BIEN Norway public meeting: “Basic Income on the agenda!” (Aug 26)

“Basic Income on the agenda: What now for the Norwegian model?”

BIEN’s Norwegian affiliate, Borgerlønn BIEN Norway (BIEN Norge), has organized a public meeting on basic income on Saturday, August 26 — two weeks before the nation’s parliamentary elections (September 11). The event will investigate current challenges to Norway’s welfare state and the potential for basic income to reinvigorate and further develop the Nordic model.

During the first part of the meeting, Heikki Hiilamo (Professor of Social Policy at the University of Helsinki) will discuss Finland’s currently running Basic Income Experiment, and Becca Kirkpatrick (Chair of UNISON West Midlands Community Branch) will apply her experience of organizing trade unions in the UK to explaining why unions should support basic income. BIEN Norge has invited representatives from four Norwegian unions to speak at the event.

The second part of the event will focus on the current situation in Norway–where the traditionally robust welfare state has been threatened by the privatization of public services, tax cuts, benefit cuts, and a weakening of labor legislation, where the universal benefits characteristic of the Nordic model are being replaced with targeted and means-tested benefits, and where automation and digitalization are challenging another cornerstone of the Nordic model: the goal of full employment and a duty to work.

Four scholars, all of whom are prominent Norwegian supporters of basic income, will present their ideas concerning the potential for basic income to confront the concerns facing the Norwegian economy and welfare state: Nanna Kildal (Research Professor at the University of Bergen), Margunn Bjørnholt (Research Professor at the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies), Karl Ove (Kalle) Moene (Professor of Economics at the University of Oslo), and Ove Jacobsen (Professor of Ecological Economics at the Business School at Bodø). A debate will follow the individual presentations.

Litteraturhuset, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Aprile Clark

The meeting will take place at Litteraturhuset, a cultural center in Oslo.  

For more information, see the event page on Facebook.

Tickets can be purchased from Hoopla.

Post reviewed by Genevieve Shanahan.

Cover photo (Sognefjord – Dragsviki, Norway) CC BY 2.0 Giuseppe Milo


Øyvind Steensen, “Den norske modellen versjon 2.0” (BI as continuation of Norwegian Model)

Øyvind Steensen, “Den norske modellen versjon 2.0” (BI as continuation of Norwegian Model)

(Image Credit: Gjesteblogg)

Øyvind Steensen describes the Norwegian model, which involves two citizen salary schemes – family allowances and minimum pension, and possible improvements to it. The change to the current welfare system would be the provision of a basic income.

Steensen describes basic income as “a basic citizen wages granted without means testing for all adults residing in the country.”

According to Steensen, however, it should not be too high. If too high, it might disincentivize work.

Read the original article here (in Norwegian):

Øyvind Steensen, “Den norske modellen versjon 2.0. Gjesteblogg, November 15th, 2016

VIDEO: Guy Standing on the impending revolt of the precariat

VIDEO: Guy Standing on the impending revolt of the precariat

Photo: “Thomas Heatherwick – Thames Garden Bridge” CC-BY-2.0 準建築人手札網站

The controversial Garden Bridge is a proposed privately-owned bridge over the River Thames in London, intended to open in 2018. According to the “Lady of the Future”, its construction was a triggering event to the Precariat Revolt; listen to the lecture below to learn more…   

As previously announced in Basic Income News, BIEN cofounder Guy Standing (SOAS, University of London) was invited to speak on the “politics of utopia” at Oktoberdans, Norway’s most prestigious contemporary dance festival, on October 25, 2016.

He was asked to speak without notes and standing atop two pallets, creating the feel of a speaker’s corner:

Standing framed his talk as the received word of the “Lady of the Future”, who informed him about the precariat revolt of 2017, which eventuated in a series of reforms beginning with basic income. Throughout his talk, he stressed the importance of the arts (e.g. their “subversive potential” and thus capacity to effect political change). Although adapted to the unique setting and audience, Standing drew from material in his latest book, The Corruption of Capitalism, as well as his previous works on the precariat.

Watch Standing’s complete performance, including Q&A, above.

NORWAY: Guy Standing to Discuss “Precariat Revolt” at Dance Festival (Oct 25)

NORWAY: Guy Standing to Discuss “Precariat Revolt” at Dance Festival (Oct 25)

BIEN co-founder Guy Standing will be speaking on basic income and the precariat at Oktoberdans–a well-regarded contemporary dance festival held biennially in Norway–on October 25.

