Bristol in 2020 is changing fast. While creativity and innovation flourish across sectors, our city is also working to bridge divides, build a sustainable and inclusive future, and find a fitting way to come to terms with its slave trade history.
But just who are the people with the power and influence to shape the city? Bristol24/7 has put together a list of 50 movers and shakers set to make their mark in 2020.
In alphabetical order:
The chairman and majority shareholder of Churngold Construction Holdings Ltd, Ancell is also the current master of the Society of Merchant Venturers, an affluent, influential and secretive Bristol society dating back centuries.
Appointed managing director of the proposed YTL Arena to be built in the Brabazon Hangers on the former Filton airfield, Billingham is tasked with overseeing the development of a “world class venue”.
The co-organiser of Trans Pride South West, an annual event with a national profile, Blackwell is a campaigner for LGBTQ+ rights.
Sir Simon Bollom
The CEO of defence equipment and support at the Ministry of Defence in Filton Abbey Wood, Bollom is responsible for delivering £10 billion worth of equipment and support to the UK’s armed forces.
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A corporate partner at national law firm Bevan Brittan LLP, Burgess is also co-owner of Lakota and helped turn it into an internationally renowned venue. She sits on a number of boards, including the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and St Paul’s Carnival CIC.
The CEO of Semantrica Ltd and TISCreport, Chakrabarti led the creation of the world’s largest open data platform, which works to tackle slavery in supply chains. She is also board member of Home Office Transparency in Supply Chains Modern Slavery Strategy & Implementation Group and has developed an afforestation app, VANA.
A musician, singer and songwriter, Carter was nominated for four Grammies in 2019 and has recently been profiled in the New York Times.
The CEO of Imperial Brands, the giant tobacco factory with its global HQ in Bedminster, Cooper announced she will be stepping down once a replacement has been found. She has held the position for nine years and led the FTSE 100 company through turbulent times.
One of Bristol’s two deputy mayors, Craig is also cabinet member for communities, equalities and public health. She has also pioneered projects, including the Stepping Up programme, providing leadership training opportunities for underrepresented groups.
The youngest Briton to be awarded an honorary doctorate, Craig is a nature lover and campaigner who founded Black2Nature, to engage underrepresented groups in nature, and has hosted national conferences for leading wildlife organisations to tackle the lack of diversity in the sector.
As head of tourism for Destination Bristol, Davis heads the strategic development of the visitor economy in Bristol and works on a global scale to develop the region as a premier leisure and business tourism destination.
The co-founder of Unit DX, a science and deep tech incubator set for expansion, Destecroix also co-founded Ziylo, a company sold to a pharmaceutical giant in a multi-million deal, and went on to found Carbometrics.
The chief executive of Business West and Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative, Durie sits on a number of influential boards in the region, including the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Reverend Vivienne Faull
Appointed as the 57th Bishop of Bristol in 2018, Faull oversees the 71 Church of England Schools that come under the Diocese of Bristol as part of her role. She is also a member of the House of Lords.
The founder of Black Girl Convention and co-founder of Blak Wave TV production company, Fombo also heads up Eight, Knowle West Media Centre’s creative agency, and was named an international ambassador for Bristol in 2019.
The site director of the Bottle Yard Studios, Francombe is also on the board of The Production Guild of Great Britain, the UK’s most prestigious membership organisation for film and TV production management professionals.
The south west director of Arts Council England, Gibby is responsible for the allocation of funds to organisations across the region.
Appointed CEO of Opus Talent Solutions in 2017, Golding became the youngest female CEO of a $100 million company in the UK.
Dave Harvey and Tom Paine
As co-founders of Team Love, the duo are the driving force behind some of Bristol’s biggest festivals and events, including Love Saves the Day, the Downs Festival and the return Eat Drink Bristol Fashion in May 2020.
A poet and activist, Hoo is the creator of CARGO, a new immersive multi-media experience that offers an alternative narrative to the story of the transatlantic slave trade, which is due to be installed on College Green in spring 2020.
The director of Black South West Network, Jirde takes a leading role on citywide discussions around inclusive growth and was responsible for setting up a business network for black, Asian and minority ethnic professionals.
Co-founder of FTSE 100 company Hargreaves Lansdown, Lansdown is also the founder of Bristol Sport, which his son Jon manages, and a majority shareholder of Bristol Bears, Bristol Flyers and Bristol City FC.
