Breakout Sessions

Our conference offers valuable content, collaboration and connections on a global scale. Keynotes and breakout sessions will be filled with industry experts sharing expertise on the topics below.

Monday, 18 July

11:30am - 12:15pm

Financial Education: A Driver for Digital Financial Inclusion

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Speaker: Carlos Corominas
In this informative session, Visa will present their platforms and tools to support financial and business education for individuals and small business owners. These platforms can be used as a driver towards their digital financial inclusion. Visa platforms can provide great support to their users while taking money management decisions, either if they receive financial aid and/or access to loans.
Attendee Takeaways:
  • Learn the importance of the financial and business education for individuals and small business owners.
  • Understand Visa's tools and platforms to support MSBs and Individuals.
  • Learn about a credit union's case study and how to implement a similar program in their market.

Nurturing Better Regulatory Environments

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Speakers: Pierre J. Séguin, Pawel Pelc

This panel will focus on demystifying the inner workings of a credit union regulator and will focus on how regulatory frameworks can be optimized for credit unions as well as strategies for working with the regulator either during supervision or examination and for working on policy issues.

Attendee Takeaways:
  • Learn about approaches with the regulator that will help improve relationships.
  • Explore how proper regulations can enhance the potential for credit unions to grow and serve their communities.
  • Gain insights into techniques for advocacy with your regulator.

How Implicit Bias Disrupts Team Performance

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Speaker: Tracie Daniels
Our biases are unconscious processes that greatly impact how we perceive and interact with others. We demonstrate our biases through our behaviors. Because these are unconscious processes, we fail to recognize if and when we may be operating from our biases. Conformity, perception, confirmation, authority, and attribution bias are all common biases that disrupt team cohesion, trust, and performance. In this presentation, participants will develop increased awareness of how these biases show up in team dynamics.

Attendee Takeaways:
  • Identify how conformity, perception, confirmation, authority, and attribution biases influence behavior.
  • Learn from each other’s experiences in responding to biased behaviors.
  • Understand how biases can be disrupted in everyday interactions with team members.

Managing The Risks of Digitalization: Cybersecurity for Credit Unions

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Speaker: Christian Junior
The internet, once hailed as the ultimate invention for communication and borderless business transactions is increasingly becoming a hotbed for bad players as digital platforms become entwined in every part of our daily lives. With over 5 billion people connected and interacting online daily, the world is now heavily reliant on technology as more devices are connected online, more Credit Unions now rely on technology like never before to deliver their services to consumers in a post-pandemic era. In today’s data-driven, highly distributed world, Credit Unions use digital tools to undertake the very basic of business tasks, to advertise and sell, find new markets, members, and staff, communicate with customers and suppliers, process financial transactions, amongst others. It is clear that the Internet brings huge business opportunities and benefits. This over-reliance on technology means that digital platforms accumulate a lot of sensitive data about us, our transactions, customers, payments, intellectual property amongst others. There is a great need to manage the risks associated with digitization; including the collection, analysis, processing, and safe storage of these data and digital platforms in general. This session provides a clear understanding of the risks associated with utilizing digital platforms, it also provides frameworks on how to successfully manage digital risks.

Attendee Takeaways:
  • Understand the risks associated with digitalization. 
  • Learn the current and emerging cybersecurity trends and threats, the possible impacts of cyberattacks on Credit Unions, their employees, and members.
  • Learn how to create a Risk Management Regime: Preventing & Dealing with Cyberattacks.
  • Enlighten Credit Unions on how to undertake risk assessment, create policies and frameworks that help mitigate digital risks.
  • Understand the potentials of artificial intelligence (AI) in AML, KYC and regulatory compliance as well as the ethical and moral issues associated with AI innovation

1:45pm - 2:30pm

Mastercard Services for Credit Unions: Partnering for Inclusion

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Speaker: Francisco Ramos
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all. Mastercard is committed to including 1 billion financially excluded and underserved individuals in the formal economy but 2025 and 50 million micro and small enterprises, including 25 million women-owned businesses. We do this by partnering with entities such as Credit Unions that are best equipped to serve the base of the economic pyramid and to reach the last mile consumers, enterprises and smallholder farmers.

