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ECCB 40th Anniversary Lecture Series - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Edition of the ECCB’s 40th Anniversary Lecture Series: Education and Training. Skills for the 21st Century – Yellow and Green Economies

The lecture will be streamed live on the ECCB Facebook Page and YouTube Channel, ECCB Connects. Click on the image above to access the live stream.

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s highly acclaimed Lecture Series in celebration of its 40th Anniversary moves to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday, 21 July, 2023, starting 6:00p.m. at the Beachcombers Hotel Conference Room.  Due to limited space at the venue, members of the public are encouraged to join virtually via the ECCB Connects Facebook Page or YouTube Channel.  The lecture will be held on the heels of the 105th Meeting of the ECCB Monetary Council, which is taking place in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Colourful Economy is the theme of the 40th Anniversary Lecture Series, which will culminate with the ECCB@40 Global Conference being held in collaboration with the Central Banking Autumn Meetings at the ECCB Headquarters in St. Kitts from 8-10 November, 2023. 


Athalie Caine-Soleyn is the daughter of two esteemed educators in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. As such, she often feels that her professional path was fated from birth. For almost two decades, Athalie Caine-Soleyn has been an English educator at the secondary level, and she is presently the Deputy Headmistress in Administrative Control at the St. Vincent Girls’ High School.

Athalie Caine-Soleyn holds an undergraduate degree with honours in Psychology with Literatures in English from the University of the West Indies, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education with merit and a Master’s of the Arts degree with merit in Education, both from the University of Nottingham. She also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Instructional Design with distinction from the University of the West Indies Open Campus and recently submitted her doctoral thesis in partial fulfilment of her Doctoral degree in Education from the same University.

Athalie Caine-Soleyn is a published author, a devoted mother of two and a self-proclaimed rom-com enthusiast. She believes that education can facilitate the mediation of many social ills and her favourite quote is one from Benjamin Franklin that states, "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." 

Aria is currently a local disaster and climate risk management consultant and a lecturer in Green Engineering at the SVG Community College – Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies. In various capacities Aria has worked and researched in the fields of climate and disaster risk financing, disaster preparedness and response and environmental management for over five (5) years, with an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford and a BSc with Majors in Environmental Natural Resource Management and Geography (first-class honours) from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine.

Mrs. Laidlow-Ferdinand has also been involved in various local and regional initiatives and organisations. She currently sits on the Caribbean Movement Led Approach Advisory Committee for feminist activism and climate justice, a member of the GEF SGP UNDP National Steering Committee for St Vincent and the Grenadines and a CIWIL SVG chapter member.

Dr Andrew Simmons is an environmental academic and activist from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. He is from the Enhams Community and was originally trained in Education. He holds a Master’s of Science degree in Community Economic Development, Southern University of New Hampshire, USA (1989), a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, University of Greenwich, UK (2002) and a Post- Graduate Diploma in Human Research, Wake Forest University, USA (2022). In 2019, Dr Simmons earned his Doctoral Degree at De Montfort University, UK. His PhD considered the impacts of climate change on young people and how communities can build resilience to mitigate its effects.

Dr Simmons launched the JEMS Progressive Community Organization in 1978. This environmental movement was formed after residents began to exploit the King's Hill Forest Reserve in response to increasing unemployment in the communities on the southeast of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

In the early nineties, Dr Simmons launched the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN). The CYEN has continued to develop, teaching young people from 16 Caribbean countries to be more vocal advocates for the protection of their island’s environment. Together, Simmons and the CYEN have monitored the changing environment of the Caribbean, which has seen an increase in hurricanes, more intense rainy seasons and the bleaching of coral reefs. CYEN has gone on to hold annual congresses, which have become the largest and most consistent youth environmental conventions in the Caribbean. In 2008, Simmons became the first person to be inducted into the CYEN Hall of Fame.

