Corporate leaders praise PwC Academy’s '48HoursUnplug' leadership retreat

Second retreat in November with advance content


Top corporate leaders showered PwC’s Academy with high praise for organizing the '48HoursUnplug' inspiration leadership retreat last month, which was identified as an important platform for senior executives, corporate leaders and entrepreneurs to recharge their batteries and prepare themselves for the next Gen ideas at the workplace by following a 'disconnect to reconnect' concept.

The 48-hour programme which is a sought-after residential retreat internationally, saw an impressive participant profile ranging from Chief Executive Officers to Senior Executives who took part in the three-day residential programme held from 21-23 June 2019 at the Kithul Kanda Mountain Resort, Padukka.


Chief Executive Officer of ZILLIONe Technologies (Pvt) Ltd Mr. Kanchana Silva, Director – HR of A. Baur & Co. (Pvt.) Ltd Ms. Anoja Basnayake and Head of HR at First Capital Holdings PLC Ms. Wasanthi Stephen termed the unique retreat as an 'excellent and amazing programme.'

Mr. Silva said that the retreat gave him a rare opportunity to unplug from his busy lifestyle and concentrate on himself and his leadership development. "The programme gave me an opportunity to understand the purpose of my life and reset my goals and priorities for the rest of my life. I managed to identify the blockages that prevented me from moving forward as an inspirational leader and this programme has helped me to take corrective actions which will lead me to become a transformational leader," he said.

Ms. Basnayake said that the retreat was a learning opportunity and helped her find answers to many problems which she faced personally as well as professionally. "An important take home for me was that I learnt the importance of mindfulness and meditation, and how it can improve my thinking ability as well as in the decision-making process by following a non-violent communication method without jumping into conclusions," she said. Ms. Basnayake added that these learnings added important value to her professional career and will help her act as an empathetic leader in the future.  

The 48-hour programme which is a sought-after residential retreat internationally Sharing her thoughts on the retreat, Ms. Stephen said that such programmes were much needed for the benefit of the corporate leadership across Asia including Sri Lanka, due to the high stress, volatile market environment.  "This type of programmes must be organized at least twice a year, so corporate leaders can understand the purpose of life, how to collaborate and communicate with people more effectively, and be concerned about others, which will have a positive bearing at both a personal and professional capacity," she added.

Another participant opined that the retreat helped him understand that he has been acting as a pre-conditioned robot, and the programme has assisted him to mindfully work on this issue so that he can perform better professionally. Another participant terms the unplugging experience as 'wonderful.'

Meanwhile owing to the overwhelming response from participants for this first of its kind programme held in Sri Lanka, PwC’s Academy has scheduled a second '48HoursUnplug' retreat later this year. The second retreat will feature more advanced content and is scheduled to be held from 15th to 17th November at Kithul Kanda Mountain Resort.

The retreat was conducted by two visiting faculty members of PwC’s Academy Sri Lanka who , Carlien Cavens, who is the founder of the ’48HoursUnplug’ programme and Stefan Van Meirhaeghe, a self-awareness coach, accredited in psychology and meditation. Speaking soon after the conclusion of the programme in Sri Lanka Ms. Cavens said that a mandatory requirement of the programme is that all participants must desist from using any digital device whether it be a laptop, tab or mobile during the programme.

Corporate leaders praise PwC Academy

Elaborating on the programme structure, she said the retreat is broken into three different areas, focusing on the past, present and future. “We teach leaders to live in the present moment, to become more aware of what is going on right now, because often leaders get distracted by the events in the past or future. Any thoughts going on in their head regarding past or future makes them inefficient, she said. Therefore, Ms. Cavens said that the programme incorporates theory and practical to help the participants define themselves as leaders with vision and what drives them as a person, and as a leader and the direction they must take to ensure success at a professional level. "The ultimate goal is to identify who you are and what you stand for. It is only then can you lead others," she said.

Mr. Meirhaeghe said that the foundation of this programme is about mindfulness and self- awareness. "Participants will experience the true nature of themselves, which will make them feel very happy, because they learn the purpose of their lives. Once they get in touch with the base, we will be able to help them see the quality of their lives and help them enhance it further so that they will enjoy greater value at their workplace as well as with their family," he added.

The second batch will commence on November 15, 16 & 17 November with a whole new inner expedition. For more information please visit here for further details.

You could contact for more information about the second batch of 48hoursunplugged programme.

Subject area: Leadership