May UBI updates and events

Posted on May 28, 2023

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Dear UBI Friends and Supporters,
Please find below the monthly UBI update about events and publications:

1) UBI Lab Leeds would like to invite all readers and other supporters of UBI to an in-person May gathering at the Community Centre HEART in Leeds Headingley on 30 May at 18hrs. We will explore the Basic Income position of the Green Party and, if there is sufficient expertise and interest in our group, of other political parties in the UK. We will further explore the question, how can we best advocate for the inclusion of Basic Income in the political programmes of different political parties. Everybody is welcome. Please join us next Tuesday!

2) Join UBI Lab Network on Monday 29th May (Bank Holiday in the UK) for the second Well+Fair State Event: ‘Born to be…’ ~ The Youth of Tomorrow

It’s at 18:30hrs BST, Online and FREE for all – Find out more and register here.

The second event will focus on understanding the realities of what young people today are really facing and what needs to change.

3) Will UBI (Really) Change the World? Global Evidence on Basic Income
This online and in-person event on 30 May, 9.00-15.30hrs BST is jointly organised by the Center for Contemporary Solidarity Studies (CeSCoS) of the University of Vienna and the Austrian Foundation for Development Research (OeFSE), this small symposium brings together a group of experts to discuss the aspirations and realities of UBI interventions in the Global South and beyond. It is free and open to all.

You can find a detailed description here and register at and let them know if you will be attending onsite or online. After Registration the access code will be sent to you.

4) What? Basic Income for the Arts in Ireland – What have We Learned after 8 months?
When? Wednesday 7th June 2023 6:30pm – 8pm BST,
Where? Online
You can register for the event here.

UBI Lab Arts, UBI Lab Leeds and UBI Lab Network, in association with Basic Income Ireland present:

Please join us for the second in our special series of discussions dedicated to reflecting on what we can learn from the Irish Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme, as it unfolds.

The Government of Ireland is running a Basic Income pilot that began in September 2022. 2000 artists and cultural workers will receive a weekly unconditional income of €325 weekly for a period of three years. This second session will be an opportunity to check-in with some of the artists involved in the pilot scheme and learn from them about how it is affecting them and their creative communities. You can watch the recording of our first session from December 2022 here and read the blog about the session here.

This time we will be joined by artists Shane Finan, Alisha Doody and Tadhg Ó Cuirrín, who will give us personal insights from the perspective of recipients and members of the ‘control group’ who applied but will not receive the basic income. We will also be joined by Basic Income Ireland who will give a brief introduction to their work and the political context of Ireland.

5) You may be interested in a discussion (25 minutes) on Al-Jazeera with the Irish Artist Elinor O’Donovan and participant in the Irish Arts Pilot Scheme, the director of the documentary ‘Free Money’ Sam Soko and Guy Standing, a founding member of BIEN: ‘Will Universal Basic Income become mainstream?

6) The Universal Credit System in the UK does not work for self-employed creatives according to the former Coronation Street actor Julie Hesmondhalgh. You can read the Guardian article here.

7) Millions of UK households missing out on £19bn a year in unclaimed welfare benefits. Could this be the real reason why many governments are opposed to Universal Basic Income? It is an easy way to save money on the back of poor citizens.

8) How can we pay for Universal Basic Income? – Is Sovereign Money the solution?
Geoff Crocker (GC) proposes to use Sovereign Money. He will discuss his proposition with Malcolm Sawyer (MS) who is a retired professor of economics from the University of Leeds and a critic of the concept of Sovereign Money. So this promises to be a lively online event where you will learn more about Universal Basic Income (UBI) and Sovereign Money (SM). You will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments on the topic.
UBI Lab Leeds and UBI Lab Network invite you to this thought-provoking webinar.
When? 14 June 2023 6.30-8pm (18.30-20hrs) BST (UK) time
Where? Online event
Please book a place here and receive the invitation link.

9) Green Party London Assembly Member Zack Polanski has proposed a basic income pilot for London. In a truly democratic and participatory research approach he has proposed to co-design and co-develop the pilot together with Londoners. You can find the proposal co-written with Cleo Goodman here.

10) Karl Widerquist is publishing an interesting series of blogs about Basic Income called ‘Mandatory Participation on Trial’. You can find the first seven out of 17 contributions here. They can help to sharpen your arguments in discussions about Basic Income!

11) A fair and transparent finance and tax system is a key ingredient of any Basic Income policy. Therefore you may be interested in Keval Bharadia’s talk about the global finance sector and a financial transaction tax (FTT). You may want to study the UK Wealth Tax Commission report ‘Should the UK have a wealth tax?’. You may also be interested in the Tax Simulator Tool which shows how much revenue could be raised from reforming the taxation of wealth.

12) Combating tax evasion: You may be interested in this live webcast with UBS Foundation Professor Dina Pomeranz (University of Zurich), Wednesday, 7 June 2023, 16:00 – 17:00 (BST). No modern state can function without effective taxation to fund its roles, ranging from assuring security, rule of law, and infrastructure to providing services in education and health or social programs. Tax evasion not only undermines these efforts, but also leads to distortions in the economy, which can have negative impacts on both economic efficiency and societal fairness.

In this webcast, UBS Foundation Professor Dina Pomeranz presents research on how governments around the world are combating tax evasion. She talks about lessons learned on how to strengthen the capacity to collect taxes effectively and fairly, particularly in low and middle-income countries.

You can register here.

13) A monthly cash payment program for new mothers for a total of 36 months in New York City is going from pilot project to permanent program, as the city debates using public dollars to fuel guaranteed income initiatives. You can read the article here.

14) A Conservation Basic Income could be an intelligent investment to safeguard our natural world from destruction. Please find the argument in the online conversation blog ‘A global ‘conservation basic income’ might cost trillions….’ and in the academic journal Nature Sustainability ‘A global conservation basic income to safeguard biodiversity’.

15) The BBC has produced a 30 minutes podcast about Kenya’s free money experiment. Thousands of Kenyan villagers are being given free cash as part of a huge trial being run by an American non-profit, GiveDirectly. Why? Some aid organisations believe that simply giving people money is one of the most effective ways to tackle extreme poverty and boost development. After all, they argue, local people themselves know best how to use the funds to improve their lives. You can read more and listen to the podcast here.

16) Our friends from the UBI Food Lab team have written an interesting Policy Insight ‘Could a Universal Basic Income reduce food insecurity and assist with the transition to a sustainable food system?

We hope to see you at one of the events co-organised by UBI Lab Leeds.

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