FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the vision for GSI?
The Global Solutions Institute envisions a better world with adequate resources to sustain a rapidly growing, more affluent global population.
What is GSI’s mission?
To accelerate the deployment of proven, problem-solving technologies in both developed and less developed countries, to address key resource shortages in the areas of energy, water, food, environment, and health care/public safety.
Why is GSI needed?
GSI is the first institute in the world focused specifically on the deployment of problem-solving technologies with the potential to alleviate many of the world’s most pressing problems.
What led to the formation of GSI?
The Global Solutions Institute was conceived in December 2012 at a historic meeting in Little Rock that brought together the Club de Madrid, 106 former presidents and prime ministers from more than 70 countries, and the P80 Group Foundation founded by HRH Prince Charles, which works with the world’s largest pension and sovereign wealth funds. Both groups are keenly focused on the accelerated deployment of technologies that can address growing global resource shortages. At the conclusion of the meeting, these organizations signed the historic Little Rock Accord, which defined the mission of the Global Solutions Institute as the institute where these technologies will be displayed and demonstrated, where those with problems and those with solutions will come together to address the most pressing global issues.
What has been done to implement the Little Rock Accord since it was signed in December of 2012?
Since December of 2012 a LRA Implementation Task Force has been working diligently to help implement the Accord by creating a vast network and system of partners that are existing organizations that understand that if their work is coordinated with others they can each play a larger role in technology deployment to help solve global problems
What makes GSI unique and how does it work?
GSI is the only organization focused specifically on deployment of proven and sustainable technologies that have the capability of helping to alleviate major global problems. There is no other center that tells the story of who is doing what to solve global problems or what successful models for problem solving have been developed. GSI serves as the center or hub of the system and network to facilitate and coordinate the work of many partner organizations that all play a role in global technology deployment. GSI figures out what the different organizations do and how they can fit together in a system. There is no other global organization like GSI which has identified and organized so many existing organizations to support accelerated technology deployment by addressing the key areas of (i) identifying the technologies (ii) supporting various financial tools to help finance technology deployment (iii) developing “sales channels” to help more people learn about the potential solutions and mobilize to help develop the partnerships necessary to deploy the technologies.
How does GSI identify the technologies that have the potential to alleviate world problems?
We have partnerships with many organizations and associations that include technology innovators as their members, such as the Global CleanTech Cluster Association, which has several thousand technology companies organized into more than 50 cleantech clusters around the world. We also have relationships with investment banks and funds that specialize in financially supporting technology companies and therefore can bring the technologies with the most potential to our attention. We also are working with universities, technology parks and trade associations to ensure we learn about to the most cutting-edge, proven technologies available.
How does GSI support these technology companies as they work to scale up?
We work with our partners to identify sales channels, deployment opportunities and financing sources – collaborating with some of the world’s largest non-profit humanitarian organizations, identifying existing funds that can finance technology companies and the deployment of their solutions as well as working to expand existing investment funds and support the creation new funds.
How does GSI test and verify these technologies?
These are already proven technologies that have been deployed with a track record of success. We also work on vetting and certification with at least several “seals of approval” from institutions like Southern Research and the Global Cleantech Cluster Association.
Will GSI’s work go beyond developing countries?
Yes, the same issues of addressing resource shortages and sustainability impact the entire world, and we will work to deploy technologies that address these same concerns in urban environments, island states and the corporate world.
Who are your partners that can help you be successful in deploying problem-solving technologies in all these markets?
Once technologies have proven successful we have several networks that can help. These include (i) NGOs and foundations that are doing humanitarian and economic development work in third-world countries many of which are members of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, a program of the Aspen Institute; (ii) investment funds that provide expansion capital for technology companies; (iii) organizations like the Sustainability Consortium, the Alliance of Small Island States, organizations of cities like ICLEI, c40, NLC; and (iv) other broad networks of associated people and institutions – Fulbright Scholar Alumni, universities and religious organizations.
Why is GSI based in Little Rock?
The capital city of Arkansas was the site for the historic meeting of the Club de Madrid and the P80 group in 2012 that culminated with the signing of the Little Rock Accord. In the years since, the LRA Implementation Task Force has been based in Little Rock and most of the work of the Task Force and related Planning Committee has been carried out in Little Rock. The land for the GSI and related Global Technology Expo for Deployment Demonstration (GTED2) is located along both sides of the Arkansas River and available. The site has been recognized as outstanding by internationally recognized Major Project Planners. Phase A of the development of the GSI/GTED2 facilities is partially completed and will be operational by late 2017. The offices of GSI are already operational.
In December 2016 the Club de Madrid – P80 Little Rock Accord Reunion Proceedings, including a Global Solutions Summit, took place Little Rock involving 180 Delegates from around the world representing many organizations and countries involved in the original LRA Proceedings and many more. The consensus was that Little Rock is the ideal setting for such an Institute and related programs because of excellent facilities, the lack of distractions and the fact that Little Rock also is home to several successful NGOs and Foundations like Heifer International, Winrock International, the Clinton School of Public Service, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and Bridge2Rwanda. Arkansas is also home to several global companies like WalMart, Tyson Foods, JB Hunt, Acxiom and Murphy Oil.
How is the GSI organized and how does it function?
The GSI is operational with a core Organizational Staff, Planning Committee and Founding Board to carry out its work. With additional support, the Board will be expanded and there will be more staff added to staff a central Executive Secretariat that will coordinate and supervise the work of approximately twenty Directorates. Each Directorate will engage in carrying out a specific area of operations. Examples of such Directorates include The Directorate of Technology Identification, Evaluation and Curating, The Directorate of Technology Deployment Financial Institutions and Funds, The Directorate of Programs, Summits and General Events, The Directorate of Foundations and NGO Relations, the Directorate of Fulbright Scholar Network Engagement and Relations, The Directorate of the GTED2 Expo Center and The Directorate of Global Connections, Network Development and Regional/Country Managers. Until the Executive Secretariat and Directorates are fully operational, the GSI will outsource some of the GSI functions as needed.
Why is it important to support GSI?
As an example of the importance of the work of GSI, by accelerating the deployment of a unique cost effective water treatment technology, the lives of millions of people will be saved and many jobs will be created. Another existing technology can essentially convert a diesel generator into a hybrid reducing fuel consumption and emissions by up to 70% which saves enough to pay for the technology deployment in a very short period of time. Many such technologies, which can help provide solutions to many of the world’s problems, are already in existence but need to be deployed at scale.
Many say that if one scoured our planet, one would not find another cause that will do so much for so many for so little because the GSI is helping to create great efficiency by leveraging, multiplying and focusing the great work already being done by dozens of existing organizations around the world.