Dr Simmons has worked with the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Development Programme on numerous development initiatives, encouraging young people around the world to be more environmentally conscious. His major focus is on young people because, in his words, "the future of the earth itself is on the side of the children." In 2016, he hosted a workshop to empower local communities to strengthen their resilience to climate change.

Dr Simmons worked as Head of Mission in Sierra Leone, West Africa, implementing the Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Project (YEEP) from 2018 to 2020. Currently, he is a member of the global Editorial Board of the Journal of Integrative Environment Sciences at Taylor & Francis Group, United Kingdom.

Dr Simmons worked as Director of Community Service in the Ministry of Housing and Community Services, Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (1990-1997). He then moved to London, UK in 1997 where he worked as the Deputy Director of Youth Affairs Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat with responsibility for the development and implementation of its strategic programmes in 53 countries of the Commonwealth.  

Dr Simmons was awarded The Goldman Environmental Prize in 1994. He was also awarded the following global awards and recognition for his work in environmental and sustainable development: a) UN Global 500 Award in 1990, b) Caribbean Conservation Award, Caribbean Conservation Association in 1993 (providing leadership to JEMS), c) His biography was listed in the special publication, Marquis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Millennium Edition, 2000, d) Recognition by UN SIDS for work on the development of small island developing states, 2005. He participated as a member of the party and negotiator at the COP21 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France in December 2015. In 2016, he received recognition from the United Nations for his leadership in fostering climate change adaptation in developing countries.

Dr Simmons is the author of three academic books on Climate Change published by Springer, the largest global publisher of academic books and journals. These books are a) Impacts of Climate Change on Youth in Small Island Communities (2021 edition), b) Climate Change Adaptation and Youth Entrepreneurship in West Africa (2022 edition) and c) Building institutions for resilience: Combating climate change (2023 edition).  

A highly driven and innovative thinker with over twenty years of experience within the ICT sector.

Mr. Knights has spent the last two decades working in the public sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and specifically around telecommunications development, regulation, and policy. Prior to joining the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) as its Director in 2002 he was the Telecommunications Officer in the Ministry of Communications and Works and was deeply involved in the telecommunications liberalization process within the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

His expertise covers a wide range of areas including management, emergency communications, numbering, universal service and access, policy development, digital transformation, and the Internet. Mr. Knights

believes in practical solutions to challenges and has operated within a personal vision of seeing our citizens locally as well as in our sub region being connected consistently to the digital economy no matter race, gender, or income level. He considers the closing of the digital divide, improving digital literacy and inclusion as core pillars in transforming our economies and thereby reaping the benefits that comes with digital transformation.

The team he leads at the NTRC is known for its high productivity, quality, and innovative programs all within limited financial resources and with a focus of achieving the 7 specific targets of the UN SDG 9 by 2030.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, a master’s degree in Telecommunications and Networking and an MBA in International Business.


Ms. Theresa Daniel holds a MSc in Social and Public Communication from the London School of Economics and Political Science-LSE, a BSc in Mass Communications (Upper Second Class Hons) and a Diploma in Mass Communications from the University of the West Indies.

She has worked in all areas of the media, but extensively in radio and newspaper, and as Senior News Editor in the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), the then only Radio Station in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. She was the first Female Editor of the NEWS Newspaper, and the second Female Newspaper Editor in St. Vincent & The Grenadines. A former Communications Officer at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank/ECSRC, she also worked for the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority-ECTEL, the regulator for electronic communications in five OECS countries.

More recently, she worked as the Communications Advisor for the Ministry of Health and the Environment during the COVID-19 pandemic and as a Communications Consultant for the National Emergency Management Organization NEMO/The World Bank prior to and during the most recent eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano.

Ms. Daniel has used media and communication skills in a variety of sectors, such as disaster management, finance, agriculture, telecommunications, gender issues and health, particularly HIV and AIDS.  She worked as Communications Consultant to the National AIDS Secretariat, Ministry of Health, and spearheaded the HIV Testing promotion campaign which saw over 1,600 Vincentians being tested for HIV over a three-month period.


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ECCB@40 Commemorative Magazine