Connecting the Credit Union Mission to Diversity and Inclusion

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Speakers: Miriam De Dios Woodward, Victor Corro
Just as the mission of people helping people is engrained throughout the fabric of the credit union, so must be the diversity and inclusion practices of the credit union. Internal and external initiatives need to be both strategic and part of the everyday operations of the credit union. As credit unions look for ways to expand their positive impact on the community, diversity and inclusion practices are in the spotlight. Internal governance, staff and a culture focused on supporting diversity and inclusion aligns the external mission of the credit union with its everyday organizational activities. Changing demographics and evolving member financial needs require a credit union to have a strong foundation to deliver financial products that include and support everyone in the community. Join Miriam De Dios Woodward and Victor Corro to learn tangible best practices to move the credit union’s diversity and inclusion efforts forward. Identify commonly overlooked challenges and solutions to strategically align internal practices with external member solutions.
Attendee Takeaways:
  • Hear how credit unions of all asset sizes and locations have implemented sustainable governance engagement in diversity and inclusion initiatives.
  • Learn how the regulatory environment can impact financial inclusion efforts and key regulatory considerations to make your initiatives successful.
  • Bring back practical examples of how understanding the demographics in your community and translating them to operational knowledge can promote inclusion.

Sustainable Finance – Opportunity or Regulatory Burden?

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Speakers: David McAuley, Panya Monford, Malgorzata Gatz

Sustainable Finance is an emerging regulatory issue that will affect all aspects of a credit unions.  Operations, investments, governance and many other areas will be affected by regulations currently under development by international standard setting bodies and national level regulators.  This session will help you learn about the many opportunities for credit unions as well as the many regulatory challenges that you will face.

Attendee Takeaways:
  • Gain insight into the emerging regulations surrounding sustainable finance including effects on investments, governance, operations and others.
  • Learn how to document and articulate the social benefits of the credit union model and how these relate to sustainable finance.
  • Explore the evolving regulatory framework at the national and international standard setting level.

2:45pm - 3:30pm

Boosting Financial Inclusion Through Credit Unions

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Speakers: Rodney Hood, Ryan Donovan

Learn how credit unions can play a pivotal role in addressing Financial Inclusion.  This panel will focus on regulatory changes designed to allow credit unions to meet their potential in serving underserved areas and populations.  In particular the importance of proportionality in allowing credit unions to address financial exclusion will be discussed.

Attendee Takeaways:
  • Learn how regulators are helping credit unions maximize their outreach to underserved and underbanked populations.
  • Explore the connection between proportionality and financial inclusion and how international standard setters are helping with this issue.
  • Gain insight into why financial inclusion has been characterized as the civil rights issue of the 21st. 

Demanding More Achievement in Cybersecurity

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Speaker: Paul Innella
Despite record-breaking levels of cybersecurity spending, credit unions are not getting better outcomes. Organizations must focus on cybersecurity performance management with quantifiable metrics that insightfully report how well we’re doing rather than what we’re doing. All too often, the giants fall by not doing the basics correctly and not because they didn’t spend millions on cybersecurity. It’s time for the conversation to change to managing and reporting on achievement rather than activity.
Attendee Takeaways:
  • Understand the distinction between activity and achievement to seek out metrics that actually measure cyber performance and how well we’re doing versus what we're doing
  • Learn a framework for Cybersecurity Performance Management (CPM) for effective cyber program management tied to an organization’s strategic cyber objectives, measuring meaningful metrics over time to ensure continuous monitoring of risk, compliance, maturity and ROI
  • Gain an understanding of how to rely on cybersecurity performance metrics to focus resources, especially budget, to garner the best outcomes
  • Accurately gain insight into how to report to the Board how well their cyber program is performing

