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Slack CEO endorses UBI on Twitter

Successful entrepreneur Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of online photo-sharing application Flickr and creator of the popular business communications system Slack, has spoken out on Twitter in favour of universal basic income.

On 4 August 2017, Butterfield stated that “giving people even a very small safety net would unlock a huge amount of entrepreneurialism”. He was responding to Austen Allred, the founder of crowdsourced news website Grasswire, who had tweeted “If you look at giant tech cos [companies], almost all had founders that were financially supported by parents while they started,” and “That’s the universal basic income argument that’s compelling to me. How many more billion dollar cos would be started w tiny bit of help.”

Butterfield’s tweet was reported by a number of news sources, including CNBC, right-wing site Breitbart, and Business Insider.

Butterfield has received a significant number of awards and accolades for his business skills, including being named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2006. Slack, which he set up in 2013, became the fastest-growing start-up in history, reaching a valuation of two billion dollars early in 2015. His comments come shortly after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also publicly supported the concept of UBI, stating in his Harvard commencement address in late May:- “We should explore ideas like universal basic income, to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”


Reviewed by Genevieve Shanahan

About Claire Bott

Claire Bott has written 29 articles.

The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

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