A new English-language magazine for international Geneva, called Global Geneva, launches its pilot issue this week.
Le News interviewed the magazine’s co-founder and editor, former Le News editor, Edward Girardet, to find out why he started it and what it’s all about.
Over a coffee with Edward in the UN cafeteria, he points out the window at some of the original mansions that were on the land Rockefeller bought, and later donated to the city of Geneva. “Really important global discussions happen inside those buildings, but hardly anyone knows about it”, he says. Geneva’s global importance is clearly something he is passionate about and wants to convey.
Born in New York to Swiss parents, one from each side of the rösti graben, this worldly Swiss-American, in many ways, embodies International Geneva.
When speaking to him, it is obvious he doesn’t mind ruffling a few feathers if he thinks it might do some good. As a young man he decided to dedicate his life to trying to find out what was really going on on the ground in war zones. In 1979 he set off for Afghanistan to cover events over there. One day, in 1989, he encountered a tall Arab named Osama Bin Laden, who asked him what he, a foreigner, was doing in Afghanistan. Girardet responded by asking him the same question, provoking a lively exchange with a man, who would soon become globally notorious.
Girardet wants Global Geneva Magazine to be the voice of those on the ground, like him when he was in Afghanistan. And if required, he wants it to be provocative to get things moving.
“The idea of Global Geneva is to produce a ‘local’ magazine aimed at a world-wide readership that will not only bring international Geneva’s public and private sectors together, but also explain how the expertise and activities of this exceptionally diverse community of humanitarians, business people, scientists, advocates, artists and development specialists, impacts our planet,” he explains.
“Based on years of experience, the editors are working closely with over 2,000 journalists, photographers, film-makers, cartoonists and specialists from around the world. These include the Geneva-based foundation, Cartooning for Peace, as part of its contributor network. But they are also seeking to involve the International Geneva community as much as possible.”
“Numerous people have told us that what International Geneva really needs is a credible publication with quality journalism that is prepared to deal critically with the issues at hand. It should also offer a credible information platform for people to seeking to express themselves that will be read by people on the other side of aisle,” noted Girardet. “We want to the private sector to know more what the public sector is doing, and vice versa.”
Global Geneva will pay for its operations through its own form of “crowd-funding”, a member support community with individual and institutional contributions, giving subscribers special access and reports.
Print run: 15,000 copies
Launch date: February 2017 (pilot: 17 November 2016)
Frequency: 10 issues a year
A selection of the subjects covered in the pilot issue:
- How Alpine resorts are dealing with climate change
- Efforts to improve national parks in the South Caucasus
- A Swiss NGO’s experience working in Nepal and the new ‘Vertical University’ seeking to preserve biodiversity in the Himalayas.
- FIFA’s Shame – Kidnapping the Game
- How corrupt Africa leaders stay in in power
- What is happening with northern Iraq’s Yazidi community
- Geneva’s new young mayor
- The plight of trailing spouses
- A personal memoir of world-renowned Swiss ornithologist Luc Hoffmann