Tectonica is lucky to have one of the best teams on the planet! Meet Kendall Bendheim
November 05, 2021
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, Kendall shares with us about her experience in Tectonica and the way in which she sees digital organising now and in the future.
Tell us a little about your role at Tectonica.
I’m a front end developer for movement building technologies here at Tectonica, which basically means I make and maintain websites and develop tech solutions to help our clients organise their base in meaningful ways. I also make the websites look pretty using Mar’s amazing designs and make them work efficiently to accomplish the aforementioned goal.
How did you end up working in this field?
I studied literature in undergrad and then did an MA in applied linguistics, so language has always been the common thread in my work. My dissertation research was done in Mexico and focused on the preservation and management of indigenous languages in various parts of the country, and around this time I became interested in coding while learning about software that was being developed to help teach some of these languages.
I liked the idea of an accessible tool that brought people together, educated them, and dampened the prolonged effects of imperialism all in one. Inspired by this project, I did some courses online, made some sites, and now I’m at Tectonica, building things with similar notions :)
How do you understand digital organising in the current context, and how might it change in the coming years?
I understand it currently as a response to what has been a growing disenchantment in the collective imagination with traditional ways of doing politics and instigating change. In this moment, I see it as a reaction to issues that have come to prominence under incompetent leadership and in the midst of a global pandemic.
I see it as something that has helped my friends and neighbors back in Virginia and here in Barcelona become more involved in mutual aid and advocacy efforts that are tangible and felt in their community.
I think growing digital fluency will strengthen this high degree of engagement, and make these efforts vaster while facilitating more effortless means of involvement.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic changed digital organising and how will it continue to change things further within the world of campaigning?
I think the pandemic has permanently altered our relationships to the internet and our devices. I think spending so much time with them as the only means to escape the isolation created first, a sense of ennui in many, followed later by a greater sense of opportunity. I know many people who discovered more of the potential of the internet during their time in confinement than they had before.
I imagine the pandemic will continue to influence our relationship with our phones and the web as a whole, and thus will continue to make digital means of campaigning evergreen. I can’t imagine a campaign without a solid internet presence and opportunities for digital interaction at this point.
What do you think makes Tectonica stand out in this sector?
Tectonica has the most special team in the world. No contest. Everyone cares deeply, is remarkably skilled, and is incredibly generous with their time and knowledge. I think also the team has experienced what works and what doesn’t pretty extensively, through their work of course, but also through their own encounters as advocates. I think we’re really just the bees knees.
What has been the most exciting project you’ve worked on?
I felt really lucky to be able to integrate the re-brand of Minister Petra de Sutter’s new site. It’s a really gorgeous and modern design, and she is just so dang cool and inspirational.
I also have enjoyed working on solutions for National Bloc in Lebanon - they constantly seem to be finding new ways to grow their base and engage their supporters and party members, while also pushing the NationBuilder platform to its ever-increasing limits, making this work a very fun challenge for a developer.
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