Executives are invited to go back to school (and the principal’s office) for a day in October

The inaugural Execs Back to School event in Johannesburg is almost upon us.

 Courageous, conscious leaders who care about education in South Africa are urged to sign up for this one-of-a-kind, immersive leadership development experience.


Powered by Sphere Holdings, and in collaboration with New York City’s Pencil NPC ‘Principal for a Day’ event, the aim of this initiative is to provide business leaders with an opportunity to gain first hand insight into the challenges within South African’s education system by allowing them to experience the daily realities faced by their counterparts in schools.

The core component of the experience, the school visit, will take place during normal school hours and participants will have the opportunity to spend at least four hours experiencing the dynamic of the school by engaging with the principal, staff and learners.  This will be immediately followed by a facilitated debrief session which will provide an opportunity for participants to reflect on and make sense of their brief immersion experience.

Additionally, PfP is asking business leaders to consider participating in a three-hour preparation session 2-3 weeks before they visit their chosen school. When they sign up for the event participants will receive a copy of The Art of Possibility and Partners for Possibility books and Alive with Possibility DVD which they are strongly encouraged to read and watch before their school visit.

Afterthe school visit, in a spirit or reciprocal learning, participating business leaders are encouraged to consider hosting the principal at their offices. The event will culminate in a cocktail gathering, where the executives and principals will have an opportunity to share stories of their day together and to enjoy an evening in the company of leaders from sectors with which they do not usually engage. Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, will be sharing his thoughts about the event alongside other inspiring speakers.

In the spirit of generosity, leaders will be encouraged to share their thoughts and key takeaways widely within their networks. The Symphonia for South Africa team will be available to discuss the potential for further involvement with schools through PfP.

A contribution of R8,000 per business leader is suggested to cover the direct costs associated with the event, to provide a ‘gift of gratitude’ to participating schools, and to raise funds for the work of Symphonia for South Africa NPC. Section 18A certificates will be issued for contributions. Should the experience generate further opportunities for business leaders to support the schools they have visited, this would be truly in line with the PfP ethos of ‘The Art of Possibility’.

Please express your intention to get involved by e-mailing us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dates for the different segments of the experience:

School visit and de-briefing session (core experience)

Wednesday, 24 Oct 2018

Feedback and wrap-up event (optional)

Thursday, 25 Oct 2018


30 November -1, 00:00