Students from across Taiwan have assembled for the first UBI Taiwan Summer Fellowship. The group is studying and researching Universal Basic Income (UBI) this summer, with the goal of producing a national basic income proposal by September.

The summer fellows met for the first time mid July to be trained in communicating basic income with those that have never been introduced to the idea. The fellows have developed a comprehensive strategy to promote and research UBI in Taiwan.

There are over 30 students from universities across Taiwan participating in either communications or research focused tasks.

“The summer seminar is bringing together both theoretical and practical considerations as a way of creating positive public policy for people,” said Julio Linares, a recent graduate of National Chengchi University (NCCU).  Linares, originally from Guatemala, is helping to lead the research team and the seminar.

The fellows are producing a UBI white paper, which is scheduled to be completed by late August, to outline how Taiwan could implement UBI nationally. UBI Taiwan is planning to introduce the policy proposals to Taiwanese policymakers. They are also considering how to create a framework for a basic income pilot program experiment in Taiwan.

Within the fellowship are different teams focused on specific projects, such as social media and news production.

Dongyan Wu, also a NCCU student, is leading the news team for the summer fellowship. Wu said he believes UBI has the potential to transform Taiwan.

“If UBI is successful in Taiwan, everything we do, all our jobs and all the activities, will finally have meaning,” Wu said.

Tyler Prochazka, the fellowship director, started preparing the seminars and recruitment four months ago. Fellows were chosen from nearly 100 applicants based on their skill set and interest in understanding UBI.

Toru Yamamori, Cheng Furui, and Sarath Davala are scheduled to give presentations to the fellows in the coming weeks on various topics related to basic income. Enno Schmidt, the Swiss referendum leader, gave a presentation to the fellows last week.

Ping Xu, the coordinator for UBI Taiwan, said the summer fellowship is part of building up “the kind of future we want to see” in Taiwan.

James Davis, a rising senior from Columbia University in New York, flew to Taiwan for two months to help lead the summer seminar and oversee research for UBI Taiwan. Davis is the director of field research, which is producing the pilot program framework.

“UBI Taiwan’s mission is critical for the future of work in Taiwan. I have really enjoyed getting to know the volunteers, learning about their backgrounds, and sharing their passion for helping others,” Davis said.