ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

In case you missed it (v13)

Green loans and the potential harm of AI decisions. Faux holidays and the end of the 40-hour work week. Here are the items that caught our eye, in case you missed it:

Not Just a Nerd Fight

Timnit Gebru is an AI researcher delving into the issue of the harm AI can do to marginalized groups. Google fired her last year for criticizing some of their technology because AI decisions can be very biased, often in unexpected ways. She’s starting an institute to research this issue and the solutions. Here’s a decent summary from the Washington Post. This is an important issue for credit unions, and it’s been a problem for a long time: automated decision-making often only encodes and perpetuates bias.

What you need when you run out of social media content

Shutterstock has compiled a list of 18 totally unnecessary, strangely odd and weird faux holidays for you have fun with. My fave? December 27: No Interruptions Day. Sounds just about right, providing you can get the in-laws to leave the day after Christmas.

Don’t underestimate the power of ‘Green’ loans

In the final days of 2021, the state of South Australia recorded an average of just over 100% of their power needs were met by the state’s solar and wind farms, along with rooftop solar panels. The big news? They kept this up for almost a week. South Australia has recorded this level of renewable energy output before, but never for so long.

No one can say this is just an Australia thing, either. We already know the US could be running on 90% renewable energy by 2035. So maybe your credit union should be offering more ‘green’ loans (electric cars, electric bikes, home charging stations, solar panels, insulation, etc.) to help move us that direction?

The CU de novo movement gaining steam

Here at iDiz Inc, we’re incredibly proud to be involved in the movement to make it easier to charter new credit unions. We need long-term growth and diversity to ensure credit unions have a future. This CUbroadcast interview with Denise Wymore and Dan Marquez is a great overview of the problem and the solutions in progress.

To learn more and get involved, visit the Credit Union De Novo Collective’s new website. Watch for exciting new de novo developments in 2022 and beyond!

2021 wasn’t all bad

We could all use a reprieve after the last couple of years. So here are just a few of the 192 good things that happened in 2021:

  • The total number of incarcerated people in the U.S. fell by 13% between 2010 and 2020.
  • 41 women topped the new Fortune 500 list, more than at any other time in the list’s six decades.
  • 80% of Napa Valley winemakers are using owls to control their rodent populations.
  • Washington D.C. is offering free canoe rides with a catch: paddlers have to recycle some river trash. 
  • Over 540 libraries across the U.S. have eliminated fines for overdue items.
  • Incarcerated men in CA are training dogs in a program that has placed 680+ rescued pooches into homes.
  • Keep reading…

Failure to plan is planning to fail

The opening sentence of this article on succession planning from financial leadership, data, and transformation guru Rich Jones is striking:

“It was noted recently that the cause of most of the 117 mergers the credit union movement has experienced in 2021, most were the result of a missing Succession Plan.”

This article on CUtoday gives more details and specifics on six mergers and the lack of succession planning.

Holy wow. Yikes. That’s really concerning to anyone passionate about the long-term future and growth of the credit union movement. We need to do a better job of nurturing leaders.

No more 40+ hour work weeks?

I have COVID to thank for a shift in my thinking about working hours. After months of working from home both full-time and part-time, I’ve realized just how much work I can get done when I focus within shorter time slots. And I’m not alone. Some companies like Unilever and Kickstarter have started piloting 4-day work week programs. One tech company CEO has instituted Flexible Fridays, with no meetings, no expectation to answer messages or emails, sot that employees can focus on their work and get things done (or do anything else they want). One writer, after getting brain fog from COVID, found out they could get just as much done in 5 hour days than 8 hour days. While I’m not so sure about the 25 hour week, it does make me wonder if more companies will get there?

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