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Filene Research Institute Seeks Credit Union Innovators for i3 Program

Filene Research Institute seeks the best and brightest minds from the United States and Canada to participate in its i3innovation program, an intensive, twenty-four-month curriculum designed to generate groundbreaking new ideas and position participants to carry the torch for growth and innovation in the credit union market. Credit union employees with a demonstrated track record of creativity and a desire and ability to influence change are encouraged to apply. Applications are being accepted April 15-May 15, 2015 at http://www.filene.org/innovate.

“Filene i3 is a fantastic opportunity for a credit union leader who consistently strives for something greater,” says Andrew Downin, Innovation director at Filene Research Institute. “Through a dynamic combination of lively virtual discussions, collaborative fieldwork, and self-study, the i3experience drives innovation and shapes the lives of people who want to help improve our communities and the ways in which we utilize financial services.”

Candidates must be employed at a credit union in a role other than CEO. Most accepted candidates currently work at the management or executive level and are considered a leader or future leader in the credit union system.

Filene i3 develops an innovation competency for credit unions and the next generation of credit union CEOs. Thirty former i3ers have been promoted to CEO of a credit union or system organization. Since 2003, 195 credit union executives have introduced more than 150 product, service and business model ideas for financial institutions. Ideas developed in Filene i3 have changed state laws, improved millions of financial lives and saved credit unions countless dollars while attracting new members. Past projects include Prize-Linked Savings/Save to Win accounts, Debt in Focus (now SavvyMoney) and Savings Revolution.

“I originally applied for i3 because I wanted to learn from and work alongside some of the most innovative, creative, committed, (and slightly crazy) professionals in the credit union world—mission accomplished!” says Joni Walker, SVP Marketing and Development for Missoula FCU and a former i3er. “My experience with i3 was refreshing, and invigorating. I came away with a new perspective on trying things, failing fast, and finding new solutions to old problems. I encourage anyone who is interested to apply.”

New this year, forty applicants will be selected to participate in Filene i3 “tryouts.” Ten teams consisting of four applicants will be paired with an i3 alumnus and assigned a challenge. The teams will be taught the basics of the Filene Method and be asked to develop and pitch an innovative solution to the challenge. Tryouts take place over the course of six weeks and are conducted virtually.

Sixteen top performers will be welcomed to the 2015 Filene i3 class. Filene will announce the participants in late summer 2015.

About Filene: Filene Research Institute is an independent, consumer finance think and do tank dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of credit unions, retail banking and cooperative finance. Founded over 25 years ago, Filene is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Nearly 1,000 members make the nonprofit’s research, innovation and impact programs possible.