Voices of Youth: Expanding Relevance through Professional Development, Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement

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Speakers: Carolina Mussolini, Ana Goffredo, Guilherme Melo, Vinicius Mattia
Credit unions everywhere face the shared challenge of remaining relevant to young people. Our sustainability will depend upon it. This panel of WYCUP Scholarship recipients from the Sicredi credit union system in Brazil shares insights from their efforts to strengthen the relationship between young people and financial cooperatives. Join us and learn how entrepreneurship, climate resilience and communications strategy intersect with an impactful youth empowerment initiative to attract younger members and engage the community.
Attendee Takeaways:
  • Witness a unique strategy for youth focused community engagement that can be applied locally through your credit union.
  • Consider examples of how credit unions are building more resilient communities by supporting entrepreneurship and sustainable development goals.
  • Explore the intersection of social media, cooperative education and professional development.

Tuesday, 19 July

11:30am - 12:15pm

Adopting Fintech: Challenges and Lessons for Improving the “Customer Experience” at Credit Unions

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Speakers: Carma Parrish, Cynthia Wandia, Tom Moyes

Panelists will discuss the challenges of choosing the right fintech partner and adopting appropriate fintech solutions that meet member needs and reduce friction in service delivery while helping to lower costs. The panel will share views from the credit union C-suite, presenting both a developed country, as well as a developing country perspective.  In addition, fintech solution providers will share their views of the challenges of working with credit union's as customers. 

Attendee Takeaways:
  • Identify strategies for selecting appropriate fintech partners to ensure the right match of credit union needs and fintech solution.
  • Learn about specific fintech solutions that enable credit union's to effectively improve customer/member services at a low cost.
  • Understand the limits of fintech and importance of not going overboard in applying financial technology that isn’t grounded in customer needs. 

Generating Business Value through Sustainability

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Speaker: Pamela Agnone
This is a defining moment for credit unions and their associations to lead in sustainability. The United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) established a movement for our industry to share best practices on climate resiliency and socio-economic equality. The United in Sustainability (UIS) Network exchanges lessons learned and strategies to start or accelerate sustainability programs. Pamela Agnone, EVP of UNFCU and the Executive Sponsor of the UNFCU Global Sustainability Program, will provide insight on the organization’s experiences leading the UIS Network in North America and the benefits of participation. She will also report on progress towards UNFCU’s 2025 Impact Goals and illuminate how credit union corporate social responsibility aligns with business strategy.
Attendee Takeaways:
  • How to achieve operational efficiencies and growth, while making a positive difference in society.
  • Understand why sustainability should be part of your strategic plan.
  • How to drive Board, management, and staff engagement, as well as attract and retain employees through learning and development programs.
  • How your credit union can lead the way in localizing the UN Sustainable Development Goals from taking Climate Action to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. 

Refocusing Your Portfolio on Women: A Business Case from Senegal

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Speakers: Dylan Butler, Diattou Coulibaly
In this session panelists, Dylan Butler and Diattou Coulibaly, will walk participants through a recent pilot program of the World Council of Credit Unions, under the International Projects Division. The pilot program in Senegal aims to expand lending opportunities for Senegalese women within the UM-PAMECAS credit union network.

The panelists will demonstrate how they were able to use data to achieve institutional buy-in and create transformational change with the PAMECAS network in just 12 months.
Attendee Takeaways:

  • Understand the power of data in making business and product decisions.
  • See how subtle changes in product costs can move markets.
  • Understand the business case for investing in women members.

