Our guest today is Victoria Stoyanova, the founder of The Institute of Belonging, and Global Programme Manager at Ecosystems Partnerships at Facebook. In this episode, we talk about how she found her North Star, how to build meaningful communities, and the art of connection.
Becoming A Community Architect
“Sitting down with someone and having an endless cup of tea is just my most treasured way to spend my time.”
Victoria moved to London at an exciting time when a lot of start-ups and co-working spaces started to gain momentum. She started to work at an advertising agency and was very inspired to meet the creatives and start-ups and be a bridge between them.
Victoria’s dream was always to be around interesting people, travel, and have beautiful conversations, which lead her to her true passion in building communities.
One of the many communities she has built is Creative Mornings in London which she built up to over 10.000 people. She was also the London ambassador of Sandbox.
Her North Star
“I want to see a world that is connected enough for everyone to be able to find the people that will help them go to the next step, whatever that next step is.”
Victoria went to university in France, but she couldn’t find her true passion among the traditional professional options. After volunteering in many different companies, she realized that her true calling was to help people find their support systems.
Victoria believes in a world where all people find their support systems at the right time. She likes to think of a community as a journey, and that communities need a host or an organizer in order for them to work.
Creating Meaningful Connections
“I think less is more. Less meetings, less events, but done a lot more thoughtfully, and with a lot more intention.”
For the last year, our way of connecting has changed and moved to online due to the pandemic. According to Victoria, there are many ways to have meaningful and engaging connections online as well.
A good way to engage people is to have clear intentions as an organizer and make the meeting short and fun.
Victoria is very interested in the phenomenology of connections. Even though people tend to look at connections and communities as a linear thing, it actually only happens in the moment. She is looking at how we can create more moments of strong connection because that's what creates meaning.
Victoria’s has worked in the EMEA Strategic Partnerships Team at Facebook since 2018. She has recently been promoted into a global role that she created for herself, which aligns all her interests. The Community Partnerships team which supports world-changing community leaders to launch, grow, scale, and sustain meaningful communities. Her current work is focused on bringing the community ecosystem closer together and creating meaningful collaboration opportunities.
Palma’s Reflection On Creating Meaningful Connections
This week, we invite you to cultivate presence and intention. When two people are really present with each other, their brains act as one. So the biggest gift we can give to anyone is the gift of presence.
Equally, our intentions are super powerful. Without intention, anything goes and we are a little bit like a rudderless sailboat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Every time you write an email, schedule a meeting, or give someone feedback, ask yourself “What is my intention?”
Let us know how it goes.
About Our Guest, Victoria Stoyanova
Victoria’s work is focused on connecting people, ideas, and communities in new, generative ways. She believes in a world where all people find their people, where support systems are generous, accessible, and porous, and where everyone has a sense of belonging.
She's the founder of hito labs - a studio exploring the potential of networks, communities, and ecosystems when it comes to the future of product, culture, talent, and innovation. Combining systems thinking and community strategy, she has worked with clients such as IKEA, EY, Jaguar Land Rover, EDF, Adidas, and more.
Currently, Victoria is part of Facebook’s Community Partnerships team which supports world-changing community leaders to launch, grow, scale, and sustain meaningful communities. Her work is focused on bringing the community ecosystem closer together and creating meaningful collaboration opportunities.
Victoria's most recent project is the Institute of Belonging - a place where people who love bringing people together can find inspiration, tools, best practices and... each other.
A special thanks to Victoria Stoyanova for taking the time to share her inspiring story with us.
Continue Your Journey
Now it is time to find your own unique path. We can help you to connect with your innate wisdom and create an inspiring vision for a deeply fulfilling and meaningful life. Apply for a discovery session on our website,palmamichel.com.
Learn to meditate with Palma on the MUSE brain-sensing device and receive a 15% discount (will be shown at checkout only) with this link!
Thank you for joining us on this journey of the Explorer’s Mind Podcast.
If you enjoyed this episode, there are a few things we would be very grateful for if you would do right now:
Please share this episode with someone you think could be inspired by this episode.
Until next time, We truly appreciate you listening and look forward to continuing this journey together.