A vision of the future: Turning Crisis into an Opportunity for an Unconditional Basic Income in Europe



A vision of the future:

If not NOW? When?

Turning Crisis into an Opportunity for an Unconditional Basic Income in Europe

UBIE Conference

Athens, 26-28 September 2014

Melina Merkouri Cultural Center

66 Irakleidon & Thessalonikis street


We invite you to participate with UBIE (Universal Basic Income Europe) in a day of talks, brainstorming and planning about the future of emancipation in Europe and beyond.


UBIE is a network of organisations and individuals from 25 European countries who have different cultures and languages, but a common view that an Unconditional Basic Income is a sustainable and long term solution for our societies.

We work together to promote the idea of an unconditional basic income until we get its implementation everywhere in Europe, and its recognition as a universal human right.


Why this event?


Unconditional Basic Income is not a very well-known in Greece. The crisis, huge unemployment and media propaganda create desperate and very often hypnotized citizens.

In a country where finding a job with a salary of 400 euro per month sounds like a BLESSING, basic income may not seem like a priority.

But it is in this environment, where there is now a great need for the implementation of Unconditional Basic Income. Austerity, unemployment, poverty, [widening inequalities of wealth, education and access to meaningful employment] and the lack of democracy are red warning signals that Europe needs basic income more than ever before.

This conference will be a unique opportunity to attract a wider audience (the Precariat audience) so that more people will know and understand the concept and the importance of basic income for their lives and our society.






12.00- 14.00 Preparation of food

Music and Actions to promote Basic Income

Place: Park in Thissio, next to the Thissio metro station (green line)

14:00 – 15:30 Food for all – Basic Income for all, Get together lunch prepared by Social Kitchens



Place: Melina Merkouri Cultural Center, 66 Irakleidon & Thessalonikis street


16.00-17.00 Otto Lüdemann, place: Section A

Presentation of the project “Unconditional Basic Income in Europe – Promoting Civil Society” (within the EU-Program: “Europe for Citizens”, application sent out Sep 1st 2014, answer expected dec. 2014)



Creating opportunities for exchange between activists and for debating UBI with citizens in different European countries with the following concerns:

– UBI as tool for overcoming poverty, – UBI as condition for social and political participation, – UBI facilitating innovations in the larger context of social, economic, ecological and cultural development, – UBI as subject of research and experimentation.



1. 5 Meetings with workshops, incl. EU-wide networking, exchange and press releases at the end of each meeting, exchange and promotion: experts, activists, politicians from national networks

2. Internat. week of basic income (Sep 2015) as another opportunity for mobilizing organisations taking part in an EU-wide exchange,

3. Exhibition about UBI, concept to be developed and possibly translated,

4. Website, WWW.BASICINCOME2013.EU to be developed as a platform of participation, exchange and dissemination of results.

FORESEEN Meetings:

March 19th/20th, 2015 / Slovenia, //     June 19th/20th France //

Sep 19th/20th 2015 / Netherlands //      Dec 5th/6th Hungary //

Feb 26th/28th 2016 / Germany.

16.00-17.00 Faridah Zwanikken, place: Section B


Human right to fight for the existence of the self!

The group is called: Action Research. In our cross-disciplinary group during the workshop we will take up the social challenge of the human right to fight for the self and reflect on your experience. We will help each other to translate our knowledge into impactful projects.

17.00-17.45 Jouko Hemmi, place: Section A

UBI the route towards a new era of humanity – advice to legislators from an experienced expert.

Jouko equates the right to Unconditional Basic Income with constitutional rights and examines its possibilities to remedy social ills and exclusion.

17.00- 17.45 Sarah Thorne and Clayton Lavallin, place: Section B

Imagining a Basic Income

This workshop will explore some of the key principles behind the idea of an unconditional basic income through imagination and reflection.


17.45 – 18:15 COFFEE BREAK



Moderator: Philippos Dragoumis (Greek UBI team )


18.15 Short introduction from Greek UBI group

18.20 Skype Connection with Manos Matsaganis

Why does he support Basic Income and why Basic Income is important for Greece?


Manos Matsaganis is an associate professor at Athens University of Economics and Business, and a member of BIEN.

18:30 – 19:00 Guy Standing

"Crisis and the Precariat: Why the new dangerous class needs a basic income"

Greece is at the forefront of the crisis of globalisation, which has produced a new class, the precariat, consisting of millions of people living and labouring in chronic insecurity, with volatile and falling real incomes. This presentation will define the emerging class structure, explain why the precariat is the new dangerous class and why a basic income is vital if the precariat is to obtain basic security, if the rising inequalities are to be reversed and if chaotic social strife is to be avoided.


Economist and professor of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS),University of London, Guy Standing is a co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network(BIEN). He has written widely about labour economics, labour market policy, unemployment, labour market flexibility, structural adjustment policies and social protection.

His recent work has focused on the emerging precariat class ("The Precariat" 2012 "A Precariat Charter, From Denizens to Citizens" 2014) and the need to move towards unconditional basic income and deliberative democracy.

19:00 – 20:00 Roundtable  

Moderator: Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist is a Visiting Associate Professor at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Theory from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in Economics from the City University of New York. He is coauthor of Economics for Social Workers and coeditor of the Ethics and Economics of the Basic Income Guarantee. He has contributed to journals such as Politics, Philosophy, and Economics; Political Studies; and the Eastern Economic Journal.


Short Presentations:


-Bernard Kundig

The Switzerland case (avantages of direct democracy institutions)


-Guy Standing

Pilot studies of Basic Income


-Stanislas Jourdan, Mediactivist and member of the French movement for Basic Income.

The Euro Dividend as a solution to finance Basic Income


-Skype Connection with Lluís Torrens, a collaborator of the Podemos

Why do they support Basic Income?


He collaborates with Spain’s Basic Income Network and has developed several studies on the feasibility of a Basic Income in Catalonia and Basque Country.

He is also member of  the Council of  the Observatory of Civic Participation of Barcelona, and a member of Initiatives per al decreixement (Initiatives for Degrowth) a working group for developing proposals about a new social, sustainable and steady-state economic model

Diploma from the General Management Program of the IESE at the Universidad de Navarra.

M.Sc. in Economic Analysis for the Department of Economics at the UAB and the Institute of Economic Analysis (CSIC)

B.A. in Economics, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona


-Chrysogelos Nikos, politician, president of the Greens

Why do the Greens support Basic Income?


-Vassilis Perantzakis

Member of the Greek Pirate Party

Why do the Pirates support Basic Income?

20:00 – 21:00 Debate: Questions & answers

Moderator: Christine Papadopoulou (Activist and member of the UBI Greek team)


After event

After the end of the conference, on Friday the 26th of September, we organised an event for all of you. We are going to walk into the 'underground', offtrack neighborhoods of the city and see the places that tourists never visit. Then, we are going to have dinner at a traditional taverna with great Greek food (price per person around 12 euro).

So, get ready to experience the real face of Athens!


To register for the event, send an email with your name with the subject “UBIE Athens Registration” to info@www.basicincome.gr.