Driving Progress Through Meaningful Connections
This issue is all about the power of people, why a sense of connection, belonging, and growth is essential to who we are, and how the communities we've built at Filene, and others across the credit union industry, are tapping into that power and making credit unions stronger, more relevant, more inclusive, more innovative and more future-proof because of it. We'll explore Filene's communities - Inner Circle, Think Tank, The Lab, REE Incubator, i3 and The Cooperative Trust to discover how these groups of forward-thinking and passionate credit union leaders are working together to change lives for the better and influence the industry.
We believe that what you’ll discover through this collection of stories and impact is that for every challenge, trouble and problem people are facing, there is someone with a solution and the power to bring that solution to life. Our willingness to prioritize, think forward, and work together to change lives for the better is the greatest strength of the credit union industry.
Credit unions strive to live and breathe the philosophy of “People helping people.” We work hard to walk the talk through business models and strategies with the end goal to change members' financial lives for the better. Having a people-first mindset also means that community is our greatest asset. Credit unions have an advantage when it comes to collaboration and cooperation—critical pillars of the credit union system. Our competitive advantage is our people-first, community-first focus.
The Collective Power of People
Cortney Arnold, Filene's Community Development Director shares her first-hand experience and the stories of impact these communities have had. "I’ve had the opportunity to see the exponential growth and impact of a group of "thoughtful, concerned citizens" coming together to change the world through their zones of control at their credit unions. I’ve been humbled by how their influence and ability to make changes increases each year. We recently had a group of credit union leaders visit the Filene offices in Madison, Wis. These executives mentioned how their Crasher's GAC experience shifted how executive meetings took place—a powerful ripple effect. Another example is a group of Crashers uniting to make a real change regarding student debt forgiveness—more on this in the coming months."
Collectively, Filene's communities drive innovation and testing in incredible ways. Our i3 and other innovation communities are scanning the whole financial system, answering questions like, "What can credit unions do to support their members in investing safely in cryptocurrency and understanding all types of investing?" and "How might we anchor our highest potential, most talented people to the credit union movement?"
It should be no surprise that these questions provide context and history to our system. The intersectionality between our research and communities creates the
impact. Our Lab and Racial Economic Equity Incubator are demonstrating the power of harnessing data, DEI, and Community Social Impact—our Incubator brings together Filene's entire research portfolio.
People Helping People - Where and When They Need It
The journey from Crash, i3, Think Thank, and Inner Circle is filled with connection, development, exploration, innovation, and belonging. We strive to build a system of cooperative finance that welcomes and serves everyone—where they are when they need it. We are people helping people and creating spaces where we all fit.
As we move forward, let us carry the spirit of connection, belonging, and growth with us in every endeavor. Let us continue to be beacons of support and inspiration for one another, sharing our knowledge and learning from those around us. By doing so, we will undoubtedly create a more resilient, compassionate, and prosperous future for all.
Join us on this journey to discover how we are driving progress for the credit union industry through fostering meaningful connections. In this issue of The Asterisk we explore our communities to better understand the very essence of human connectivity and The Network Effect they have on our industry!
The Asterisk: The Network Effect
Issue No. 12
Next Cohort of i3 Leaders