Jason Latimer Rocks ‘REACH’ Attendees with Science, Magic, and Wonder

Keynote speaker Jason Latimer during the opening general session at REACH 2018.
Keynote speaker Jason Latimer during the opening general session at REACH 2018.

Keynote speaker Jason Latimer opened the first general session of REACH 2018 in Hollywood, CA with magic, science, and a refreshing perspective of the concept of “wonder—to have an idea before an outcome.” He was there with one goal—“to re-inspire wonder,” he said. “Because that’s what changes the game. We want to inspire the question that could change everything.”

Latimer rocked attendees of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ annual convention on Wednesday night in the Dolby Theater near the Loews Hotel. In the game of ideas, we often rule out ideas with the illusion of knowledge, he said. “But how do we know some things can’t happen?”

One by one, volunteers were picked from the audience to help Latimer with an array of humor and “magic tricks” that jolted attendees into a sense of awe. In one instance, he “shaped” water from a bowl of water into a sphere and had an audience member hold the bubble. “Over the horizon, that’s where the next cure or technology is,” Latimer said. “I’ll remind you what it’s like to wonder. Illusion or not? Trick or real? This idea, this ‘trick,’ didn’t exist anywhere in the world until somebody in the world wondered if it could.”

He added: “We enter search questions, we get an answer on the Internet, and we move on. No one questions it or challenges it. Where is wonder in the age of information? We need to see through the illusion of knowledge to gain real information. It’s the facts we gave ourselves that constitute our in-the-box ideas versus out-of-the-box ideas. In the game of knowledge, we’ve been pretty good about being wrong.”

Latimer emphasized that if credit union leaders work together to “inspire wonder,” we just may find the right question that changes everything. The curator of “Impossible Science” at the Fleet Science Center and world champion of magic shared how he combined his degrees in the fields of economics and mathematics with curiosity as an academic tool in science, technology, engineering, physics, perceptual psychology—and a little magic to unleash the potential in others. By combining science with the wonder of magic, he said, it can inspire one to be curious and discover that boundaries are simply limited by the next right question that lies “within yourself.”

Latimer has dedicated his life to changing education with wonder and discovering the next great innovations and innovators through his work.

Special Guests at REACH
As the annual REACH conference increasingly draws attendees from across the nation every year, the Leagues formally observe the following credit union system individuals who have taken time out of their schedule to attend and engage:

  • American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) Executive Director Brad Miller
  • California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) Commissioner Jan Lynn Owen and Deputy Commissioner Caitlin Sanford
  • Filene Research Institute Executive Director Mark Meyer
  • Minnesota Credit Union Network President and CEO Mark Cummings
  • National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) President and CEO Lucy Ito
  • National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman J. Mark McWatters; Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor Sarah Vega; and Director of Region V Cherie Freed
  • Inclusiv (formerly National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (NFCDC) President and CEO Cathie Mahon
  • Past California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President and current SchoolsFirst FCU CEO Bill Cheney
  • World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) President and CEO Brian Branch and Executive Director Mike Reuter
  • Past Leo H. Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award Winners Dr. James Likens (Western CUNA Management School), Teresa Freeborn, CEO of Xceed Financial CU, Judy McCartney, retired CEO (Orange County’s CU); Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, retired CEO (Travis CU), and Henry Wirz, retired CEO (SAFE CU)

Want a "recap" of REACH 2018? Visit the "REACH Onsite Live" news page! Also check out the REACH Social Wall—a round-up of social media posts. Or see Twitter (@CUatREACH). This year’s REACH 2018 conference—hosted by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues from Nov. 6 – 9—was held at the Loews Hotel near Hollywood & Highland (in Hollywood, CA), a world-class entertainment destination. The annual REACH conference is a premier event drawing 700 – 800 credit union leaders and system partners from across the United States.

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