Held every two years, Norway’s Oktoberdans is an internationally-regarded contemporary dance festival. The eleventh Oktoberdans will be held in Bergen from October 20-29, 2016.

Oktoberdans incorporates occasional events falling outside the usual scope of dance and performance art. This year, in connection with the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas Moore’s Utopia, the festival will include a workshop called “Changing Utopia”, featuring six speakers over the course of three days (October 25-27).

A utopia is defined as a “non-place” and is itself impossible. Yet it is a concept most of us can relate to; the ultimate goal, something to strive for. Is it part of human nature to always long for the next, something better? Can this urge explain why we, as a species, have come to a point in our technological development where we are beginning to question if we are making the human workforce unnecessary?

Is it viable to argue that the discussion about what we want with our world has stopped? Is it possible to discuss a utopia for community and a utopia for the individual in the same breath? …

In this discursive program we will plunge fearlessly into the above-mentioned questions, hoping to generate new perspectives for artists, students, and a general audience attending Oktoberdans 2016.

The opening speaker on the first day will be economist Guy Standing, a co-founder and honorary co-president of BIEN. Standing will speak about the “precariat revolt” anticipated in his latest book, The Corruption of Capitalism. Specifically, he will explain what this revolt entails with respect to “reversing the trends of insecurity, inequality and the growth of the precariat.”

Rune Salomonsen, an organizer of the workshop, states that the organizers asked Standing to focus on his “politics of paradise”. Explaining the decision to invite a researcher and advocate of basic income, Salomonsen says,

The subject of basic income needs definitely a more frequent highlighting within the art field, but then again this subject is of universal importance, and this utopia as we now call it, has other important ingredients in addition to the basic income, it involves essential democratic structures.

Salomonsen mentions philosopher Jacques Rancière’s speech at the 2004 Summer Academy in Frankfurt as a precedent in which a thinker from outside the arts world delivered a presentation at major arts conference to great results. In this case, Rancière’s speech led to his book The Emancipated Spectator, which has become influential in both philosophy and the arts (especially performance art).

To enhance the dramaturgical elements of the presentation, the organizers have asked Standing to deliver his speech without printed notes and stand atop two Euro-pallets–creating a setting like a Speaker’s Corner.   

Other speakers at Changing Utopia include Norwegian journalist Linn Stalsberg, Swiss artist Christophe Meierhans (who “showcased a complete political system” for a recent performance), and Wolfgang Heuer of the Institute for Political Science at the Free University of Berlin.

At the time of this writing, two speakers have yet to be announced (although they are specified to be “very exciting”).

BIT Teatergarasjen presents the Changing Utopia seminar in collaboration with House on Fire.

For more information, see the homepage of the 2016 Oktoberdans and the page for the Changing Utopia seminar.

Information, photo, and proofreading from Rune Salomonsen (Bit Teatergarasjen).


KRISTIANSAND, NORWAY: Basic Income on Protest Festival agenda (Sep 6)

KRISTIANSAND, NORWAY: Basic Income on Protest Festival agenda (Sep 6)

First convened in July 2000, Norway’s annual Protest Festival aspires to protest powerlessness and indifference and promote political action. This year’s Protest Festival will be held in Kristiansand from September 4-11 – and it will include basic income among its topics.

The week-long festival includes lectures and discussions on various social and political topics, in addition to musical acts and other performance events. (The headline music acts are American singer-songwriters Kris Kistofferson and Eric Andersen.)

Protest Festival

Of particular interest are two successive events on Tuesday, September 6:

• Guy Standing, BIEN’s co-founder and honorary co-president, will be speaking on the coming “precariat revolt”. His lecture will draw from his newest book, The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Doesn’t Pay.

• Several researchers, writers, and politicians will be debating the question of whether Norway, like Finland, should investigate a basic income. To set the stage for the debate, sociologist Olli Kangas will speak about the Finnish experiment. Kangas is Director of Community Relations in the Research Department at Kela, Finland’s Social Insurance Institute, which will be conducting the basic income trial next year.

For more information about the event (in Norwegian), see

Reviewed by Asha Pond

Kristiansand photo CC BY 2.0 Germán Poo-Caamaño

Credit also to Kate’s supporters on Patreon