Once a year the World Council of Credit Unions holds a world conference
This year’s conference was held in Glasgow Scotland. I was fortunate to be able to attend using my professional development fund.
I believe there has never been a better time to be part of a purpose driven organization like a credit union or a financial cooperative. The opening ceremony demonstrated this with a show of solidarity for Ukraine’s credit unions.
The conference’s opening ceremony included a virtual address by the Nation Bank of Ukraine’s deputy governor, Sergiy Nikolaychuk, who detailed the blow Russia’s war has dealt to the Ukrainian credit unions.
Credit unions from around the world have been supporting the Ukraine credit unions through the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions’ (WFCU) Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund,
At the time of the conference the WFCU had raised 1.7 million for the Ukrainian credit union displacement fund. Both democracy and credit unions are new to Ukraine, with most Ukrainian credit unions less than 30 years old. Ukrainian credit unions are playing a very important role in the financial lives of their members and will have an even bigger role in the future as the country rebuilds.
The World Council credit union conference is a big event
1600 participants from more than 50 countries, 44 world class speakers and many leading industry suppliers were showcased.
I was surprised how many of these faces I recognized. My involvement in the Canadian and global credit union movement now totals nine years that includes two boards and many committees. With the last two years of meetings held virtually and the move to more international webinars I have increased my contact list. But for value and deeper relationships, face to face meetings cannot be beat.
A long list of topics for Professional Development
The long list of topics the speakers covered included, cyber and information security, regulator environment, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, youth engagement, financial inclusion using digital connections, open banking, and many governance topics. There were also programs for personal development, including exploring implicit biases and team performance and a focus on empathy in leadership.
Mountain top of inspiration
But a big part of attending a conference of this scale is the opportunity to meet new people, exchange ideas, gain new insights and explore the world of purpose driven cooperative financial organizations. And then to bring some of this knowledge home to our community and our credit union.
One of my colleagues described the conference as being on a mountain top of inspiration. And for me this experience was very inspirational. As for Scottish mountain tops, I did climb Ben Lomond, a mountain overlooking Loch Lomond, before attending the conference.
World Council of Credit Union conference 2023 Vancouver
In 2023 Vancouver will be hosting the World Council of Credit Union conference. Canada and British Columbia have a very progressive, strong credit union position. It will be nice to showcase this to the global credit union movement.
Credit Unions provide credit union board directors with a professional development fund to encourage professional development. Professional development, or ProD is encouraged and can be individualized for directors interests and skills.
By accumulating ProD funds a director is able to attend conferences and courses to further their education and to strengthen the knowledge and experience around the board table.
I believe professional development for directors has increased in importance in recent years because of the rapid changes to the financial services industry as we experience a digital transformation of this industry.
My Profession Development
I have been fortunate to have served on two different credit union boards at the same time. I accumulated and used all of my ProD funds available and was in some circumstance provided with additional funds because of my interest in different topics. On this page you can find a detailed explanation of the training I have participated in.