UNITED STATES: Panel Discussion on Basic Income in San Francisco, April 21

UNITED STATES: Panel Discussion on Basic Income in San Francisco, April 21

On Thursday, April 21, the Universal Income Project will host a panel discussion entitled “Care and Cash: Universal Basic Income and Social Services in the Bay Area,” to be held at Impact Hub in San Francisco.

According to the event description, the panel “will feature experts from a variety of different social service sectors to discuss how Basic Income could affect the communities they work with, what factors are most important to consider about the program, and how it would compare to alternative models of assistance.”

The six panelists represent organizations including HandUp, Tipping Point Community, The Reset Foundation, Code for America, and Google.

The discussion will be recorded as well as streamed live. See the event page for updates and details.


Photo: San Francisco, 2015

Image Credit: Ken Walton via flickr

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA: North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress gets under way next month.

The Fifteenth North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress is rapidly approaching. It will take place in Winnipeg, Canada at the University of Manitoba on May 12 – 15. Early bird registration rates are available only until April 20. The detailed program is now available on the Basic Income Canada Network’s website.

From the Basic Income Canada Network

From the Basic Income Canada Network

WORLD: The charity GiveDirectly will start a major basic income trial in Kenya

WORLD: The charity GiveDirectly will start a major basic income trial in Kenya

GiveDirectly, a charity which has used direct cash distribution in one-time, lump-sum payments to fight poverty in Africa, announced it will launch a full basic income trial. The project will involved at least 30 million dollars and academic support from leading researchers at the MIT. The charity is relying on donations from all around the world. The trail will fully adopt the basic income model by making regular cash payments to every resident in several villages in Kenya.

GiveDirectly’s appeal for support it below:

Dear friends,


We’re announcing something new. Something that’s never been done before.

GiveDirectly is launching a universal basic income trial — this year, we’ll begin paying everyone in multiple Kenyan villages a regular income that’s enough to meet their most basic needs, and keep doing so for more than ten years.

People have long debated whether we should provide a guaranteed minimum floor for everyone (a “basic income”), and what would happen if we did. Would it spur risk-taking and creativity, or would people just stop working? Would it drive growth or reduce it? Would people spend more time on entrepreneurship, or on education and parenting? With the idea being hotly debated around the world, it’s time we found out.

We’re teaming up with leading researcher Abhijit Banerjee from MIT and have calculated that we can run and study a real trial for $30 million, and we’re willing to match the first $10 million donated.

To make this happen, join us and contribute a small amount to help the world find out if a guaranteed basic income could be the tool that ends poverty.

Together, in the last five years, we’ve raised $100 million, helped shift a worldwide policy discussion, and served over 150,000 individuals based on the proven principle that giving poor people cash works. Now it’s time for us to take the next step. It’s because of you that we’ve made it this far, so we hope you’ll join us for this newest project.

Visit our website to learn more or to contribute to the project.

If you do decide to give to this trial, at a minimum your money will help shift the life trajectories of thousands of low-income households. At best, it will change how the world thinks about ending poverty.

All the best,

Ian Bassin
Chief Operating Officer – Domestic
You can read more about GiveDirectly’s new basic income project at the following links:

GiveDirectly.org, “Send money directly to the extreme poor: Basic Income.” GiveDirectly.org. 2016

Evgeny Morozov on the Bay Area’s Basic Income Movement

Evgeny Morozov on the Bay Area’s Basic Income Movement

The Silicon Valley start-up incubator Y Combinator made international news earlier this year, when it announced plans to fund a five-year study on the effects of a guaranteed basic income. (Basic Income News covered the announcement here.)

While this has widely been hailed as a breakthrough for the basic income movement, author Evgeny Morozov takes a critical approach to the ambitions of Y Combinator — and the Silicon Valley basic income movement more generally — in an article written for The Guardian.

Drawing upon the work of Italian economists Carlo Vercellone, Andrea Fumagalli, and Stefano Lucarelli, Morozov presents an argument in favor of basic income as a means to facilitate “cognitive capitalism” (in which cognitive labor assumes a much greater importance than material production). Interestingly, however, Morozov contends that the same argument also entails that Silicon Valley is not the “greatest champion” of the basic income agenda but indeed its “main enemy.”

So, then, how could Silicon Valley encourage the transition to a basic income, if not through its current activities? Here, Morozov suggests a radically different (and, he believes, certainly unpopular) approach: “why not make us, the users, the owners of our data?”

The Bay Area’s tech elite have been instrumental in promoting and popularizing the idea of a basic income, and it would surely be premature to dismiss their efforts out of hand. Nonetheless, Morozov raises deep concerns that are worthy of consideration by those involved with or interested in the movement.

Evgeny Morozov, 27 February 2016, “Silicon Valley talks a good game on ‘basic income’, but its words are empty,” The Guardian.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

LOS ANGELES, CA: Second Basic Income Create-A-Thon, April 15-17

LOS ANGELES, CA: Second Basic Income Create-A-Thon, April 15-17

The second Basic Income “Create-A-Thon” will be held in Los Angeles, California, from April 15-17. The event will unite “writers, artists, videographers, developers, musicians, and other creatives” for the purpose of creating “content and media around the theme of a Universal Basic Income in the United States.”

A similar event was held in San Francisco last November, bringing together 60 creative-minded basic income advocates, and resulting in the development of eight separate projects, including, among others, a documentary, cost-calculator, policy proposal for the city of San Francisco, and the United States’ first crowd-funded basic income raffle.

For more information, to register, or to learn about how to initiate a Basic Income Create-A-Thon in your own city, see the Create-A-Thon’s official website.

Photo of LA skyline CC Wikimedia Commons

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