Inaugural Crash The ACUC to Focus on Design Thinking

Brent Dixon

To Crash the ACUC, potential Crashers should act quickly.

Applications are due Friday, May 4th. Apply now at

MADISON, WI – For the first time, attendees of CUNA’s America’s Credit Union Conference (ACUC) will be joined by a select group of 15 young credit union leaders, known across the industry as the Crashers.

This Crash, like previous events will coincide with the basic conference agenda established by CUNA (including scholarships for registration), but the projects, as a result of the experience, will be different.

The 2012 Crash the ACUC will be taking on a unique approach when it comes to problem-solving.  Starting the morning of Sunday, June 17th, the selected Crashers for Crash the ACUC will be partake in a day-long Design Thinking Workshop led by Julie Norvaisas, Design Researcher and Strategist.

The team of 15 will initially focus on learning the concepts of design thinking and its applications to solving real-world problems.  Over the course of the week, the selected 15 will apply design thinking methods and theory to spark innovation. The result will be a viable business concept for credit unions. Pre-conference assignments will be required to engage the topic and to feed intense research and discovery sessions. In the end, the group will create something wholly new and applicable in the credit union system.

Sparking the conversations on Sunday will be a focus on community development. Norvaisas says ‘The time is ripe for credit unions to be bold. The unbanked and under-banked are a dreadfully underserved market; they commonly fall prey to predatory business practices and struggle to deal with financial transactions that most of us take for granted. Together the group will understand their needs and motivations and discuss the constraints that make it difficult to serve them in traditional financial services businesses, such as credit unions, so we can rise to the challenge.’

There is increased commitment this time around, both from extended on-site time and required homework in advance.  With this added investment, Crashers can guarantee their time out of the office will be valuable, as they return home with a real-world solution for their credit union and their community.

In addition to Crash the ACUC, The Cooperative Trust has three national and four regional events planned alongside a host of new opportunities including year two of The Collider innovation tournament.

The Cooperative Trust is a grassroots organization hosted by the Filene Research Institute and generously supported by CUNA Mutual Group. The Cooperative Trust connects and enable young people fighting for the future of socially-responsible finance through meet-ups, mentorships, and collective action. Learn more at

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