Announcement Seminar “Basic Income And Social Justice” at the Götz-Werner-Professorship in Summer Semester 2023

In the summer semester of 2023, the Götz Werner Professorship at the Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg will again offer the seminar “Basic Income and Social Justice”. The seminar is aimed at Master’s students with an interest in research on the topic of unconditional basic income.

We are pleased to welcome this semester’s special guest Ugo Colombino in the last seminar session on 07/17/2023. He is the author of the various papers on which the experimental topics of the seminar are based.

For more information about the seminar and how to participate, please visit the GWP page under Announcement and the course website.

Proceedings of the 2021 FRIBIS Annual Conference published: Financial Issues of a Universal Basic Income (UBI)

In 2021, the first FRIBIS annual conference took place in Freiburg, Germany. It was dedicated to the topic “Financial Issues of a Universal Basic Income”. Now the contributions have been published by LIT Verlag Berlin, edited by Bernhard Neumärker and Jessica Schulz.

“The first annual FRIBIS conference in October 2021 aimed to take into account the growing economic interest in financial issues in basic income research. After all, research on Unconditional Basic Income is significantly influenced by this development of monetary policy issues and, in turn, contributes just as influentially to the discussion. In addition to the economically focused main sessions, the two-day conference also included parallel sessions of other FRIBIS teams, in which prominent guests of the basic income discourse presented and discussed together with the interdisciplinary and international teams and members of FRIBIS.”

Bibliographic information:

  • ISBN: 978-3-643-91512-2
  • Pages: 344
  • Binding: Softcover
  • Price (Print): 19,90
  • Price e-book download: 14,90

Click here to go to the publisher’s homepage

About the editors

Bernhard Neumärker is Professor of Economic Policy and Director of the Götz Werner Professorship for Economic Policy and New Ordoliberalism at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. In 2019, he founded the Freiburg Institute for Basic Income Studies (FRIBIS) for interfaculty and interdisciplinary research on Unconditional Basic Income in a network of six institutes of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg.

Jessica Schulz is a doctoral candidate at FRIBIS in educational science and, as part of the FRIBIS staff responsible for publication management.

Workshop announcement: Universal Basic Income’s Social-Ecology? Theory and Evidence revisited

In face of the growing ecological, social and economic crisis we are witnessing, it is timely to revisit universal basic income theory and evidence on the instrument’s contested social and ecological consequences.

To do this, and as a kick-off event to the UBITrans’s lecture series on this topic (2022/2023), the UBITrans Team has organized a one-day workshop bringing into dialogue experts from the fields of economy, political science, sociology and psychology to critically examine some of the core hypotheses and its underlying assumptions in the debate on basic income’s potential social and ecological consequences.

The workshop will take place at Freiburg University (room R 01 012, Rempartstr. 16, 1st floor), on Tuesday, 25th October 2022, 9:00-16:30.

02 August 2022: “Permissionless Innovation, Freedom, and Basic Income” by Dr. Otto Lehto

On Tuesday, 02 August 2022, the Basic Income Workshop Series continues with a contribution of Philosopher & former FRIBIS visiting scholar Dr. Otto Lehto: „Permissionless Innovation, Freedom, and Basic Income. He is going to present his input and subsequently have a discussion with the audience, Prof. Dr. Karl Widerquist & Prof. Dr. Bernhard Neumärker.

Time: 4pm – 5pm (CEST)


Do you wish to participate in the Zoom-Meeting directly? Send an E-Mail with your request to

Basic income has been tied to real freedom for all (Van Parijs), capitalism and freedom(Friedman), freedom as the power to say no (Widerquist), and many other conceptions of freedom. All of these theories of freedom, despite their differences, involve an institutional structure of rights that gives people the right (both formal and substantive) to experiment with new things, to deviate from the expectations and demands of other people, and otherwise to innovate in a myriad ways. In my talk, I interrogate the relationship between the notion of freedom inherent in such popular
conceptions of basic income and the theories of innovation proposed in evolutionary political economy. (Schumpeter, Hayek, Hogdson, Beinhocker) I will argue that basic income could be seen as a tool of permissionless innovation, which grants people, especially poor people, the right to innovate without having to ask anybody for permission. I will normatively justify this right, not in terms of justice or equity, but in terms of a utilitarian theory of evolutionary welfare enhancement. I will argue that radical innovation is a compelling justification for a liberal implementation of basic income, and innovation should be encouraged in order to more effectively solve the problems of the poor. Crucially, socioeconomic innovation, in this technical sense, extends beyond the economic realm of goods, services, and technologies, to the cultural realm of habits, ideas, and social norms. However, the innovation perspective only justifies certain models of basic income that a) are tied to an extensive regime of market and civil freedoms and b) pass a comparative cost benefit analysis of institutional alternatives. This consequentialist conception challenges several prominent justifications, models, conceptualizations, and implementations of basic income, especially those that see UBI more as a means of stabilizing, equilibrating, or decelerating modernity.

