Recap: Dinner with Mayor Adler

May 30th, 2018 at the Center for Social Innovation

What happens when a group of Austin’s most promising young leaders are empowered to change our city for the better?  That is the focus of the Notley Fellowship, who last month sat down with Mayor Steve Adler for an intimate dinner and discussion led by Notley founder, Dan Graham, about what is next on the social innovation horizon for Austin. Made up of up-and-coming social innovators, the Notley Fellowship is designed to prepare and engage young professionals in solving our city’s most pressing issues.

To kickoff the evening, all 22 of the Notley Fellows toured The Center for Innovation, the new integrated campus for socially innovative nonprofits and purpose-for-profit enterprises operated by Notley.


Shortly after, Dan Graham sat down with Mayor Adler to discuss his experiences as an innovator of Austin scaling impact in the community. He went on to share his perspective and personal evolution, going from a lawyer to a municipal official.

“Before becoming Mayor,” said Mayor Adler, “I was never in an elected office. I was always thinking about being nimble and efficient, failing and trying again. The entrepreneurial community prioritizes efficiency and speed, but not government. Government prioritizes the democratic process, transparency and engagement. This work has helped me value engagement and transparency in a creative and entrepreneurial community.”


Dan Graham and the Notley Fellows asked Mayor Adler about innovating services and providing transportation to underserved communities in our city. Mayor Adler emphasized the importance of transparency when engaging in social issues like improving infrastructure and access to healthcare and educational services.


“In Austin, the social issues are almost always about access. How can we provide more access in places where it’s currently limited or lacking?”

After an engaging discussion about how Austin can continually evolve,  Mayor Adler put down the microphone and mingled with the Fellows while cocktails were prepared  with Liber & Co speciality cocktail syrups and Waterloo Sparkling Water.

Special thanks to Liber & Co and Pha-aek by SXSE Foods for making the evening extra special. Stay tuned to learn about the Notley Fellows program.


Partnering with Springdale General, The Center for Social Innovation is being built to tackle long-term commercial affordability and serve as a permanent home for Austin's social innovation ecosystem. Together nonprofits, social enterprises, city innovation leaders, capital providers, incubators, accelerators, universities, and advocacy groups will gather and collaborate in the space to foster new ideas and create inventive solutions to our biggest challenges. Schedule a tour or learn more about the CSI. 

We're also excited to announce the launch of Relay Coworking, 10,000+ square feet of space at the Center for Social Innovation dedicated to helping you scale your impact. Learn how to win a free year of membership!

Learn more about Austin's 52nd Mayor, Steve Adler, and his bid for reelection. 

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