What's Hot in Texas!

Jul 2, 2015 | BLOG POST



Marble Falls, Austin, San Antonio, Kyle, and Round Rock share innovations in business development and sustainability.

In June, the Alliance for Innovation held an ambassador forum in Austin, TX.  An ambassador forum is a gathering of the emerging leaders at every level of local government who we empower to become their champions of innovation to share new ideas with us, grow engagement, and lead efforts to build a culture of innovation. In Austin, we had a total of 6 organizations attend including mutliple staff from Austin, San Antonio, Kyle, Marble Falls, Round Rock and San Antonio.  

Prior to attending we had each attenee identify their most important issue. The hot topics shared were:

  • Maximizing Funding and Resources
  • Sustainability 
  • Interdepartmental partnerships
  • Community Visioning
  • Citizen Engagement
  • Small Business Development
  • Regionalism
  • Succession-planning
  • Media Relations
  • Organizational change
  • Smart Growth 


The group voted for the top two issues of sustainabilty and small business development to discuss further.  They then identified the top challenges in these topics and shared what innovations they have introduced.  The top challenges and innovations addressing them were:



Challenge #1:  How do we educate the business owners on strategies that are available to them?


  1. Economic Development Dept. (EDD) offers training, COMF, EDC/Austin:  To learn more contact: Debra Dibble, debra.dibble@austintexas.gov

Challenge #2:  How do we get business owners to execute business strategy (application)?

  1. Mentoring by successful business owners, Austin.  To learn more contact:  Debra Dibble, debra.dibble@austintexas.gov




Challenge #1:  How do we make data driven, balanced decisions for responsible government?


  1. Water reuse, Round Rock. To learn more contact: Joe Brehm, jbrehm@roundrocktexas.gov
  2. Car sharing and parking reduction, Austin. To learn more contact: Tom Ennis, tom.ennis@austintexas.gov

Challenge #2:  How do we sustain new processes and ideas?

  1. New pavement product law in 2005, first in USA, Austin. To learn more contact: Tom Ennis, tom.ennis@austintexas.gov

The Alliance gathers all the challenges and ideas shared and adds them to our idea database so we can help other member local governments adapt the ideas shared in TX to their challenges.  The top ideas are shared through one of our publications with the rest of the country and Canada.  The top idea shared in TX was Austin's mentorship protege program.  We will have a full article on their project in a future Alliance publication. 

The Fall Ambassador Forums will begin in August and we will return to Texas on October 22nd in Dallas and Baytown on Decmber 3rd.


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