Between two Water Coolers.

I recently sat down with Matthew Hawkins for the weirdest interview I’ve ever done.

Between Two Coolers: William Azaroff from Tim McAlpine on Vimeo.

Every year I go to the CU Water Cooler Symposium, and every year it is hands-down the best event I go to. And every year people say to me that they were so sorry to miss the Symposium, and that they’ll definitely go next year. Well people, 2015 is your year! Come to Kansas City in October for a great event.

If you have a few extra dollars in your professional development budget that you need to allocate before the end of the year, check out the CU Water Cooler Symposium Credit Union Multi Pack.

It’s a special price for credit union employees and board members interested in attending next year’s Symposium in Kansas City on October 1 and 2, 2015. If you buy two or more tickets at the same time, the price is just $249 each. Check out the Symposium page and snap up the deal before it’s too late.

The CU Water Cooler Symposium agenda is out.

CU Water Cooler Symposium

The 2014 Credit Union Water Cooler Symposium

Anyone who follows my blog is very, very likely to know how much I love the Credit Union Water Cooler Symposium. It is a somewhat inexplicable combo-conference focusing on the Credit Union-ness of topics such as Marketing, HR, technology, design, and other opportunities and challenges we all face. I love it because it defies convention, and is loaded with brilliant people and an endlessly surprising agenda. I love it because, like my work, it isn’t pigeon-holed into any one focus.

It’s one of those things where the sum is far greater than the parts.

The 2014 Symposium agenda came out this weekend, and I’m so honoured to be a speaker again this year. My talk is called Sawdust, Empty Bottles and Moustaches: A Retelling of the Co-operative Story and I’m working on it now, telling the genesis story of the co-operative movement and linking it to today’s surge of the collaborative economy, and drawing on my very early experience on the Board of Modo. We’ll see how it all comes together, but I’m having a great time putting it together and thinking through the narrative.

So, think seriously about joining us in Austin, Texas this September 11th and 12th for what will promise to be an amazing time. The Super Earlybird discount ends on March 31st, and you can get in for only $329 (and if you’re a credit union employee, you’re eligible for an additional $100 discount).

My guest speaker at CU Water Cooler Symposium.

CU Water Cooler SymposiumThree years ago I attended what was then known as the Partnership Symposium (here’s a video of my presentation). It was an outstanding conference on issues affecting credit unions, held at the innovative and welcoming FORUM Credit Union in Fishers, Indiana. For those of us at credit unions who were early adopters of social media, it was a wonderful opportunity for us to meet up in person, sometimes for the first time.

Last year, I was disappointed that I didn’t get to go, (two years ago it was cancelled due to the weak economic climate), but in partnership with the CU Water Cooler, it was renamed the CU Water Cooler Symposium, and each editor of the Water Cooler chose a speaker to present at the Symposium. I chose my colleague in Strategy at Vancity, Bill Corbett, who spoke about how Vancity embraces the co-operative model.

This year’s event is September 29th and 30th, again at FORUM in Fishers, Indiana. I am so pleased to announce my speaker for this year’s event: David Gouthro, President of The Consulting Edge. I have been working with David for a few months now, and know his work with credit unions in Canada as a facilitator and leadership development consultant. I chose David for his good humour, unique perspective, deep experience, commitment to the co-operative model and his facilitation skills.

Listen to the episode of the CU Chat Up radio show with David and me.

Here’s what I hope will come of the session: I go to conferences, meet some amazing people, learn some great stuff, but often am left wondering how I can bring new perspectives to my job once I’m back sitting at my desk. David will be facilitating a 90-minute wrap up at the end of the first day of the CU Water Cooler Symposium amongst all presenters and attendees, to discuss what we’ve learned and how to bring it back to our organizations and keep it active. Should be an amazing session.

I’ll also be speaking to Vancity’s five-year journey engaging members and the community via social media – the same topic I’m speaking to at this year’s World Credit Union Conference.

So, plan on coming to the CU Water Cooler Symposium this year. It’s September 29th and 30th in Fishers, Indiana. It promises to be a great event, and I hope to see you there.