The $10 million Economic Security Project (ESP) has awarded 35 organizations which will exercise with Universal Basic Income concepts in 2018.


The ESP, established in 2016 partly by Chris Hughes (co-founder of Facebook and roommate of Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard), supports the work of innovators who are committed to exploring how recurring cash stipends make economies work for everyone. In an article written by all three founders of ESP (Natalie Foster, Hughes and Dorian Warren), the grantees “are moving ideas and people to add more texture, dynamism, and information to the basic income debate in the United States.”

These include:

– The Boston Review, which is hosting a public event to elevate the debate on basic income first litigated in their Forum publication;
– The Center for Popular Democracy, which is exploring potential efforts to reimagine and expand the state earned income tax credit (EITC);
– The Golden State Opportunity Foundation, which runs CalEITC4me, is working to dramatically expand the state’s EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) program to cover all self-employed workers, full-time minimum wage workers, and one million more Californian families;

– The Institute for the Future, for producing research on Universal Basic Assets for the future;

– The Leap Forward Project, for collaboratively designing and promoting future cash-based policies in California and building the organizational capacity of constituencies historically left out of policy development;
– The Listen First Tour, that will refocus the voices and leadership of people who are poor as central to ensuring the success and relevance of the basic income movement;
– The Stanford University’s Basic Income Lab, which has recently convened a gathering of cities interested in basic income pilots;
– The Street Art Anarchy, that is producing a series of public art murals to raise awareness about the prospects of economic security and basic income;
– The Truth Be Told Productions, which is creating a short documentary film that focuses on the people of Dauphin, Manitoba, to capture stories of impact from the Mincome pilot back in the mid 1970’s;
– The Universal Income Project, for building grassroots support for a universal income that upholds progressive values;
– The University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions, that will host a workshop on basic income for junior scholars to engage with leaders in the field on the state of the art in basic income studies;
Upstream, for developing a new podcast that will produce a two-part series on the potential for universal basic income to bring about a new economic paradigm;
Y Combinator Research, which will implement the first randomized controlled trial of basic income in the United States.


More information at:

Natalie Foster, Chris Hughes and Dorian Warren, “Moving People and Ideas: Announcing Our New Grantees”, Medium, September 27th 2017

About Peter Vandevanter

Peter Vandevanter has written 9 articles.