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.

More breakout sessions are being added weekly. Each time slot below will have four (4) concurring breakout sessions. 

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 Seguin, 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

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: Dave 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. 

Tuesday, 19 July

11:30am - 12:15pm

Critical Cyber SIEM Tech: Protecting Credit Unions from Cyber Threats and Ransomware

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Speakers: Tim Evans, Mark Sangster
Sophisticated threat actors including ransomware gangs and state-sponsored adversaries use ransomware to disrupt business and extort millions of dollars in ransoms. As these threats continue to increase, Credit Unions know they need to invest in cybersecurity, but the confusing marketplace, acronyms, and hyperbolic promises make selecting technology and finding the right solutions even more challenging. Join experts as they explore advanced cyber threats and the critical technologies and services you need to protect your bank.
Attendee Takeaways:
  • Identifying must-have technology for your network
    • Determining which sources to collect, how AI and ML supercharge threat identification, User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) and threat hunting can quickly detect, investigate, and contain threats before they disrupt your business.
  • Threat Hunting and Real-time Suppression
    • Learn how AI/ML streamlines threat hunting and enables rapid response by expert security analysts who can identify threats and contain attacks and update your security controls to prevent return or knock-on attacks.
    • Real-time Compliance and Risk Scoring
      • At any time, you should know your risk resilience, identify areas for investment, and insure you are compliant with NCUA ACET and PCI requirements, without the delay and costs of manual report generation and compilation. A robust SIEM should make this as easy as a click-and-report

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. 

1:45pm - 2:30pm

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 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.

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.

Courageous Conversations

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Speaker: Ally Nitschke
In a time of texting, tagging and tweeting, the art of communication has been lost. While the war for talent has been replaced by The Great Resignation, keeping talent in credit unions is key. For leaders, the biggest lever they can pull in terms of influence it to connect with their team and build trust. Learning the art of Courageous Conversations, building the capability to have those tough conversations not only builds trust and connection, it also improved productivity, inclusion and empathy. Ally will take the audience on an engaging, powerful and (sometimes) funny journey into why and how communication in this day and age is more important than ever.
Attendee Takeaways:
  • Learn the 5 steps to having a tough conversation.
  • Unpack the iceberg model and why this is important when connecting with others to understand belief systems and values. 
  • Learn how to recognize when to step in and say something before small things become big things.

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: Ian Brewer
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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In this interactive and engaging 40-minute breakout session, First West Credit Union leaders Brian Bevilacqua, Director, Communications and Public Relations, 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 Brian 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:
  • Learn the 5 steps to having a tough conversation.
  • Unpack the iceberg model and why this is important when connecting with others to understand belief systems and values. 
  • Learn how to recognize when to step in and say something before small things become big things.

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