The ICF European Global Leaders Forum hosted by the Greece Chapter in Athens on 27-28th May 2024 was the first coming together post pandemic for European Chapter Leaders to meet in-person to share best practice, transfer learning, collaborate and agree on common goals for the greater good of all of our local  chapter members and the respective communities they serve. It was monumental for EMEA chapter leaders to network, share and grow collectively.

So as co-president I want to share a synopsis of what the Athens event could really mean for our ICF members. The overall theme for this event was “Eudaimonia” a greek word that captures the essence of human flourishing and living well aligns closely with our own Ireland Chapter members ethos of coaching to support and build healthy, vibrant and thriving societies.

The opening slot, an inspiring interactive session on visionary leadership delivered by Jurgita Micallef, Global Board Director and PCC Coach– Changing Lives and Paving the way for the Coaching Profession”, focused on enhancing the work of our Chapters and building further on what really works well to serve our members best.

Using appreciative inquiry, applying the 4D Cycle of Discover, Dream, Design and Destiny we explored how Chapter/s strengths could be mapped, navigating how our optimal functioning and exceptional activities led to our biggest successes then using visionary techniques to build further on these achievements to design and pave the way for the Life Changing Profession of Coaching. Chapter Leaders committed to transferring the learning across the respective Regional Chapters as a key takeaway from this energising workshop.

The session on Membership Growth and Recruitment led by Ave Peetri, (PCC) Chapter President. ICF Estonia, shared inspirational practices from her Chapter for spread. Ava covered growth of members, development of coaching schools and the wide range of activities for members from 2019 to date including:-

  • Book Club gatherings
  • Coaching Cafés
  • On-boarding buddy Programmes
  • Coaching with Coffee Online
  • Explore a Coaching Topic Online
  • Past Membership Group
  • Active members engagement with Chapter initiatives/projects.

The Membership Retention and Engagement session, led by Lise Bruynooghe, President ICF UK Chapter, shared findings across the global ICF regions on membership renewal. Our chapter leader audience used the menti technology to measure why we believe members join ICF and why do they stay. Findings from the survey conducted within ICF Chapter UK captured 3 main reasons why members join ICF:-

1. Belonging and Community
2.Grow my Coaching Business
3. Grow as a Coach

Other intelligence from UK Chapter on Collaborative L&D, Low Pro-bono Coaching Partnerships, Local and Special Groups, Being More Inclusive and Membership for Organisations was presented. The positive outcomes and the pain points from a sense maker exercise held with ICF Germany were shared.

An overview on Strategic Alliances ( including Universities, Coaching Schools, NFP/Charity Groups, Government Authorities, SMEs, Media/Communication Platforms, Corporate Organisations, Book Publishers, Other Chapters) and Partnership customized and bespoke Packages from Rudolf Nyari, President ICF Romania, was hugely insightful, resourceful and offers huge potential for spread.

The Regional breakout Groups in Day 2 of the EMEA GL Forum did focus us on previously agreed topics from our online EMEA meetings leading to our cementing on 4 distinct work streams for our respective Western EMEA Region. We have now established representation within all 4 key areas across the Western European Chapters and pledged a to complete the following tasks.

1 A Coaches Platform (standardized across Europe) supported by ICF Chapters.

The first launch of this workstream commenced at the Global WF and Digital Coaching Summit hosted by NYU and ICF Germany in Berlin on 20th June 2024.Hear more about this event and developments in our July 2024 Newsletter

ICF Ireland Rep: Shashi Sopirala, Chief Operating Officer.

2. A European Joint Initiative (pro-bono olympics) and Award Event.
We are re-setting a Western European stage for Awards and for pro-bono ignite projects on a western European scale.

ICF Ireland Rep: Marianna Rolikova, Vice-President

3. A European Vision for the Future Coaching Landscape and Evolution.
What have you been noticing lately about the coaching landscape? How will the future look? What are the questions that keep you up wondering about the next step in the coaching profession? Our Western European working group will map a collaborative vision to present to our ICF members.

ICF Ireland Rep: Fabio Garganego, Director Innovations and Standards.

4. A European Forum for Coaching with Children.

Western European Chapters are fostering a collective position/direction to work in partnership with Education Bodies to influence a coaching cultures in children’s settings.

ICF Ireland Rep: Carmel Harney, Co-President.

Both ICF global and all chapter teams and leaders are committed to greater synergy and movement for collaboration, meaningful engagement and outputs against these key areas. The privilege to meet in-person, to connect, to learn and to transfer the learning and co-designing mind-opening possibilities was truly inspirational. The expert keynote speakers, inter-chapter dialogues and interactions has positioned us very well to achieve the pursuit of changing lives through Coaching.