Welcome to wildcat country!
Growing up the University of Arizona was my dream school and the campus does not disappoint! While much of the the town is brown and sandy, the campus is lush and green, full of street art and it’s an incredible stage to host the talent that is here. This year Filene has a record turnout for Big.Bright.Minds. and the room is packed! This is awesome, it means people in the credit union world are actively seeking out ways in which they can be better and more innovative. The mantra here is “Think leads to do, do leads to change” – I love it! There is literally electricity in the air, this isn’t your typical conference, and it technically hasn’t even started yet!
One of the things that struck me most in the welcoming speech was that over 15,000 documents were downloaded from Filene over the past year, but very few readers turned that into actually doing something. That’s what this week is about for us. We are tired of sitting on the sideline so we are going to DO SOMETHING!
So we (the crashers), did something. This afternoon we were given a project that had previously failed; we then tweaked it and began writing a business model around it (Don’t let the fact that I got that into one sentence fool you, it was a challenge!). The best part for me was the few moments I paused to take a picture and could just take in what was happening, young adults, until today, strangers, from different places, sitting in 3 groups tackling a problem, and it was just seamless, I think that’s a huge testament to the fact that we all agree and believe in the cooperative movement, from the first second we all had the same goal. It was a really interesting activity because we were provided a template to work on, in the end it didn’t matter what our project that day was, we learned the how to put an innovative idea into action. We learned what needs to be in place and how to go through the appropriate channels for gaining project support.
While it’s only day one, my mind is already on information overload. I absolutely love the energy. Every single person in this room (crashers and non) are here because they realize that credit unions need to step up the game and they are personally willing to take that first step. So take a moment, go back to Filene’s page, find those ideas to download, and become a do-er. Go. Create, change.