BIRAL Seminar: International Perspectives in Basic Income Messaging

BIRAL Seminar: International Perspectives in Basic Income Messaging

Please join us for the second BIRAL seminar: “International Perspectives in Basic Income Messaging,” hosted by the Jain Family Institute (JFI) on the 14th of June, 2021 at 12PM EST – New York, 1PM São Paulo, 5PM London, 6PM Berlin. A recording of this seminar is now available on YouTube.

The event features guaranteed income researchers and advocates from around the world to discuss lessons in messaging and framing to build support for guaranteed income or UBI in varying political and cultural contexts. Speakers include Anne Price, President of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development; Barb Jacobson, Co-ordinator of Basic Income UK; Tatiana Roque, Professor at UFRJ and Brazilian Basic Income Network member; and Catherine Thomas, Stanford University PhD Candidate and Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow. They will be joined by experts from across the globe. 

The event is part of the Basic Income Earth Network’s new BIRAL series, a collaboration between the Basic Income Earth Network, FRIBIS (Freiburg Institute for Basic Income Studies), Gyeonggi Research Institute Basic Income Research Group, and the Jain Family Institute.

Register here:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. We welcome you to have your camera on as we hope to allow for discussion across many guaranteed income advocates and researchers in attendance. 

About the speakers:

Barb Jacobson

Barb Jacobson has experience on both sides of the welfare system, as a claimant and advisor, as well as working in a variety of other jobs. She has organised around women’s, health, welfare, and housing issues for over 30 years. Barb is Co-ordinator of Basic Income UK, and was the founding Chair of UBIE (Unconditional Basic Income Europe) from 2014 to 2017.


Tatiana Roque 

Tatiana Roque is a Professor of Mathematics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and a member of the Brazilian Basic Income Network. Her work examines traditional political movements and the ways in which new mobilization strategies may be employed at universities, unions, and wider political movements. She will speak about the movement for basic income in Brazil, and particularly surrounding the Maricá Basic Income.


Anne Price

Anne Price is the President of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. The Insight Center is a U.S. racial and economic justice organization working to ensure that all people become and remain economically secure. She also serves as a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, and was one of the first US thought leaders to examine and push for narrative change in addressing racial wealth inequality.


Catherine Thomas

Catherine Thomas is a Ph.D. candidate in social psychology and an Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow at Stanford University. Her research examines the integration of economic and social inclusion within cash-based policies, and in particular with regard to public opinion on cash policy in the U.S. as well as perspectives of cash-transfer recipients using varying narrative frames. Her research on cash-based policies includes work in East and West Africa with the nonprofit GiveDirectly, the World Bank, and the Government of Niger. She co-authored Stanford Basic Income Lab’s guide for cities conducting basic income pilots. 

Applications invited for doctoral study opportunities in Freiburg

Applications invited for doctoral study opportunities in Freiburg

The Freiburg Institute for Basic Income Studies (FRIBIS) is offering six positions for doctoral study.

The closing date is the 28th February.

FRIBIS is an interdisciplinary institute that aims to combine scientific research with political and civil debates as well as political consultation relating to the Universal Basic Income. FRIBIS supports a worldwide network of scientists, political decision-makers and societal actors who have the joint goal of providing answers to the global challenges of our time by means of a Universal Basic Income. Accordingly, all members of the Junior Scientific Group are expected to work through interdisciplinary cooperation.
We are specifically looking for applicants from the following disciplines:

• Education
• Social Anthropology
• Computer Science
• Psychology
• Theology, especially Caritas Science and the Economics of Carework
• Economics

We also encourage the application of people from related disciplines

Further details of the positions can be found here.

Germany: Establishment of the Freiburg Institute for Basic Income Studies, at the University of Freiburg

Germany: Establishment of the Freiburg Institute for Basic Income Studies, at the University of Freiburg

From left to right: Hans-Jochen Schiewer, Beatrice Werner, Bernhard Neumärker, Asema Bahadori and Helena Steinhaus.

The new Freiburg Institute for Basic Income Studies (FRIBIS) has been founded, at the University of Freiburg, on the 28th of October, 2019. A public event marked the date, at which the initiators and donors Beatrice and Götz W. Werner where represented by Beatrice Werner, who introduced FRIBIS.

This new institute gathers researchers from various faculties and basic income protagonists from civil society, NGOs and activists, working together in interdisciplinary topical groups to examine universal basic income (UBI) in all its facets. Their work aims to follow UBI projects and to contribute with research results for implementation strategies in public society and to support political decisions, as much as possible following the scientific method. Knowledge transfer from science meets the challenges of civil society, strengthening its opportunities.

