UBI and Social-Ecological Transformation (UBITrans)

Universal basic income and the social-ecological transformation: do they go together?

In the face of climate change, increasing social inequality, the rise of new populisms and the spread of COVID-19, unconditional basic income is now discussed more than ever. May universal basic income help to remedy what has been diagnosed as a multidimensional crisis of capitalism? Could basic income put an end to growth-dependency of contemporary capitalist economies and lead towards more sustainable trajectories? Or may it simply reinforce neoliberal growth scenarios and lead to radical individualism?

Our approach and our goals

Given the social and political urgency of the issues at hand, we aim to address these questions and contested issues around the relationship between universal basic income and the social-ecological transformation via a series of talks and interactive debate. This series will integrate perspectives from economics, sociology and psychology as well as from civil society movements and politics.

The series will ask whether universal basic income would enable the (much needed) social-ecological transformation. It will look at both the powers and limitations of a universal basic income to affect the social and cultural transformation of contemporary capitalist societies, while taking account of a variety of potential scenarios from green growth, post-growth to degrowth.

Online lecture series starting as off June 2022

The online series (potentially hybrid later on) will start as off June 2022. Speakers will be announced soon. The series will shed light on the role of the state (e.g. macro-economic policy, financing, the citizen-state relationship, and the acceptance of social-ecological reforms) as well as the role of actors (production and consumption patterns) and subjectivities (habitus transformation) in the process of the social-ecological transformation.

Research Team

Dr. Ulrich Schachtschneider
studied energy engineering, sociology and environmental policies and is working as energy consultant and freelance social scientist. His research fields are social-ecological transformation, sustainability and modern society, and policies of “Degrowth”. He is member of board of Unconditional Basic Income Europe (UBIE) and advocating for an “Ecological Basic Income”. Lives in Oldenburg, Germany.

Hanna Ketterer
is a sociologist based at Jena University. Her research focuses on basic income’s potential to transform the capitalist way of life centred around paid work and employment. In her work, she integrates Bourdieu’s practice theory, feminist perspectives and gift theory. Her phd is based on a multi-sited ethnography on decoupling income from labour examining the day-to-day practices of rentiers, communards and pensioners. Hanna holds a BA in European studies from the University of Maastricht and a
MPhil in Sociology from the University of Cambridge. She has worked at the DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission in Brussels, at the ETH Center for Occupational Studies and at the DFG-research group on post-growth societies at Jena University. She is associated member of the collaborative research centre Structural Change of Property.

Dominik Schröder
is a Master’s student, Tutor of Economic Policy and an upcoming PhD candidate at the Götz-Werner-Chair at the University of Freiburg with a focus on renewable energy markets and sustainability policy. He has been working for the RES-TMO project on concepts for an integrated, efficient and sustainable energy supply and storage in the Upper Rhine Region.

FRIBIS Team Koordinator

Dr. Bianca Blum
is a Post-Doc researcher and Lecturer at the Götz Werner Chair of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory, University of Freiburg in Germany. Her research interests centre on the political economy of sustainability, rebound effects, empirical method application and experimental design, regulation and taxation as well as the political economy of reforms. She worked on interdisciplinary research projects such as the Suslight project and the RES_TMO project  with focus on energy efficiency improvements and energy consumption.

Transfer Team

Adrienne Goehler
is in series: graduate psychologist | President of the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg | Senator for Science, Research and Culture of Berlin | Curator of the Hauptstadtkulturfonds | Fellow IASS Potsdam. Today she is simultaneously: freelance publicist and curator | theorist and activist Unconditional Basic Income | initiator and artistic director EXAMPLES TO FOLLOW! expeditions in aesthetics and sustainability | Affiliate Fellow at IASS Potsdam