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The Mountain West Innovation Summit kicks off with a keynote address from Gov. Gordon

Governor Gordon speaks to a crowd at the Mountain West Innovation Summit
Caitlin Tan
Wyoming Public Media
Wyoming's Gov. Mark Gordon speaks to a crowd of Mountain West Innovation Summit attendees.

The Mountain West Innovation Summit began on Tuesday, June 21, in Laramie, with around 75 people coming from all over the country to discuss the future of technology, jobs and energy in our region.

A variety of speakers discussed the future of innovation in our region – including topics like nuclear energy and educating the younger generation in STEM fields. Additionally, there was a large focus on impending challenges to our world, like climate change and shifting to renewable resources.

Wyoming’s Governor Mark Gordon was a keynote speaker.

“The thing that we deal with today is how do we find a 24/7 source of dependable energy, for being able to fill in the intermittency of renewables, we know renewables have a place,” Gordon said. “In Wyoming we love this, because if you're going to do anything in energy, it's going to be here in Wyoming.”

As an example, Gordon mentioned Wyoming’s developing wind and nuclear energy as models for the Mountain West. He also pointed to the state’s Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP), which was developed in 2021 to help strengthen the workforce by encouraging the younger generation to stay and work in the Cowboy State.

The goal of the conference is to continue brainstorming similar concepts for the Mountain West. Gordon called upon the audience to find innovative solutions to future world problems.

“How do we incorporate all of this into a way forward? That means people have better jobs, better standards of living, better health care, cleaner sources of energy, and just better place to raise your kids?,” Gordon asked the audience. “So, no pressure here. We're all looking at you to do that.”

The conference continues Wednesday, June 22, with keynote speakers such as Wyoming Senator Cynthis Lummis and former Wyoming Governor David Freudenthal.

Caitlin Tan is the Energy and Natural Resources reporter based in Sublette County, Wyoming. Since graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2017, she’s reported on salmon in Alaska, folkways in Appalachia and helped produce 'All Things Considered' in Washington D.C. She formerly co-hosted the podcast ‘Inside Appalachia.' You can typically find her outside in the mountains with her two dogs.

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