Photo: Peter Knight
The global network Sufficiency4Sustainability (S4S), which advocates for sufficiency as a path to sustainability, was just founded in late May this year. It is composed of a web of thinkers, researchers, professors and professionals devoted to promoting “the development of public policies to provide enough for all and curb overconsumption.”
Founding members of the S4S network include economists like Ricardo Abramovay and André Lara Resende, ecology specialist Torrey McMillan, ecological economists Herman Daly and Clovis Cavalcanti and political scientist Sergio Abrantes. Peter Knight coordinates the network and serves as its webmaster, while also being an economist specialized in the use of information and communication technologies.
Knight believes that there are critical areas of human knowledge that are, at the moment, treated separately in general, and that humankind would benefit if these were more integrated. In short, these are sustainability, exponential technologies, sufficiency, artificial intelligence, universal basic income, public policies, changing values and alternative economics. Short explanations of these areas are given at S4S website.
In representation of basic income in the S4S network, Peter Knight contacted and got the interest of BIEN’s International Advisory Board Chair Phillipe Van Parijs. The former has also developed, over the years, a close relationship with Eduardo Suplicy, also a former member of BIEN’s Executive Committee and still active basic income activist.
The S4S network is an open ended organization, whose members “are exploring how changing values and public policies might result in lower material and energy use by the relatively well-off while raising the consumption of the poor to a level sufficient to meet basic human needs, resulting in a total worldwide material and energy consumption that is ‘sustainable’ in the sense that the planet can bear it without a massive die-off of population due to exhaustion of material and environmental resources”.
More information at:
The Sufficiency4Sustainability website
(Monte Alentejano. Credit to: Álvaro Duarte @Reflexos Online)
The Co-Chair of Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), Louise Haagh, and lead Basic Income News Editor, André Coelho, have participated in two recent CO-ACTE meetings, the latest of which finished on the 28th of June, 2016.
The CO-ACTE project began in June 2015, after 10 years of development of a notion of well-being, brought from the local to the European scale by civic movements. This development – based on direct consultation with populations and using a methodology named the SPIRAL approach – is now managed by the network TOGETHER, “which formally and informally gathers all participating territories”. Its main task and greatest success to date has been the “co-construction of a shared vision of the well-being of all”, following consultation with more than 12,000 citizens, gathered into 120 groups and based in 20 countries (both European and African).
In order to fulfil its aim, the CO-ACTE project is creating a citizen’s movement which can translate popular expressions of well-being for all into public policies that can, in a co-responsible way, be implemented at local, regional, national and European levels, “without discrimination or exclusion”. To achieve this, Samuel Thirion and his staff at TOGETHER (with headquarters in Odemira, Portugal) have organized several international meetings. These started in Odemira, and have since taken place in Bordeaux, Gloucester and Viana do Castelo (with further meetings planned in Romania (Timisoara) and Belgium (Charleroi and Braine-l’Alleud)).
These meetings gather activists and leaders from several associations and countries, which can help turn this vision of well-being for all, generated via population consultations, into policy ideas which can, in turn, eventually become a reality in our society. These activists and leaders, including Time Banks, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups, Social Pharmacies, Zero Waste organizations, Fair Trade, Basic Income and municipality leaders, among others, get together in these meetings to discuss how their own activity and expertise in innovative ways of creating, working and living could be used to turn vision into policy.
It was in the context of this effort to get different groups talking to each other and thinking about policies to promote the well-being of all that TOGETHER contacted BIEN, soliciting the participation of Louise Haagh and André Coelho in these meetings. BIEN’s participation up until now, in both the Gloucester and Odemira meetings, has mainly involved providing general information on and advocating for basic income, responding to questions and learning from other participants. The activist environment both inspires and propels discussions that get every participant a bit closer to the basic income concept, since many are not yet familiar with it.
The next meeting is scheduled for the 16th and 17th of September, to be held in Timisoara, Romania, and Louise Haagh and André Coelho’s attendance is already confirmed.
More information at:
In this 30 minutes podcast, Armando F. Sanchez interviews André Coelho, Basic Income News editor. Motivated by all recent developments related to automation, global job loss, precariousness and social unrest, CEO, broadcaster and author Armando F. Sanchez has started The Future of Today series, in which this podcast features as the opening show. In this podcast, the central theme is basic income, discussed as a possibility for dealing with present day social challenges, particularly related to work organization.
More information at:
Blog Talk Radio, Armando F. Sanchez program Latino Role Models & Success, “André Coelho, Ph.D., Discussing Basic Income”
Robots for good. Credit to: 3D Printing Industry
Machines are getting better and better at performing work that was or still is performed by humans. This article starts with Stephen Hawking’s thoughts on the issue, which are that without proper wealth distribution, society will become a distopia in which an elite will have everything and all the rest almost nothing. Conor Lynch argues that, although current social developments show higher and higher inequality, nothing is for certain, which means that current capitalism could give way to a new social paradigm where basic income plays a central role.
Conor Lynch, “Stephen Hawking sobre el futuro del capitalismo, la desigualdad…y la Renta Básica” [“Stephen Hawking on the future of capitalism, inequality…and the basic income”], Sin Permiso magazine, October 26th 2015
Guy Standing, honorary president of BIEN, noted author, and leading advocate of basic income was interviewed on National Public Radio (US) on September 20, 2015. You can listen to the broadcast here.
He will give several talks on basic income in the next few weeks. Here are the details:
October 18, 18.00: talk on the precariat and basic income, Warsaw, Poland, organised by Krytyka Polityczna/Political Critique. Organiser: Slawomir Sierakowski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
October 29, 19.00: “The precariat: Towards a new progressive politics” (including basic income), Johannes Kepler Universität, Linz, Austria, organised by Netzwerk Grundeinkommen, the Austrian Basic Income Network. More information here. Organiser: Roland Atzmüller (Roland.Atzmueller@jku.at)
October 30, 18.30: “The precariat: Towards a new progressive politics” (including basic income), University of Vienna, Austria, organised by Netzwerk Grundeinkommen (the Austrian Basic Income Network), with the Institut für Wissenschaft und Kunst (IWK), and the Institut für Politikwissenschaft, University of Vienna. More information here. Organiser: Karl Reitter (email@example.com)
November 10, 19.00: public lecture on “A charter of rights for the precariat in the 21st century?”, Barcelona, Spain, organised by the Observatory for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (DESC) and the Barcelona Centre for Contemporary Culture (CCCB). More information here. Contact: (firstname.lastname@example.org)