Field Notes: A Blog of the Worldwide Foundation


I-CUDE: A Pathway to Changing the World

Keep Purpose Constant. Trust the Process. Be the Difference.

These inspiring statements (and many others) along with the work that accompanies it keeps those of us who have had the honor of becoming CUDE (Credit Union Development Educators) inspired to go beyond the borders of our communities and our credit unions to change the world, through a specific project that we're passionate in seeing advanced to reach one key outcome: changing member's lives.

The International DE program (I-CUDE) is a special community, a sub-set of the CUDE network who leverage the Cooperative Principles to address one or several member development issues...globally. They commit themselves to international engagement and execution of a specific project outside of their home country. 

The Criteria for I-CUDE

To achieve an I-CUDE designation, individuals must have met the following criteria:

  1. Earn a DE designation from your home DE program.
  2. Complete at least one independent studies project that aligns with the learning objectives of the DE program, and provide no less than 500 words detailing your project.
  3. Earn a second DE designation by completing a DE program outside of your home country.
  4. Attend an in-person credit union education or engagement event outside of your home country.

I-CUDE is essential as a support system to the global credit union movement, to support the work and growth of national associations, credit unions, system partners, and of course, members themselves. What does an I-CUDE project look like? It can be anything that leverages our principles globally, from facilitating a educational program to co-creating a new, national DE program. The key for each I-CUDE candidate is to align the project's goals with their passion for solving specific issues.

Take a look at three recent I-CUDE Project

Karen Miner - CanadaDE

Co-Create & Launch CanadaDE Program

Establish the creation and impact metrics for a DE program platform in Canada, that engages Canadian credit union professionals in the cooperative principles, education and purpose of fostering impact within and outside the Canadian Credit Union movement.

Dr. Troy Hall - US-CUDE

Creating & Facilitating the first Cultural Leadership Exchange (DE TEACH Global)

An effort to facilitate a global dialogue through a mentor-peer relationship, called DE TEACH global that kicked off in 2018 with Konstantin Comeros, Regional Manager at VICTO National Cooperative Federation, who volunteered to prototype the mentor program with Dr. Hall.

This program is a rigorous, six to nine-month leadership development opportunity pairing a young professional (mentee) with a seasoned leader (mentor) from different countries, and focuses on the following three key areas of learning and development:

  1. Leading Self
  2. Leading Others & Organization
  3. Leading Beyond the Organization

Antonia Joseph - CaribDE

Implementing the Annual St. Lucia CaribDE Forum

From 2015 to 2018, Antonia has focused on establishing and growing the St. Lucia forum, the purpose of which is to bring all St. Lucia DE's together annual to celebrate success, share project experiences, re-commit to the International Cooperative Principles and to learn from the State Regulator in St. Lucia about impending financial regulation.

The Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions is continually committed in partnership with the National Credit Union Foundation and the DE program in creating awareness to all about this unique opportunity and shining a spotlight on those that have gone the extra mile with an intent on making global change.Consider becoming a I-CUDE today!

For more information on the I-CUDE program and the process on how to become a I-CUDE, visit:

Mike Reuter is the Executive Director of the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, the 501c3 charitable nonprofit that supports the World Council of Credit Unions in its mission of providing financial inclusion to millions worldwide by offering tools and engagement experiences to credit unions looking to do “Global Good” through the credit union movement. Connect with Mike at

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— Paul Marsh, TCU President and CEO

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- Kevin Ryan, Financial Center First Credit Union's President & CEO

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Three Ways to Recharge Your Cooperative Spirit at WCUC Bahamas

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Breaking the Barrier: Part 2

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Breaking the Barrier: Part 1

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How the Global Women's Leadership Network Scholarship Changed My Life

The adage is true. You don’t know what you don’t know. Having worked my way up through several credit unions over the last 20 years, I felt I had a strong grasp on the credit union movement.  However, like many others in the credit union industry, my perspective was limited by my exposure. While I attended conferences here and there across the state and regularly participated in local opportunities, there was a whole credit union world out there that I knew nothing about.

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is a mantra for those who strive to leave the world a better place than the one they were born into. No individual ever affected worldwide change without starting close to home.

Partnership Drives Peach State FCU

Peach State Federal Credit Union partnered with the Polish credit union system in 1996, beginning one of the most significant partnerships in our credit union’s history. Our initial credit union partnership agreement ended after 14 years and we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Polish partnership in 2011 by entering into a new credit union partnership agreement with SKOK St. Brother Albert, located in Szczytno, Poland. Through the 22-year Polish partnership many unique friendships have been developed. We found the international partnership so beneficial that in 2016 we entered into a relationship with National Health Service Credit Union in Glasgow, Scotland, a participant in the Association of British Credit Unions, Ltd. (ABCUL).

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The Road to 2025...

In 2014 one of the most common requests that we heard from members was for assistance in increasing membership growth and, in particular, growth of young adult members. In 2014, World Council launched Vision 2020. We took stock of membership levels as of then and projected what an increased membership growth could achieve. World Council launched several exchanges, publications and showcases of best practices in membership growth and in attracting young adults. Country members took on the challenge of membership growth as their own and applied their resources and their talent to the vision.

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