June 23, 2022
Prof. Jiřina Jílková passed away
We regret to announce that economist Prof. Ing. Jiřina Jílková, CSc., departed from her great academic family on 21 June 2022. IREAS had the privilege to belong to that family for many years. She adopted many of us, showed us the way and supported us in major moments of our work and private lives. She knew how to motivate us, connect us in interesting ways, and dispatch us towards more independence at the key moment. We will never stop being grateful to her for that.
It was hard to earn her respect. Once you got it, though, you could be sure of her continuous support and, to a certain extent, even protection. That empowered us to enter shaky ground and ultimately led to better results and strengthening of the whole team.
As Svatopluk Čech wrote in his poem Dosti nás, “A low aimer will aim low”. Those who knew Jiřina understand that this was not her case. Throughout her life, she aimed high, showing the way for many of us, although it was sometimes difficult to follow that path. However, it was always a path forward, promising something new, original, often controversial, but always forward. Treading water, absence of a vision, or even reactionism irritated Jiřina.
Jiřina was uncomfortably frequently right. She was a visionary and was excellent at sizing up people, their qualities and limits. Her words often sounded improbable at first, sometimes everything spoke against them, but they came true sooner or later. All the same, she never had the urge to emphasize “I told you”, even if people around her would have deserved it.
She died suddenly during a business trip in Austria, doing what she did with enthusiasm all her life: educating a new generation of young, internationally successful people, many of whom now rank among important figures of scientific and social life.
Jiřina, we will all miss you much!