Planning for the Swoboda Credit Union Conference on 11th November is coming on apace. The focus of the event is the cost-of-living crisis generated by high inflation – an immediate and real issue for many credit union members and communities in Britain and Ireland. This follows hard on the heels of the social and economic damage from COVID-19, which credit unions on the whole navigated exceptionally well (see Swoboda reports on GB here and Ireland here), but left its mark with reduced surpluses and many balance sheets skewed disadvantageously towards savings. So we are really pleased to include for the conference a session that will both help credit unions address the current challenges while also enabling them to think systematically and successfully about how to build strength against adverse events in the future.
The speaker for this keynote session is Miranda V. Flury, President of Hawkeye Strategies in Canada, with a mission to “help to turn Co-operative Directors and Executives’ light bulbs on”. Miranda is a sought-out international public speaker, engaging audiences on the topics of governance and strategy, most recently in the UK at the 2022 WOCCU gathering in Glasgow in July this year. Miranda has held director roles on co-op, regulatory and private boards and is currently a board director of Federated Co-operatives, one of the largest and most complicated co-ops in Canada.
Miranda will be speaking to us about strategic resilience for our credit unions. Resilience is not simply about surviving the next crisis, it is about emerging stronger from it. In the context of systems thinking, Credit Union resilience will arise from four dimensions: Financial Resilience, Internal Resilience, Brand Resilience and System Resilience. It is fostered both through strategy setting and embedded in day-to-day activities. A Credit Union’s deeper understanding and application of the three dimensions of resilience will help to create and protect value for its Members, Communities, and the Credit Union System. Miranda brings about an energy that will surely keep you awake after lunch!