RECAP: 2021 Vegas Perspective Addresses the Region’s Next Evolution

Speakers Dr. Bo Bernhard, Erica Orange, and Jeremy Aguero discussed the future of Southern Nevada

LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA), in partnership with the Perspective Council, hosted its 41st annual Perspective event on Friday, August 13th. This year’s event took place in-person at the M Resort and virtually via Hublio Virtual Event Platform.

This year’s theme centered on “Our Next Evolution: Advancing from Resilient to Unstoppable.” LVGEA President and CEO, Jonas Peterson, highlighted the need to move forward together as a community to move Southern Nevada beyond recovery. Speakers included UNLV Vice President of Economic Development, Dr. Bo Bernhard, The Future Hunters Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Erica Orange, and Applied Analysis Principal Analyst, Jeremy Aguero. The three speakers delivered presentations on industry disruption, workforce shifts, and innovation.

UNLV Vice President of Economic Development, Dr. Bo Bernhard, took the stage to discuss the scientific achievements and breakthroughs in education taking place at UNLV. The university serves an important role in diversifying the Southern Nevada region, Bernhard stated. UNLV’s “innovation supercycle” focuses on building strong, lasting relationships between students and the university. In particular, Bernhard highlighted the Black Fire Innovation Hub located in the Harry Reid Research and Technology Park. Bernhard stated that the innovation hub is like no university environment ever seen before. “What we are building out there on roughly 100 acres is an innovation ecosystem built to last, built to be a calvary, built to help innovate our way out of this particular historical moment,” said Bernhard. UNLV’s Black Fire Innovation Hub already hosts 73 companies worth more than 1.134 trillion dollars.

Erica Orange, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Future Hunters, discussed important trends that will impact the future of Southern Nevada. Orange emphasized that as our world continues to evolve, we as a community must adapt and innovate quickly. She described this phenomenon using the term “templosion” which she described as the rapid compression of time. “The biggest of events are happening in shorter and shorter periods of time,” said Orange. As our world changes rapidly, she stressed that we as a community must be in a phase of constant reinvention. Orange also discussed how to create a future-ready workforce including intergenerational learning, rethinking feedback structures, and uprooting traditional industrial-based organizational culture.

Principal Analyst at Applied Analysis, Jeremy Aguero, delved into data on the Southern Nevada market and where the economy is heading. Las Vegas was hit harder than any other city in the U.S from the pandemic, however, Aguero noted that nearly 108,000 regional jobs have already been created this year. Although the region has demonstrated itself to be resilient and resourceful, Aguero stressed the importance of being prepared for the next crisis. “Resilience is not a replacement for preparation. It’s not a replacement for investment,” said Aguero. The federal stimulus money has helped our economy recover, but eventually, the dollars will run out and create a challenge for the region stated Aguero. Another challenge Southern Nevada is experiencing is an influx of residents and companies looking to relocate to the region, but a strain of industrial space to match the demand. “New residents are coming,” said Aguero. “We are either going to be prepared for them or we are going to be dealing with the ramifications of growth outstripping the capacity that we have in the community.”

Learn more about the event and view the speakers’ presentation slides at vegasperspective.com.

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