Russia: Russian universities are embarking in UBI discussions

Russia: Russian universities are embarking in UBI discussions

Speaking panel at the Lomonosov Moscow State University.

There is a growing interest about basic income in Russia, at least on the academic level. Leading Russian Universities have been organizing discussions around the issue, with the support and participation of the movement Basic Income Russia Tomorrow. Given the world-leading recognition Russian universities enjoy, this may be a fact of central importance for the global development of the basic income movement.

On the 18th April 2019, at the Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Dispute Club Association of the Russian Economic Think Tanks (“Economic Policy Nodes”) held a discussion entitled “Is universal basic income tribute to populism or social policy of the future?”. PhD in economics Evgeny Gontmakher and leading Scientific Associate Yury Kuznetsov held the debate, after the introduction of Alexander Solovyev, chairman of the Basic Income Russia Tomorrow group. A local video footage of the event was captured, and can be viewed here (in Russian).

Just a few days later, on the 25th April 2019, at the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, another event took place, as a part of the International Scientific – Practical Conference IX “Abalkin`s Readings”. At this Conference, basic income was discussed in a section entitled “Mechanisms for improving the system of labour relations”, chaired by professors Vyacheslav Bobkov and Irina Soboleva.

Russia: A short-term basic income experiment starts in Russia

Russia: A short-term basic income experiment starts in Russia

The Social movement “Basic Income Russia Tomorrow”, together with the charity foundation “Coordinates of Good”, were awarded the Wow Successful Awards 2019, in the Social Innovation chapter, on the 13th of March. This award means the movement will be able to make unconditional cash transfers for five recipients, for three months. The value transferred will be small – 6500 rubles/month (around 100 $/month) – and for a very short period of time, but such an amount can be significant for many Russians. The money involved in the experiment is the result of private donations.

This short-term unconditional cash transfer experiment starts now, in April 2019, and will be monitored by Vyacheslav Nikolaevich Bobkov, from the Institute of Social and Economic Studies of Population at the Russian Academy of Sciences.