Dear Friends of TEDxTheHague,
We're sad, sad and numbed.
This week we lost our formidable friend and President of the Board Yolanthe Smit. Yolanthe died following a traffic accident in The Hague, The Netherlands on April 22, 2013, at the age of 69.
Yolanthe was the driving force behind TEDxTheHague, which started in October 2008 as "TED Talks The Hague" — before TEDx even existed. A year later, Yolanthe and Ralph joined the TEDx program and organized the first TEDx event in The Netherlands on September 11, 2009.
From these humble beginnings, Yolanthe made sure that TEDxTheHague stayed humble. Instead of going big and loud, she preferred the intimate and the personal, with plenty of room for curiosity, connection and conversation. And lovely snacks of course, provided by our many guests.
Since 2008, Yolanthe and Ralph organized 50 salons and attracted a steady following. In 2011, Yolanthe was the director of TEDxTheHagueLive, an event around TED Global with "substance and style" praised by its 100+ guests.
Yolanthe had great plans for TEDxTheHague. This month, The Friends of TEDxTheHague Foundation was established, to bring more continuity and resources to our little club. A big step for someone who hated formalities and paperwork with a passion. A big step she only took because TEDxTheHague was close to her heart.
Yolanthe always wanted to be center stage, and TEDxTheHague was her podium. She was a fierce defender and promoter of the third stage of life, of language and the spoken word, of dignity and freedom of thought and speech. We're sad that she will never grace our spotlights again.
According to her last will, Yolanthe will be cremated on Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 11:45 a.m. at Yarden Crematorium Ockenburgh.
Goodbye sweet, witty, excellent friend.
Board of Friends of TEDxTheHague,
Peter van den Berg