BarCampBankBC2 was a local, reflective event.

BarCampBankBC2BarCampBankBC2 took place today. Tim McAlpine, Gene Blishen and I decided to make it a lower key, locally-focused event, given the economic times. It took place in the Vancity board room, and about 25 people from FIs and FI-related organizations took part in the conversations. The conversations focused a lot on co-operation, and, as often happens at BarCampBanks, the participants were mostly from the credit union world.

We talked about co-operation amongst co-operatives, about innovating new products, about channel strategy, about pulling together our members’ data to help them understand their finances more easily.

As I reflect, I think the main theme that emerged was the implicit or explicit barriers that are in place in our various organizations that hinder innovation, agility and sometimes even common sense. In some ways it was a ‘grass is always greener’ conversation where smaller organizations envy the resources bigger organizations have, and larger organizations envy the agility and lack of silos in smaller organizations.

It was a pleasure to discuss the issues of the day with some Twitter friends, including @eddron, @wendyholm, @dcesarini, @currencyTim, @pennyminder and @ebrett. Almost all of whom were at BarCampBankBC last year. So, I think we’re safe to say we’ll do it again next year. Perhaps same place and same weekend…

The wifi was spotty, and the conversations were involved, so there wasn’t a lot of Tweeting, but the Twitter tag was #bcbbc2, if you want to see the commentary.

On a personal level, BarCampBankBC2 marks the end of one of the busiest periods in recent memory for me. Starting with buying our house, going to Bologna, moving, launching the League of Kickass Business People in Vancouver, Ivan starting Kindergarten, finishing a major business case to revamp our intranet and bring enterprise 2.0 to our organization, writing an online service experience strategy, driving Vancity’s co-op week activities, plus some critical business issues at work and, oh yeah, my day job. Summers are usually a little slower, but this one was jam packed, almost all with outstanding items, but slightly more than my plate could hold. It’s one of those times where I’m excited about all the different things I’m involved with, but I’ve still been looking forward to having some of them behind me and not in front of me.

So there it goes.

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.