April 12, 2019

Risks and the City's role in future technology scenarios

Meeting date: April 12, 2019 Meeting time: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Location: New Central Library 4th floor conference room

Desired meeting outcomes

  • Foresight of potential risks of emerging technologies

  • Considerations for the City to support more impactful and beneficial innovation


I. Welcome and meeting overview (15 min)

II. Key issue: SXSW debrief and future emerging technology scenarios (50 min) Facilitated discussion of emerging technologies and risks and role of the City using the Institute for the Future’s ethicalOS toolkit

III. Announcements and updates (20 min)

IV. Closing (5 min)

  • Recap of action items and future agenda items

  • Next meeting: July 12, 2019

Open issues and potential future agenda items

Last meeting: January 25, 2019

  • Governance for emerging technologies

  • Coordinating operations of aerial drones across departments

  • CTM efforts on privacy and security

Meeting notes

Meeting slides

I. Welcome and meeting overview

  • Last meeting: January 25, 2019. Discussed how we might collaborate with the technology sector.

  • This meeting comes after SXSW and will explore future scenarios of emerging technology and what we as a City need to be thoughtful of right now.

II. Key issue: SXSW debrief and future emerging technology scenarios

Attendees discussed emerging technologies and risks and the role of the City using the Institute for the Future’s ethicalOS toolkit. Discussion centered on three possible future scenarios.

Below are sticky note responses to a set of debrief questions that prompted discussion on how the City of Austin might prepare for these scenarios. The debrief questions included:

  1. What are the common risks we’ve seen across these scenarios?

  2. What current efforts might help us address some of these risks?

  3. What new efforts might we need? What issues are we not addressing right now?

Common risks seen across the scenarios. Summary of risks identified: predatory business models, obscurity of data collection and usage, exploitation of privacy and personally identifiable information, disparate impacts for historically marginalized groups, lack of government readiness and skill in this area.
Current and planned City efforts that might help us prepare for these scenarios. Summary of current efforts: regulatory and data protection actions, security awareness, pilot process to assess risk, partnerships with other organizations.
New efforts the City might night to explore to address issues we are we not yet addressing. Summary of new efforts needed: Determine the role of government, develop City policy, build the City's data science capability, educate city leaders and residents, partner with more organizations and cities globally

III. Announcements and updates

Update on plans for industry engagement and pilot intake (from January 2019 meeting):

  • CTM is planning a public event focused on design and technology for around September 2019.

  • CTM is also piloting an intake process for pilots, demos, and project requests, modeled after Austin Transportation Department's expression of interest process. The process aims to create consistent criteria for vetting and accepting pilots, demos, and projects across CTM.

Updates from working groups:

  • Governance (Elaine Nicholson): Convening a drone advisory group to develop more formal governance and coordination around aerial drone usage.

  • Emerging Tech (David Rauch): The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation named MyPass (blockchain for identity access for people experiencing homelessness) as a finalist for a $400k grant

  • Projects (Stephen Elkins): Looking into how the City might centralize and share information on emerging technology projects.

  • Equity (John Speirs): Moving forward with pilot to distribute refreshed city computers to community nonprofits. Pilot will include collection of disaggregated data to measure impacts on different communities.

Announcements and requests:

IV. Closing

Future agenda items mentioned (in addition to list of potential future topics):

  • Transportation Department collaboration with Ford's City:One Challenge

Next meeting: July 12, 2019


  1. Rey Arellano, Assistant City Manager (chair)

  2. Stephen Elkins, Chief Information Officer

  3. Rondella Hawkins, Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs Officer

  4. Chris Shorter, Assistant City Manager

  5. Ying Chan, CTM

  6. Bill Ficke, AWU

  7. Greg Flay, AE/3-1-1

  8. Jill Goodman, OPM

  9. Ben Guhin, CTM

  10. Ed Haycock, AWU

  11. Daniel Honker, CTM

  12. Jason JonMichael, ATD

  13. Elaine Nicholson, Law

  14. Charles Purma III, CTM

  15. David Rauch, Innovation

  16. Amanda Rohlich, Sustainability

  17. Josh Rudow, NHCD

  18. Kirk Scanlon, ATD

  19. John Speirs, TARA

  20. Karla Taylor, ATD

  21. Alex Webb, City Clerk

  22. Wendi White, CTM

  23. Marni Wilhite, CTM