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Wednesday, October 11 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
A Startup in Government: The First Year of the City of Austin's Design, Technology, and Innovation Fellows Program | 2:00 - 3:30 PM

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Inspired by the design and technology successes at the United States Digital Service and 18F, the City of Austin launched its Design, Technology, and Innovation Fellows program last year with the following goals:

  1. Work directly with departments to deliver the best possible services 
  2. Introduce and refine practices for user-centered design 
  3. Introduce and refine practices for iterative, open-source development 
  4. Establish a creative culture that inspires more people to join the city 
 Since its launch in Summer 2016, the program has hired more than 25 designers, developers, and other specialists from the private sector to serve tours of duty to improve residential permitting, increase recycling rates, notify residents of low-water crossings during flash floods, and develop practices, training, and infrastructure for more effective digital services. The program has also improved the way that the city approaches user research, iterative design, and open-source development by establishing new standards for field research, interactive prototyping, usability testing, interface design, front-end development, Dev/Ops, and project management.

In this session, Program Lead Ben Guhin and DTI Fellow Marni Wilhite will speak about the challenges of starting a new design and technology organization within city government and share lessons on leadership, culture, and how to structure your work for the greatest possible impact.

avatar for Ben Guhin

Ben Guhin

Head of Design & Technology Policy, City of Austin, USA
I’m leading a new team that’s developing policy to support the City of Austin’s design and technology transformation. Previously, I started Austin's Design & Technology Fellows program and served as User Experience Lead for the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, leading... Read More →
avatar for Marni Wilhite

Marni Wilhite

Design, Technology, and Innovation Fellow, City of Austin

avatar for SXSW


Hey startups! SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event applications due November 10. Also mark your calendar for the Startup & Tech Sectors track, which runs March 9-15... Read More →

Wednesday October 11, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm CDT
Capital Factory 701 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701