Roxana Salehi has a doctorate in Public Health and is founder of Vitus Consulting, a company that supports organizations in designing and raising finance for transformative health initiatives and evaluating their impact. She lived in Tehran, New York, Accra, and Toronto, before moving to Barcelona in 2019.
Why did you choose Barcelona?
I was captivated by Barcelona during my first visit. And then, whenever I visited, I was happy when I was there and sad when it was time to leave, which is how I knew this was where I wanted to live. Convincing my partner to move was easy, as he had also fallen in love with the city. After exploring our career opportunities, we moved in 2019.
What do you particularly like about the city?
In Barcelona, tradition joins forces with innovation, making it a city where anything can happen. There are whispers of the past on every street corner, while its vibrant neighborhoods and Mediterranean climate invite one to explore further. And with world-renowned research institutions, the city is leading the way in solving crucial problems in areas as diverse as disease control and climate change. Moreover, the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a number of industries provides a valuable opportunity to merge AI capabilities with scientific research and so to address a broad spectrum of previously unanswered questions.
What aspects of the city still need to be improved?
Affordable housing and the prevention of crimes such as burglary pose challenges for policy makers, and the city needs to find ways to make tourism more sustainable. Current data also shows that the city must reduce air pollution and improve access to natural areas. To address these challenges and ensure progress, it is essential to evaluate programs continuously and encourage the use of data in effective policymaking.
What challenges does the city face?
All countries and cities are affected by ongoing global conflicts, whose impact is global, while in Barcelona, challenges that need urgent solutions include rising energy costs and the consequences of drought.
What are your hopes for Barcelona in the coming years?
I hope that Barcelona will continue to allocate resources to science and research, which will help to drive innovation and progress. I would also like Barcelona to promote inclusion and equality actively, making it a diverse place in which to live in the years to come.