I am Judith Gunneweg.
starter and owner of
Ssentia Development.

Judith Gunneweg - Ssentia Development


After completing my degree(s) in Cambridge, my career took me to Shell, Twynstra Gudde and Ernst & Young (today: EY). As all-round manager and professional, I have always challenged myself by seeking international exposure and multi-faceted roles in profit and not-for profit sectors. Initiating and facilitating change processes has always been key. From: coordinating an integrated (GRI) report to designing a ‘Life-Long-Learning’ Leadership Development curriculum. In my Master’s Sustainability & Responsibility, I focussed on the sustainability of the Partnership (business) model.


  • Analysis 85%
  • Influence 90%
  • Developing others 95%
  • Organisational acumen 90%
  • Strategic pragmatism 85%

Getting along

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people. Mahatma Ghandi


Global citizenship allows me 24/7 access to an international network. My frame of reference is multi-national and multi-dimensional. It offers intimacy and structure at the same time since I worked, lived and interacted with people all across the world. My work and life have always been intricately integrated. I enjoy that the two are one since I care about creating value in both dimensions. And yet, it continues to be a challenge to keep a balanced pace. Creating value from abundance means that I also dedicate 25% of my consultancy time available to pro bono projects that focus on sustainability.

Want to know more about Ssentia Development? Contact us.


Ssential references

Waarom referents like to work with Ssentia Development.

Judith is able to connect with the very heart and spirit of Ernst & Young. It is entirely thanks to her that Leadership Development for all Partners world - wide takes shape at its most senior level and becomes an integral feature of the way we lead our people and interact with our clients.

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Pieter Jongstra,
Former Chairman of the board at EY

Judith is a warm and dedicated professional. She devotes herself with heart and soul but doesn't forget to keep thinking. It's always a joy to work with her.

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Twan van de Kerkhof,
Founder European Leadership Platform

I have proudly worked with Judith for the past 8 years. She is the definition of a professional. Her strengths are her leadership development with an emphasis on sustainability. I learn so much when we work together.

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Allen Morrison,
Director of IMD Global CEO Center

The path i travelled until now

Key moments and influences in my working life.


Intuitive balance

The last 3 years focussed on the ‘big why’. The grief of losing beloved ones has been mostly internalised and I feel there is increasingly more room for inspiration and creativity. This includes a growing fascination for what happens today; what does it mean for me, you, the world? I am lucky to be able to facilitate business, teams, various committees and boards to support growth, resilience and learning. Training to become a certified mediator feels absolutely right and I am living to the full.


Inside out

The past few years were characterized by three things: isolation, letting go and selfdiscovery. The ability to move beyond the inner world has been challenging since loss, grief and despair dominated my being. Yet the inner and outer worlds are slowly becoming connected again and it seems that losing everything offers me the challenge of reflecting on what matters most. I feel solid engagement with what’s going on beyond me and yet answers to the big question “why” remains to escape me.


Losing familiar ground

I moved tot he North of the Netherlands a year ago and my world has been reduced ever since from necessity and choice. This results in a dualistic, ambiguous and sometimes antagonistic frame of mind and soul. My anchor is drifting but where to? What is the essence of this phase? Where am I going as a 50+, unemployed woman without any social or professional network in the North?


Sustainability and Responsibility

I decide to start the Masters “Sustainability en Responsibility” at Ashridge Business School on top of my work. My life is fuller than full yet the world is changing and the question is how well prepared we are to deal with future questions without an open attitude to the Planet and the Universe. The four weeks’ Atlantic Crossing have undoubtedly affected my thinking. How can I make a differcence from abundance?



Financial crisis in the world. The ego-driven world is forced at its knees and the sickness of our systems is percolating everywhere. Ironically, my partner decides to follow his dream to sail around the world. What else can I do but to encourage him to do just that? To advise with integrity doesn’t start or stop at the office door. Many tears later I wonder about my definition of crisis.



Joining one of the ‘Big Four’ companies appeals to my sense of trustworthiness and ability to connect the dots: people and process. How to read the Partner population in such a way that we can facilitate them to develop an attitude of authentic empowerment and intimacy with their people and clients? Special attention is given to Partners in emerging markets like CIS and India. My intuition tells me that there is a difference between being and feeling responsible.



As HR Director of a professional consultancy firm, I constantly feel the tension between the world of managers and professionals. Whilst learning to build alliances and generating goodwill, a lot of energy is still wasted with my desire to prove being right. What matters most: being right or being happy? I make my own position obsolete by decentralizing all HR functions within the various Practice Areas.



HR Responsibility for 3000 people on – and offshore including all Public Relations. Family business. Exciting and completely out of comfort zone. Truly fascinating how this company is operating on the edges between soul – sustainable thriftiness and screwing the stakeholders. Image and branding determines everything.


Glass ceiling

Working for Shell International is a dream come true. Especially when transferred to Damascus, Syria. The oil business is booming and the expatriate community in Syria living on the edge of triple morality. Intrinsic values are key as a young, professional white woman in a muslem, male-dominated society. Professionally and personally. Glass ceiling? Not at all! Whose truth do I believe when it really matters?



Although medicine was my calling, this proves to be a dead-end being an α-girl. As a generalist, my ambition takes me to the UK where I complete my degree at Cambridge university. My passport is the world and my status is ‘Global Citizen’.