dinsdag 9 augustus 2011

Jan Lee Martin Futures Foundation RIP

Via the mailing list of the World Futures Studies Foundation I just received the sad news that Jan Lee Martin in Sydney, Australia has passed on, apparantly peacefully in her sleep. We had the pleasure of meeting her in Sydney a good ten years ago now.

In 1999 we moved to New Zealand, not knowing wether it would be for a bit, a bit longer or possibly forever. But knowing for very sure that it was one country we wanted to know, to experience, to smell, to breathe. We wanted to live and work there and just ride the waves of life down under. Having graduated for my MA with a studies on the future of digital services to consumers, I thought futures studies would be a good angle to get to know people. And hence I searched and found New Zealand Futures Trust (now: Futures Thinking Aotearoa) and one evening taking the time difference into account I called the Futures Trust office and got of to a brilliant, warm start with Yvon Curtis whom today we are honoured and proud to call a dear friend. Actually more than that: she feels like family. Back then after a great time together we decided to move on the Australia. Whilst being down under, why not explore the lot? We were free, no strings attached and as hungry as we are now to explore and discover. So Yvon referred us to Jan Lee, saying that we absolutely had to meet her as she was a driving force behind the Australian Futures world.

We moved to Sydney, lived nine lives at once with our jobs in CBD and for the Dutch Olympic Team and indeed met up with Jan Lee. One inspiring woman! She was warm, hospitable, receiving us in her house, sharing stories about her travels to Europe and we discovered that we above all shared a deep and almost limitless hunger for Big Questions and integration of fields. But also her story of selling her business without actually retiring inspired me. As I remember her it was a woman driven by passion and a good hunger for development, one of those truly ageless wise people who just kept working. Tirelessly and with a sense of humor.

It was a meeting of "one night only" but it was a night to remember. A talk that still inspires. Thanks Jan Lee.

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