submitted by Anna Gohmann

Next Wednesday, Administrator Shah will convene an innovative and first-of-its kind hi-level conference that will focus on the role that science and technology can have in development and specifically on our projects here at USAID. The conference, entitled Transforming Development through Science, Technology and Innovation and co-hosted with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the President’s Science Advisor, Dr. John Holdren, will bring together a small group of some of the nation’s pre-eminent thought leaders to launch a new era for science and technology at USAID.

While we wish we could bring everyone interested in this topic to the conference, we would like to extend you an invitation to send your thoughts on how we can best deploy cutting-edge advancements and use them to increase our efficiency, effectiveness, and success rate. That’s why we’ve created an innovative Ideascale, where you can submit your ideas and vote on the highest priority challenges in development until 12 midnight this Thursday night. Just visit and let your voice be heard. We’ll incorporate the feedback we get on Ideascale into our discussion topics and conclusions.

We’re particularly interested in your thoughts on the following key sectors on which we’ll be focusing at the conference:

• Food Security
• Global Health
• Environment
• Disaster Risk and Recovery
• Energy and Infrastructure
• Multi-sectoral challenges
As you help inform and guide the discussion at the conference, here are some questions to think about:
• What is the biggest *solvable* problem that can be tackled within the next 10 years?
• Of these solvable problems, what can be readily deployed? What can be scaled? What is “affordable”? What could be transformative?
Your experience and participation in this project is invaluable – please contribute by 12 midnight this Thursday night at