Alfred Watkins

Alfred Watkins has more than 28 years of experience working in the field of science, technology and innovation capacity building for sustainable economic development.  In May 2016, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed him to the Governing Council of the Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries. That organization is expected to be formally established by the UN General Assembly this September or October. Alfred Watkins is Chairman of the Global Solutions Summit (GSS).  GSS 2016 will convene on December 13-14, 2016 at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The theme of GSS 2016 is “Daunting Challenges and Dazzling Opportunities: Scaleable Technology Deployment for Sustainable Development.”   The Summit is based on the belief that financing the large scale deployment of proven technology is the best way to help developing countries in Africa and elsewhere achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, generate wealth and high-quality jobs in emerging markets, and serve as a new engine of global growth.  GSS 2016 builds on the widely-acclaimed inaugural Global Solutions Summit which convened in April 2014 at the US Department of State’s George C. Marshall Conference Center.  The Inaugural Summit showcased innovative pilot projects, business models and financing mechanisms for transferring clean energy, clean drinking water, food processing, and low cost high quality health care technology to emerging markets.  The Summit also showcased innovative financial instruments and mechanisms that could enable pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, institutional investors, high net worth individuals, and, via crowd funding platforms, smaller investors from the Diaspora and local stakeholders to finance commercially viable energy, water, health, and food processing projects in emerging markets. Prior to founding the Global Solutions Summit, he worked for more than 23 years in various positions at the World Bank and served for more than six years as the World Bank’s Science and Technology Program Coordinator and head of the World Bank’s Science, Technology and Innovation Global Expert Team.  He has extensive on-the-ground experience leading science, technology, and innovation capacity building programs and projects in Africa, Asia, and various countries in the Former Soviet Union.  He organized two World Bank Global Forums on Science, Technology and Innovation Capacity Building for Sustainable Development (one in 2007 and another in 2009).  He is the author  of Building Science, Technology and Innovation Capacity in Rwanda: Developing Practical Solutions to Practical Problems, (with Anubha Verma) and Science, Technology and Innovation Capacity Building for Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction (with Michael Ehst), as well as numerous other World Bank publications and reports.