Tectonica is lucky to have one of the best teams on the planet! Meet Filipa Mladenova

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. Here, Filipa who started in Tectonica as an intern over a year ago, tells us about her journey, favourite projects and what she has learned from her experience with Tectonica about the importance of being a value-based business. 

Tell us a little about your role at Tectonica.

My journey in Tectonica has been quite unique. I started out as an intern working on Tectonica’s report on the State of Digital Organising in Europe. From the very beginning, I was utterly amazed by the team, the values and the work done here. While completing my degree in political science, I continued supporting the Tectonica team in various ways -  helping with strategic work, research, organising community events, managing the company's social media and, of course, working on the TON newsletter. Since October 2021, I have been Tectonica's Community Associate, meaning that I continue to support the team in achieving our vision, with my focus being mainly on the TON community. I work predominantly on the newsletter, events, preparing content for our upcoming resource centre and, most recently, the Tectonica Master Class Series

How did you end up working in this field?

I have always thought that I would work in a value-based entity that aims to change the world. As a student, I used to coordinate the student parliament and consistently volunteered for various causes, such as peer awareness programs on sexual health and drug abuse prevention, projects for educating kids outside of privilege and others. Then in my early 20s, I moved to Paris and later Barcelona, where I gave historical and cultural tours to people from all over the world. Naturally, I wanted to remain active in an international and progressive environment. So I returned to university to study Political Science and when the time came to search for an internship, I stumbled upon Tectonica. I knew right away that it was perfect for me due to my love of good causes and an international and open setting. 

How do you understand digital organising in the current context, and how might it change in the coming years?

Digital organising presents a wide range of opportunities. The pandemic has made many of the ways we organise impossible in person, so having the opportunity to improve and move some of the field organising practices online is a relief. In a way, digital organising is becoming indispensable for causes that depend on building a broad and robust people power base. I don't believe that digital organising will ever wholly replace field organising - we need real connections to build true people power. But the possibilities of digital have made organising accessible to many people who were out of reach before, and it gives us more ways to engage a broader audience in a shorter amount of time. 

How has the Covid-19 pandemic changed digital organising, and how will it continue to change things further within the world of campaigning? 

For the world of campaigning, mastering digital organising is an absolute necessity to meet people where they are. People today are online, governments and institutions are improving their online platforms and services. We can do a lot more to engage and build communities online to help people impact the "real world", so we should see digital organising constantly improving in the near future. 

What do you think makes Tectonica stand out in this sector?

Tectonica's strength comes, partly, from the diversity of our team. We have people from all over the world with different expertise, backgrounds and experiences. Additionally, the company is driven by its values and desire to work for good. Clients, partners and projects are always selected with a lot of care. I see this clearly in the work I do for the TON community - we tailor the newsletter, the resource centre, events, and community Slack space to the needs of progressive organisers, movement builders, and campaigners to support them in improving their digital organising practices. The thought leadership work we do at Tectonica is placing the company as a reference for progressive changemakers, and that makes me really happy. 

What has been the most exciting project you've worked on?

For me, the most exciting project is always the next one. Right now, this is the resource centre we are about to launch (here is a little teaser). I can't wait to see how the community will use it and its opportunities in the future! Another favourite project, perhaps because it was my first and will always remain a dear memory, is the report on the State of Digital Organising in Europe - we are still using our findings from it widely.