To all those pushing for Basic Income in Reality
We would like to thank everyone who participated in the 22nd Basic Income Earth Network Congress. Held at Ewha Womans University from August 23rd to 26th, with the theme “Basic Income in Reality”, it was a great success without any trouble. Thanks to everyone who participated.
With opening and closing ceremonies, seven plenary sessions, and 36 concurrent sessions, we had nearly 160 presenters from around the world, including 18 keynote speakers, and nearly 1,000 people in attendance to hear them on-site or online. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Congress was a resounding success, and we’d like to thank all of our keynote speakers, presenters, audience, and guests.
While numbers don’t always tell the whole story, the size of the Congress reflects its theme, Basic Income in Reality: Progress of basic income, spread of basic income, and implementation of basic income.
This positioning of basic income can be seen in many of the presentations at the Congress. There was a wide range of discussions on different assessments of basic income policies and experiments, proposals for the commons funds and basic income schemes based on common wealth, and the political prospects surrounding basic income.
But the theme “Basic Income in Reality” also tells us that we need to go further, so it was necessary to discuss clarifying the definition of basic income, identifying appropriate pathways to the realization of a universal basic income, reaffirming the ethics of basic income, and discovering what role basic income can play in the crises we face.
It is significant that the Basic Income Earth Network Congress was held in Korea when the time is out of joint. In a short period of time, Korea has experienced extremes: not only have we had a variety of basic income policies, but we could have been the first country to implement a universal basic income, and then we are seeing regression not only in basic income but in society as a whole. This experience of extremes has given us resilience, creativity, and the strength to rise again. The fact that this year’s Congress was held over four days, as opposed to previous ones, reflects the current situation in Korea. The original plan was to have one day in Mokpo, Jeollanam-do, and three days in Seoul, but due to the changing political situation, the Mokpo event was canceled and the event became a four-day event in Seoul. Fortunately, we were able to adapt to these changes and reorganize the entire event. Similarly, we hope that this Congress will serve as a springboard for the global basic income movement to move forward once again.
The Congress has been both technically and organizationally challenging. The pandemic has demanded new ways of living and working, one of which is meeting online. Online has certainly given us a more convenient and safer way of living and working, but it also requires additional resources and human effort. I’d like to thank all the people who worked to ensure the smooth running of online meetings. Thanks to their efforts, we were able to make the Congress a hybrid in the true sense of the word. (This experience will be shared, and hopefully it will help all those who organize events of the same format in the future.) Of course, just because the technical and organizational problems have been solved to a certain extent doesn’t mean we’re up there without any problem. We live in different time zones, and participating in the Congress online is against our daily routine. Nevertheless, many of you participated online, and of course we thank you too.
Naturally, the preparation and success of such an event is the result of the participation and help of many people. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the various institutions and organizations that participated as co-hosts and to the Local Organizing Committee members. We are especially grateful to those who were responsible for media outreach, running the event, and working with the Basic Income Earth Network. We would also like to thank the Executive Committee of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN EC), who helped to make this a literally international event.
When we say that the Congress ended successfully, you immediately think of Brecht, who asked, “Who built the seven gates of Thebes?” He replies that the kings did not haul the craggy blocks of stone. And then he asked again, “In the evening when the Chinese wall was finished/ Where did the masons go?” But we want to thank everyone, especially our staff and supporters, who made the Congress exactly what we experienced and remember. Their names will be relief in our hearts, even if “the closing ceremony thank you all” video is only a digital record.
This is truly the end of the 22nd Basic Income Earth Network. We trust you will go on to push for Basic Income in Reality in your respective places, and we hope to see you in Bath next year.
Co-chair of the 22nd BIEN Congress LOC
President of the Basic Income Korean Network (BIKN)
Basic Income in Reality
The 22nd BIEN Congress
The 22nd Basic Income Earth Network Congress in 2023 will take place in Seoul, Korea, from 23 to 26 August as a four-day online-offline hybrid.
It will take place from Wednesday 23 August to Saturday 26 August at the ECC, Ewha Womans University, Seoul and will be held in parallel with the online venue, Zoom Events “22nd BIEN Congress (제22차 기본소득지구네트워크 대회)”.
All participants, including keynote speakers, are required to register in advance and can attend and interact with the presentations both offline and online.
Simultaneous English-Korean interpretation and offline Korean Sign Language interpretation will be available for the keynote speakers’ plenary sessions, but most concurrent sessions will not be interpreted.