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Congress theme

​​​BIEN Congress 2024: Reclaiming the Future. Basic Income and Socio-Ecological Transformation

BIEN 2024 is focused on basic income’s potential as a radical tool for social transformation towards an economically just, politically inclusive and ecologically sustainable world.

We face a number of interlinked critical challenges, including climate change, global inequality, right-wing populism and technological disruption. The case for UBI must be understood in part in its capacity to respond to these challenges. However, there are still key barriers to political success. The implementation of a UBI in a national context continues to elude us, many social security systems are becoming more punitive and less universal, while there are concerns among some advocates that basic income is under increasing danger of being captured and shaped by status-quo or profit-seeking interests.

This motivates a wide range of questions, including but not limited to:

  • Is basic income a vehicle of radical social transformation, or a tool to reform and rehabilitate the injustices of our current capitalist system? 

  • How does UBI connect to adjacent political movements for social transformation and social justice, such as Black Lives Matter, reparations, eco-feminism, or postgrowth?

  • To what extent do policy proposals that deviate from the principles of universalism or unconditionality take us on the road to a UBI, or alternatively to what extent do they undermine its radical or transformative potential?

  • What principles should guide basic income policy design, advocacy, research or pilots in order to achieve socially transformative outcomes? 

  • Pilot interventions are often designed to test the impact of a basic income on labour supply or economic activity, but what other (more transformative) indicators or ideas should be a priority for research teams in a more radical vision of UBI? 

  • How can we move beyond the world of piloting to achieve tangible change and wider political mobilisation and policy change? 

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