Past Conference

"The 'Next' Economy: A Public Discussion on Jobs and Innovation"

April 5 & 6, 2010 (Noon to Noon)
Best Western Grantree, Bozeman, MT

Registration for this conference is now closed. Please call 406-994-0336 for more information.

Exactly ten years ago, the Wheeler Center at Montana State University hosted a conference on what was then called the “New Economy,” a reference to a new kind and class of jobs appearing in the state which relied largely on technology and telecommunications. The New Economy was a wonderful lens with which to view a future of value-added enterprises, high wage jobs, and "lone eagles" working out of their communities as successfully in Scobey as in San Francisco. Now, a decade later, following a brutal recession, polls have suggested that the number one issue on the minds of Montanans is, once again, the economy, and more specifically, jobs and job creation.  With the collapse of a number of businesses, projected revenue shortfalls, decreasing stimulus funds, and 6% unemployment, how will we rescue our economy in the short and long term?  What is "next" for our economy?

On April 5 & 6, 2010, the Wheeler Center will once again address the state of Montana’s economy at a statewide conference in Bozeman. In collaboration with many friends, partners and sponsors, we’ll explore and debate these questions, with the goal of offering a number of progressive and useful ideas for policymakers and planners across the state and region.

Among the questions and issues:

-  What should our economy look like into the mid-21st century, and how can we achieve that vision? What are the barriers and opportunities?  What is Montana's Economy 3.0?
-  Many options still appear viable: we have innumerable untapped natural resources and many thriving high-tech ventures, to name a few.  What else is “out there”? Are “Green Jobs” an answer?
-  Do we go it alone, or seek regional strategies and partnerships, international alliances and trade?      -  How innovative can we be? Do we build on traditional industries or branch out into new economic spheres? What models should we examine?
-  And, as always, who is responsible for moving Montana forward?  What is the role and responsibility of those in the private sector, industry, government, education, and our communities? What role can you play?

Past Events

Friends of The Center
“In Montana, we understand the importance of working together to do what’s right for our state. The Wheeler Center encourages Montanans to listen and learn from each other so that together we can work toward solutions that help strengthen Montana. I applaud the Wheeler Center for their commitment to preserving these Montana values.”

-- Montana Junior Senator Steve Daines
Need more information? wheelercenter@montana.edu