In 2007, founding partners Mark Turpin, Andrea van der Merwe and Philippa Kabali-Kagwa start up Kessels & Smit The Learning Company in South Africa. An important source of inspiration comes from the unique opportunities and challenges that South Africa and the region present - bringing an African perspective to the international network, while at the same time adapting thinking from international contexts to suit the South African context. Paul Keursten joins in 2010 after moving to South Africa from Holland (where he was instrumental in setting up Kessels & Smit), and later in 2010 Neliswa Fente steps in!
Our team works with a wide range of organisations and people in the private, public and NGO sectors - turning organisational, team and individual challenges into powerful learning opportunities that result in growth, change and innovation as well as conducting research on related areas. We work throughout South Africa and also in other southern African countries, as well as on various international projects. Topics of special interest are issues such as diversity, performance improvement, leadership development, transformation and change, skills development and creating learning organisations.
To complement our consulting and coaching work, we support various social entrepreneurship initiatives – taking the view that community development should be grounded in self-reliance rather than donor dependence, and that this perspective can lead to profitable returns for both investors and stakeholders in the community.
Working in these ways in southern Africa helps us to make a vibrant contribution to growth, development and transformation in our country and the region through the generation and application of new knowledge to complex organisational and social problems.
In 2015, Kessels & Smit moves into a new 'learning space' at 20 on 4th in Parktown North, Johannesburg, offering a beautiful shared co-working space for learning and working. The learning space is also shared with other consultants and practitioners - resulting in a vibrant and busy environment!