Elodie Read (BSc 2016): Combatting climate change through tech

Elodie Read (BSc 2016), Programme Lead at Subak

After graduating from Bristol with a first class honours degree in Philosophy and Politics, Elodie Read has advocated for her passions all over the globe. She has worked on gender equality and refugee rights programmes with NGOs in the UK, Spain, Indonesia and Kenya. Now, she is channeling her energy into tackling climate change by working as the Programme Lead for Subak – the world’s first accelerator for climate nonprofits.

Co-founded by fellow Bristol alumnus, Gi Fernando MBE (BEng 1992) and Baroness Bryony Worthington, Subak was launched this summer. It connects like-minded environmental non-profits, helping them to share data and collaborate in order to address the climate emergency. Elodie is responsible for running Subak’s Accelerator Programme and is the main point of contact for the organisations it supports. Here she recalls some of her favourite Bristol memories and gives her advice on starting a career in sustainability.

(more…)

Subak Co-Founder, Gi Fernando MBE (BEng 1992): “Data is a source of truth and numbers don’t lie”

Subak Co-Founder, Gi Fernando MBE (BEng 1992)

After the extreme weather events of this summer and the stark warnings of the recent IPCC report, the climate crisis feels more pressing than ever before. But could data be the key to us living in greater harmony with our planet? Bristol alumnus and serial entrepreneur Gi Fernando (BEng 1992) certainly thinks so.

This summer, Gi and Co-Founder Baroness Bryony Worthington launched Subak, the world’s first global non-profit tech accelerator dedicated to combatting the climate emergency. Subak acts like a business school by helping to speed the growth of climate focussed tech start-ups; the organisations that Subak supports share data and collaborate in the fight against climate change.

As well as being a social impact entrepreneur, Gi is also an engineer, investor and a father-of-three. He was awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to the digital economy and has also been named as one of the UK’s top 100 Asian stars in tech. We caught up with him to hear about his newest venture, and to learn more about how data could save the world.

(more…)

First cohort of Black Bristol Scholars begin their studies

One of the inaugural Black Bristol Scholars, David Afikuyomi

Forty Black Bristol Scholars will start their studies this month, as the University’s newest scholarship programme gets underway.

The University’s Black Bristol Scholarship Programme was launched to address the under-representation of Black students at Bristol and will see scores of students given bursaries, postgraduate funding and targeted careers support.

One of the inaugural scholars, David Afikuyomi, who will be studying for an MRes in Economics, said: “I was lost for words when I received the scholarship. This is one of the best things that has happened to me and I’m incredibly grateful.

“The University of Bristol has always supported me since I finished my undergraduate degree six years ago.

“Ultimately, this funding helps my dream to complete a PhD in economics. As one of the first people to receive this scholarship, I hope that I can set an example for others with a similar background to pursue their research aspirations.”

Funding for the first four years of the Programme – totalling more than £1million – comes from the University of Bristol’s generous community of alumni and friends.

(more…)

Meet our marathon runners [Part 2]

This October, a brilliant group of Bristol alumni and students will be donning their running shoes and taking on the 2021 London Marathon in support of the University’s Healthy Minds programme.

This programme helps students who are experiencing mental health difficulties by providing them with a bespoke physical activity plan and access to sports facilities. Students are paired up with a mentor – a member of the University fitness team with advanced mental health training – who coaches them throughout their time on the programme.

We caught up with four of our runners to find out how their training is going and why they’re running in support of student mental health.

(more…)

Meet our marathon runners [Part 1]

This October, an incredible group of Bristol alumni and students are taking on the 2021 London Marathon in support of the University’s Healthy Minds programme.

This programme helps students who are experiencing mental health difficulties by providing them with a bespoke physical activity plan and access to sports facilities. Students are paired up with a mentor – a member of the University fitness team with advanced mental health training – who coaches them throughout their time on the programme.

We spoke to three of the University of Bristol runners taking part this year to find out what inspired them to raise money for Healthy Minds and how their training is going so far.

(more…)

Journalist, Ateh Jewel (BA 2000): “You do not bend yourself to the world. The world must bend to you.”

Vogue, Glamour, the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Telegraph – you’d be hard pressed to name a media outlet that Ateh Jewel (BA 2000) hasn’t written for. Ateh is best known as a beauty journalist, but during her incredible 20-year career she has also written about politics, culture, wellbeing and everything in between. She has used her platform to kickstart difficult discussions around institutional racism and to act as a diversity advocate.

This year, she launched the Dr Ateh Jewel Education Foundation, which aims to help generations of Black and mixed-Black heritage students enter and thrive in higher education. We caught up with Ateh to learn more about her time at Bristol, her career highlights and the advice she gives to her young twin daughters.

(more…)

Bristol alumna, Dr Melanie Etti, receives Harvard University Fulbright Award

Alumna, Dr Melanie Etti (BSc 2010, MBChB 2013), has received The Fulbright Nursten Award in Medical Studies, one of the most well-regarded scholarship programmes in the world.

Melanie was selected from a strong applicant pool to complete a Master of Public Health at Harvard University with a focus on global health. Her interest in health and disease developed during her time as junior doctor and while studying Pathology and Microbiology at the University of Bristol.

(more…)

Bristol alumni launch friend-finder app to help tackle loneliness

Two University of Bristol alumni have launched a friend-finding app called fethr. The app, which aims to tackle loneliness, links up like-minded individuals by analysing their personality, values, interests, and friendship preferences.

Bristol Geography graduate, Julian Issa (MSci 2014), former Maths and Philosophy student, Miguel Bravo (BSc 2013) and their flatmate, Gerardo Rodriguez, came up with the idea for fethr during the first UK lockdown. The trio were discussing loneliness and realised that they had felt isolated long before the pandemic struck.

As a business analyst, Julian had lived in 10 cities in just two years, which made it difficult to form friendships. After carrying out further research, he discovered that 45% of adults in England felt lonely at least some of the time.

“Meaningful human connection shouldn’t be such a difficult thing to find in the 21st century and that is why we started fethr,” said Julian.

(more…)

Bristol alumni recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Photo by Hailey Wagner on Unsplash

This year, a whole host of Bristol alumni have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for their extraordinary contributions to society. Among them are NHS heroes, leading academics and community champions. Read on to see if you can spot any former classmates in the list of Bristol alumni who have been given a honour this year.

(more…)

From politics to the power of love: in conversation with Lord Boateng

Bristol alumnus, Lord Boateng (LLB 1973, Hon LLD 2007) has made history multiple times during his ground-breaking political career. In 1987 he became one of the first Black MPs to be elected in the UK and went on to become the UK’s first Black cabinet minister in 2002.

While at the University, Paul Boateng was a committee member of the Students’ Law Club and a member of the Council of the Students’ Union. After graduating with a degree in Law in 1973, Paul qualified and completed his articles in London. He later returned to Bristol to represent defendants in the St Paul’s uprising of 1980 and thereafter continued to practice in courts in Bristol, London, Liverpool and the Midlands right up until 1997.

In April, Lord Boateng joined us in conversation to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the University’s Be More Empowered for Success programme – which exists to ensure that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students thrive at Bristol. In this event, he shared his wisdom, looked back on his time as a student and gave us some invaluable life advice. Here are some of our favourite Lord Boateng quotes from the event – from politics to the power of love.

(more…)