Basic income is a periodic payment provided to an individual, regardless of means or job status. It’s aim is to enable and free individuals, and provide a basic financial freedom for all.
This is not a far-fetched, 50 years away, utopian concept. Basic income experiments are already being conducted around the world, from Kenya to the Netherlands to Canada.
Although generally considered something that would be run and administered by the public sector, my personal belief is that we may well see significant moves made by the private sector first, in fact, Y Combinator is currently conducting an experiment in Oakland with 100 families.
Basic income is in a very early exploratory phase, and with this comes opportunity. Whether it ultimately becomes an initiative driven by the public, private, or even both sectors, there are a number of potential areas I see startups able to assist with.
These are the questions I am currently thinking about the most, focused around three areas:
- What is the most efficient way to distribute a basic income? Is there an opportunity for a SaaS to be created and sold to all basic income providers for this purpose?
- Could basic income be provided through a (even dedicated?) crypto-currency?
- What level of relationship and communication will there be between those who receive and those who provide it? And how will this be managed?
- How could blockchain be leveraged?
- Could you exchange/donate a % of your basic income to others? How could this work?
- How do we measure the impact basic income has?
- How do we determine which areas/individuals are easiest/most in need to roll out to first?
- How can individuals track how they are using/should use their basic income?
- What hobbies/past-times will see an increase in popularity if more people have free-time on their hands? (not necessarily a given) How could these be leveraged?
- Could new types of jobs/tasks be created that cater to those who don’t wish to work full-time but just live off basic income?
- How can people be encouraged to still work while taking a basic income?
The majority of these questions are currently seen as obstacles, or reasons why basic income will never work, yet, what they really are is opportunity.
If you are also thinking about these questions or even better, already working on an answer to any of them, I’d love to connect with you ~> neil (at) thenordicweb (dot) com or Twitter: neilswmurray