Filene, Desjardins, Raiffeisen, Schulze-Delitzsch, Bergengren, Jay, Doig, Maxwell, and Luzzatti are the names generally heralded for giving birth to the modern credit union movement. It was community, however, that raised the idea through adolescence. Despite their creativity, resources, leadership, and drive, none of these pioneers could have done it alone. It was workers, lawmakers, academics, innovators, philanthropists, and collaborators from across the globe that deserve the credit. It was villages, municipalities, associations, and churches that turned the credit union idea into action.
Likewise, the Filene Research Institute cannot build the future of credit unions alone. To “replace the best there is with something better still,” Filene must first make sure the right research is conducted at the right time. We do that with our Research Council, a volunteer network of credit union CEOs across North America that helps us plan our research activities -- from what research questions to ask, to what problems need to be solved.
Second, Filene must make sure that the best talent in the credit union space is trained and mobilized to create new products, services, processes, or business models that help consumers and credit unions thrive in modernity. Since 2004, our i3 program has led the way in the world of financial services innovation, developing leaders and ideas that are shaping the landscape of consumer finance.
Last, Filene realizes that the lifeblood of any movement is its ability to attract and excite our youth. The Cooperative Trust is a community of young leaders who are architecting the future of credit unions through new perspectives, connections, and passions. This group is charged with finding new ways to attract young adults to credit unions, new talent to credit union staffs, and new perspectives to volunteer credit union boards.