ISO a team of 4 to turn our safety net into a trampoline through digital identity

Kerry O'Connor
Aug 2, 2019 · 3 min read

Do you want to cut through the bureaucratic red tape that constrains our social safety net? Do you want to be on the team that restores the dignity of people living on the streets by helping them reclaim their identity and future? Can you help build a secure, flexible, blockchain-enabled system that improves access, cost-effectiveness, and accountability for the services society needs to end homelessness?

The City of Austin is looking for a few intrinsically motivated and highly ethical individuals to work on MyPass — an ambitious design and development project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help people experiencing homelessness secure their identity and access services using blockchain-based technology. Grant constraints limit us to a team of four to do the following in one year:

  • Develop and test a minimum viable product to create a blockchain-based digital platform (MyPass)…
  • that will allow people experiencing homelessness to securely and permanently store, validate, and automatically package and submit information needed to access health and social services.
  • Digital documents will be linked to an account accessible on any device, and a client will always retain complete ownership of personal information, even after no longer being homeless or after receiving care from providers, and will be able to remove any reference to personal data from the blockchain platform at any time.
  • MyPass is intended to empower clients with their own history, enable self-advocacy, and catalyze client-centered care.

The minimum viable product will result in

  • open-source data and transaction standards that will enable service integration;
  • design standards that will speed development;
  • a web-based application, accessible from any Internet-connected device, that uses these standards to allow clients to store, combine, and share the information needed to access services; and
  • learnings to help a coalition of partners to continue to develop the future application.
A collage of photos from a hackathon — judges debeating, teams prototyping, presenters pitching, and winning team photos.
A collage of photos from a hackathon — judges debeating, teams prototyping, presenters pitching, and winning team photos.
Scenes from the July 2018 Mayor’s Blockchain Challenge — we build with, not for, people experiencing homelessness and the service providers who engage them. The Austin community has committed to empower people to own their own data, and be the single source of their own truth, to share as they see fit.

This year-long project funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will need a skilled and scrappy team to solve integrating the technological possibility into an ecosystem of care, and help mitigate risks of universal acceptability, service delivery integration, data privacy, and ethics.

We recognize that many of you have multiple talents. We’re looking for the best mix of skills in technical architecture, full-stack development, product management, and service design. However, strict position descriptions may preclude our ability to identify the right combination of individuals who can advance the goal in 12 months. That’s why we’ve chosen a survey format over more traditional role-based job postings.

If you are interested in working on the project, please do two things:

  1. Filling out this team recruiting form to indicate your proficiency with the skills/capabilities below that you can bring to this project to make it a success: http://projects.austintexas.io/projects/mypass-digital-identity/about/recruiting/
  2. send your resume noting every year of experience, along with a link to your portfolio of work to innovation@austintexas.gov

Team members will become temporary employees of the City of Austin employees for one year. Employment terminates once the grant funding expires. Salary will range from $75,000 to $100,000 commensurate with experience. Temporary positions are not eligible for health insurance, but are eligible for accrued sick leave. Team members will be given administrative leave for official City holidays, for the week of Thanksgiving, and for the time between Christmas and New Years.

You will be:

To learn more, please visit our project site: http://projects.austintexas.io/projects/mypass-digital-identity/about/overview/

If you wish to receive newsletter updates on the project, subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/gxcZUb

Ready?

Let’s do this.

Kerry O'Connor

Written by

@kerry_atx = personal search for knowledge and creative expression; civiqueso = professional voice on civic innovation, design, open gov

civiqueso

civiqueso

Stories of Design, Technology, and Innovation in the civic melting pot of Austin, Texas.

Kerry O'Connor

Written by

@kerry_atx = personal search for knowledge and creative expression; civiqueso = professional voice on civic innovation, design, open gov

civiqueso

civiqueso

Stories of Design, Technology, and Innovation in the civic melting pot of Austin, Texas.

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