In order to highlight Austin Tech Alliance’s growing membership of individuals who support our mission to promote civic engagement in Austin’s tech sector, we regularly feature profiles of ATA members.
Up now: Lauren Brown!
Introduce yourself and where you work in Austin’s tech sector.
Hi! My name is Lauren Brown and I’m a Manager at The Monument Group. The Monument Group is an Austin-based, Texas-focused communications firm with expertise in public relations, public affairs, corporate campaigns, research and a statewide grassroots. I work alongside local small businesses, as well as the largest employers in the state, across a variety of industries, including healthcare, transportation, banking, and wireless infrastructure. While I don’t directly work in the technology sector, it impacts nearly every aspect of my work, and many of our clients are developing and implementing amazing technologies.
What do you love about Austin?
I’m an Austinite, so naturally I think this city is the best of the best. I love Austin because of the people, its natural beauty found in the many bodies of water and hill country views, the great food and live music, Texas Longhorns athletics, and the city’s overall energy. Despite its rapid growth, Austin still feels small because of the strong sense of community and welcoming spirit.
What do you think are the community’s biggest challenges?
Austin has worked hard for its global reputation as a tech leader, attracting innovative companies ranging from startups to technology giants and becoming a favorite testing ground for new technologies. However, in recent years, the city has grappled with its regulation of new technologies, like ridesharing and the implementation of 5G infrastructure. The City of Austin’s response to these technologies has been slow, and at times, burdensome in comparison to other major metro areas in Texas. Austin must remain at the forefront of encouraging the deployment of innovative technologies to remain a tech-friendly mecca.
Why is it important for the tech community to become more civically engaged?
Local elections impact Austinites more than state and national elections, yet voter turnout is significantly lower. In this digital age, technology directly impacts every industry and every community. Those who are involved in developing and investing in revolutionary technologies must advocate for policies that encourage responsible growth. By becoming more civically engaged and providing inspiring glimpses of future technologies, the tech community can help educate, excite and mobilize local communities.
What does civic engagement mean to you?
Showing up and encouraging others to become engaged as well. Complaining about politics doesn’t get you anywhere – if something is important to you, get involved, find avenues (like Austin Tech Alliance!) to learn from others and share your perspective, and VOTE!
What’s your favorite ATA membership perk?
While not necessarily an official “perk,” ATA does an amazing job of being accessible to its members. Whether chatting through various tech issues, collaborating on engagement activities or helping to amplify issues on its channels, ATA is always prepared!
Learn more about Lauren and The Monument Group.