Less than a week until BarCampBankBC2.

We still lots more room at BarCampBankBC2. I know that there will be people from most of the major credit unions and FIs in the region, plus some visitors from Alberta, Washington State and Oregon. Should be a good time.

If you know anyone who works in financial services and is interested in a freeform, innovative forum to learn, share and discuss, please spread the word.

See ya there!

Tim McAlpine’s 30 things.

My friend Tim has decided to create an advent calendar in September for credit unions.

Every day he is publishing one thing for credit union leaders to ponder or implement. Here’s how he puts it:

Since September has 30 days, I am going to present 30 things that I would implement or consider implementing at my credit union if I was a credit union leader.

I have been remiss in commenting much on his blog lately, but this series has brought me back. So many good ideas, so much good dialogue amongst his commenters.

What is striking to me is the diversity of information he presents. Here’s a sample:

You can see all his different posts here.

Thanks Tim!

And it’s worth pointing out that Tim is one my partners in crime in planning BarCampBankBC2. Join in the conversation by coming down to join us.

Come to TransportCamp on October 30th.

My friend Jeremy Osborn invited me to an interesting event called TransportCamp: A Sustainable Transportation Unconference.

Here’s how it is described on the website:

TransportCamp is an unconference, created for exploring the following theme:

How can transportation be a catalyst for building more vibrant communities in the Lower Mainland?

I love this BarCamp model applied to areas in need of collaborative thinking. I’m signing up.

Here are the details:
Where: BCIT Campus Downtown, 2nd Floor 555 Seymour Street Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6B 3H6
When: October 30th, 8:30AM – 4:00PM
Why: To network, generate ideas, and organize around sustainable transportation!
Cost: $25.00

Here’s where you register. See you there.

BarCampBankBC2 is coming in September.


I was thinking about whether or not we’d want to do another BarCampBankBC this year.

What’s a BarCampBank?

The aim of BarCampBank is to foster innovations and the creation of new business models in the world of banking and finance.

Budgets are tight, and the industry is in a very different place from when we were organizing the event last year. So I reached out to Tim McAlpine and Gene Blishen, my partners in crime from last year, to discuss.

We wondered if a smaller, scaled-back event, with a more local flavour might be a nice idea. No sponsors, no fancy meals, just a place to brainstorm about banking innovation and some amazing people to do the brainstorming.

I am very excited to announce that BarCampBankBC2 is on! It’ll take place on Saturday, September 26th from 9am to 5pm at Vancity’s Head Office. I especially want people at local banks and credit unions to attend and join the conversation.


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We’re charging $10 (CDN) to cover a pizza lunch and to ensure people will actually show up if they say they will. You can register for the event now.

If you’re coming, please add your name to the wiki.

ChangeCamp coming to Vancouver?

ChangeCampLast year I was one of the co-organizers of BarCampBankBC, an un-conference devoted to innovation in the financial services industry. BarCampBank has occurred several times around the world, and, as one of the attendees Morriss Partee recently blogged, each one takes on a local element. Morriss said that BarCampBankBC specifically “had a worthy-cause and social media flavor”.

After BarCampBankBC was over, Jeremy Osborn, a friend and sometimes commenter on this blog, mentioned to me that he would like to see the same un-conference, collaborative style applied to topics of sustainability and social change. Sounded like a very good and extremely worthwhile endevour.

I am lucky to work at a financial institution focused on these issues. Not many FIs aim at this space, but it exactly the intersection of where the money is and the changes we need to make in our society that makes Vancity such an amazing anomaly.

In a questionnaire, I recently (and somewhat inarticulately) told one of my favourite conferences, Net.Finance, in answer to their question “In a volatile economy like we have today, what does it really mean to be innovative?”:

As FIs in today’s economy the greatest innovations we can achieve are those that bring us closer to our customers. Anything that helps us better understand their needs and help them understand and manage their finances so as many people as possible can get through this period with their assets intact. Those are the innovations our customers will remember us for, how we treated them when everything was down. That’s how we build loyalty for the long term.

Recently, I found out that a BarCamp devoted to social change may, in fact, be happening.

In Toronto, people are planning something called ChangeCamp. This is how the organizers describe it:

ChangeCamp is a free participatory web-enabled face-to-face event that brings together citizens, technologists, designers, academics, policy wonks, political players, change-makers and government employees to answer one question:
How do we re-imagine government and citizenship in the age of participation?

Very intriguing. If you live in Toronto, check it out.

And now I learn that there is a spinoff group of ChangeCamp starting right here in Vancouver, calling their event VanChangeCamp. I’m paying close attention. Looks like it is currently being aimed to happen on March 28th, 2009.

I’ll post more as I learn more, but it should be an event worth watching…