Barra Mac Ruairí
Formerly Bristol City Council’s strategic director for place, Mac Ruairí was in charge of the arena project before resigning to become the new divisional director of design and development at YTL UK Development, owners of the Brabazon Hangars. He has now been appointed by the University of Bristol to oversee the management and development of buildings and grounds, including the new Temple Quarter campus.
The CEO and founder of Plimsoll Productions, Mansfield is a board member and governor of UWE Bristol. He played a role in the successful bid to Channel 4, which has recently opened a new creative hub in Bristol.
With operational responsibility for the BBC’s services in the South West and West, Steph Marshall is responsible for a huge amount of output across a multitude of channels. She was previously editor of Points West and also worked on BBC Breakfast.
Appointed executive director of St Paul’s Carnival CIC in 2019, McAllister-Jones is also a change management consultant and coaches other leaders as an action learning facilitator. She sits on the boards of United Communities and Bristol Festivals.
A writer, journalist and social commentator, Mendoza is also the founder and editor-in-chief of The Canary, an independent, national left-wing website.
The founder of Marble Films and a former BBC documentaries executive, Mirzoeff has been appointed factual commissioning editor and head of Channel 4’s new Bristol creative hub.
Employed through recruitment firm Penna, Molton was Bristol City Council’s highest-paid executive director and oversaw the controversial decision over the future of Temple Island. A successor has been appointed but he remains in place at the council indefinitely.
The co-founder and CEO of Gapsquare, Nanu is a leading expert on gender pay gap analysis. She joined world leaders in Davos in January 2020 to talk about gender equality.
A celebrated playwright, theatre director and poet, Odimba was appointed chair of Theatre Bristol, an organisation that champions arts and culture, in 2019.
Appointed in September 2019 as Bristol City Council’s executive director of growth and regeneration, Peacock will take the lead on major projects such as the transformation of Temple Meads, Western Harbour redevelopment plans and identifying sites for housing.
The CEO of Watershed, Reddington is also a visiting professor at UWE Bristol, chair of Emma Rice’s Wise Children theatre company, and a trustee at the Royal Shakespeare Company and British Council.
Elected as mayor of Bristol in 2016, Rees has ultimate decision-making power on council matters. During his term in office, he has put major infrastructure ideas on the table, including the redevelopment of the Cumberland Basin and a mass transit system, and oversaw the controversial decision to move arena plans out of the city centre. He launched the One City Plan in January 2019 in a bid to build inclusive growth. Rees will stand for re-election in May 2020.
As chief executive of the Centre for Sustainable Energy, Roberts is one of the key people responsible for ensuring Bristol meets its pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030. He also acts as a special advisor to government, academic and industry bodies and is the chair of Thrive Renewables and non-executive director of Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC.
The chief executive of the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, Ross is tasked with leading the organisation as it goes through unprecedented changes.
Alongside being chief executive of Bristol & Bath Regional Capital CIC, Rowberry is currently working part-time on secondment as chair of the One City Office, launched in January 2019 to develop the mayor’s One City Plan.
An influential, award-winning author, screenwriter and fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Shukla uses his international platform to speak and write on issues of race and immigration.
Appointed as Marvin Rees’ top adviser in 2016, the head of the mayor’s office previously ran Jeremy Corbyn’s press team. He earns more than the mayor and sits on a number of strategic boards, including transport.
The chief creative officer of We The Curious, Starkey has overseen a dramatic shift in culture within the organisation once known as AtBristol. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce and trustee of the British Paraorchestra and Friends.
The director of SLR Consulting Ltd, Street also set up and chairs FareShare South West. He is the chair of the recently-formed City Funds, an initiative designed to tackle inequality, as well as a number of organisations, including Crisis Centre Ministries homelessness charity.
A leading tech entrepreneur, Toon is the CEO and co-founder of Graphcore, an artificial intelligence and machine learning tech company that is one of Bristol’s three unicorns, valued at more than $1billion.
The CEO of Triodos Bank uses his global platform to call for major changes in the banking industry. He has also had positions on a number of regional boards.
Who have we missed? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to continue the debate; and visit www.bristol247.com to read about who we hope will make this list in the future.
Read more: Bristol People of the Year 2019