Business leaders from Wyoming gathered at the University of Wyoming from November 13 to 15 to discuss the future of the state’s economy and how to improve their own businesses. The event included several panels, including one on emerging technologies and the first ever economic forecast.
During the emerging technologies panel, AI was a main topic of discussion. Ed Seidel, president of UW, expressed his desire to push AI research at UW and encouraged Wyoming to take AI seriously. Petroleum Engineering Professor Dr. Mohammad Piri agreed and discussed how AI could be used for poor space exploration, predicting where oil is stored so it can be extracted.
The first ever economic forecast was also a highlight of the event, with elected leaders and legislators discussing topics related to Wyoming’s economy. Dr. Anne Alexander, assistant dean of UW College of Business, started off the panel with an overview of the state’s economy. She noted that inflation is beginning to moderate and that Wyoming’s population is expected to increase in the near future. However, she also pointed out some systemic problems facing the state, such as unaffordable housing, challenges in accessing childcare for workers, and low college-going numbers in certain areas. Despite these challenges, she felt that agriculture, hospitality, construction, natural resources mining and financial services were all doing well in Wyoming’s economy.
Another main topic covered at the event was addressing Wyoming’s housing crisis. The panel garnered a variety of responses from attendees. Megan Degenfelder suggested that government intervention should not be involved in resolving this issue but rather we need to reduce regulations on housing development. Secretary of State Chuck Gray emphasized the importance of focusing on infrastructure needs before tackling housing issues head-on. Senate President Ogden Driskill and Speaker of House Albert Sommers both felt that government intervention was necessary in order to address this problem effectively.
The next Wyoming Business Alliance event will be held on February 24th 2024 during Legislative Reception