Basic Income Around the World

People all over the world are advocating for a basic income and a dignified life.

Since 2008, BICN has been an affiliate of the international Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN). BIEN began in Europe in 1986, and since 2006 this charitable organization has helped link people from all corners of the planet.  Now BIEN has recognized affiliates in many countries from North America and Latin America to Asia and Africa. Canada has two affiliates with Revenu de base Quebec joining in 2016.

Many countries in addition to Canada have piloted basic income projects with diverse designs and populations.

For example, in 2017 Finland began a project with a focus on helping the unemployed. At the same time in Kenya, a charity called Give Directly, started giving a set amount of money to every member of a rural village. Many cities, including some in the United States, have also run pilots to help their residents and draw attention to basic income’s benefits. Despite their differences, all of these pilot programs share the commonality of testing the effect of cash transfers on individuals and groups of people. And they share a common pattern of positive results. Efforts are underway to get the United Nations involved to help make basic income a global priority for Member States.

As interest and need for a basic income grows, we’re moving from idea towards the necessary policy changes to make it a reality.

North American Basic Income Guarantee Congresses

One of BICN’s major areas of activity over several years has been the organizing of congresses in Canada that have been critical to basic income knowledge sharing and the networking that has enabled the movement to grow so effectively. 
The North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress has been held every year since 2003 (with the exception of 2020), to promote networking and exchange of ideas among scholars, activists, and policy makers. The first eight congresses were organized by the US Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG) in conjunction with the Eastern Economic Association meetings. Beginning with the 2010 Montreal Congress, NABIG has been co-sponsored by USBIG and BICN and has alternated annually between Canada and the United States.  
Toronto was the site of NABIG 2012. Canada then hosted the 2014 NABIG along with the international Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) Congress in Montreal. BIEN Congress papers are available here. The 2016 NABIG was in Winnipeg and the 2018 Congress in Hamilton where 2020 was being planned as well until the pandemic hit. 
We are grateful to our academic partners for these events, including the University of Toronto, the Centre for Research and Ethics as the University of Montreal, the University of Manitoba, McMaster University Faculty of Social Sciences and a range of community partners in each location.