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  • Monday, September 03, 2018
  • Accelerate Alaska Draws on Experts from Industry, Government, and Innovation

ACEP’s Amanda Byrd and George Roe attended the first Accelerate Alaska conference in Anchorage last week.

The conference attracted entrepreneurs, private industry and specialists in the areas of innovation, resource development, blue economy (generated from ocean resources), food systems, energy education, entrepreneurship and tourism.

Roe chaired the energy sessions, which inspired through TED-style talks. Presenters included accomplished energy engineer Tony SlatonBarker, energy-efficient house pioneer Tom Marsik and economic development program manager Tyler Kornelis.

A panel discussed the future direction Alaska and Alaskans could take to increase the economy through innovation.
Panelists included: Brad Reeve, a pioneer in wind energy projects; Gloria O’Neill, Cook Inlet Tribal Council president and CEO, and developer of the Inupiat-inspired, award-winning video game “Never Alone”; and state Sen. Mia Costello of Anchorage, who secured a legislative resolution naming 2019 the Year of Innovation in Alaska.

The conference also featured many other incredible sessions. During a gubernatorial candidate “hot seat,” Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich fielded questions about strengthening the Alaska economy through innovation, Alaska Permanent Fund management, education and even gender equality in the government.

Tom Marsik compares homes to leaking buckets during his TED-style talk at Accelerate Alaska. Photo by Amanda Byrd/ACEP.