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  • Bobby Gould

UK & Irish Delegation Attend big.bright.minds 2020

Using insights from the Filene Centers of Excellence and the research report “The Credit Union of the 21st Century”, Filene's annual signature event – big.bright.minds. – examined the far-reaching impacts of:

  • Future of work

  • Retirement and housing insecurity

  • Data sharing and AI

  • Debt and higher education

  • Awareness & Engagement

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship

This year, Big.Bright.Minds had an international attendance, as CMutual hosted Credit Union CEO’s from England, Ireland and Scotland.



At the conference, leading academics and practitioners discussed topics such as ethics in artificial intelligence, financial citizenship and how automation can drive exclusion – and you can see their presentations by checking out the Filene website and using the free access provided by CMutual.


In addition, CMutual organised a series of Credit Union visits for the international delegates.


State Employees Credit Union is the 2nd largest in the world, and we heard about how they manage a huge branch network whilst remaining in touch with member needs – each branch has a member advocacy group where local members can discuss their financial needs and those of the community. Each branch has significant autonomy to ensure their services meet the specific needs of the community they serve.


George Nedley said “I was absolutely blown away by the scale of their operations but humbled by the way they hadn’t lost their ethical approach to members and commitment to serving member’s needs”


Civic Federal Credit Union is an online-only Credit Union that is at the cutting edge of digital member experience. We saw how they are remaining relevant to members in an increasingly digital world.


Karen Bennett said “My highlight was listening to Maurice (CEO of Civic CU) and his team talk about their journey building a 21st century Credit Union. You could see his mind working as he spoke…..Fab!”


And Constellation Digital Partners explained how they have built a digital platform that easily connects Fintech services to Credit Unions through an open-API architecture, whilst protecting personal information and utilising leading data security measures.


Data, and its use or abuse, was a central theme during the event, as Cathal from The Solution Centre highlights;

“A number of speakers remarked on the opportunity for Credit Unions to differentiate themselves as the financial institution that uses data ethically”


How we use data going forward will be central to our success, as Bernie from Bray Credit Union points out;

“How are we using data? Is data an enabler to assist members, or a stick to beat them with? Further analysis is needed on this increasingly important topic”


You can check out the interview by CUBroadcast host Michael Lawson, where Marlene Shiels from Capital Credit Union, Bernie Robinson from Bray Credit Union and Karen Bennett from Enterprise Credit Union reflect on their attendance at the conference. CLICK HERE


Finally, a big shout out to The Filene Research Institute team, led by Mark Meyer, who were wonderful hosts, and delivered an outstanding learning experience for all.


We encourage all our Credit Union partners in the UK and Ireland to register for free access to all their research, webinars and other resources at; https://filene.org/create-account?go=cmutual

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