Rianette Leibowitz is passionate about sharing messages – as TV and Radio presenter, cyber safety activist for SaveTNet, author, entrepreneur and accredited Public Relations Professional. Rianette is the founder and spokesperson for SaveTNet Cyber Safety, which aims to save lives by creating awareness of responsible online engagement for the youth and their parents with the support of national and international parties involved. Her upcoming book called “Not For Sale – Relationships of Influence” talks about the power of extraordinary relationships of influence.
Rianette was chosen as the SITA GovTech Women in ICT 2016 1st Runner-Up, recognised for the work she is doing within the industry.
What are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about sharing messages. Not everyone enjoys public speaking and presenting and even though it still gives me an adrenalin rush, I realised it is a gift and that I need to use it to share other people’s stories. It is fun and an honour to take a message to market and ensure more people are aware of the amazing work being done by so many people. This has a direct impact on relationships, and I find the dynamics and intricacies of our relationships fascinating.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
I take risks on a daily basis, however if I had to really choose something, I would say it was starting Owitz Communications and then SaveTNet Cyber Safety. Of the two, SaveTNet for sure, because when I started exploring the issue of cyberbullying almost three years ago, I had no idea that it would progress into becoming an organisation with the vision of positively impacting lives on a global level.
How would people communicate in a perfect world?
By looking into each other’s eyes and listening to each other. There are so many deeper messages being communicated through the look in our eyes, the tone of voice and the silences in between. This is something we are not able to take note of through technology and I think we misinterpret so many messages. Being WITH each other instead of just being together (interacting with our devices) could save relationships, create stronger family bonds and have a positive ripple effect on communities. In a perfect world I also think people would acknowledge each other – whether you share a smile with the person in the car next to you who is also enduring the traffic or you share an encouraging word with the person at the checkout point. Note the word ‘share’ is what we need to do.
What do you work toward in your free time?
Spending as much time with my amazing husband and son and to nurture my other important relationships.
If you woke up and had 300 unread emails and could only answer 30 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?
After sifting through the spam, I would work on the important mails first and then move to the urgent mails. (It is hard to do, however it is one of the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” I try to practice.)
Name 3 things in nature you find most beautiful.
What would you say are some small steps that people can take to improve their relationship to the environment?
I think we should live more consciously – conscious of the amount of water we use, the plastic we buy and discard and the food we waste. I also think it is our responsibility as parents to help our kids to understand each person’s responsibility to look after the planet and to be more responsible visitors to our beautiful earth. I’m learning and also still need to improve on my carbon footprint and the mark I’m leaving.