Meet Our Team: Alonso Hernandez
October 07, 2020
Tectonica is lucky to have one of the best teams on the planet. To help you get to know the amazing folks that make up our team, we'll be sharing interviews with different team members. Check out our first interview with Alonso Hernandez, Political Technology Specialist at Tectonica, where he shares his motivations for doing this work, and why he thinks digital organising is key to powering progressive movements all over the world.
Tell us a little about your role at Tectonica.
I’m the Political Technology Specialist at Tectonica. That means that I help both our team and our clients have the best understanding of what’s available in the market of political technology and what possibilities the tech brings to the table in the pursuit of cutting edge winning digital organizing strategies.
My work is a mix of pioneering, research, diving into new technologies, new features, and advanced use of existing tools. It also involves collecting case studies of success and expert reviews to add to our know-how--all which helps put me in the right position to give recommendations, designs of functionality, tech stack compositions, etc. in the projects I’m involved in.
In addition to this, I try to add a holistic view to the selection of technologies and help everything work together, planning and configuring, connections, integrations and automation between system, with the aim of gaining efficiencies and simplicity.
How did you end up working in this field?
For a long time now, my commitment to progressive change has inspired me to participate and work in many different progressive endeavours of very different natures, scopes, and locations.
In addition, my fascination with the capacity of technology to make a difference and my educational background in Telecommunications Engineering have driven my professional life towards positions where I could be involved daily in the deployment of impactful solutions that contribute to a fairer society. I’m always pursuing the idea of selecting and developing better technology for facilitating more power to the people.
Due to these passions, entering this field was something quite natural, that had its maximum expression when I joined Tectonica one and a half years ago.
How do you understand digital organising in the current context, and how might it change in the coming years?
Digital organising is what’s needed in the digital space to contribute to the generation of big mobilisations. In my opinion, it will lose the “digital” differentiation in the coming years. Both digital and physical worlds have become an indistinguishable tangled new reality for awhile now.
With organising, I think you can count on the powerful potential of digital technology and strategies to push forward the effort of building and scale relationships between the stakeholders of an organisation (leaders, organisers, supporters, volunteers, donors, etc.) and one that generates the necessary potential organised energy to produce massive driven impact towards change.
However as a relatively new field, both organisations and supporters are still learning about its potential. Adopters and achievements are growing fast though. In the near future, organisations will enact more and more successful practices through digital and better technologies will come into place. But more importantly, people will realise their political potential and will become savvier in being more impactful amidst the movements they stand for.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic changed digital organising and how will it continue to change things further within the world of campaigning?
One of the most direct effects of the lockdowns that the pandemic forced is the need of shifting people’s connection and work to happen in the digital sphere. That brought some major events to digital organising practices:
First, as field organising is less possible, a lot of organisations needed to leverage their activity and resources to digital organising. That means an acceleration of the adoption and development of the digital organising practice, which translates in a faster evolution of technologies and strategies, and also in a higher realisation of the benefits and capabilities of digital organising. There is still a lot to do to reach its maturity and full potential.
On the other hand, there are more people online and they are becoming more tech capable, so there is an ease of the barriers that digital organising techniques encountered in the past.
What do you think makes Tectonica stand out in this sector?
I think Tectonica’s expertise in this field in more than 400 projects all around the world and its passionate conviction on using organising over messaging strategies as the future of making progressive change. All this drives Tectonica not only to be experts in the field but also to contribute to its evolution, helping to really define what digital organising is. The Europan Report on the State of Digital Organising is a good example of that. And all of this is on top of its capacity to lead, pioneer, and innovate in the sector, proving that Tectonica is becoming one of the most relevant international actors in digital organising.
What has been the most exciting project you’ve worked on?
It’s difficult to choose one, I find very interesting and stimulating challenges in all the projects I work on every day. I love the relationships I can build with our clients through our projects. It’s awesome when you are able to team up with them and they share their passion and vision with you.
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