Two international ambassadors have been recruited to help promote Bristol to potential visitors, partners and investors around the world.
Dr Mena Fombo and Silas Adekunle have been voted into the unpaid roles by the city’s International Strategy Board, and met Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees last week to discuss their new roles.
The duo will be charged with promoting Bristol as a global city during 2020, and will be expected to help strengthen existing connections and build new partnerships with cities across the globe which face similar challenges to Bristol.
Mr Adekunle is a technology entrepreneur known for creating the world’s first intelligent gaming robot. He holds a first-class robotics degree from the University of the West of England, and 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.
He is currently CEO of Reach Robotics, which he co-founded, and is building a company that enables robotics across Africa and another developing AI engines for service robots.
Dr Fombo is the founder and Director of Black Girl Convention. She holds an honorary doctorate from the University of the West of England, and a BSc from the University of Bath.
She is TEDx alumni and business consultant across all areas relating to young people, the cultural/tech sector, inclusion and intersectional diversity.
The new ambassadors will help to raise awareness of the diverse and vibrant aspects of Bristol life, which they will do by giving their own time alongside their own international work.
Mayor Marvin Rees 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.’’
Dr Fombo and Mr Adekunle will join a board which includes representatives of the public, private and voluntary sectors from across the city, including the University of Bristol, University of the West of England, Business West and Destination Bristol.
Its aims include strengthening the city’s economy, growing its cultural vibrancy, and ensuring Bristol is a national lead on shared global values such as inclusivity, sustainability and resilience.