This year’s edition of Ireland’s Kilkenomics Festival, the economics festival dubbed “Davos with laughs”, will include a panel discussion on the pros and cons of universal basic income, featuring Rutger Bregman and other noted authors.

Billing itself as “the world’s first economics and comedy festival”, the internationally-regarded Kilkenomics Festival is held annually in Kilkenny, Ireland.

The seventh edition of the festival will take place from November 10-13, 2016, and will bring in many notable participants, including its four headline contributors: behavioral economist and popular author Dan Ariely, former Milton Friedman associate Deirdre McCloskey, probability research and popular author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and comedian Dara Ó Briain.

On Saturday, November 12, the festival will present a panel on basic income, entitled “Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income”:

Debate has become to heat up on the concept of governments providing their citizens with a fixed amount of money, regardless of their income. Recently, Barack Obama suggested that as technology and artificial intelligence begin to replace human paid work, it will become increasingly urgent. Our panel examines the pros and cons of free money for everyone.

Rutger Bregman CC BY 2.0 Maand van de Geschiedenis

Rutger Bregman CC BY 2.0 Maand van de Geschiedenis

The panel will star Dutch journalist and historian Rutger Bregman, the author the best-selling Utopia for Realists, in addition to other distinguished scholars and authors: Deirdre McCloskey, Brown University political economist and Austerity author Mark Blyth, Financial Times columnist Martin Sandbu, Economics for Dummies co-author Peter Antonioni, and author and playwright Gerard Stembridge.

For a complete schedule of “shows” and other details about the seventh Kilkenomics Festival, see

More information about the basic income panel in particular, including a link to purchase tickets, is available here.

Kilkenny castle photo CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 vjpaul

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 512 articles.

Former lead writer and editor of Basic Income News. Now with The Ecological Citizen.