Leveraging Data for Business Value and Better Outcomes

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Speaker: Mark Meyers
The exploration of data analytics is not new, and credit union leaders have wrestled with issues related to data analysis for decades. Today, 92% of all organizations are investing in data analytics generally, but they struggle to demonstrate value derived from these investments – in fact, only 24% report that they are a data-driven organization. For credit unions, the ability to analyze data—particularly predictive data analytics or using data to forecast future outcomes—is a critical component of a successful digital transformation. New approaches to analyzing data have grown with increased data availability that can help organizations realize and demonstrate more value. Yet, this requires strategic guidance to ensure that priority opportunities are addressed, and that the analytics journey moves forward as efficiently as possible. By 2023 data readiness will be a necessary driver of business value and all credit unions need to be thoughtful of how they move it forward in their organizations today to be better prepared for what their futures will hold.

Attendee Takeaways:
  • A roadmap of best practices and key roadblocks for leveraging data analytics to produce desired outcomes, based on a case study of Kinecta Federal Credit Union.
  • A benchmark on the state of organizational analytics readiness and adoption from a survey of nearly 200 unique natural person U.S. credit unions.
  • A future-looking framework for driving credit union data analytics success using key components of leadership, culture, technology, people, and processes.

1:45pm - 2:30pm

Ideation, Innovation, and Inclusive Design

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Speaker: Lauren Culp
Consumer expectations and preferences have changed rapidly over the last decade. Innovation has never been more important than it is today as credit unions seek to meet the needs of their members. Join CUInsight's CEO Lauren Culp for this interactive session as we journey through an overview of the ideation process and share ideas and stories about key innovations both inside and outside the credit union industry. We’ll explore the concept of inclusive design, and the ways it can help your credit union support members and employees alike. You’ll walk away inspired to lead your teams to ideate and innovate for the communities you serve.
Attendee Takeaways:
  • Understand the ideation/innovation process
  • Learn how your credit union can apply principles of inclusive design
  • Uncover new examples of innovative strategies from inside and outside the credit union industry

More than a Credit Union: Empowering our Immigrant Members to Make the Most of our Financial Products and Services

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Speaker: Luis Pastor
As credit unions we specialize in creating economic opportunities for all and are known for building pathways into the financial mainstream for those traditionally left out- including immigrants. But is this enough? As credit unions, we are in a unique position to not only extend economic opportunities but to create an environment where our immigrant members can make the most of them. In this presentation, we will explore the steps we can take as cooperatives to ensure that our immigrant members can live fully and authentically and be empowered to take full advantage our products and services.
Attendee Takeaways:
  • Understand the unique social and cultural barriers that immigrants across communities face to enter and thrive in the financial mainstream.
  • Understand how to establish an environment in your cooperatives that is welcoming and empowering for immigrants.
  • Develop social and cultural programs that empower your immigrant members to take advantage of economic opportunity and contribute to a more welcoming community.

Hot Topics in Credit Union Governance

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Speaker: Paul Anthony Jones
Since 2017, the Swoboda Research Centre has pioneered a systematic and integrated approach to credit union governance as applicable to Irish, British and Romanian credit unions. This approach grew out of a series of participative research projects with credit unions. The result was the identification, publication and implementation of a bespoke system of credit union governance. Swoboda continues to be engaged with credit union boards and executives as they seek to strengthen governance and oversight in their organizations.
This session will cover the key themes that characterize a well-performing board of directors, such as team working, clear roles, diversity, skills, knowledge and values. But it will focus particularly on the hot and often contested topics that emerged through the process of governance transformation in credit unions. These include executive directors, term limits, board and director performance assessment, and director remuneration. Participants will be presented with a range of perspectives on these issues to help them with discussion in their home credit unions.
Attendee Takeaways:
  • Understanding the key themes in credit union governance.
  • Exploration and analysis of contested and thorny governance issues.
  • How to drive performance improvement on a credit union board of directors.

