Basic Income Now?

Aside from the human cost, the Covid-19 pandemic is having massive negative effects on the worldwide economy, and therefore household incomes.

One suggested solution is a Universal Basic Income. Our speaker, Guy Standing, the leading expert on the concept, argues that we can solve the ‘evils of modern life’, for almost zero net cost: we discuss the assertion in the Q&A at the end. He suggests that there is a better future, one that ensures all citizens can share in the wealth of the modern economy. Far from being a new idea, Standing shows how the roots of basic income goes back to the Charter of the Forest in 1217, one of two foundational documents of the state – the other, sealed on the same day, being the Magna Carta.

Is it a real solution or ideological idealism?

The format for this event will be a short talk followed by audience questions, which can be submitted during registration and live on Zoom.

It is not necessary to have a Zoom account to take part in the event.

7:30 P.M.


Professor Guy Standing

Guy Standing

Professorial Research Associate
University of London

An economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, he is a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), and Council member of the Progressive Economy Forum. Between 2016 and 2019, he was an economic adviser to the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell.

He was previously a professor at SOAS, the University of Bath, and Monash University, and Director of the ILO’s Socio-Economic Security Programme. He has been a consultant for many international bodies, including UNICEF, UNCTAD, UNDP, the European Commission and World Bank, has worked with SEWA in India, was Director of Research for President Mandela’s Labour Market Policy Commission, and has designed and helped conduct basic income pilots in various countries. His books include The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, published in 23 languages; The Corruption of Capitalism (Biteback), Basic Income: And how we can make it happen (Pelican, 2017), and Plunder of the Commons: A Manifesto for Sharing Public Wealth (Pelican, 2019).  

Ritula Shah (chair)

Lead Presenter, The World Tonight
BBC Radio 4

Previously producer of Today and presenter of Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4, Ritula Shah became the lead presenter of The World Tonight in 2013.