Global Solutions Summit
CEO and Founder
Alfred Watkins is Founder and Chairman of the Global Solutions Summit (GSS) which promotes the large-scale deployment of financially sustainable, disruptive technological solutions to implement the SDGs in emerging markets. Previous Summits have convened at the US Department of State (2014), the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas (2016), and UN Headquarters in New York City (2018 and 2019). In 2021, the Nobel Foundation invited the GSS to host a panel entitled "From Results in the Lab to Results on the Ground" in connection with the 2021 Nobel Prize Summit, "Our Planet Our Future."
In March 2017, UN Secretary General António Guterres appointed him to a three-year term on the Governing Council of the Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). In January 2020, the Secretary General reappointed him to a second three-year term. The main objective of the Technology Bank, which the UN General Assembly formally established in December 2016, is to help the Least Developed Countries identify and deploy technology to foster inclusive, sustainable growth and achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
He has also served as a consultant to WIPO where he organized a 2020 program on Technology Scouting and Deployment for the Asia Pacific Bureau, to UNCTAD where he prepared Background Discussion Papers – on Technology Deployment for the SDGs and Frontier Technologies for the SDGs – in conjunction with for UNCTADs Technology Innovation Report 2021, to the African Development Bank, the World Bank, and various private clients and NGOs.
Prior to founding the Global Solutions Summit, he worked for more than 23 years 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 Rwanda, Ghana, Vietnam, Malaysia, and various countries in the Former Soviet Union including Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Latvia.
Before joining the World Bank, he also served as a legislative assistant/staff economist in the US Congress and was an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin