ICYMI: In case you missed it

In Case You Missed It (Vol 18)

Get out your Buzzword Bingo cards! This week we’ve got “green”, “FinEd”, “pizza”, “crypto”, “carbon”, “Lego”, “Pride”, and, uh, “glue”. Here’s what we’ve noticed, in case you missed it:

Considering Green Loans? The time could be now

Reuters recently reported the President will announce new executive actions to increase the production of solar panels and other technology to harness renewable energy sources. This should reinvigorate the solar industry in particular, which slowed significantly due to a tariff probe back in March. With clean energy tech flowing again, why not advertise a whole bunch of green loans? Let your members take full advantage of that Summer sun.

Why are we so bad at teaching financial literacy?

People with low levels of financial literacy were five times more likely to be unable to cover one month of living expenses, while those who received a financial education are much less likely to face financial difficulties later in life. But only 22.7% of US high school students get that education. Maybe that’s because only 8 states make it mandatory. How does your state hold up? The good news is there there are now 49 bills pending in 20 states, and 4 have recently been signed into law.

Does it really matter which position your oven rack is in?

Take it from America’s Test Kitchen, the location of your oven rack — top, middle, bottom — changes how your food gets cooked. It’s all about where the heat strikes your food. So follow the basics, and bake better. Besides, nobody likes soggy pizza crust.

Some rules of the road for CUs interested in crypto?

There’s some extremely heavy reading here on NAFCU’s compliance blog regarding NCUA’s recent Letter to Credit Unions about Distributed Ledger Technologies. I won’t pretend to break it down for you, but overall it outlines a very high-level, very measured regulatory approach for CUs interested in offering services related to or using “distributed ledger” tech. Remember, the underlying technology isn’t just for cryptocurrency; it has some very interesting potential applications. There’s also a huge potential tangle of risks you’ll need to be ready for, and ready to discuss with your examiners.

Hey, what about the environment and cryptocurrencies?

And speaking of crypto, one of the biggest problems with cryptocurrencies in general is the environmental impact of using vast amounts of electricity for mining crypto, especially since most electricity is still generated using fossil fuels. (Fraud is the other big problem.) Many countries and states are moving to limit mining to reduce the load on their electrical grids and the carbon impact of producing intangible magic wizard internet money. It’s worth thinking about this and about your values as you ponder your CU’s involvement with cryptocurrency.

Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ in 2,316 Legos

Now you can create an iconic masterpiece in 3D, without picking up a brush! Lego’s new set uses different-colored bricks to emulate Van Gogh’s signature brush strokes, and 3D elements to help the moon, stars, and swirling cloud stand out. It even includes a mini Van Gogh figure, complete with brush, palette, and an even smaller Starry Night on an easel. Truman Cheng, a 25-year-old PhD student from Hong Kong, entered his design through the Lego Ideas platform, which has turned out unique sets such as the Parthenon and Bilbo’s hobbit house to Hungry Hippo and Wreck-it Ralph. (So if you don’t see me in the office over the next few weeks, you’ll know where to find me…)

NCUA Chair encourages CUs to keep working to serve the needs of underserved LGBTQ+ people

During NCUA Chair Todd M. Harper’s keynote at CU Pride, he shared his personal story and struggles, and called on CUs to keep working on and expanding financial inclusion. “Please keep going,” Harper said. “Please keep identifying the ways credit unions can better serve the financial needs of the LGBTQ+ community.” Inspiring stuff!

Hey, speaking of radical inclusion, take a look at Diverge Proposed Credit Union, and consider pitching in!

Be Glue

I loved this detailed analysis of the value, methods, skills, and results of “being glue“, the stuff that helps make a project stick together and make progress. It’s framed within the context of software engineers and a software project, but there are VERY important lessons here for anyone involved in any complex project requiring a mix of technical skills. It’s a wonderful way to look at what leadership really is and what leaders really do.

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