For many Coaches new to ICF membership, their first step is to learn as much as they can about their professional organization.  New member Lynne Melis, ACC, ICF South Africa Charter Chapter, is no exception.  When her chapter pulled her name from a “lucky draw” to be one of four sponsored members to attend Converge last month, she felt very lucky.

According to Lynne, “The four of us became online friends, and we supported one another,” as they planned their Converge participation.  “It was an added benefit to attend Converge as a group.”

Opportunity to learn

As the four Coaches chose the sessions they would attend, newcomer Lynne decided to attend sessions that would help her learn more about ICF.  “There’s a lot ICF offers that I don’t know about,” she explained.  She saw this as “an opportunity to find out about something I didn’t know anything about.”

Lynne noticed in the description about the ICF Foundation Workshop that, “there were going to be people there from all over the world. It was something definitely new for me; something I was keen to learn about.”

The ICF Foundation pro bono projects are of particular interest to Lynne.  Although she has done some pro bono work in the past, she has not had experience at the level supported by the Foundation.

Making Pro Bono Easier to Do

“I wasn’t aware that there was something so well organized to make it easier to do pro bono—especially with a specific emphasis on the social impact,” Lynne said.

While Lynne attended the ICF Foundation session to learn more about ICF (which she definitely did), Lynne left the session feeling very inspired.  “I want to do some research to find out what’s going on currently, something I can be a part of rather than starting from scratch,” She explained.  “I just think how much better it would be to offer service someplace where you would get more of that ripple effect, where you could impact an entire society.”

Lynne is now planning to consult with some other people and will reach out to those in the ICF South Africa Charter Chapter to find out who participates in this kind of work. She also hopes to consult with local social enterprises that might benefit from some intervention as a possible route to go.

Impressive Resources

“I was very impressed to see all of the resources that are available, and I’ve got an idea of the kinds of projects that have been happening around the world,” Lynne said. “I came out of that session inspired to participate in a pro bono project in the future.”

Lynne finds the concept of the “ripple effect” intriguing.  “We know that coaching can transform individuals and teams.  If we get economies of scale going, then why can we not change the whole of society?  I know it sounds a little ambitious, but I think it’s possible.” Lynne is looking forward to connecting with the ICF South Africa Charter Chapter to build momentum around coaching for social impact.

For the Good of the World

Lynne has a tremendous appreciation for the opportunity she had to attend Converge and to meet many new people through ICF.

“I have a great admiration for all of those people who are completely at the top of their game and yet they set aside time to do this for other people, for the good of the world.  This was a nice affirmation of the very positive power of the human spirit and the impact it can have.  I think so many people at the top of their game just sit back and enjoy it; but these were all people who gave of their time as a precious resource, and giving it freely and with enthusiasm.”


1. If, like Lynne, you too would like to do research on a particular topic, (i.e. social impact, pro bono projects, leadership,etc.) Let us help you. Try our information links below or send questions to:

2. ICF South Africa Charter Chapter is the largest in Africa, and its current president is Svea van der Hoorn. This year the chapter initiated a low pro bono coaching partnership with an organization in South Africa.

Lynne Melis, ACC, ICF South Africa Charter Chapter— Lynne Melis has a B.A. (English and Psychology),a Secondary Teaching Diploma and an MBA and has recently earned an ACC accreditation from the ICF. Lynne has extensive experience in designing and facilitating learning material across a range of industries as well as training others to facilitate in a learner centered way. Lynne applies her understanding of how powerful questions support learning in her coaching practice. She lives in South Africa and is a Director of the Coaching Cafe (

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