Albert Einstein. An astonishing personality in many ways. He fundamentally changed how we saw the world. If you think about his accomplishments… incredible for humankind.
I think I would choose Luis Pasteur, because he was a scientist and held a role that provided critical support to society. He invented the vaccination process. He was daring: he did not know exactly what he was going to find, but he was very active and attentive. This is the mentality I also go by, as the Dean of this school.
If I had to pick just one, I would say Romano Prodi, thanks to his immense international impact. However, I have had many mentors, and that is directly connected with the approach of our school, where we multiply opportunities for people, organizations and society in general.
I’ve always been intrigued by US President Abraham Lincoln, who wrestled with deep personal issues, somehow managed to bring together a team of rivals, and was a great listener, while also an understated but powerful inspiration to others. I think we oversell the idea of perfect leaders – Lincoln inspires me as a deeply imperfect leader from whom I could learn a great deal.
Given that I am French, I think I would choose Charles de Gaulle. He was a person who, in a period of great turbulence, stood up and highlighted the way for an entire nation. In a period of great change, like the one we are going through right now, this is exactly the type of leadership and attitude that one needs to have.
The mentor I would choose is the previous Dean of our business school, Prof. Franco Fontana, who drove the school to serve the local communities. My challenge was to scale up his vision to an international level.
Jesus Christ. One of the biggest movements on earth. A person whose sayings are still being studied, who is still inspiring people. One thing you can say is that his words are read every day by people in every country in the world.
Coming from the constitutional law field, I could think of a few teachers who I admired. Here at the University, there is the former rector, Alois Riklin. And of course, there was my doctoral dissertation mentor at the University of Basel, Luzius Wildhaber, who then became the first President of the European Court of Human Rights.