Co Op Unveils Reimagined Co Op Think Prize 15 Centered On Crowd Sourced Solutions



"In its fifth year, we wanted to find a way to generate broader participation in the CO-OP THINK Prize and get a wider variety of people involved - especially the consumers we seek to serve," said Stan Hollen, President/CEO of CO-OP. "We are also endeavoring to change the way people think about problem solving - to show how communities can be mobilized to collaboratively address important challenges." 

CO-OP THINK Prize 15:The Challenge, co-sponsored by MasterCard, is open now. People from all walks of life can participate, including credit union employees, members and the public at-large. The $10,000 prize will be given to individuals who offer the best ideas in response to an open challenge managed by OpenIDEO, a part of IDEO, a global design and innovation company. 

OpenIDEO enables people everywhere to collaborate in developing innovative solutions to pressing social issues. OpenIDEO has hosted about 30 challenges, convening nearly 80,000 participants from more than 200 countries. 

"Ideas are improved through collaboration," said Hollen. "Having the CO-OP THINK Prize 15 run through the OpenIDEO platform allows us to tap into a global community of creative participants who will work on issues important to the movement." 

The issue to be addressed is "How might we use the power of communities to financially empower those who need it most?" 

Participation is taking place at: 

The challenge is proceeding in four phases over the course of nearly three months, according to OpenIDEO's crowd-sourcing format: Research, Ideas, Refinement and Top Ideas. 

Participants may enter into the process anytime, and new ideas can be submitted any time before the end of phase two, April 28. Red letter dates and milestones are: 

  • Phase 1: Underway now and extending through March 31: Research phase enables anyone to share personal perspectives and examples on the challenge topic.
  • Phase 2: April 1-28: The Ideas phase is open, enabling anyone to submit and comment on new ideas.
  • Phase 3: May 5-June 2: A shortlist of participants enter the Refinement phase, with these finalists to be announced at the THINK 15 Conference, being held May 5-8 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Phase 4: June 9: Approximately five Top Ideas are announced, with the $10,000 CO-OP THINK Prize 15 to be shared among the individuals responsible for originating the solutions. 

After June 9, the challenge will remain live for a Phase 5, "Impact," enabling the community to continue collaborating and sharing progress. 

More information about OpenIDEO's challenge process can be found at

Again, participation in the CO-OP THINK Prize 15 can begin immediately at

To register for the THINK 15 Conference, open to credit union employees at $799, please visit

About CO-OP Financial Services
Based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and founded in 1981, CO-OP Financial Services is the nation's largest credit union service organization in terms of number of credit unions, assets and members. The company helps credit unions thrive by providing products and services that make it more convenient for members to do business with them. With a motto of "Be There. Be More," CO-OP's products fall into three business lines, including "Locations," (ATM, shared branching and call center services); "Card Payments" (debit and credit processing) and "Mobile/Virtual" (mobile, online, check imaging, bill pay services). To learn more visit