Bernhard Neumärker

Bernhard Neumärker

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Neumärker, the head of the Götz Werner Chair of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory, is a founding director of the Competence Network FRIBIS, along with professors from the Institutes of Computer Science, Psychology, Ethnology, Educational Science and the Faculty of Theology (from the University of Freiburg). At the Götz Werner Chair, Enno Schmidt is in charge of public effectiveness, transfer and networking. This team’s aim, on heading the FRIBIS, is to take the Götz Werner Chair to another level.

For context, Götz Werner is the founder of the dm drogeriemarkt group, emplying approximately sixty thousand people today, and has been, in the last decades, one of the most important voices for UBI in Germany. Earlier this year, in May, the Götz Werner Professorship was established, backed by the University of Freiburg’s rector.

The FRIBIS network is already functioning, on a series of levels. This is being achieved by interdisciplinary teams, working on topics such as “VAT-financed basic income” (Helmo Pape; Friedrich Schneider), the “Psychology of the Basic Income” (cross-faculty research programme), “The management of UBI-NGO’s”, “Foreign Aid Basic Income” and UBI as strengthening the resilience of societies in Africa, against the sellout of the countries and their resources. Other projects, as the “Sanktionfree / HartzPlus” are being closely followed by project manager Helena Steinhaus and Prof. Dr. Rainer Wieland from the University of Wuppertal. Further national and international teams, cooperating with individuals, institutes and projects are in preparation. FRIBIS will also organize conferences and be represented at conferences.

Götz and Beatrice Werner

Götz and Beatrice Werner

Further information or interest for membership can be sought by writing to Enno Schmidt (

Article written by Enno Schmidt and edited by André Coelho.

General view of the Conference room

General view of the Conference room

Basic Income Lab at Stanford University accepting applications for Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Basic Income Lab at Stanford University accepting applications for Postdoctoral Research Fellow

The Basic Income Lab at Stanford University has extended its deadline for applications for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the 2019-20 academic year.

Applications are due March 8, 2019.

The postdoctoral fellow will carry out extensive research on basic income experiments, study ongoing pilot designs, review the findings of cash-based programs throughout the world, culminating in a comprehensive report Universal Basic Income: Learning from the Global Evidence Base, which is to be launched at an international event in 2020.

Applicants should have research interests and experience in universal basic income or related cash transfer programs, poverty eradication, or social and economic inequality, and must hold a PhD in economics, political science, public policy, psychology, sociology, or related fields.

See the full description of the position here:

Established in February 2017, the Basic Income Lab (BIL) promotes research on the design, implementation, and impact of basic income and related policies, and stimulates discussion on the topic between scholars, policymakers, nonprofit organizations, think tanks, and others.

BIL has collaborated with the National League of Cities to create the toolkit Basic Income In Cities: A Guide to City Experiments and Pilot Projects. At present, BIL is preparing to launch an online platform that will provide a detailed visual representation of existing research on basic income.

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Basic income should join forces with a ‘social network’ revolution

Basic income should join forces with a ‘social network’ revolution

It’s the start of a new month. You wake up in the morning feeling a rush of energy. The air is thick with a positive warmth. You’re immediately motivated and inspired with a thought that is, as if, circulating around everybody’s mind:

“How can I best contribute myself to society today?”

You immediately do what you need to do: go to the bathroom, put your clothes on, get something to eat, and check your bank account. You see your monthly basic income allowance came in. You get through all these necessities as quickly as possible because you want to start connecting to the means where you draw this positive energy.

That means is a social network.

It is unlike the social networks we use today. Ad-free. Conflict-free.

Let’s take this example into consideration. Suppose you stumble into this blog called Motivation District (click for more here) through mutual recommendations. You can see healthy discussions happening there. Maybe the topics discussed over there might relate to your present circumstances, or there are some topics where you would want to freely express your opinion forward. This is a form of social networking where you happen to converse with strangers, discuss opinions, gain insights from them, and many more. Again, there are no conflicts or ads. Differences of opinion can occur, but that’s how a healthy conversation blossoms.

It is a social network thriving with friendliness and enthusiasm. Everyone feels equally important and responsible for creating it. Everybody actively expresses their opinion in discussions with no fear of judgment, criticism or argument. Everybody listens to everybody and does not simply interject with their opinions. It’s not the same with social media platforms. Be it business or personal accounts, networking on social media has become a daily pattern. They are of course, accountable for what they post. Businesses are therefore very wary of cyber-attacks through social media, as a breach in users’ accounts can cost them quite a lot of money. When you check the stages of a cyberattack, you can see that social media is one of the initial targets in resource collection.

Networking has different patterns in the real world, sometimes it is about contributing or acquiring the reward. In exchange for the basic income allowance that entered your bank account a little earlier, you need to answer a few questions in this network. As soon as you see the first question, you understand why you had that thought earlier. The question is:

“How can I best contribute myself to society today?”

You click “Agree” on the network’s conditions, which state a few guidelines that all participants need to follow in this network. They ultimately boil down to one main condition: Leave your ego outside.

