2018 World Credit Union Conference Kicks Off in Singapore
Over 1,400 attendees from 58 countries meet in fintech hub
July 15, 2018
SINGAPORE — World Council of Credit Unions welcomed over 1,400 people from 58 countries at the Suntec Convention Center in Singapore, on July 15 for the opening ceremonies of the 2018 World Credit Union Conference.
This year’s event, organized for the first time in Singapore, is held in collaboration with the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF). From 15–18 July, participants will hear from world-class speakers, network with industry partners in World Council’s new state-of-the-art Solution Center, hone skills during the new lunch & learn workshops, engage with colleagues from around the globe and learn from more than 50 leading industry experts during keynote and breakout sessions on advocacy, blockchain technology, cybersecurity, diversity and inclusion, fintech, leadership and emerging trends.
Participating countries cheered on the 58 flag bearers during the colorful international flag parade. The audience also enjoyed a cultural tribute to the multicultural city-state with dancers in elaborate costumes featuring Singapore’s ethnic groups – Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian in traditional and modern dance.
World Council Chair Brian McCrory welcomed attendees to the event. McCrory, board member and former president of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) congratulated delegates on what has been collectively achieved to date. “We must be innovators, social entrepreneurs, and skilled business leaders with the ability to run efficient businesses while deeply rooted in the philosophy of the cooperative spirit and a commitment to service,” said McCrory.
“We are passionately aware that each of us both as individuals and as members of World Council, and as a movement, are about so much more than business,” said McCrory. “We exist to provide our members with a not-for-profit service that empowers and enables them and through this activity, we generate sufficient surplus to reward our members, fund our operations and create additional social dividends for our communities.”
He shared his experience through field engagement work in the Busia orphanage in Kenya with World Council, encouraging delegates to immerse themselves in the activities and to maximize the opportunities during WCUC. “As credit union leaders, we collectively commit to the highest standards, to learning, to improving our skillsets, to embracing change, for and on behalf of our members,” said McCrory.
Guest of honor, Senior Minister of State for Defense Mr Heng Chee How welcomed attendees at the opening ceremony at the Suntec Convention Center and stressed the importance of credit cooperatives to continue collaboration as a whole “by embracing technological innovation and digital transformation to effectively compete with other financial institutions and fintech firms to meet the demands of a new generation of members”. Heng, who also serves as Deputy Secretary-General of National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), praised the spirit of the cooperative movement, emphasized the need for innovation in today’s business models and set the scene for the coming days.
During the opening ceremony, World Council presented its Distinguished Service Award (DSA), the industry's top global honor to worthy individuals and organizations who have shown great contributions to further the credit union movement outside of their own countries. This year’s award was presented to Professor Adam Jedlinski, nominated by the National Association of Cooperative Savings and Credit Unions (NACSCU) of Poland, posthumously and accepted by his daughter.
Earlier on Sunday, participants from the previously separate Global Women’s Leadership Network and World Council Young Credit Union Professional (WYCUP) Forum events kicked off the diversity and inclusion conference track dedicated to advancing women and young leaders worldwide during a networking luncheon featuring keynote speaker, Stacie VanDenBerghe, CEO of CU Innovate.
A welcome reception in the new Solution Center followed the opening ceremony where delegates engaged with industry partners. The 2018 World Credit Union Conference concludes 18 July with a closing reception at the Suntec Convention Center.Follow conference activities and daily event photos on Facebook and Twitter with #WCUC2018.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 68,882 credit unions in 109 countries serve 235 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.