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Youth inclusion in credit unions is a global challenge

Postado no dia: 24 de maio de 2019
Youth inclusion in credit unions is a global challenge

Representatives of ten countries attended the II Summit of Young Committees in Curitiba

A world without barriers, without prejudice, without divide. This is what the people who attended the II Summit of Young Committees from Sicredi, on May 21 and 22, in Curitiba, dream about. Representatives of ten countries attended the summit, promoting a thorough debate over the challenges credit unions face worldwide in the process of youth inclusion.

During the summit’s opening, Sicredi’s chairman, Manfred Dasenbrockm, and the executive director of Central Sicredi PR/SP/RJ, Maroan Tohmé, highlighted the importance of including youngsters in the decision-making processes of cooperatives, known for encouraging social inclusion and a democratic management style. “Cooperativism is an instrument for peace. A movement involves all. We are supportive and try not to let anyone fall behind. That’s what makes us better, more compassionate people,” they said.

Increasing the participation of youngsters in credit unions is a global challenge under the aegis of WOCCU – World Council of Credit Unions. In order to reach this goal, the organization encourages credit unions worldwide through the Steering Committee of Wycup (World Council Young Credit Union Professionals).

Steve Stapp, WOCCU’s chairman, spoke about this work during the summit’s opening. He introduced the main challenges and the inclusion and diversity projects promoted by credit unions worldwide, in countries like Haiti, Ukraine and Kenya. “There are major barriers to overcome, some are local and others are global. However, several opportunities arise amidst the challenge of climate change, of the inclusion of youngsters and women – which we make possible through our global networks – and of technology changes,” he highlighted.

In his opinion, “the contribution depends only on our conscience and on our willingness to plead the cause of the needy, show our weakness and accept help from the others, share without looking for recognition, do our best and let our hard work contribute for a successful outcome. Finally, on our willingness to understand that such control can only be taken through shared responsibility.”

After that, Paul Treinen spoke about the young cooperative members’ development program – World Young Credit Union People (WYCUP). Nowadays, 671 youngsters from 39 countries take part in WYCUP’s initiatives. Representatives from Angola, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the United States, Syria and the Vatican were present at Sicredi’s Summit, partly showing its wide reach.

Gisele Gomes, member of Wycup’s Steering Committee, introduced how the young credit union members can participate in the WYCUP, presenting cases from previous years. “We have great ability to change the world. We only need to take the first step,” she said.

During the Summit’s first day, in the afternoon, Niki Sharma, the attorney and director of Vancity Credit Union, a credit union located in Vancouver, Canada, talked about the importance of broadening the perspective on diversity in the cooperatives. “We really have to broaden our perspective and include different people in the management of our businesses. We’ll only make the world a better place with we stop labelling people. Labels are for products,” she warned.

Enrique Palmeyro, psychopedagogist and teology professor, also talked about equality while presenting the project “Scholas Occurrentes dei Vaticano”, from which he is the global director. The project, conceived by Pope Francis, highlights the importance of an integrated perspective on sports and arts in education. He presented inspiring examples to the participants of the Youth Summit.

On the second day, there were debates within the “15×15” panel discussions, which had the participation of youngsters who play important roles in topics related to leadership and diversity: Myria Tokmaji, from Syria; Fabiana Saad, businesswoman and author of the book Mulheres Positivas, and the artist and activist Kenni Rogers, among others.

Lucas Foster, founder of ProjectHub, delivered the summit’s final speech, about creative leadership. He recalled that the most competitive nations tell the world what to do. “We have to become more creative in order to follow in the footsteps of Switzerland, the United States, Singapore, Israel, and others. The professionals are more resilient, resourceful and innovative there. We are lagging behind when it comes to this. Our only advantage when it comes to measuring competitiveness is the size of our market. As for the other aspects, we’re lagging behind,” he said.

Foster pointed out ways for Brazil’s progress. “We have to encourage collaboration, research and development, and, mainly, investment in order to be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.” According to Foster, Sicredi’s initiative to carry out the Youth Summit is extremely important, since it encourages new leaders to be key players in these necessary changes. “After all, if you have access and network, you’ll never fly solo,” he concluded.


About Sicredi

Sicredi is a credit union committed to the development of its members and to the progress of the places where it is present. Sicredi’s management style encourages the participation of its more than 4 million members, who play a leadership role in the business. Sicredi is present in 22 Brazilian states* and in the Federal District, with more than 1,700 branches and more than 300 financial products and services (

*Acre, Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraíba, Paraná, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondônia, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Sergipe and Tocantins.

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