Small Credit Unions & Technology: Innovation for Growth

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Speakers: Scott Butterfield, Brett Wooden
It’s no secret small credit unions need affordable access to resources, services, and expertise. But rather than recreate the wheel, these credit unions need to seek out, utilize, and maximize the resources that already exist. This means looking to innovative new strategies (i.e. strategic partnerships) and dusting off a few tried and true strategies, to maximize credit union growth opportunities. Our panelists will address the importance of and growing trend in utilizing technology ( applications and tablet technology) to advance financial institutions. This session is designed to empower you with data, tools, and spirit of community with your fellow credit union leaders. Small credit unions have their own set of challenges, and this program is tailor-made for YOU. Building a support team of peers while learning about the latest in the business is a great way to keep growing.
Attendee Takeaways:
  • Innovative solutions to help meet the needs of current and prospective members.
  • How to leverage community partnerships through technology to expand products and service delivery.
  • Credit Union Best Practices

Wednesday, 20 July

8:30am - 9:30am

Developing Global Digital Solutions for Credit Unions

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Speakers: Oscar Bazoberry, Luca Giusti

Blockchain, Open Banking, Web3 are all transforming and disrupting financial services worldwide.  Learn how these technologies are being developed for credit unions and how regulators will respond to their use.  Learn how these technologies are enabling credit unions to empower their members.

Attendee Takeaways:
  • Learn how emerging technologies are shaping operations for credit unions.
  • Prepare for possible disruptions to the traditional banking model.
  • Gain insights into new and innovative approaches to working with your members.

Best Practices for GWLN Sister Societies

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Speakers: Eleni Giakoumopoulos, Mai-Linh Hoang

Sister Societies are local GWLN “chapters” established worldwide to further our global mission by making a local impact. The mechanism through which our members meet, Sister Societies empower women’s advancement to leadership by:

  • Growing GWLN’s membership in the US and internationally.
  • Elevating voices in credit unions to narrow inequality gaps.
  • Supporting local community efforts and organizations.
  • Raising awareness about Worldwide Foundation’s and World Council’s work.
  • Supporting DEI journeys within the credit union industry.
  • Inspiring the next generation of young leaders.

Sister Societies serve as platforms to discuss issues, exchange ideas, seek solutions, engage with local community organizations, share lessons learned with GWLN members and Sister Societies worldwide, and work toward narrowing inequality gaps.

Attendee Takeaways:
  • The value of GWLN and the growing number of GWLN Sister Societies around the globe
  • What is a GWLN Sister Society, its purpose and how can one connect and engage with other Sister Societies
  • How to start a Sister Society in your local region, best practices, meeting topics, etc.

Strategic Resilience

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Speaker: Miranda Flury

Strengthening Credit Union resilience has never been more important with unpredictable and unprecedented changes in our future. History reminds Credit Union Directors and Executives of the significant ramifications ‘unknown unknowns’ may have on our businesses. Resilience is not simply about surviving the next crisis, it is about emerging stronger from it. Credit Union resilience will arise from four dimensions: Financial Resilience, Internal Resilience, Brand Resilience and System Resilience. It is fostered both through strategy setting and embedded in day-to-day activities. A Credit Union’s deeper understanding and application of the dimensions of resilience will help to create and protect value for its Members, Communities, and the Credit Union System.

Attendee Takeaways:

  • Participants will be able to define Strategic Resilience and comprehend the relationship between resilience and risk.
  • Participants will use the dimensions of resilience to reflection their own Credit Union’s resilience. 
  • Participants will explore new areas of oversight to monitor resilience.

Economic Resiliency and Regeneration - The Financial Cooperative Super Power

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Speaker: Monica Belz
Financial Cooperatives role in economic resiliency in our communities and beyond. We are best positioned to be the social-economic change agents in global/local (glocal) economic transformation. COVID illuminated the growing, unprecedented gaps on our economic system with regard to equity, inclusivity, sustainability, and diversity. Building a regenerative economy is key to addressing our greatest systemic challenges such as climate resilience and social justice. Financial Cooperatives are the key ingredient to such systemic change.
Attendee Takeaways:
  • What role should financial cooperatives play in economic resiliency in their communities?
  • Why is a regenerative economy vital for our industry and our future generations?
  • How does a financial cooperative tap into this super power?
  • What is the credit union DNA within the global economic system?
  • How can financial cooperatives truly change systemic economics and thus change the world?

