Hildur Jackson

Hildur Jackson

Hildur Jackson was born in Denmark in 1942 and spent most of her life in the suburbs of Copenhagen. She had a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Copenhagen and also did postgraduate studies there in cultural sociology. She married Ross Jackson in 1967. Together, they had three sons and seven grandchildren, one adopted. Hildur’s big heart and vision, together with her beloved husband’s wild intelligence and skills, gave birth to the Global Ecovillage Network and to Gaia Education. She died on 6 September 2015, peacefully held in the circle of her loved ones, with her husband, Ross, by her side.

Hildur was a long-time grassroots activist (natural birth, women’s movement, local community movements, technology and society, organic farming, migration, and climate change). Her passion for solving women’s dilemma between full-time work and being isolated and dependent as housewives inspired her to co-found one of the first Danish co-housings in 1972. She and Ross lived there with six families for 20 years and saw 12 children grow up in these warm and inspiring surroundings with a common house, Icelandic horses, chickens, a football lawn, and vegetable gardens.

In the 1980s, she coordinated for seven years the Nordic Alternative Campaign, a movement of 100 peace, environmental, and women’s groups who aligned themselves with the scientific community to build a vision of how to solve the global, the social and the environmental problems and find ways of realizing this vision. She also initiated and coordinated a Nordic contest of ideas. With representatives from the Nordic countries, she participated in the Women’s meeting in Nairobi.

In 1988, Hildur became a qualified permaculture designer when Max Lindegger taught his first course in Denmark at the Folkecenter for Renewable Energy, and she arranged two Danish permaculture courses in Vrads and Thy.

For six years, she followed the spiritual training of Danish teacher Jes Bertelsen and began to meditate. Since 1992, she has been a member of Sahaj Marg, meaning “the natural path,” a raja yoga meditation system now practiced in 70 countries (See www.srcm.org). She worked as a preceptor, receiving people for “sittings” in her home.

In 1987 she and her husband Ross initiated Gaia Trust with the purpose of healing Gaia. Together with Ross and Bernard Lietaer she formulated the Gaia Trust strategy – with primary emphasis on yin (how we want to live with each other and the natural world) with support from yang (technology and economy).

For ten years, Hildur studied and collected material on Giordano Bruno with the intention of writing a book or film manuscript about him and his life.

In 1991, she moved to Thy in northern Jutland with Ross and their youngest son to create a spiritual ecovillage that included teaching facilities, an organic farm, and the Gaia Trust office, which later became the international office of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) for several years. The first task was to refurbish 1000 m2 and turn the 70 acres of “Fjordvang” into permaculture. For three years, she and Ross did so while negotiating with the county to get permission to build an ecovillage. When they finally got regional permission, the Minister of Environment vetoed the project “in the national interest,” and they regretfully decided to move back to Copenhagen.

After Hildur’s death in 2015, GEN initiated The Hildur Jackson Award of €3000, to be awarded to the most inspiring ecovillage within GEN each year. The Award will continue until at least 2031 with support from a Gaia Trust grant.