“The Future of Universal Basic Income: Welfare Schemes and Social Policies for the Digital Age”
Date: 20th July2022
Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm (India Time)
(02:00 pm – 03:30 pm GMT+1)
Venue: Zoom Platform (Register Now)
As the world continues to grapple in effectively protecting the poor and those most at risk, reinforcing public policy focus and institutional systemic reforms remain an unfinished agenda. With poverty and income inequality having co-existed for long in a structural manner, functional social policies appear as the way forward in addressing widening societal disparities, predicted to further accelerate in the digital age.
Institutional systems are designed to assist and enable favourable socio-economic conditions for human welfare. However, the systems may at times come under pressure potentially caused by various destabilizing factors, including the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The transitions may generally be difficult to navigate, especially by most at risk. In such scenarios, universal basic income (UBI) may come to rescue as a policy instrument to tackle socio-economic disruptions on conditions that it is neither to be treated as a substitute to job creation nor economic doles.
UBI programmes, across variants, have been on policy tables of governments across the developed and developing world including in countries such as US, Canada, Brazil, India, China, Kenya, Tanzania, South Korea, seized of the potential of the UBI to successfully tackle societal disparities and disruptions accelerated by the techno economic rhetoric in current age of digitalization.
Businesses at differentiated levels, urge for unbiased consideration about the future of welfare and policies. Business leaders are also mulling over on how the UBI could be given a more predictable provision to enable it to be a sound ‘social security’ mechanism for building business competiveness based on improved quality of human resources and better market conditions while taking advantage of innovations and modern technologies.
Countries appear to have relatively higher acceptance on desirability and usefulness of the UBI as it provides financial pipeline to those most at risk to spend cash transfers received on goods and services that may best suit their needs than the one given through targeted ‘welfare schemes’. Furthermore, governments are currently piloting the UBI by bundling overlapping ‘welfare schemes’ and financial doles into just one single or a few welfare schemes to keep local economic supplies and community’s activities ongoing.
One major issue, though, in UBI programmes continue to be its financing. With conclusive data from country contexts remaining sketchy, there appears to be the need for putting together scenario mapping exercises to estimate desirability of the UBI versus overall size of its financing
To put vital issues around human welfare, existence and dignity into proper context, leading experts from Asia, Africa and Europe would converge on a single platform to ideate and discuss full spectrum of narratives about UBI covering interdisciplinary dimensions and lived experiences around IR 4.0, digital economy, impact on labour markets, welfare mechanisms, sustainable development goals, poverty, income inequality, scheme’s financing, social policies, pandemic, political leadership and trust in institutions, including realignment of distribution systems and the future of UBI. This platform will be organized by the Nkafu Policy Institute, the leading think tank of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation, on the theme: “The Future of Universal Basic Income: Welfare Schemes and Social Policies for the Digital Age”.
Objective of the event
The main objective of this event is to discuss the relevance of universal basic income as a social protection scheme in the digital age. More specifically, it will be a matter of:
- Understanding the moral, economic, and political fundamentals of universal basic income;
- Discussing the opportunities and risks of universal basic income for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 in developed and developing countries worldwide in a post-COVID 19 world and in the digital age;
- Analyzing the potential effects of universal basic income on reducing inequalities, especially gender inequalities;
- Identifying potential sources of financing for universal basic income and its economic effects on activity and the general price level;
- Assessing the opportunities and risks of universal basic income in developing and developed countries;
- Proposing recommendations on the preconditions for the adoption of universal basic income in developing and developed economies in the digital age.
Decision-makers, public authorities, private sector organizations, academia, civil society actors, non-governmental organizations, business leaders, human rights activists, entrepreneurs, members and leaders of syndicates.
Expected outcome of the event
Bringing together leading experts from Asia, Africa and Europe on a unique platform to imagine and discuss the potential of Universal Basic Income to reduce social inequalities in a world of technological and digital change.
Panelists & Moderator
- Ambassador Anup Mudgal, Former India’s High Commissioner to Mauritius & Career Diplomat.
- Danijel Mlinaric, President, Center for Economic Diplomacy, Croatia;
- Professor Desiré Avom, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Management at the University of Yaoundé II-SOA; and Director of the Laboratory of Analysis and Research in Applied Economics (LAREA) in Cameroon.
- Pooran Chandra Pandey, Fellow, Central European University, Brussels & Non-Resident Fellow, Nkafu Policy Institute, Cameroon.
- Professor Robert Nantchouang, Director of the Nkafu Policy Institute.
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