ICF Global Conference Converge 2019, Prague, 23-26 October 2019

The global ICF conference is held every 2 to 4 years, this year we had 1000 coaches from over 40 countries attending. It was an amazing 3 days with keynote speakers and exhibitors, I attended with Julia Kerr and Julia Bonadei from South Africa and we stayed in Prague’s Old City, taking 2 days to view the city beforehand.

The theme of the conference was A new Era for Coaching, covering the ways in which technology is revolutionising the coaching industry; the conditions for creating impact in coaching excellence; and how to navigate the pace of complexity and change the world finds itself in; whilst managing the complexities of multi stakeholder contracts, the digital enhancement of coaching and the power of AI in this industry.

Along with speaker topics such as A new era for Performance conversations, other topics included:

  • Coaching through change using mindfulness and resilience strategies
  • Coaching through mental blinders and emotional barriers
  • The Deep Shift Platform: deep, fast and sustainable information on how to flexibly ride the wave of change in today’s world
  • The F Word from Theatre to Fulfilment
  • The Inner Playground: using playfulness with clients to create connection
  • The impact of Language and Diversity on establishing coaching agreement in an organisation’s coaching culture
  • A highlight was the 21 Skills of Spiritual Intelligence by Simon Blackhall, a spiritual coach, discussing the power of connective presence and how to use the science of emotion for powerful client breakthroughs

A key theme of the coaching conference was Artificial Intelligence, and how we use that coaching millennials and Gen Z’s, given the role of coaching in a digital rich world and the future of coaching which is on the cusp of disruption.

Also interesting was resilience for social change and the need for the coaching industry’s involvement in social change and spiritual consciousness, with discussions on: how do we thrive in ambiguity, how could coaching solve our toughest 21st century challenges, and what is coaching’s greatest possibility for humanity and the planet?

The opening session focused on Navigating Unpredictability, again a theme, by the author of the book The Medici Affect, Frans Johansson. Raised in Sweden by an African American Cherokee mother and a Swedish father he has lived his life at the intersection. He was chosen as the keynote speaker as coaches find themselves living lives and running businesses at the point of intersection, looking at how we also find our clients at this point of intersection, and how coaches need to develop to thrive in a world of digitalisation, increased complexity and paradox, using tools to meet clients in a flexible and agile way in the world.