From Patriarchy to Partnership

Learning With Colleagues in South Africa

Thursday July 21, 9 -11 am PST,  12-2 pm EST, 6-8 pm SA

How did business leaders, facilitators, and OD practitioners in South Africa trade a negative story about their country for a more hopeful one of partnership and possibility? What can we learn from their example?  In this exchange, you’ll engage with facilitators from South Africa who participated in an innovative leadership development program where leaders work together across sectors and other traditional boundaries. They’ll share what they’ve learned about mutual learning, resource redistribution, reconciliation and facilitating social cohesion – and together we will explore how we might apply their success to our own communities.

Dr. Louise van Rhyn

Dr. van Rhyn is a social entrepreneur and Organisational Development practitioner. She believes the world's huge intractable problems can be solved through cross-sector collaboration and a solid understanding of complex social change. She holds a Doctorate in Complex Social Change.  Louise is the designer of the Partners for Possibility (PfP) programme – an innovative nation building and leadership development process for business and school leaders. 

Business leaders develop their capacity to lead in a complex and unfamiliar environment by becoming a co-learning and co-action partner to a school principal. The focus of their partnership is to lead positive change in an under-resourced school, thereby reducing inequality in education. Through these partnerships previously under-resourced schools mobilise the gifts and contributions available from business and community members around the schools.

So far more than 3,200 leaders across South Africa have benefited from the programme and they’ve won many national and international awards for innovation and impact. Leaders report that they learn more about leadership from working with a school in an under-resourced community than attending a course at a business school. School leaders are equipped and empowered with the skills and agency to lead change at their schools. Partners for Possibility has impacted more than a million lives.

Louise is currently working with a leaders from across South Africa to strengthen leadership capacity in the country. She is the founder of African Leadership Week, is committed to contribute to a new narrative about African Leadership and regularly hosts conversations and learning experiences with inspirational African leaders across many different sectors. 


Short video introducing Partners for Possibility

Louise’s TED talk on what she learned from life-changing partnerships

Partners for Possibility (executive summary intro: 5 minutes):

Archbishop Tutu about PfP and the work of Symphonia (6 minutes):

For additional info: download the PfP brochure 

PfP Brochure Download