Cultural and societal trends are converging with Credit Union values. From the importance of community to the spirit of individualism, today’s consumer aligns with credit unions more than ever before.

So—will 2015 be your year? CO-OP Financial Services’ THINK team believes it might.

“We wanted to get across the idea that, if you’re a credit union, this is your time,” says CO-OP’s Chief Marketing Officer Samantha Paxson. “Credit unions are perfectly positioned to offer consumers exactly what they want now – in a way that no one else can.”

What’s the Trend?

How have credit unions become newly trendy?

Trend watchers point to a new convergence of technology and humanist values. Simply put, consumers want to do business with organizations that promote a positive social mission, but they also demand access to technology that empowers, connects and personalizes their experience. Instead of drawing a distinction between technology and humanity, new thinking challenges us to bring these forces together into a unified, delightful whole.

Admittedly, there may be a bit of a leap needed in order for credit unions to embody this ideal. Yet, the basic values, structure and tools needed to get there are already in place. Developing the vision and understanding required to “seize the now” is the agenda for THINK 15. If past THINK conferences are any indicator, that agenda will be action-packed.

A Big Bang of Inspiration

Since its introduction in 2008, THINK has taken an unconventional approach to thought leadership for the credit union movement. Each year THINK attempts to answer a simple question: What do credit unions need to know to exceed their own expectations in the year to come?

The results, however, are anything but simple. By bringing big thinkers from outside the movement together with forward-thinking leaders from within the movement, THINK acts as a kind of Big Bang of inspiration for credit union executives. The process can be ever so slightly uncomfortable – old models are challenged, outdated ideas are exposed and new insights are presented and questioned.

Everybody learns something. And just about always, what people learn at THINK is unlike anything they learn anywhere else. By bringing together different points of view, THINK produces ideas and experiences that are uniquely “THINK.”

Ready to “Seize the Now?”

Among the questions to be asked and addressed at THINK 15: Are credit unions ready to “Seize the Now?” It’s a complicated question that will likely spark some interesting debate at the conference itself.