Online Forum on Definition of Basic Income: 11th October

The second open forum of the BIEN Working Group on the Clarification of Basic Income’s Definition (CBID)

to be held online on 11th OCTOBER 2021 at 8.00 am – 9.30 am UTC.

Provisional list of speakers are:

Ronale Blashke (video presentation), Ali Multlu Koyluoglu, Pierre Madden, Télémaque Masson-Récipon, Annie Miller, Werner Rätz, Klaus Sambor, Enno Schimidt, Malcolm Torry, Karl Widerquist (video presentation), and Toru Yamamori. 

The event is hosted by the BIEN Working Group on the Clarification of Basic Income Definition (CBID), the detail of which can be found here.

It will take the form of a series of very short (5mn) presentations by the above speakers, followed by an open discussion.

Future CBID Open Forums, which are planned to be held regularly (possibly once every two months), will be focused around specific topics related to that of the clarification of Basic Income’s Definition, and take the form of one or two presentations followed by an open discussion.

For the detail of how to join the meeting, and any suggestions of topics to be discussed and offers to present a paper at an Open Forum meeting, please send email to:   cbidbien@gmail.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

The Monetary Issues of a UBI: First annual FRIBIS conference 12 October

This year, the Freiburg Institute for Basic Income Studies (FRIBIS) will hold its first annual conference on Monday and Tuesday, 11-12 October 2021. It aims to shed light on an emerging topic in the economics of UBI: the monetary issues of a UBI. Monetary aspects are becoming more important due to an increasing economic interest in monetary innovations and major disruptions in central banking and finance. UBI research is being increasingly influenced by this development. The biggest UBI pilots use specifically minted currencies to ensure local spending, and new strands of transformative economics propose monetary financing or community currencies as financing mechanisms for a UBI. FRIBIS acknowledges this evolution by creating research teams in order to keep up-to-date with research in this field. At this year’s conference, FRIBIS will present this teams’ research, as well as other research activities. In addition, research collaborations will be presented and there will be keynotes and panel discussions with very honorable guests.

The conference provides the audience, in addition, with contributions of other FRIBIS teams in parallel sessions. FRIBIS teams integrate in a unique way the activities of civic society actors, activists, and scientists, so that civic society actors and activists can show their contributory potential.

The conference will be held online. It will be livestreamed over the FRIBIS YouTube channel. Guests are invited to ask questions in the YouTube Chat.

Programme and links to watch the sessions (free on YouTube) are on this webpage.

UBI-Europe fundraises to send youth to Strasbourg

Unconditional Basic Income Europe (UBIE), an alliance of organisations and individuals across 27 countries, is fundraising to send 20 young basic income advocates aged 16-30 to the European Parliment in Strasbourg October 8-9th, for the European Youth Event (EYE) 2021. The group this year is twice as large as the one that went on behalf of UBIE in 2018 and include many from underrepresented communities. Among other things they will be leading a workshop on ‘Policies for a fairer economy’ which will include basic income. It is also a good opportunity, they say, to advocate for UBI policies at the European Parliment and exchange their views with experts, activists, influencers and decision-makers on a high level.

Although expenses are refunded by the EU Parliament, attendees have to pay travel, etc. up front. You can make a donation here.

Bristol Festival of Ideas: 6 October conference on Basic Income

On Wednesday 6 October 2021, the Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath, and Bristol Ideas are running their second virtual conference, ‘Is it time for UBI?’. The conference is free to attend.

Leading thinkers, politicians and policymakers will come together to debate and explore new approaches to macro-economic policymaking, the prospects for Universal Basic Income, and the political economy of social and economic change.

Speakers include: Kate Bell (TUC), Young Jun Choi (Yonsei University), Anna Coote (New Economics Foundation), Diane Coyle (University of Cambridge), Geoff Crocker (author of Basic Income and Sovereign Money), Sarath Davala (Indian Network for Basic Income), Anna Dent (policy and research consultant), S Mahendra Dev (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research), Martin Ford (author of Rule of the Robots), Cleo Goodman (Basic Income Conversation), Paul Mason, Jane Millar (University of Bath), Bernhard Neumärker (University of Freiburg), Thomas Palley, Nick Pearce (Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath), James Plunkett (author of End State), Sumbul Siddiqui (Mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts), Kate Soper (London Metropolitan University / University of Brighton) and Paola Subacchi (Queen Mary University of London).

The programme, biographies of speakers and registration can be found on this web page.

International Basic Income Week capped with live & online Basic Income Marches

Saturday 25 September sees the penultimate day of the 14th International Basic Income Week ‘Basic Income: Forward to a Better World’ with Basic Income Marches in many cities. Although concentrated in the US and Europe, events will also be held in Jakarta, Indonesia and Brisbane, Australia.

The day will also be commemorated with an epic non-stop 24-hour Online Basic Income March broadcast which will feature 65 speakers and news in several languages from around the world. This event, organised by World-Wide UBI Advocates, will start at 12:01am GMT 25 September and end 11.59pm GMT. You can participate during the day on Zoom, using the password BIAtMove. The programme, subject to minor last-minute changes, can be found on the IBIW website.

Why UBI should go global

New research from World Basic Income finds that more than half of the world’s people live in countries where UBI could reach only $5 to $18 per person per month on average, as a result of global inequality and national income constraints. To support UBI activism in lower income countries and ensure that people everywhere can receive a sufficient UBI, the group proposes topping up this amount with a worldwide basic income of $30. 

The briefing uses World Bank data to uncover how much money flows through each country every year, and how much of it could be taxed and redistributed as UBI. 

The analysis shows that UBI could reach a maximum of $12 per person per month in India, $3 in Afghanistan and just over $1 in Burundi, if governments tax and redistribute cash at the average rates for each continent. Even if these countries managed to spend as much as France (the highest-spending country) on cash benefits, UBI could reach only $36, $10 and $5 respectively. 

Laura Bannister, World Basic Income’s campaign director, explained, “Global inequality is deeply unjust and much more severe than many people think. Gross national income is just $811 per person per year in an average low income country, and in Burundi it is $270. Governments of these countries should still be pushed to implement UBI, but there just isn’t enough money flowing through these economies to enable payments at the level people need and deserve.”

Frank Kamanga, Director of Universal Basic Income Malawi and a member of World Basic Income’s International Advisory Board said, “I was motivated to join the universal basic income global movement because of the inequality that I observed in the world, especially between the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Currently with our resources it isn’t possible to have a universal basic income in Malawi, but with support from development partners we could manage to have such a policy.”

The briefing proposes a new mechanism for such support – a worldwide basic income of $30 per person per month, which would underpin national UBI efforts. It would be funded at the global level through taxes and charges on transnational corporations, and would be paid directly to every person worldwide that registered with the scheme. 

“An extra $30 a month for every adult and child would be hugely significant for at least half of the world’s people,” said Laura Bannister. “These people deserve better from the world economy. Today’s extreme inequality between North and South is the result of a shameful history that the UBI movement should be aiming to help redress. UBI has incredible potential to reduce inequality and it’s time to apply that between countries as well as within them.”

Frank Kamanga concluded, “Poverty by its nature is inhumane, it steals away dignity and it denies people opportunities. A radical approach to do away with poverty at the global scale is implementing universal basic income.”

World Basic Income is co-ordinating a growing movement to take UBI to the global level. You can read their paper ‘A UBI for Half the World’, join their webinar on 21st September ‘Should UBI be provided by the UN?’ or donate here to support their crowdfunding campaign.