From November 13 to 15, business leaders from Wyoming gathered to discuss the future of the state’s economy and how to improve their own businesses.
Many panels were held at the event, including one on emerging technologies and the first ever economic forecast.
During the emerging technologies panel, the main topic discussed was AI and how Wyoming can use it to progress our future in producing energy. Ed Seidel, president of the University of Wyoming (UW), explained his desire to push AI research at UW. Seidel wants Wyoming to take AI seriously. Petroleum Engineering Professor Dr. Mohammad Piri agreed and discussed how AI could be used for Ppore space exploitation, predicting where oil is stored so we can extract it.
The first ever economic forecast was also part of the event. Elected leaders and legislators discussed topics related to the state of the economy in Wyoming. Dr. Anne Alexander, assistant dean of the UW College of Business, started off the panel with a brief overview of the state’s economy.
She said inflation is beginning to moderate and the state’s population is expected to increase. Some systemic problems she brought up included unaffordable housing, challenges in accessing childcare for workers and low college-going numbers. However, she feels that the state of agriculture, hospitality and construction is good. She said natural resources, mining and financial services have a mixed forecast and are complex issues.
Another main topic covered was the housing crisis in the state and how to resolve it. It garnered a variety of responses. Megan Degenfelder, state superintendent of public instruction, believes the government should not be involved in the process and we need to reduce regulations. Secretary of State Chuck Gray said we needed to focus on infrastructure needs first. Senate President Ogden Driskill and Speaker of the House Albert Sommers said the government needed to step in and help figure out the problem at hand.
The next Wyoming Business Alliance event will be the 2024 Legislative Reception, to be held on Feb. 24, 2024.