WICS VP, Mary-Jo de Leeuw: ‘Iconic women creating a better world for All’ Award 2017

The Dutch Mary-Jo de Leeuw, Associate partner at Revnext, will be presented the prestigious international Women Economic Forum 2017 award of “Iconic women creating a better world for Allduring the Women Economic Forum – EU taking place in The Hague from 27th to 28th Jan 2017. 

The theme for the WEF-EU 2017 is “EU: Reinventing Itself: Women Empowerment & Inclusion.” Over 400 women and men from across the EU and Europe are expected to join along with delegates from across the world.

WEF is the conference arm of the world’s largest women’s movement of uniting the women of the world beyond boundaries, bias and borders, the ALL Ladies League (ALL). The two day event will have sessions on over a 100 subjects with a range of speakers drawn from various sectors including business, entrepreneurship, corporate leadership, arts and culture, film and television, media, academics, social sector, and government. 

Speaking for the Women Economic Forum, Dr. Harbeen Arora, Founder & Global Chairperson said that WEF is a global conference of the ALL Ladies League to foster empowering conversations and connections among women of extraordinary commitment to foster constructive change in ALL walks of life. Dr. Arora said she was grateful for the wholehearted and empowering support given by The City of Den Haag which is known globally for its very proactive commitment to the cause of women empowerment and inclusiveness. Congratulating the awardees she said that we need to uphold role models in a variety of sectors and make visible the inspiring work being done by so many women across the world. 

WEF events take place throughout the year and across the globe empowering women to expand their business opportunities and increase their global influence through peer exchange, networking across borders while being inspired by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, leaders, and celebrities. 

Regional events are held throughout the year in different parts of the world, like in the Hague, followed by London, while Annual event is held in New Delhi, India. There are more coming up this year in US, Canada, Maldives, South Africa, Iceland , New Zealand and Morocco. 

About ALL and WEF 

ALL Ladies League (ALL) is the world’s largest All-inclusive international women’s chamber and a movement for the Welfare, Wealth, and Wellbeing of ALL. As a superhighway of ‘Internet of women’, ALL is a worldwide web of women’s leadership, friendship and entrepreneurship. The acronym ALL stands for its positive spirit and culture of helpfulness toward empowering one and ALL. It is the only such network to offer completely free membership for women and the only criteria is to bring in great positive energy and spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood, and not allow any room for divisive or discriminatory discourse. ALL is non-political and non-religious. With over 500+ chapters and over 40,000 members across 150 countries (and ever growing by referral), ALL & WEF  together are the fastest growing global network of women where women as also men who support them are coming together to discover their individual and collective strengths and leadership in unprecedented ways. 

About the WEF Awardee:  

Mary-Jo De Leeuw, Associate partner at Revnext

Mary-Jo de Leeuw has been fascinated by bits and bytes ever since she got a Commodore 64 back in the ‘80’s. From a very young age onwards, she has been manipulating and hacking digital systems, games and toys. As she tried to build and alter her very own Mario1 game, she got nicknamed ‘Mario’ instead of ‘Mary-Jo’. Later, as a student, she discovered how she could manipulate Interactive Voice Response Systems to get herself in front of telephone queues and hacked her way into cheaper printing machines to help herself and fellow students save money. Mary-Jo never lost her rebellious streak as an adult. In 2014 she founded the Platform Internet of Toys, a community which raises awareness on the security of connected toys. In the platform, toy manufacturers, scientists, hackers and legislators meet up and discuss security- and privacy breaches within toys. Furthermore the platform works to get legislations and standards for secure toys in place.

In 2015 Mary-Jo de Leeuw reprogrammed a toy doll to speak like a terrorist and switched on microphones and cameras in popular toys from a distance. Partly because of Mary-Jo’s efforts, this dangerous toy has been banned from toy stores in the Netherlands today. The efforts for the Platform Internet of Toys gained Mary-Jo, or Mario, yet another nickname: ‘Rebel with a Cause’. Today this rebel is a well-known and very much appreciated thought leader in the infosec world. She publishes regularly on her findings, speaks at international conferences and is the go-to media expert on everything concerning her old passion ‘bits and bytes’.