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Commitment is at the heart of their business. These men and women are inspired by the world to act differently and sustainably, making their environment a channel for expression, creativity, innovation and solidarity. Finance, culture, crafts, industry and the media are just some of the fields embodied by these personalities, who agreed to take part in the Proust questionnaire in La Mèche mode. What are their enduring secrets? As far as you’re concerned, they’re spilling the beans.

Production: Cornland Studio

After completing his primary, secondary and university education in the USA, Guillaume began his career in finance in 1989 at Intel Corporation, first in the UK and then in France. A chance meeting in 1995 brought him back to his native Switzerland, where he continued his career in private banking, working for Darier Hentsch & Cie and as a partner at de Pury Pictet Turrettini. In 2010, he founded Quadia, an investment company that enables him to put forward his understanding of what finance should and must achieve. He has learned about social and environmental finance mainly through successful collaboration with world-class foundations and NGOs. Today, Quadia is run by a dedicated and highly competent team, enabling him to play a more strategic role on its board of directors and to continue his personal journey in sustainable finance through umbutu. Guillaume was raised by a mother who, without knowing it, was the epitome of what ecology means, and who deeply ingrained in him the social and environmental values he defends today.



Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Guillaume Taylor and I’m passionate about all things social and environmental.

What’s your current state of mind?

On the one hand, I’m motivated by everything we can do to move this sustainability forward, but at the same time I’m worried, but not defeatist. But motivation and belief dominate any pessimistic state.

What’s your main character trait?

I am responsible for my thoughts, for my actions and I do not blame anyone .

What does it mean to be green today?

Be completely in tune with nature and understand that nature is our mother, our teacher and our guide.

Which personalities inspire you and why?

Princess Irene of the Netherlands because she’s a person who’s completely connected with nature, she spent six months alone in South Africa communicating with nature. He’s really the person who’s been the driving force for me on my journey towards this attachment to nature.

Let’s talk about your career path. How did your desire to get involved come about, and what triggered it, if anything ?

The desire for commitment came from my guts and I quickly realized that all my understanding, my knowledge, my awareness were instinctive and not at all learned. And I liked it.

How does this commitment play out in your day-to-day life?

A lot of work on my individual consciousness, on my state of mind and every day to take action without thinking too much.

How do you integrate sustainability into your business?

In my job in the same way as in my personal life, i.e.  take risks, don’t look for solutions before acting, but jump in the water and swim. 

What are the biggest challenges you face in your business? 

Moving from awareness and knowledge to action. There’s a proverb I really like, I don’t know if it’s Chinese but it was found on Benjamin Franklin’s desk a long time ago: “tell me and I’ll forget, teach me and I’ll learn but involve me and I’ll understand”. And it’s this gap between learning and understanding: understanding is through experience, through emotion, so we move from a pedagogy of transmission to a pedagogy of experimentation, and that’s how we learn.

What solutions are you considering to meet these challenges?

Working on this individual awareness. Today, we’re governed by a collective consciousness, and this collective consciousness conditions us but doesn’t necessarily allow us to understand. And in my opinion, it’s only through individual awareness that we’ll understand and be able to act. But as I said before, we don’t know the solutions, we just have to build the bridge as we go along, not design it from scratch before we can start construction. We talk about collective intelligence and collective action, but I don’t believe in collective consciousness. It has to be individual, and as long as it’s not individual, we won’t get there.

What has the pandemic changed in your relationship with the world?

For me, the pandemic has shown that where there’s a will, there’s a way. It’s absolutely incredible, because rightly or wrongly, everyone has acted, governments have acted. And why can’t we do that for the next pandemic, which will be much worse, when nature revolts? So we can act, we can achieve a sustainable solution, we have the means and we proved it with this pandemic.

Tell me your fondest memory of nature.

