Forbes Not ‘Proceeding With This Initiative’

January 25, 2021 | 0 Comments

[Updated] Forbes is apparently “not proceeding” with an initiative which would have seen them invite people named to their ’30 Under 30s’ list take part in a “month-long residency in Bermuda in March.”

Rachel Zarrell, who is a brand strategist at BuzzFeed, tweeted what she said was the invite posted in the Slack channel, adding that “It seems like they’re taking every precaution possible, and yet…. this still seems like an incredibly terrible and ill-conceived idea.”

Her original tweet got over 1,000 retweets and quote tweets, with conversation surrounding the initiative, some in support, while many were not.

However the UK’s Guardian newspaper has now reported that Forbes said, “We’re not proceeding with this initiative but we are committed to tapping into the brainpower of our global community, partnering with others and demonstrating a path forward. We wanted to find a way, with the help of the Bermudian government, to create a protocol that could allow us to come together and build community in a safe way that also serves as a model for the world.”

Bernews asked local officials for comment last night, and will update if able, and you can read the full Guardian report here, and Ms Zarrell’s Twitter thread and replies here.

Update 3.35pm: A BTA spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA], Forbes, Hamilton Princess & Beach Club and the Government of Bermuda have been in communication on a monthlong residency that would have followed rigorous protocols consistent with Bermuda’s well-regarded pandemic management: group size limits, bubbled participants, rigorous COVID-19 testing and diligent contact tracing. While we think this could have provided a path forward and served as a model for other parts of the world, a decision was made to pause the initiative for now.

“Bermuda is approved for safe travel by World Travel & Tourism Council. In exit surveys since reopening in July 2020, 98% of travellers say they felt safe from COVID-19 during their Bermuda visit. The island is open to visitors, but only to those who follow the rules that keep our community safe. A Forbes 30 Under 30 Residency would have met and exceeded our country’s safety standards, therefore the BTA looks forward to any opportunity to work with Forbes in the future.”

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