BIEN Congress 2019

BIEN Congress 2019

BIEN Congress 2019

BIEN Congress 2019

Basic Income as
Freedom and Development

19th BIEN Congress in Hyderabad, India

22-25, August 2019

Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) is a global network with 35 national and regional affiliates. Its primary objective is to foster informed discussion about basic income throughout the world. Each year, BIEN organizes an international Congress, hosted by one of its affiliates.

India Network for Basic Income (INBI) is hosting the 19th BIEN Congress in Hyderabad, India, from 22nd to 25th of August 2019.

Congress Theme: Basic Income as Freedom and Development

The theme of the Congress is ‘Basic Income as Freedom and Development’. Basic Income is an idea that is evoking curiosity and attention of people from a wide variety of national and cultural contexts, from leaders of different socio-political domains. Irrespective of the generic meaning that we attempt to give it, the groundswell that we witness today is producing its own local meanings. Each of these meanings seems to emerge from its own unique contextual starting point. The year 2019 is virtually being declared as the ‘Year of the Basic Income’, because the idea is reverberating across the world.

In this chaotic multiple renderings and interpretations, we observe that Basic Income is being seen both as Freedom and Development. These two notions are not mutually exclusive or distinctively apart, as often they are made out to be. Development ideally ought to lead to Freedom, and equally so the other way round. In certain contexts, the immediate appeal of the idea of Basic Income seems to be ‘Development’ in terms of addressing hunger and other forms of deprivation, access to education and healthcare. In other contexts, the immediacy may be felt as Freedom from alienating jobs that most of us are forced to do for a living. In either case, what emerges is that an unconditional Basic Income is seen as having tremendous potential to liberate us from the new forms of slavery that the current phase of capitalist economy subjects us to.

This BIEN Congress seeks to explore this diversity. We have identified the following themes to explore in different plenary sessions and concurrent sessions.

BIEN Civic Forum

The Congress will be for four days. The first day, that is, 22nd August will be India Day which is being organised under the new BIEN initiative called BIEN Civic Forum. The deliberations of this day will focus on the Basic Income debate and policy initiatives and the ground level experience in India. All the delegates are encouraged to attend the India Day.

The main Congress will be inaugurated on 23rd morning and will conclude at 2.45pm on 25th August 2019. The General assembly of BIEN will be convened at 3pm the same day.

Registration of Delegates

Those who wish to attend the Congress, please register by filling out the online form . The Delegate Fee structure is as follows:

Type of Fee In Euro € In US Dollars $
Solidarity fee € 200 and above $ 229
Regular Fee € 125 $ 143
Delegates from low-income countries € 50 $ 57

We are encouraging delegates to come from low-income countries, and this fee is at a highly subsidized rate. Those of you, who can afford to pay, please consider opting for Solidarity Fee of 200 Euros and above. That would be a great help and contribution to the Congress.

Those who have institutional support, please opt for Regular Fee even if you are from low-income countries.

Call for Papers

Scholars, community organizer and artists are invited to make presentations pertaining to any of the following thematic areas. The abstracts (maximum 500 words) must reach us by February 25th 2019. Please mail your abstracts (in MS Word document) to:

If you need any clarifications, please write to Akhilesh Arya at the same address.

Thematic Areas for 19th BIEN Congress
1. Ideological Perspectives on Basic Income
2. Basic Income, Unpaid Work and Women in the Informal Economy
3. Basic Income in Development Aid Debate: Is there a Paradigm-shift?
4. Religious Perspectives on Basic Income
5. Basic Income as a Foundation of a Caring Economy and Society?
6. What forms of Freedom and What kind of Community Life does Basic Income promote?
7. Basic Income and Blockchain Technology: Are there Synergies?
8. Basic Income, Poverty and Rural Livelihoods
9. Basic Income, the Commons, and Sovereign Wealth Funds: Is Public Inheritance an emerging issue?
10. Basic Income Pilots: Opportunities and Limits
11. Basic Income and Political Action: What does it take to transform an Idea into Policy?
12. Basic Income and Corporate Philanthropy: Is Basic Income a better paradigm and way forward?
13. Basic Income and Children
14. Basic Income and Mental Health
15. Basic Income and Intentional Communities: What does this Experience Teach us?

Our Partners

INBI is partnering with the NALSAR University of Law in organizing the BIEN Congress in 2019. The venue of the Congress will be NALSAR campus, a sprawling expanse of 55 acres with state-of-the-art facilities, situated on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

INBI is also partnering with SEWA Madhya Pradesh, which played a key operational role in conducting the Madhya Pradesh Pilot Study. In collaboration with SEWA MP, INBI is producing short films and planning several campaign events in MP and other parts of the country in the run up for the Congress. SEWA is one of the largest membership based women’s organisations in the world, with over two million members in the informal economy.

INBI is partnering with an international voluntary group called WiseCoLab which plans to organize a major Hackathon in Hyderabad three weeks prior to the BIEN Congress and present the output at one of the sessions. The Hackathon itself will focus on the themes to be discussed at the BIEN Congress.

Based in the United States, Mustardseed Trust is the outreach of its founder Bela Hatvany, a distinguished scientist and a visionary who invented the touch-screen, among several others. The Trust works for a better world and specifically promotes the concept of ‘Caring Economy’. Basic income is an essential component of this idea. INBI is partnering with Mustardseed Trust and has been a recipient of an initial grant for the preparatory work of the Congress. In the forthcoming Congress, NALSAR, Mustardseed Trust and INBI together are working on conceptualising the session on ‘Basic Income and Caring Economy’ is a collective working on solutions to the pressing challenges that man-made world has posed to the Earth and its inhabitants. It is on a quest to identify what we need to transform our current growth driven local economies into one earth-wide caring economy. Based in Nice, France the group is as much engaged with the local issues as it is with global ones. INBI is partnering with Everyday to enrich the Congress with its resources. is an independent media platform attracting over 8 million visits per year. It publishes critical scholarship in accessible formats appropriate for students, activists, policymakers, and the general public. It covers topics ranging from migration to basic income, focussing on the structural political, economic, and social root causes of global exploitation. Combining academic rigour with journalistic clarity, its mission is to get the best of contemporary scholarship out of the ivory tower and to support evidence-based advocacy. opendemocracy is the media partner for the Congress.

LocalHi is our travel and logistics partner. For all travel and accommodation requirements delegates can contact them. This is necessary because the venue is 25 kilometers away from the city center, and the accommodation has to be found around the venue. The agency will provide travel and other related services beyond the Congress. They can customize travel packages for you to travel within India. Those interested, please contact Prashant or Sudhir directly via their website .


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BIEN Congress 2019