I spent three weeks in a Tasmanian rainforest with a shaman, just the two of us. For a week I was alone, I didn’t eat, I drank water from a stream that came out of the mountain next to the forest, I had no pencil, no paper, no book, no phone, no screen. I communed with this magnificent forest for a week and I absorbed all the energy of this forest that welcomed me and indeed made me feel this sensation of belonging, it was magnificent.

If you had to be a tree which one would you be?

The baobab. 


Because the baobab is a tree that’s not inherently very beautiful, and it’s often alone. In Africa, on the great plains of Mali, I’ve had the opportunity to see these baobabs that stand alone on this plain. They’re not very beautiful, but they’re resilient, and the juice of the baobab, the pain de singe, is an absolutely magnificent juice.

What is the capacity and nature’s aptitude that you would like to have?

To be interconnected, to be interdependent, to be able to function in a world complex but not complicated and that everything flows despite the complexity. 

If you were an energy source what would you be?

Rocks and pebbles.


It’s the energy I feel best, it’s when I’m on a pebble, on rocks I feel much more energy than in other places in nature.

What’s your favourite season?



This is nature’s preparation for resilience. Winter is coming, we need to strengthen ourselves, we need to strengthen our immune system, we need to create this resilience and I like this preparation for resilience.

What’s your favourite landscape? 

The forest, the dense forest with little visibility but an abundant biodiversity and a explosion of different plants, rather green.

What does mean to you?

 is to have a great deal of empathy.

What kind of pollution do you dislike?

The one that destroys food . 

What solution for the planet are you looking forward to?

Diversity, local solutions. That we’re not looking for the solution, but for a multitude of solutions. That which is brought in locally by individuals who each work a part of the land or the walls or their habitat. 

What’s the anti-sustainable gesture you’re having trouble abandoning?


And the anti-environmental sin that inspires you the most indulgence?

Cars, emissions from cars.

What can no longer be found in your kitchen?

Foods that are not organic or biodynamic or local.

What does the environment do for you?

Finish what’s on my plate and finish what’s on the plates of others.

What green prejudice have you abandoned?

That they are people who dream but are far removed from reality.

What’s your biggest contradiction?

I have two motorcycles and a motorboat. 

What is your sustainable motto?

Let’s go back to the initial intention of an activity, whether it’s the initial intention to invest, to learn. It’s a move away from that original intention, where the means become the substance and the substance becomes the means.

What   is your idea of happiness?

Sharing with other people who have the same convictions, the same understandings as me.

What about pleasure?

Find solutions and implement a project.

How do you think we can make a difference at an individual level ?

Get out of your comfort zones, have no benchmark, think outside the box and rethink what well-being really is. Is this well-being absolute or is it always relative to others. 

And from a collective point of view?

Only in action but not too much in thinking, not too much in thinking and not too dependent on science.


Because I don’t think science answers to all and science sometimes brings a certain arrogance: what is created by man has more value than what is created by nature and what is known has more value than what is thought or imagined.

More realistically, what are the three indispensable things to accomplish or do to change the world?

Find solutions to avoid waste, I think that if we avoid waste we have taken a huge step in this path towards a safe planet. 

Secondly, everything to do with food is closely linked to health, so it’s all about prevention rather than cure. We put a lot of value on curing, but in fact we need to move towards prevention.

And the third thing is to value nature, which is not necessarily done by man . We’re willing to spend millions on a landscape painting, but we’re not willing to spend a lot of money on preserving that landscape.

What do you think tomorrow’s world and the communities that make it up should look like?

No longer in a certain formality in appearance, so can work outside, have meetings outside, bring everything outside, schools, culture, interactions. Even if this place where we are is absolutely beautiful but why can’t we do more outside? So it’s rethinking our outdoor activities .

Thank you very much Guillaume.

Thank you, Zelda.

We’d love to hear your inspiring stories! If you’d like to try your hand at the Proust questionnaire, or share your experience, commitment, tips or gripes, go to the “Share with us ” discussion forum on the La Mèche platform, here:

Questionnaire de Proust

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