You agree to everyone being equally important; everyone actively answering the questions (which are made with everyone’s ability to answer them in mind); no arguing with, criticizing or judging others; focusing on the topic at hand, i.e. not veering it into unrelated directions; and listening to others speak as if it is you who is speaking.

These conditions are founded on a synergic principle where humans and nature are fundamentally interconnected and interdependent. They aim at guiding us so that we don’t fall victim to our involuntary, egoistic impulses when we participate in creating a well-connected social atmosphere.

You connect to a video conference with a few other people, and you each state your answers to the questions. In addition to the first question-“How can I best contribute myself to society today?”-there are a couple more:

“What is one positive example that inspired me yesterday of someone contributing to society?”

“How can we help each other not fall victim to our automatic egoistic impulses that make us want to criticize, judge and harm others, and support each other in the construction of a positively connected atmosphere above our self-centeredness?”

Halfway into the discussion, you feel a new wave of energy stream through you. It is an energy latent in nature, which becomes revealed when people come together, regardless of their differences, and act, think and desire in a way that is adapted to nature’s integrality. We do not feel this in our current world of relationships.

After finishing the discussion, some people go to work, others stay in the network to participate in other activities, whether they be discussions, lessons or courses either to deepen their knowledge of nature, human development, psychology, or to improve life skills, relationships, parenting, health, personal finance, time management, or participating in support groups for a wide range of interests and life situations. You choose to participate in this network online, but the same activities also take place at local community centers for anyone who wants to participate in a more physical way.

All the activities in the network aim at both supplying what people need, so that they do not have any problems supplying themselves with life’s necessities, and beyond that, improving people’s connections and social skills. You meet new people all the time, and the atmosphere is always enlivening, supportive and constructive.

Nowadays people have more and more social anxiety when it comes to meeting new people so social media seems like the right place to help these people to make new friends without the nervousness of messing up in person. However, social occasions will always occur and therefore, many people with social anxiety will take cannabis products like delta-8. They know what to expect with delta-8 THC such as things like an increase in sociability and relaxation, however, for now keeping things mainly online helps to develop these connections before the meeting up in person has to occur.

The tendency to support, benefit and connect with other people above our egoistic drives, is continually encouraged in this network. Likewise, values we currently hold become viewed from a new, unified vantage point. For example, competition in this network is based not on money, but on how much we can help and serve others.

Success in this network is not seen as building a personal empire despite, and on account of, other people. Instead, success is seen as a social construct, that we succeed together as a society, by connecting above our egoistic, divisive drives. By doing so, we get positive feedback from nature, a new surge of energy and motivation, by aligning ourselves with nature’s constant unifying motion.

This is how I envision a correctly functioning universal basic income. That is, UBI cannot work on its own. Simply giving people allowances without any incentives to succeed would stagnate society. In order for UBI to work, it needs to be provided in exchange for prosocial, connection-enriching participation, learning and development. People need tools, education, and encouragement to build a positively-functioning society in exchange for basic income. The idea of the “prosocial network” above is one direction the connection-enriching educational programs could take.

A Much Deeper and Wider Source of Motivation

In today’s capitalistic economy, people contribute to society with money as a leading motivator. Other drives, like respect, honor, fame, control, and knowledge are interwoven with money. That is, there is a price tag attached to every kind of social contribution.

However, considering a future where automation and robots will be given much of the workload, and where people get basic income allowances regardless of any work, we’re left to ponder serious questions:

What would people want to contribute to that society?

Why would they want to contribute to that society?

This is where the concept of universal basic income enters to support and propel the value shift necessary not only for UBI to work in the long term, but also for the foundation of a prosperous, connected society of happy and confident individuals, each motivated to contribute to the creation of a new thriving culture.

Michael Laitman

A prosocial resurgence combined with UBI has the power to make a significant gear shift in society. In order for that to happen, human relations, usually viewed as a byproduct of people’s professions and education, now need to be placed at the center of our attention. The motivation to contribute to society would need to change, from a monetary motivation to a purely prosocial, pro-connective motivation: one where we would regularly vitalize each other with examples of how we rise above our egoistic tendencies, thinking about, connecting to and benefiting other members of society. This would serve as a source of constant motivation, encouragement and ultimately, pave the way to a society of united, happy and confident individuals.

Today, there are thousands of people worldwide from all walks of life who feel the importance of jumpstarting the connection-enriching process in society, pioneering it even before the widespread launch of basic income. They are already engaged in learning, implementing and experimenting with the principle of positive connection above differences as the most valuable means to improve human society.

Anyone who is attracted to this idea of bettering the world by bettering human relations, and who wishes to participate in the learning and creation of a new prosocial, pro-connective culture, is welcome to learn its fundamental principles and basic concepts.

Michael Laitman is a Professor of Ontology, a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah, an MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics, and was the prime disciple of Kabbalist, Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag (the RABASH). He has written over 40 books, which have been translated into dozens of languages.