Be a Part of Filene's Think Tank

The Think Tank is a group of influential CEOs and senior executives from credit unions and credit union system organizations who drive the credit union industry’s research and incubation agenda.

Filene Research Institute's Centers of Excellence tackle the big, bold and very real issues to help credit unions think forward and change lives. Members of the Think Tank serve as the voice of credit unions and the credit union system to deepen Filene’s relationship with and understanding of the needs and challenges of credit unions, partner organizations, and consumers. Learn more and apply below.

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Learn more about each Center of Excellence being launched in 2020 by clicking below.

NEW: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Filene Research Institute’s Center of Excellence for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will tackle challenges in access to both talent and products/services in the financial services industry.

Filene will conduct research on diversity, equity and inclusion practices in the credit union system to develop benchmarks, identify best practices and provide data and strategies to advance financial inclusion in individual credit unions and financial services overall.

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NEW: Consumer Financial Lives in Transition

Filene Research Institute’s Center of Excellence for Consumer Financial Lives in Transition will track the changing financial lives and livelihoods of consumers, new forms of economic struggle and financial fragility, and how these changes impact the North American credit union system.

Filene will conduct research to augment and expand credit union's capacity to adapt to consumers' changing financial lives as they face new forms of economic struggle and financial fragility.

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NEW: Innovation & Incubation

Filene Research Institute’s Center of Excellence for Innovation and Incubation will be indexing innovativeness among credit unions and improving the North American credit union system’s capacity and capability in product development and organizational agility.

Filene will conduct research to advance credit unions' knowledge of and practice in solving consumer and business problems in new and novel ways.

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NEW: Data Analytics & The Future of Financial Services

Filene Research Institute’s Center of Excellence for Data Analytics and the Future of Financial Services will help the credit union industry understand and advance data governance, management and analytics in the North American credit union system. 

Filene will conduct research to advance the practice of data analytics to prepare credit unions for the future financial services landscape.

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NEW: Community Social Impact

Filene Research Institute’s Center of Excellence for Community Social Impact will measure the social impact of the North American credit union system and document industry business models that enable community transformation, financial empowerment and economic prosperity.

Filene will conduct research to expand the knowledge and practice of social impact so that credit unions can develop a strategic advantage in the communities they serve and become a catalyst for positive community transformation.

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CONTINUING: Emerging Technology

Filene Research Institute’s Center of Excellence for Emerging Technology will explore the future of money and technology by mapping the impacts of new financial technologies on business strategy and operations, politics and regulation, and consumers’ experience and expectations.

Filene will conduct research to map the impacts of emerging technologies in order to prepare credit unions for the shifting competitive landscape of consumer financial services.

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Purpose and Mission

The Filene Research Institute Think Tank serves as one arm of the Research and Incubation Advisory Council (RIC), which connects a group of influential CEOs and senior executives from credit unions and credit union system organizations to Filene’s research and incubation agenda and activities.

Scope and Objectives

The Think Tank is for and about Filene’s most important partners: you and your organization. As a member of the Think Tank, you will have direct input into the projects undertaken by Filene and its network of research partners. Your voice will bring forward the objectives and perspectives of credit unions, their partner organizations, and the consumer and cooperative financial system.

The Think Tank guides, activates, connects, and champions Filene’s research and incubation agenda and activities to enhance impact and support growth in the following ways:

  • Provide functional area insights and “voice of the market” to guide output across Filene’s research and incubation portfolio and the credit union industry’s research and incubation agenda.
  • Build a community of engaged executives and experts to activate lessons and learnings from research and incubation activities.
  • Offer unique experiences for industry leaders to connect with one another and with influential researchers and thought leaders inside and outside the credit union industry.
  • Cultivate champions to translate and scale research and incubation outcomes into system-wide impact through institutional partnerships.

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Expectations

The ideal Think Tank member will be a CEO, other C-suite executive, or high-level functional area expert from credit unions and credit union system partner organizations that are organizational members of Filene. Individuals will serve as members of the Think Tank for 3-year terms and can serve up to 2 terms (6 years total).

Participation in the Think Tank requires the following commitments. Think Tank members agree to:

  • Attend, at minimum, two in-person Filene events per year, including the Institute’s annual membership conference (big.bright.minds.) and another Filene event.
  • Join and participate in, at minimum, two online meetings per year. These meetings, hosted by Filene Fellows, will focus on interactive opportunities for sharing research insights, guiding new strategy, and developing pathways to activation. Think Tank members may join as many of these monthly meetings as they like.

In addition, Think Tank members will be expected to:

  • Provide strategic guidance, offer insight, and actively participate in constructive, respectful discussion.
  • Read Filene communications and stay informed of Filene events and activities.

As capacity allows:

  • Assist with research data collection and incubator testing (e.g., responding to and fielding surveys with employees and members, soliciting input from team members, participating in testing, recruiting other organizations).
  • Provide intermittent contributions to Filene research and incubation events and communities (e.g., participation on event panels, meeting with i3/Cooperative Trust, etc.).

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Benefits

The Think Tank offers credit union leaders an opportunity for information-sharing, consensus-building, and open-ended creative conversation—with the objective of driving innovative research and incubation for the credit union system while growing and strengthening their organizations.

Participation in the Filene Think Tank offers members a range of benefits in terms of access and influence.

Access

  • Participate in elite networking opportunities with fellow industry leaders and innovators.
  • Learn from leading academics and experts, including Filene’s Fellows.
  • Be the first to join new research and incubation projects.
  • Get exclusive sneak peeks at the newest research findings and forthcoming initiatives.
  • Gain unparalleled market intelligence on consumer behavior, credit unions’ strategic needs, and the competitive financial services landscape.
  • Establish close relationships with Filene’s senior leadership.

Influence

  • Make a difference by shaping the future of consumer and cooperative finance.
  • Provide meaningful inputs to the research and incubation strategy of the world’s leading independent credit union think tank.
  • Activate research insights and gain first-mover advantage by participating in new research, testing and scaling new ideas, and guiding the design of practical solutions for the credit union system.
  • Identify actionable insights and best practices that will directly benefit your organization and improve the lives of consumers.
  • Share and learn insights, challenges, and solutions directly with business peers and Filene’s research and innovation community.
  • Build a community where industry leaders can connect, exchange ideas, and foster thought leadership.

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