Changing up local government

The City of Austin's Design, Technology, and Innovation Fellows program provides an opportunity for Austin’s passionate and civic-minded designers and developers to bring the principles, values, and practices of the technology sector into government.

Inspired by the success of programs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 18F, Code for America, and the U.S. Digital Service, we partner with departments throughout the city to tackle some of their biggest challenges.

Current projects being shown on the local news during a flooding event.

Improving Alerts for Flooded Roadways

We’re working with Austin’s Watershed Protection Department to improve how ATXfloods provides information about the status of roadway closures to the public and emergency services.

A City of Austin employee reviews building plans

Making Permitting Work for Austin

We’re working with staff in departments across the City to illustrate the permitting experience from our users’ perspectives and identify how technology can help us meet increasing demands.

Notes and observations from field research

Getting Closer to Zero-Waste

We’re working with Austin Resource Recovery to research behaviors around recycling and composting and prototype new solutions that can help us reach our zero-waste goals.

By the people. For the people.

Government is not an abstract institution or a concept. Our government is us. Meet a few members of the Austin Innovation Fellows who have signed on for tours of duty:

Portrait of Patrick McDonnell

Patrick McDonnell

Project Management & Service Design

Previously: Code for America

I am an urbanist, designer, and coder. I joined the Fellowship because I believes that Austin is on the cutting edge of civic tech. I love working on ways to tackle city challenges, and I think government is cool.

Portrait of Brian Smith

Brian Smith

Software Developer

Previously: ScoreBig

I believe strongly in software's power for change. It's awesome to have a chance to work on software with the intention of making the world (or at least the city) a better place. It's even more amazing to be able to share that code and allow other cities to benefit from and build on it.

Portrait of Laura Trujillo

Laura Trujillo

Content Strategist

Previously: Slack & Davis LLP, Intake Coordinator & Freelance writer

I got my start writing business proposals for a graphic design firm in Washington, DC but came back to Texas after one too many blizzards. I received my MA in Rhetoric and Composition from Texas State University and pursued a freelance career—driving initial content strategy sessions, writing, and editing a variety of projects. I joined the DTI Fellows program because I wanted to help Austin become more accessible to her residents.


Can Austin innovate itself out of long meetings?

Austin Monitor

Given the recent tilt toward performance art at City Council meetings – those poor eggs! – and running times that...

Updates in store for


The City of Austin is preparing improvements for, a site many people living in flash flood alley rely on...

Austin Innovation Design, Technology, & Innovation Fellows Launch Party

Tech in Translation

…After the presentations I chatted a bit with the city’s CIO, who impressed me with her thoughtful approach to evangelizing...

Designing a Smarter City

Austin Chronicle

Meet the Office of Innovation's Design, Tech­no­lo­gy, and Innovation Fellows program during the inaugural Austin Design Week, a five-day event...

Sketching design options for Austin's Convention Center

Be part of the change

We need top talent to help deliver the services that our citizens deserve.

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