The Real Life MBA is a Suits & Sneakers initiative that aims to change the way companies upskill their staff in the workplace. We now live in a time that is evolving exponentially and therefore we need to invent new learning methodologies that help companies and their staff stay relevant.

Companies also have a social responsibility to help us fix education in South Africa because this is the only way we are ever going to improve the lives of all South Africans.

The Real Life MBA is a vehicle that allows us all to do both! Here are all the details…



In 2018, the skill requirements of employees are changing exponentially. Thanks to technology, the world is evolving at a pace we’ve never experienced before in recorded history. And the pace is only going to get faster!

At the same time, the methods and techniques that companies are using to train their staff haven’t really changed very much over the last few years. We still attend the same conferences and workshops hoping to close a skills gap that is ever widening. If we are to effectively prepare for this new future, companies need to re-imagine what learning is in the workplace.

The Real Life MBA wants to help companies create adoption of learning and help companies turn their people in self-directed learning machines. We believe this can only happen when we make learning fun again. Learning should be social, emotional, interactive and it should take place over a period of time as opposed to just 1 day.



Think of the Real Life MBA as a 12-week learning program that starts with your staff attending a conference in person and then continues twice a week at your office using online videos.

Face-to-face style learning is great. It just doesn’t scale very well. Online scales much better but isn’t as social and emotional as face-to-face. The Real Life MBA program believes in the blend of the two over a consistent period of time which is when real learning takes place.

We have 16 speakers at our conference on 15 February 2018 at the Maslow in Sandton but you can only see 4 of them LIVE. Most conferences require you to watch one speaker AFTER another. The Real Life MBA has 4 speakers presenting their talk in 4 different rooms at the same time per time slot. These are called “tracks”.

But you never miss any of the talks because all the talks are recorded and placed online after the conference. This allows you to pick which topics are most important to watch LIVE based on the needs of your business. In other words, YOU CREATE YOUR OWN CURRICULUM on the day.

After the event, we work with each company that attended to create a project that must be completed by its staff. The project is based on watching all 16 talks over 12 weeks (4 LIVE talks and then watching the remainder of the talks online after the event). After everyone has watched all the talks, we ask everyone to pick the one that resonated with them the most, capture what they learned and explain how this learning could be applied to improve a certain aspect of your company.

Because the learning takes place over several weeks, the learning is now more consistent and habitual. The learning also culminates in your staff teaching everyone what they learned over the 12 weeks via the project. This is critical because we believe that knowledge really sticks when you have to teach it to others.



There are 6 time slots on the day: 08h30, 09h30, a short tea break, 10h45, 11h45, lunch, 13h30 and 14h30. Each talk is 45min and then there is 15min to change over.

Most talks will last 30-35min with the remainder of the time left for Q&A! There are 4 rooms with a different speaker in each room at each time slot. So our guests have to choose which 1 of the 4 talks they’re going to at each time slot.

Each talk is recorded so even though a guest can only watch 4 out of the 16 talks on the day, they get to watch the others online after the event through our online university!



We have asked all 16 speakers to create content based on the following themes:

* Leadership

* Entrepreneurship

* Future of Marketing/Adversiting/Sales

* Innovation / Getting ready for the Future

* Abstract (Health/Wellness, Politics, Music, Art, etc.)



By attending the Real Life MBA, you are helping Suits & Sneakers build the university of the future; one which business people will use for a fee and eventually young school leavers can eventually use at no cost. 

If we are to uplift South Africa together, it has to be done by improving the intellectual and emotional capacity of its people. And because of the great levels inequality in South Africa, we have to find a way for youngsters to educate themselves at no cost.

Our ultimate goal is to offer a quality alternative to school leavers in South Africa AT NO COST!