Dr Melanie Rieback is the CEO/Co-founder of Radically Open Security (the world’s first not-for-profit cybersecurity company) and ‘Post Growth’ start-up incubator Nonprofit Ventures. She designed and teaches ‘post growth entrepreneurship’ at the University of Amsterdam Business School, and is a cybersecurity lecturer at Singularity University and former assistant professor of computer science at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Melanie is a fellow of the Post Growth Institute, and was named ‘Most Innovative IT Leader of the Netherlands’ by CIO Magazine (TIM Award) in 2017, and one of the ‘9 Most Innovative Women in the European Union’ (EU Women Innovators Prize) in 2019.
She was described as one of the 400 most successful women in the Netherlands by Viva Magazine (Viva400) in 2010 and 2017, and one of the 50 most inspiring women in tech (Inspiring Fifty Netherlands) in 2016, 2017 and 2019. Her company, Radically Open Security, was named the 50th Most Innovative SME by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (MKB Innovatie Top 100) in 2016.
Non-Profit Computer Security Consultancy
We're an idealistic bunch of security researchers, networking/forensics geeks, and Capture The Flag winners that are passionate about making the world more secure. We believe in transparency and openness, and our goal is to secure the society that allows us to run a company in the first place.
Our Business Model
Radically Open Security prides itself on being the world's first not-for-profit computer security consultancy company.
We are prototyping an innovative new business model - using a Dutch "Fiscaal Fondswervende Instelling" (Fiscal Fundraising Institution) to provide a commercial front-end that sends 90% of our profits tax-free to a charitable foundation (Stichting NLnet) that has supported open-source, Internet research, and digital rights organizations for almost 20 years. Our low management/overhead costs mean we can afford to pay competitive wages to our computer security consultants. There are similar constructions in the world (B-corporations, Mozilla, etc..), but we tackle things from a slightly different angle.
Our idealism fuels our growth; it helps us to hire idealistic A-list security experts, and to find like-minded customers who want to use their security budget as a "vote" to support socially responsible entrepreneurship. We see ourselves as "hacking a new business model" for prototyping an ideal company - one that optimizes for benefit to the world (customers, employees, society) as opposed to profit motive (shareholders, investors, founders). Our hope is that, in a few years from now, we might inspire others to setup similar sustainable "not for profit businesses" in other industries. Call us dreamers, but we hope that we can help to move society forward in this way.
Michiel Leenaars is the director of strategy at the NLnet Foundation, a public benefit organisation established in the 1980s when the first open internet connection to Europe was established. Michiel leads the NGI Zero programmes and was previously project lead for the Next Generation Internet 2025 report that helped establish the NGI initiative’s vision.
From 2014-2018 he was a member of the Dutch Education Council, which advises national authorities on education policy. He also worked for the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and Dutch National Computing Facilities Foundation (NCF) advising on e-infrastructure and e-science, and coordinating the national software engineering programme. Within the European policy body e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG), he was lead editor of the first two of its e-Infrastructure Roadmaps.
From 2006-2010 he was a member of the strategic committee of the European domain name registry EURid, and from 2009-2018 was a board member and member of the board of supervisors of Accessibility.nl, the Dutch accessibility expertise centre and certification organisation.
Stichting NLnet is an independent philanthropic foundation with a strong focus on growing and cultivating digital commons. NLnet is officially recognised as a public benefit organisation. The history of NLnet goes back to 1982 when a group of Europeans led by former NLnet director and member of the Internet Hall of Fame Teus Hagen announced the European Unix Network (EUnet) which became the first public wide area network in Europe and the place where Internet was introduced to Europe. NLnet also pioneered the worlds first dial-in and ISDN infrastructure with full country coverage. In 1997 all commercial activities were sold to its American counterpart UUnet (now Verizon). The articles of association for the NLnet Foundation state:
to promote the exchange of electronic information and all that is related or beneficial to that purpose. NLnet's core activity is to support individuals and organisations that contribute to digital commons (e.g. free and open source software and hardware, open data, open science, open education) through its renowned open call - working towards an information society we want to live in.
Mirko Presser is head of the EngTech section and associate professor in digital business development at Aarhus University. Previously he was head of research and innovation for the smart city lab at the Alexandra Institute working on linked open data and the internet of things. He has been studying and working on digital technologies research since 2000.
Mirko holds a Master’s degree in physics with astrophysics and a Master’s degree in telecommunications and systems engineering, both from the University of Bristol, and received his PhD in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Surrey. He has also been heavily involved in European framework programmes since 2002, and has served as technical manager and coordinator in several projects.
The Department of Business Development and Technology (BTECH) is part of Aarhus BSS, one of the five faculties at Aarhus University. Aarhus BSS holds the distinguished accreditations AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS for its business-related activities.