New international ambassadors for Bristol
THE two new international ambassadors tasked with promoting Bristol around the world have been revealed.
Dr Mena Fombo, founder and director of Black Girl Convention and Silas Adekunle, co-founder and CEO of Reach Robotics, were voted in by the city’s International Strategy Board. They met with Mayor Marvin Rees in November to discuss their new roles promoting Bristol as a global city in 2020.
The duo will aim to strengthen existing connections and develop new opportunities to partner with cities across the globe that face similar challenges to Bristol.
Silas Adekunle is a technology entrepreneur known for creating the world's first intelligent gaming robot. He earned a first class degree BSc (Hons) in Robotics and an honorary Doctorate from the University of the West of England. He was named as Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe in both the Technology and Entrepreneurship categories in 2018 and Forbes 30 Under 30 Africa in 2019 and is currently building a company that enables robotics across Africa and other developing AI Engines for Service Robots.
Dr Mena Fombo has both a BA (Hons) and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the West of England as well as a BSc from the University of Bath. She is also TEDx alumni and business consultant across all areas relating to young people, the cultural/tech sector, inclusion and intersectional diversity.
Silas and Mena will follow in the footsteps of last year's selected international ambassadors: Carolyn Hassan, Founder and Director of Knowle West Media Centre, Ivor Anderson, aka DJ Bunjy, and Chris Sanigar, Bristol boxing legend.
The new ambassadors will use up to date information and materials about city activities and the priorities for international collaboration to promote Bristol around the world, as well as raise awareness of the diverse and vibrant aspects of the city. The role is unpaid, and the ambassadors will give their own time as part of their existing international links through work and travel.
The International Strategy board is composed of representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors from across Bristol, including the University of Bristol, the University of the West of England, Business West and also Destination Bristol.
Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees, who also sits on the board, said: “Mena and Silas were chosen for their outstanding achievements. They are both brilliant speakers and have great global connections, so are perfect to promote our international goals.
“It’s also great to see two young, black ambassadors representing Bristol - as we are a city that is proud of our diversity and our goal is to work together to make Bristol a fairer, healthier and safer city where everyone is included.’’
To find out more about Bristol’s Global City strategy, visit: www.bristol.gov.uk/policies-plans-strategies/bristol-global-city