May/June 2022: Basic Income Workshop Series hosted by Karl Widerquist (online)

In the summer term 2022 Karl Widerquist was hosting a workshop series that featured lectures by international guest speakers from the field of basic income research. Detailed Information and the Live-Stream-Link you can find below.

Six lectures had been scheduled for May 2022. On May 10, Simon März kicked off the series, followed by Jurgen de Wispelaere & Simon Birnbaum. Michael Bohmeyer, Amy Castro & Stacia West (5-6 pm), continued on May 17. Paul Nieshaus and Jurgen De Wispelaere & Joe Chrisp  went for their talks on May 31. On June 21, the last session of this seriet took place with Anna Oostendorp & Johann Gutzmer (4 pm – 5 pm) & Jamie Cooke (5 pm – 6 pm). For more information on the topics and speakers, see below.



21 June from 4 pm – 6 pm

Anna Oostendorp & Johann Gutzmer (4 pm – 5 pm)

“The Effect of Unconditional Cash Transfers on Voting – Evidence from the Finnish Basic Income Experiment”

Anna Oostendorp is a social psychologist working as a scientific analyst for Stiftung Grundeinkommen, a German think tank with an evidence-based approach to exploring the transformation towards more universal social systems. Johann Gutzmer is a social and motivational psychologist working as a policy analyst/expert for Stiftung Grundeinkommen.

Livestream link:

Jamie Cooke (5 pm – 6 pm)

“Basic Income in Scotland – Rhetoric and Reality”

Jamie Cooke is the head of RSA Scotland, the Scottish branch of the royal society for arts, manufactures and commerce. In his lecture, he will cover the progress of RSA Scotland around the support for basic income and future steps.

Livestream link:

31 May from 4 pm – 6 pm

Paul Niehaus (4 pm – 5 pm)

Paul Niehaus is co-founder and chairman of GiveDirectly and Associate Professor of Economics at University of California San Diego. In his talk, he will be speaking about “Universal Basic Income: experimental evidence from Kenya”. A paper by Paul Niehaus closely related to the lecture topic has already been published, “Effects of a Universal Basic Income during the pandemic”.

Rewatch in full length:

Jurgen De Wispelaere & Joe Chrisp (4 pm – 5 pm)

Jurgen De Wispelaere is an Assistant Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Joe Chrisp is a researcher at the University of Bath. In their talk, they will be “(Re)Thinking the Policy Impact of Basic Income Experiments”.

Rewatch in full length:

17 May from 4 pm – 6 pm

Michael Bohmeyer (4 pm – 5 pm)

Michael Bohmeyer, founder of Mein Grundeinkommen e. V., will talk about the “Pilotprojekt Grundeinkommen” he initiated, which is the first long-term study on UBI in Germany.

Rewatch in full length:

Amy Castro & Stacia West (5 pm – 6 pm)

The value of pilot studies and experiments on the BGE is controversial in basic income research. In their talk “The case for Basic Income Experiments“, Amy Castro and Stacia West will argue that experiments should continue to be done in the future.

Rewatch in full length:

10th of May from 4 pm – 6 pm

Simon März (4 pm – 5 pm)

Simon März (FRIBIS) will talk about an extensive pilot study on Universal Basic Income in Germany and will provide a critical analysis of its proposed implementation.

Rewatch in full length:

Jurgen de Wispelaere & Simon Birnbaum (5 pm – 6 pm)

Jurgen De Wispelaere (Stockholm School of Economics in Riga) and Simon Birnbaum (Södertörn University) will talk about whether basic income is an exit strategy or an exit trap in the age of precarious employment. Following the presentations, Karl Widerquist will engage in discussion with the speakers.

Rewatch in full length:

14 June 2022: Talk on the justification and the need for the Catalan Basic Income Pilot by Bru Laín and Àngel Ferrero

Àngel Ferrero, media spokesman for the Office of the Pilot Project for the Implementation of an Universal Basic Income in Catalonia, will be giving a brief introduction about the Office and will be talking about its history, structures and functions. Then, Bru Laín (consultant of the Office) will talk about the Catalan Basic Income Pilot Project and explain why this pilot project is important and necessary. There will be time for audience questions afterwards. The event will take place in Freiburg. It will be recorded and uploaded later on the FRIBIS YouTube channel.

Abstract: “Both the Spanish and the Catalan welfare regimes are not really well equipped to face the challenges posed by the XXI century. A markedly dual labour market on the one hand, and a fairly contributive social protection system on the other, do require for innovative solutions, more universalistic, more unconditional. In order to find out some of these solutions, the Catalan government has launched a two-year Universal Basic Income Pilot Scheme. It will be implemented throughout 2023 and 2024, and will combine a randomized control trial with a saturation methodology, granting up to 5.000 individuals across the entire country. Qualitative and quantitative assessments must provide scholars and policymakers with empirical evidence of how UBI is impacting beneficiaries’ lives and how it also affects the provision and use of the actual social policies and the internal public administration settings and institutional dynamics.”

