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THINK 15 will kick off with industry-focused talks, workshops and roundtables – this year called THINK Inward sessions. In these credit union industry-intensive sessions, attendees will get acquainted with themes for the conference, and find out how these trends can translate directly into action.

We caught up with CO-OP’s Product Marketing Manager and THINK Inward sessions producer Amanda Atcheson to find out what to expect from these sessions – and how to choose the right track for you.

Q: When do the THINK Inward sessions take place?

A: They will take place on Tuesday May 5 from 1:30 – 5:30 PM, following the charity tours and golf tournament happening that morning.

Q: What can attendees expect to get out of the THINK Inward sessions?

A: Where the General Sessions at THINK bring outside ideas into the credit union world, THINK Inward industry sessions are meant to help attendees assess the “situation” in financial services, credit union and payments space. As credit unions head into planning season, the trends and information covered in these sessions will help attendees activate these ideas in the months to come.

Q: How are the THINK Inward sessions broken out?

A: When we did the planning for this, we came up with four decision drivers that we see in financial services today. These four trends show how consumers and members are choosing financial institutions – and what appeals to them, whether it’s social values, or whether your member experience is fast and brilliant, or whether your security chain is strong enough, or whether your card programs are personalized and entice members to keep your card top of wallet. The four tracks for our THINK Inward sessions encapsulate all of that.

Q: What are the four tracks? 

A: The tracks are designed around the four trends and decision drivers we see as critical in financial services today. They are:

  • THINK Social Values: Our culture is increasingly driven by community values. Nowhere in financial services are those values represented more authentically than with credit unions. Host Brandi Stankovic will be talking about how to embrace your social mission together with dynamic speakers, including John Lauck of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals; CO-OP Shared Branching President Sarah Bang; social media experts Uwe Hook and Fabian Geyrhalter; and Eliza Rosenbaum from social innovation platform and THINK Prize collaborator OpenIDEO, who will be leading a design thinking workshop that any fellow marketer will not want to miss.
  • THINK Fast, Brilliant & Connected: This is a trend that didn’t always apply to credit unions. But today, not only is best-in-class technology available to credit unions; it’s already up and running at credit unions large and small. In this track attendees will learn how and why it is important to stay fast, brilliant and connected. Host Ryan Zilker joins Filene’s Andrew Downin, Stephen Bohannon from Alkami Technology, Brian Porter from Diebold, CO-OP’s Vice President of Product Development Lois Hansen, and credit union executives who have had great success in this area.
  • THINK Security: We have learned over time, especially in the past few years, that a connected world is a vulnerable world. Credit unions have the tools and technology to offer unsurpassed security to their members. Even more important, they have the integrity to win their members’ trust. John MacAlister hosts an all-star line-up that includes Mercator’s Vice President of Payments Innovation Tim Sloane, Rachna Ahlawat from Ondot Systems and Brian Bodell from Finivation – along with CO-OP’s own security gurus Michelle Thornton, Director of Product Development, and Caroline Willard, EVP of Markets and Strategy. Attendees will also hear from credit unions who will share their first-hand experiences in implementing some of the newest security- enhancing technologies such as EMV and Apple Pay.
  • THINK Personalization: Credit unions have more than a century of experience delivering personalized service. But in a new digital age, they need to leverage that knowledge with the analytics that make personalization a reality now. Andrew Gates will be hosting a dynamic group of experts in this area, including MasterCard, The Members Group’s Shazia Manus, CO-OP’s Jennifer Kerry, Steven Van Fleet from Augeo, Ron Record from Saylent Technologies, Ondine Irving from Card Analysis Solutions and TRK Advisors’ Tim Kolk.

Q: What if I’m having trouble deciding? Do you recommend track-skipping to get a flavor for each?

A: We want attendees to have the flexibility and the power to choose what they think they can learn the most from. But we do see each track segment building off of the others, and a lot of these sessions end with a panel that will tie everything together. So, in that sense, picking one track and sticking with it is the best way to go.

Q: How should I decide which track is best for me?

A: To help decide which track is best for you, take a look at the descriptions above and think about which of these four areas you can take home the most applicable knowledge for your credit union. Ask yourself, which of these trends applies most to my credit union today?

Q: Where do attendees go to get details?

A: Visit our THINK site and check for the weekly THINK email update. Also be on the lookout for special guest blog posts from the hosts of the THINK Inward sessions in the coming weeks on the THINK Blog. We’ll be posting new information about THINK 15 right up to the conference.