Are you thinking about attending the BIEN Congress?

You might have heard that Basic Income Network Scotland, along with partners at the University of Strathclyde, are a host organisation for the Basic Income Earth Network Congress, taking place in August this year. (If you haven’t, where have you been?!) To help you make your mind up about filling in that registration form, we asked participants from past editions of the Congress to tell us why they found it valuable. 

As the name suggests, it’s a big event. But don’t let that daunt you! At the Congress you’ll find a welcoming community of Basic Income experts, activists and enthusiasts.

“People willing to take a stand on an extra income for all tend to be very good company. At previous Congresses, I even met academics who could talk soccer football!”
 Jeffery Johnson Smith

With an international base of speakers and attendees, taking part in the BIEN Congress is a unique networking opportunity. We’ll be making sure that this online edition of the Congress still has plenty of chances for socialising and informal discussion. 

“These congresses were very rich spaces, where I could share my academic research and, especially, have access to studies and actions related to UBI in different parts of the world.”
Thiago Rocha

“During previous congresses what’s happened between the formal sessions has been at least as important as what’s happened during them, particularly in relation to creating networks around the global debate.”
Malcolm Torry

“My favourite thing about the experience of attending previous Congresses was the breadth and diversity of the people and the ideas, and the fact that the movement is constantly growing and changing.”
Otto Lehto 

One thing all our respondents’ answers had in common was the notion that attending a BIEN Congress was an inspiring experience that had a positive impact on their work. 

“I believe that the best result I got from these events was to start acting in a more articulated way with the networks that defend UBI internationally and in the countries where I am most active. Thus, today I am not only a member of the networks for basic income in Brazil, Portugal, and Spain, but I also work together with colleagues from these countries whenever possible. Furthermore, we have made progress in structuring a Latin American network for basic income.”
Thiago Rocha 

“Be bold and explore topics and sessions that you have not heard from before or that are not your own. Creating synergy and freewheeling interdisciplinary engagement is one of the great joys of attending a world congress, presumably even an online one.”
Otto Lehto 

“BIEN conferences are analogous, I imagine, to Silicon Valley – it attracts people from all over the world with positive out-of-the-box systemic ideas so one receives enormous mind-storming input.”
Paul Ross

“I attended the 2017 Lisbon BIEN Congress and was totally inspired to meet basic income champions from around the world. The BIEN Congress confirmed that basic income is a transnational demand of the precarious and a route of escape for the radical imagination?”
Craig Berggold

We’re grateful to all of the above for sharing their experiences with us. Everyone who’s quoted here will be speaking at the BIEN Congress 2021, which takes place online from 18-21 August 2021. Hopefully we’ve persuaded you to register for the Congress, here.

Illustrations by Izzie Mack

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