Place: 14. Juni 2022, 6:15 pm – 7:45 pm

Time: KG I – HS 1016, Platz der Universität 3, 79098 Freiburg

16 May 2022: Lecture at University Freiburg on the prehistory of private property by Karl Widerquist

On May 16, 2022, Götz Werner Visiting Professor Karl Widerquist will give a lecture on the prehistory of private property and its implications for modern political theory.

In 2021 he published a monograph on the lecture topic together with Grant S. McCall. This book aims to debunk three false claims commonly accepted by contemporary political philosophers regarding property systems: that inequality is natural, inevitable, or a natural consequence of freedom; that capitalism is more consistent with negative freedom than any other conceivable economic system; and that the normative principles of appropriation and voluntary transfer applied in the world in which we live support a capitalist system with strong, individualist and unequal private property rights.

The authors review the history of the use and importance of these claims in philosophy, and use thorough anthropological and historical evidence to refute them. They show that societies with common-property systems maintaining strong equality and extensive freedom were initially nearly ubiquitous around the world, and that the private property rights system was established through a long series of violent state-sponsored aggressions.

Time: 6 pm – 8 pm

Place: Institut für Soziologie, Rempartstr. 15,  79098 Freiburg, Übungsraum 1, 5. Stock


Ethics of UBI: Online seminar series with international guest speakers 9 February, 2022: Louise Haagh and Otto Lehto

GWP Visiting Professor Karl Widerquist has invited some exciting guests to speak as part of his “Ethics of UBI” seminar on 2 and 9 February, 2022. The events are open to the public and will be streamed live on YouTube.

9 February, 2022, 4pm-6pm:
4:00pm-5:00pm – Louise Haagh: Developmental Freedom and Social Order
5:00pm-6:00pm – Otto Lehto: Libertarian perspectives on Basic Income
Livestream link:

Louise Haagh is professor of politics at the University of York (UK) and a former chair of the Basic Income Earth Network. She will argue that the influence of the atomistic account of human nature on liberal egalitarian thought has produced an unambitious, imprecise, and sometimes coercive account of individual freedom and social community.

Otto Lehto is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at New York University’s School of Law (2022-2023) and a former guest scholar at the Götz Werner Chair, Freiburg University. He will be discussing the wide range of “libertarian” arguments for (and against) Universal Basic Income.

You find the video of the first part with Guy Standing and Alex Gourevitch here.

Online event on Net Basic Income: Basic Income in times of Covid-19 and post-pandemic perspectives

How does the concept of a Net Basic Income (NBI) work, which Bernhard Neumärker presented in Susanne Wiest’s Bundestag petition for a basic income in times of crisis (October 2021)? What can be learned from the discussions with parliamentarians in the Committee on Petitions, and what should we make of the support that the petition received from a considerable section of the population? How could the NBI be transformed into a fully-fledged Basic Income in post-crisis times, and what role could environmental taxes play in financing a UBI?

Together with the UBI activist, Susanne Wiest, the scientists Bianca Blum and Bernhard Neumärker will be presenting the results of their work with an eye to the future. The event will be moderated by Enno Schmidt, and the language will be English. Bernhard Neumärker and Bianca Blum’s contributions will be based in part on two papers they published this summer.

On 07 October 2021 at 6 pm (CEST). Duration: Approx. 90 minutes.

Public event; language: English

Link to the event

Meeting-ID: 690 2653 5825
Passcode: qYKP1i2M9

Bianca Blum: Research Associate at the Götz Werner Chair of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory (Freiburg University)

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Neumärker: Professor of Economic Policy (Götz Werner Chair), Director of the Department of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory at Freiburg University and head of FRIBIS.

Susanne Wiest: Basic Income activist and initiator of the petition for a basic income in times of crisis at the German Bundestag (October 2020).

Host and interpreter: Enno Schmidt

Online-Event NetFi: First results of Circles network analysis

The FRIBIS team “Network Analysis and Financial Diaries” (NetFi) is researching community currencies and investigating their use in UBI pilot projects. In the online event n August 5th 2021, the team discussed various network analysis methods that can be used to learn about transaction data from the community currency project CirclesUBI. They also discussed the benefits and risks associated with using community currencies for UBI pilots. In addition, the team briefly reported on the international research collaboration BIRAL and its future projects.

Watch the recorded event.

Julio Linares is Co-President of Circles Coop eG.  in Berlin, and Social Outreach officer for the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN).

Teodoro Criscione is Ph.D. Student in Network Science at the Department of Network and Data Science at Central European University, Vienna, Austria.

Valentin Seehausen (host) is team coordinator of NetFi, founder of Open Currency Technology and research assistant at the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center.