FRIBIS Lecture Series – Can a Basic Income Grant Reduce Violence?

FRIBIS Lecture Series – Can a Basic Income Grant Reduce Violence?

Event Title: FRIBIS Lecture Series – Can a Basic Income Grant Reduce Violence? Evidence from Namibia, Kenya, and Uganda Date & Time: April 23, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Format: Online Event Organizers: FRIBIS in cooperation with the BIP & WEF_FABI teams Zoom Link: Contact: Geoff Harris,

Event Summary: Youth in Africa are in search of wage employment and expect their governments to provide such opportunities. However, the demographic surge of youth, coupled with low job creation in both the private and public sectors, leaves many young people unemployed and dissatisfied, often leading to various forms of violence. This lecture examines the potential of a Basic Income Grant (BIG) for all adults as a means to mitigate such violence. There is ample evidence from developing countries, including several African nations, showing that BIG can not only reduce household poverty but also enhance personal and interpersonal peace, thereby reducing various forms of violence.

About the Speaker: Geoff Harris, an economist with over 30 years of teaching and research experience in peace studies, has been a Professor at the International Centre of Nonviolence at Durban University of Technology in South Africa since 2012. His most recent edited book – The Elgar Companion to War, Conflict and Peacebuilding in Africa – was published in February 2024.”

Basic income as a necessary component of a socio-ecological transformation 

“The dominant economic model is destabilizing societies. And the planet. It is time for change It is time for a basic income, too.

A memorandum signed worldwide by 39 renowned scientists and activists for basic income and 35 basic income organisations and networks from almost all continents points out the connection between basic income and socio-ecological transformation. According to the signatories, basic income is also a building block for climate justice. The memorandum will be sent to various UN organisations, the Club of Rome and leading European media in the coming days.

The memorandum is based on the demands of hundreds of scientists from Europe and of the report to the Club of Rome on basic income. It sharpens their analyses: “Global warming and the ongoing exploitation and destruction of nature are caused by the prevailing mode of production and life.” The profit and profit-driven utilisation of the environment and resources must come to an end. “A socio-ecological transformation must be oriented towards the needs of all people as well as towards fundamental ecological requirements – and must stop climate change immediately. Care for people and care for nature belong together. These are sustainable values, not the accumulation of superfluous goods to maintain the prevailing system of production and consumption.”

A basic income would reduce the existential pressure of having to accept even the most ecologically disastrous wage labour. It would also reduce the existential fear of necessary changes in the economy and society. It would promote a radical reduction in working hours and the democratic organisation of the socio-ecological transformation.

The memorandum argues in favour of the basic income movement, the ecological and feminist movements and other social movements coming together.

“Let us fight together for a world in which all people can live a good life on a healthy planet.”

To read the full memorandum, click here.

Brookings Institution study on Hollywood writers strike re AI

Brookings Institution study on Hollywood writers strike re AI

Photo by Andrea De Santis on Unsplash

“In some ways, the writers’ success reflects something of a best-case scenario. They were organized in a highly effective union, in a unionized industry, in a union town. They leveraged one of their greatest skills—their imagination—to project into the future and swiftly anticipate threats to their livelihood. As creators of popular shows and movies watched by millions of people, they enjoyed a visibility that other workers in similarly AI-exposed industries—such as paralegals, call center workers, bookkeeping assistants, engineers, and insurance underwriters—lack.

Even with this groundbreaking success, many writers remain anxious about the future. While historic, the contract they secured covers only the next three years, rendering the future uncertain as technological capabilities continue to advance. Many writers spoke frankly about the tension between corporations’ interest in maximizing profits and the security of their jobs. Shaping the future of their work will require vigilance, organizing, policy change, and attention from policymakers.”

To read the full article, click here.

Flint, Michagan, Pilot for Mothers

Flint, Michagan, Pilot for Mothers

Rx Kids launched their pilot this January 2024 where every person who gives birth in Flint, MI will receive a basic income during late stage pregnancy, $1,500 (lump-sum), and the first year of their baby’s life, $500 each month.

What’s so exciting about this pilot?!

  • Rx Kids is a universal program for all new parents and their babies in Flint, MI. This is one of the few universal programs of its kind, where everyone of a specific demographic, in a specific geographical area, gets the money. This truly paves the way for scaling to state level, where we could imagine every new baby born in a state receiving basic income for the first years of their life.
  • The funding for this program is also important – it includes public funding from TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). TANF is federal block grants allocated to states who then decide how to disburse the money. This use of TANF funds provides a model for other pilots to use these public dollars moving forward, an important new development as the American Rescue Plan dollars that funding many pilots during the pandemic runs out.