9:45am - 10:30am

Rethinking Your Payments Strategy to Meet Member Expectations

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Credit unions have an opportunity to meet modern, member expectations by improving their economic and service models to increase volume and market share and earn the primary financial relationship of their members. To meet new service standards means knowing members like never before and rethinking revenue strategy to engage with members in their everyday life via payments. This forum will offer key insights from the latest proprietary consumer behavior research as well as important take-aways on the risks and opportunities revealed in recent credit union leadership research. We’ll learn more about the digital, online and contactless technologies that have emerged particularly since COVID, and propose how credit unions of any size can implement a payments strategy based on member lifestyles.
Attendee Takeaways:
  • Help credit union attendees with their institution’s technology and operational transformation roadmaps.
  • Propose how credit unions of any size can implement a successful growth strategy based on a transformed organization that is dedicated to addressing member lifestyle needs.
  • Demonstrate payments as catalyst for credit union growth by leveraging the latest research Co-op Solutions has collaborated on with Filene and EY.
  • Demonstrate that it is the experience that a member has at every touch point that matters most in bringing that member into a closer relationship with their credit union. 

Community Development – Driving Financial Inclusion

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Speaker: Scott Butterfield
Credit Unions are waking up to the fact that they can go beyond financial inclusion to empower their communities to help themselves through their Credit Union.

Drawing on 25 years in community work, Ian Brewer has pioneered community development work at his Credit Union in Bradford, United Kingdom to create a new model of funded community development work. By exploring the DNA of financial inclusion, new ways of helping people in poverty to save, borrow safely and increase their financial capability coming out of the Pandemic will be discussed. Using his international experience, the presenter will also draw on principles and examples from the Community Development Credit Union (CDCU) movement in the USA, the United Kingdom and other places across the world to demonstrate how partnerships and co-designed projects attract funding.
Attendee Takeaways:
  • Understand the history and concept of Community Development
  • Explore how Financial Inclusion is part of the Credit Union DNA 
  • Learn the importance of networking and how to co-design projects with partners
  • Develop your own hybrid model to help build your brand, fund your outreach work and grow your credit union
  • Grasp the resources needed such as pooling resources, community mapping, and tapping local authority/ government/ philanthropic/ corporate funding.

Post Pandemic Challenges for Credit Unions

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Speakers: Sohini Chowdhurry, Andrew Price, Joyce West Johnson

This panel will focus on challenges faced by credit unions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.  An economic outlook will set the stage for discussion on various regulatory issues faced by credit unions including accounting changes, regulatory changes, the withdrawal of relief measures and other topics.

Attendee Takeaways:
  • Explore how credit unions are dealing with the many challenges and regulatory changes created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Learn about the economic forecast and how that may affect credit union operations in the future.
  • Gain insight into real world challenges faced by credit unions during the pandemic and the coping strategies.

Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders

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Speakers: Amanda Wantke, David Kropp

In this interactive and engaging 40-minute breakout session, First West Credit Union leaders David Kropp, Agile Coach, and Amanda Wantke, Manager, Talent Attraction, will share their unique perspectives about attracting, developing, empowering and retaining young talent in the credit union system, with stories of personal experience. They will discuss their successes and failures, and how being empowered to make mistakes has added to their development as leaders. Amanda and David will also offer insight into some of the exciting collaborative “young leaders” initiatives they’ve contributed to and participated in and will share an insider’s perspective on how different opportunities and programs can help to develop and retain young talent, with practical examples that credit union leaders worldwide can learn from as they seek to ensure they have the right talent for the future.

Attendee Takeaways:
  • The impact of empowering young talent in your organizations
  • How building the future leaders of the credit union system will benefit you today
  • Understanding what drives young professionals and how to attract, engage, and retain them
  • How can credit unions determine what young talent is looking for?

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