The international BIEN congress (Basic Income Earth Network) dealing with universal and unconditional basic income took place from the 25th to the 27th of September.  The number of participants, level of exchange and harmony of opinions has surpassed the organisers’ expectations and common images are starting to be launched.

By Mayte Quintanilla and Álvaro Orus

The event organised by Portuguese activists from BIEN (Basic Income Earth Network) was supported by the National Assembly which gave space in the main hall of the San Benito Palace for the congress’s first day sessions.  The ISEG (The Economics and Management Higher Institution of Lisbon) provided space for the second and third days.

Around 400 activists from 35 countries and five continents took part in 37 simultaneous sessions with different activities (panels, exhibitions, round tables, film showings, etc).

The intense activity of exchanging experiences has created connections that in turn have given rise to new ideas and joint projects that will allow international actions to reach an ostensibly higher level of quanlity.

Proposals such as an international ambit for studying Unconditional Basic Income pilot projects and an international film festival on Universal Basic Income have been born from the enthusiasm and communication of these days.

Horizontality and openness of mind have been the dominant tone in a setting in which famous authors such as Guy Standing and Philippe Van Parijs, and recognised activists such as Scott Santens and Stanislas Jourdan, could share initiatives with grassroots and creative activists as well as with associations and academics from around the world.