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

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.

Designing our Convention Center's digital front door

We’ve partnered with Austin’s Convention Center to deliver a new digital presence and improve the experience for event planners, vendors, and attendees.

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 Ben Guhin

Ben Guhin

Senior Advisor for Design and Technology

Previously: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

I advise the Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Information Officer on how to start a program to bring more designers, developers, and innovation leaders into city government. Previously, I served as a Senior Fellow for UX Design at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and as an interaction designer for education, retail, and entertainment clients including Kaplan, Lowes, and HBO GO.

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.


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.

Close this dialogue

You are now headed to

Click the link below to continue: