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Filene Research Institute Seeks CU Innovators for i3 Program
Thursday, May 18, 2017 6:40 AM

Applications accepted through May 31, 2017

The Filene Research Institute seeks applicants from the United States and Canada to participate in its i3 innovation program, an intensive 24-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. Interested applicants can apply at through May 31, 2017.

“Filene i3’ers drive innovation and create solutions that improve the ways credit unions bring financial services to our communities,” explained Ryan Foss, managing director of innovation at Filene. “The participants gain new skills and bring a renewed energy and enthusiasm to their credit union as a result of their experience in i3.”

With more than 200 innovative concepts under its belt, Filene i3 has helped save consumers millions of dollars, brought new efficiency to credit unions, and even changed a few laws. Stellar i3 ideas are taken to i4, Filene’s platform for further prototyping and validating high potential i3 concepts. The concepts brought to the i4 stage are ideas that show the most promise for scalable and lasting impact. Bank on Family, an unconventional solution to peer-to-peer lending, is currently being tested in the i4 incubator.

“The i3 experience, among many other things, leaves a person forever inspired by the possibilities for innovation and growth, commented David Snodgrass a former i3’er and CEO of Lake Trust Credit Union. “That is tremendously valuable to our organization as we try to transform ourselves so as to be relevant now and in the future. Everything is difficult to the unwilling… in our i3’ers we not only have a willingness to innovate and change, we have a hunger to do so.”

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. Once accepted, participants can expect a dynamic combination of lively virtual discussions, collaborative fieldwork, and self-study.

As part of the application process, 40 applicants will be selected to participate in Filene i3 “try-outs” where they will be paired with an i3 alumnus and assigned a challenge. The teams will be taught a portion of The Filene Method and asked to develop and pitch an innovative solution to the challenge. Try-outs take place over the course of six weeks and are conducted virtually. Approximately 15 top performers will be welcomed to the 2017 Filene i3 class. Filene will announce the selected participants this fall.

Interested applicants can apply at through May 31, 2017.

About Filene: Filene Research Institute is U.S.-based 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 more than 25 years ago, Filene is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Nearly 2,000 members make the nonprofit’s research, innovation and impact programs possible. For more information, visit and @fileneresearch