private life. He does not reveal where he met his wife (I wanted to know where we can meet men like him). I even asked him if he has any brothers. He has one. If he is single, then I keep him for myself. 🙂
– An eco-advocate: he convinced Migros to eliminate the plastic bags from their stores. Totally up my alley.
– Resourceful. Connected with the people. His trip to Bucharest this summer to understand the situation of the locals, and how this connects to issues back home, was just a brilliant idea!
I am not an expert in politics and I cannot even vote here. But for me, Pierre represents the image of Geneva I want to live in and the Switzerland I am proud of: Dynamic, smart, creative, noble. And generous. I appreciate the time Pierre took to answer a few questions for the blog and for you. As always, my interviews aim in presenting you people I admire, people who make a difference in the world. Thank you very much, Mr Maudet! You continue to inspire me…
1) What do you want to achieve in your new rôle ?My actions are not that new any more, since after the Président du Conseil d’Etat, I am the most senior in my cabinet. Nevertheless I want to continue to improve the quality of life of the Geneva people at all levels. In terms of security, this will happen inevitably with the reorganization of the police, so they can function more effectively. Furthermore the improvement of the business conditions to continue attracting companies that create employment opportunities.
2) Have you planned your next steps already ? How do you decide what to do next ?I often say that it is more the political circumstances that define them (my next steps) rather than any plans. Meanwhile, I am trying to best fulfill the functions that the people honored me with their trust. My current position is only a delegation of authority from the people, which keeps me grounded and reminds me that I am primarily serving my canton.
3) What is the thing that you are the most proud of from all you did as the mayor of Geneva ?As Conseiller Administratif, I had at heart to revitalize the markets , which represent centers of life and important exchange in our city. I also reformed the city police to make it an essential part of the security chain of our canton. As Mayor of Geneva , I did my best to allow Geneva to shine internationally (event planning in New York, network of mayors , etc.)
4) If you ever moved from Geneva, where would you choose to live ?In Italy. For its cuisine, its landscape, its climate. But not for its political life !
5) Do you have any favorite spots in Geneva ?I especially appreciate going around the market of Rive on Saturday morning, often with my kids. This way I can spend time with them, while taking the pulse of the people on my political action and the relationship of the latter with politics in general.
I also like to go to the Vernets Patinoire (Hockey) to see GSHC playing, hoping one day to to attend a NHL game. Perhaps after a future move to the US …
6) Are you aware that you are a rôle model for the youth, having such a great career so young ?I do not know if I can be considered a rôle model, I hope however that my example encourages more young people to get interested, and why not involved in it.
Decisions made today will affect our life of tomorrow and although I am aware that we have other interests than politics at the age of 20, I think that politics is the business of everybody, young or not. Not to be interested, and to not vote, results finally in letting others decide for us.
Having had the chance to be the youngest mayor that Geneva ever had, I hope to have shown that to be young in politics is not a defect nor a disability. It is this kind of message – regardless of the party – I would like to pass, to encourage young people to take an interest in public life and to fight against abstention. Living in a democracy is a privilege (chance), voting an even bigger one.
7) How did you manage to achieve so much in so little ?With strong will, determination, and above all, a team of highly motivated partners.
8) What is your biggest dream for your children ?In general, and this is what guides my political action, I want to give them a better world to live in. On a more personal note, I want to give my children the best chance to succeed in life, to thrive and be happy with their choices.
9) How did you meet your wife ?That’s my secret garden. 🙂
10) Are you aware that you are a handsome man ? Has this helped with the female population ?Thank you for this nice compliment. I confess, however, that I prefer that we judge the people in politics by their political action, rather than their physical appearance, and I hope the public does the same.
11) Where will you go on vacation next summer?I will visit an English speaking European country.
12) Do you have a smartphone ? And what is your favorite app ?I own a smartphone, specifically an iphone 6+, which is always with me. I am very fond of new technologies and try to stay as informed as possible on innovations, given that I hold the responsibility of information technology .
My favorite applications are those related to mobility. In fact, I travel a lot within Switzerland and these allow me to better manage my travel schedule, not to miss my train or my bus .
13) What is your favorite song ?To give me a boost, I listen to the “eye of the tiger ” (Rocky ).
14) What sports do you do ? You look like a real sportsman.I am a committed runner and I try to practice it (jogging) as much as possible, therefore it often happens that I start my working day with this activity. It allows me to keep myself in good shape and to start my day in the best conditions, by reflecting.
15) Finally, do you have a brother by any chance ? Or even a cousin ? 🙂I have one brother, six years younger, who is a doctor in another French-speaking canton.
PS: In case you prefer Pierre’s original words (in French) without the mistakes of my humble translation, you can find the interview here.
PHOTOS FROM HIS FLICKR ACCOUNT