Formerly known as the Innovation Council, MDC’s NextUP program is the credit union industry’s preeminent innovation training and development opportunity, bringing together our owners’ best movers-and-shakers and brightest up-and-comers.

Through our exclusive program, staff from our ownership receive innovation training from futurethink, an industry-leading trainer that has worked with over 6,000 organizations to “make innovation a simple and daily reality,” and project development and strategic growth coaching from Baker Tilly, another industry-leading consultant with which MDC has deep ties.

“We are proud to partner with MDC on its NextUP program. The program is a vital tool in creating the credit union industry’s future leaders, giving them the capabilities they need to reach their own potential and drive the fresh thinking that credit unions need to bring new value to their members. From our work providing innovation training across all industries, we see the tremendous benefit that investing in innovation skills can achieve, and the NextUP program is a strong investment in both the current and future c-suite leaders of MDC’s credit union owners as well as the long-term success and competitiveness of their organizations.” – Lisa Bodell, CEO, futurethink

While participating in NextUP, our owners’ representatives work from July through February, including four days of in-person training and working sessions. During these eight months, participants receive intense innovation training and are guided through developing new, actionable project ideas to propel the credit union industry forward and help our owners compete both today and over the next two decades with the goal of pitching their ideas to MDC ownership at our February owner meetings. Most recently, this group pitched five ideas, including four that became fully fledged MDC projects after a vote to approve them by MDC ownership (Auto Sharing, Chatbots, Member Score, and Total Rewards). Three of these projects are entering pilots, and owners are already working with recommended vendors on the fourth.

“The ideas and research coming from the NextUp Program are completely unlike any other program in the movement. There is no other group that not only develops the initial idea but then spends the following 12 to 18 months bringing it to reality. Ideas, backed by research, partnerships, and execution can change the world.” – Kris Kovacs, CEO, Constellation Digital Partners

The value of this program is tremendous and a win-win for owners. Their staff participate in world-class professional development, bringing back practical innovation techniques to their home credit unions and getting valuable experience developing actionable project ideas for MDC—and participation in this valuable opportunity is already included with MDC ownership, so our credit unions only pay for their participants’ travel and accommodation expenses.

All MDC owners are encouraged to send one participant to our NextUP program each year. Please contact Kent Zimmer if you are interested in knowing more!

Are you a current or former participant of NextUP or MDC’s Innovation Council? Click here to join our LinkedIn Group!