In Memoriam Chantal Gill’ard

Chair of foundation THC
The Hague Center for Global Governance, Innovation and Emergence

Member of the Wisdom Council of the Center for Human Emergence Netherlands

In gratitude and with grace we share the passing over of our Chair and long-time inspirator Chantal Gill’ard on Wednesday 12 December 2018. She has had huge influence on both my personal and THC’s path. She will continue to be a source of inspiration.

Our journey started in 2006 when she was a very dedicated and active Member of Parliament.

Watching us organise the launch of Malaria no More! Netherlands, she pulled me into her bold ideas around finding solutions for Millennium Development Goal 5 – Maternal Health, safe motherhood.  Through her leadership and contagious ideas, she brought together more than 20 different stakeholders and encouraged me and my partners to stand tall and manifest new ways of working together. We started the MDG5 Meshworks for Mother Care, that transformed into a meshwork with more than 30 partners in three different countries, and that received a 12 million euros subsidy from the Dutch government.

In 2008 Chantal hosted us with key players of the Center of Human Emergence NL (CHE) including Marianne de Jager and Dr. Don Beck to talk about the potential for a generative society. Inspired by his vision of meshworking and spiral dynamics integral and our practices, THC came into form. Supported by Chantal, I was invited to design with her the high level meeting on Maternal and Newborn Health of the World Health Organization (WHO), Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the House of Representatives of Dutch Parliament. Together with CHE NL and THC co-founder Peter Merry and Morel Fourman of Gaiasoft, we dove into a deep exploration that required us to bring the best of our gifts into the world. Through Chantal’s leadership this culminated into Parliamentarians Take Action! a three day conference sponsored by two Ministers of the Dutch government and attended by Parliamentarians from more than 35 countries, and many delegates from different international organisations. A special visit took place by Her Royal Highness, the Dutch (then) Crown Princess Maxima, underpinning the importance of multi stakeholder collaboration like meshworking.

When Chantal became ill in 2009, she redirected her life with renewed passion for spiritual and empowering childbirth, and for working with women circles on healing and empowerment. At that time I was further exploring YIN leadership qualities to integrate into my work, and we shared many experiences and deep conversations, full of laughter and joy too. The importance of womb work according to Chantal: “… The womb is the place of all creation….. In my experience good leadership starts with mastering one’s self, and this journey starts with birth.”

Until the very end Chantal felt aligned with THC’s purpose and remained the Chair of our Board. She loved to talk about what we were doing and felt energised to explore next opportunities. Believing in me, in us, she was always curious, critical, challenging and compassionate. Her last public appearance as THC Chair was as special guest at the International Conference on Fundraising 2018 in October, where she gave a speech on women’s leadership, with such power in vulnerability – a true example.

Chantal and I often recalled how we loved our capacity to work together on ambitious projects with large vision, wide scope, pragmatic outcomes. We had relentless trust in the boundaryless creativity that arose in the space between us. Her professionalism was filled with compassion in her strategic connecting and coalescing authority, power and influence. She had a capacity to continue, always looking for ways to move on, grow, expand and go deeper.  We shared a commitment to learn, further develop evolutionary consciousness, the capacity to listen to our bodies, our womb, the world around us, the Earth, the Wisdom of the Universe, life and death in its many forms – in sadness and in joy.

One of the dreams she carried and inspired me with, is to develop the conditions for Birthing Houses to arise. Generative places that are especially designed by conscious childcare professionals to assist parents and welcome the incoming Souls who can guide humanity into the New.
Indeed a place of love and care in unity in diversity.
I trust Chantal will continue to guide me – us – many, to manifest these Birthing Houses.
As I trust she will be guiding many of us in our activities, as we cherish our memories and are inspired by her life journey.

Wishing her sons Enzo and Arum, and her family and friends strength,
In love and gratitude,

Anne-Marie Voorhoeve
also on behalf of  the THC Board Marianne de Jager, Anita Floris and team members