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The Fourteenth Annual North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress

 New York, NY

Thursday, February 26 – Sunday March 1, 2015


The Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) is suddenly a major topic of conversation in America and around the world. Activist movements have sprung up to push for it. Recent articles in the popular press have discussed it as a part of strategies to address recession, poverty, inequality, carbon pollution, and technological unemployment. In an economy forcing increasing numbers of people into precarious employment situations, is BIG a necessary and achievable part of efforts to retrieve democratic social stability? Can we afford it? How will it affect the economy? Will the new activist movements for BIG take off?

We invite participants to address these and other questions at the Fourteenth Annual North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress, which will take place in New York City starting Thursday, February 26 – Sunday March 1, 2015. The congress is organized by the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG) in cooperation with the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN/RCRG). It will be held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Economic Association (EEA). It will also include free event(s) to be held at other venues and announced later.


Featured speakers at the conference confirmed so far include Marshall Brain, futurist and author of How Stuff Works and Manna; Peter Barnes, environmentalist and author of Who Owns the Sky?, With Liberty and Dividends For All, and Capitalism 3.0; Ann Withorn, welfare rights activist and Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Boston, author of Serving the People: Social Services and Social Change and co-editor of For Crying out Loud: Women and Poverty in the U.S.; Jim Mulvale, Dean of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba and Vice-Chairperson of the Basic Income Canadian Network (BICN/RCRG), and Mary Bricker Jenkins, Professor of Social Work, Temple University, and US Welfare Rights Union leaders.


A major focus of this conference is to introduce BIG to new audiences and to explain why it matters to so many. Therefore, we invite participants either to present a paper or to organize a dialogue or a workshop. For example, we suggest submitting proposals for a dialogue about BIG and today’s social movements, which could focus on labor issues (full employment, minimum wage, etc.), on racial and gender justice, on environmental issues, on immigration concerns and so on. The goal is to engage an open conversation about the connections (and possible tensions) between movement activists and BIG supporters. A dialogue is not a debate, but an effort to promote discussion across movements. Alternatively, workshops might involve an exercise to bring out the group’s thoughts and feelings about some issue relating to BIG.


Everyone attending the events at the EEA Conference must register with the EEA and pay their registration fee. If you register as a USBIG participant, you can register for the EEA members’ price of $110 without paying the EEA’s membership fee—saving $65. All registered attendees of the North American Basic Income Congress are welcome to attend any of the EEA’s events. Participants attending only the free event(s) need not register. Details of those events will be announced later.


All points of view are welcome. To present a paper, to organize a workshop, or lead a dialogue at the congress, submit a proposal to the congress organizer, Karl Widerquist of USBIG, at


Please include the following information with your proposal:

 1. Name(s)

2. Affiliation(s)

3. Address

4. City, Province/State, Postal/Zip Code, and Country

5. Telephone

6. Email Address(es)

7. Title of Paper, Presentation, or Panel

8. Abstract or description of the presentation or workshop (50-150 words)

9. Indicate your availability for the free events, the paid events, or both.

Panels: Proposals for panel discussions should include a title, topic, and description of the panel and the names and contact information for each participant. For dialogues, only one or two moderators need to be listed.



DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: November 17th, 2014


For updated information on featured speakers, registration, and accommodations as it becomes available, visit the USBIG website: For more information about the Eastern Economics Association Annual Meeting, visit the EEA website:


Essential information:

Conference dates: Thursday, February 26 – Sunday, March 1, 2015
The deadline for participant submissions: November 17, 2014
Location: New York, NY
Organizing committee:
Karl Widerquist <> (organizer),
Ann Withorn <>,
Shawn Cassiman <>, and Jurgen De Wispelaere <>



News on Basic Income

What is a BIG?

The basic income guarantee (BIG) is a government insured guarantee that no citizen's income will fall below some minimal level for any reason. All citizens would receive a BIG without means test or work requirement. BIG is an efficient and effective solution to poverty that preserves individual autonomy and work incentives while simplifying government social policy. Some researchers estimate that a small BIG, sufficient to cut the poverty rate in half could be financed without an increase in taxes by redirecting funds from spending programs and tax deductions aimed at maintaining incomes. Click here for more information.

A Belorussian translation

The USBIG Network

The U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (The USBIG Network) is an informal group promoting the discussion of the basic income guarantee in the United States. USBIG (pronounced "U.S big") publishes an email newsletter (subscription 500) every two months, maintains an on-line discussion paper series, and has yearly conferences.

USBIG was founded in December 1999 by Fred Block of University of California-Davis, Charles M. A. Clark of St. John's University, Pamela Donovan of the City University of New York, Michael Lewis of the State University of New York-Stony Brook, and Karl Widerquist then of the Levy Economics Institute. The USBIG Coordinating Committee has nine members: Michael Howard of the University of Maine (Coordinator); Karl Widerquist, now of Georgetown University, Qatar (Newsletter Editor); Al Sheahen, author (Public Relations Coordinator,; Steve Shafarman, author (Activist Coordinator,; Michael Lewis, Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College; Eri Noguchi of Columbia University; and Almaz Zelleke, BIEN Executive Committee,; Dan O'Sullivan of Rise Up Economics;  Jason Murphy ; Jeff Smith, Forum on Geonomics, Click here for more information, or email (

Last updated - 09.11.2014-14:08

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