Because robotics and artificial intelligence will take over more and more jobs in the future, the unconditional basic income has become one of the great utopias of our time. While our policy is not developing answers to the question of what the welfare state’s answer to technological developments should look like, a small start-up has set out to make the BGE utopia a reality. Find out more in this guest article from Transformation Network
My basic income is a non-profit start-up and young NGO at the same time. Donations are collected via crowdfunding and as soon as 12,000 euros have been collected, they are raffled off as an unconditional basic income of 1,000 euros per month.
It is very popular: Founded five years ago, “My Basic Income” is now fueling the debate with around one million users*.
Driven by the question of how we as a society want to live in the future, the association is experimenting with collective leadership and is working on the first civil society pilot project on an unconditional basic income.
190 Unconditional basic incomes of 12,000 euros each have already been raffled off since Mein Grundeinkommen was founded in 2014. In the meantime, the approximately 100,000 large and small donors finance another basic income every three days.
Out of approximately one million registered users*, an average of 350,000 take part in the regular prize draws. The total monthly donation volume is currently around 260,000 euros.
Are people willing to finance someone else’s livelihood – unconditionally? With this question, Micha Bohmeyer launched the first basic income experiment in Germany in 2014. With a simple video, he collected the first one-year basic income to be raffled via crowdfunding in just three weeks and then founded the non-profit start-up Mein Grundeinkommen e. V.. The team now consists of 27 activists who are working together to make the idea of an unconditional basic income capable of winning a majority. The young NGO sees itself as a future laboratory for research into the unconditional basic income and at the same time tests new forms of work and self-organisation within its own association structure.
We are currently experiencing perhaps the most rapid rise of a political idea ever: just ten years ago, only one in three Germans had heard of basic income. Today, every second person is already in favour of its introduction and concepts are being developed and discussed across all parties.
Our young NGO My basic income has been trying out for five years how an unconditional basic income (BGE) works in practice and has so far raffled off over 250 BGEs financed by crowdfunding to people from all over Germany. For one year each, they received 1,000 euros transferred each month – just like that, without consideration, given by complete strangers.
Association founders Michael Bohmeyer and Claudia Cornelsen have written a book about the findings from one of the “most exciting social laboratories in the world”: “What would you do? “ was published on January 25th by Econ Publishing.
The two authors travelled throughout Germany and interviewed 24 randomly selected basic income winners. Whether hotel heiress or mini-jobber, whether pensioner, student, job seeker or self-employed: for all of them, the Unconditional Basic Income meant the biggest change in their lives. However, the decisive factor was not – as one might think at first – money, but unconditionality.
Jesta, winner of the 34th BGE: “Coming from a humiliating situation to unconditionality was a very intense experience. The fear of existence gives way to a feeling of justification for existence.”
Michael Bohmeyer, founder of Mein Grundeinkommen: “It is not about what people do with the basic income, but what unconditionality does to people
Beyond statistics and financial debates, this book tells what happens when you give people the freedom to think about their needs without internal or external pressure. And it provides urgently needed perspectives for a world of work in transition.
More about “My basic income” can be found here: