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  • Translator: Michele Gianella Reviewer: Rhonda Jacobs

  • I am on a mission.

  • And my guess is, so are some of you.

  • Because in 2015,

  • we, as United Nations, 193 countries,

  • we defined 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

  • And these goals are so diverse,

  • that there must be one goal for each and every one of you

  • that resonates with your heart.

  • Back in 2015, we also agreed

  • that we would make these goals happen before 2030.

  • That means we have a little more than 10 years to go.

  • So let's get on with it, let's not waste any more time,

  • and accelerate!

  • Goal number one: end poverty.

  • Not reduce it, end it.

  • But what would be the most efficient way to eliminate poverty?

  • (Audience response)

  • Exactly.

  • The most efficient way to eliminate poverty for once and for all

  • is a universal, unconditional basic income.

  • In fact, if you look at the definition of a basic income,

  • it not only ends poverty,

  • it also puts an end to hunger,

  • reduces gender inequalities and inequality in general.

  • Because a basic income is a periodic cash payment,

  • paid to every individual,

  • high enough to meet your basic needs - food, water, clothes, shelter.

  • No means testing: it doesn't matter if you're rich or poor.

  • No work requirement.

  • The only condition you have to meet is being human and alive.

  • It's as simple as that.

  • The money goes directly into your hands,

  • and you can decide freely what to spend it on.

  • A basic income is a guarantee that whatever happens,

  • you will never fall through the bottom of the poverty line.

  • And then, the poverty line becomes a stable floor.

  • A stage from where you can flourish,

  • from where you can decide

  • what you will do with your time and energy.

  • So yes, by definition alone,

  • a basic income already contributes

  • to four of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

  • But guess what?

  • There is so much more.

  • We know, from basic income pilots

  • and cash transfer programs around the world,

  • that a basic income has impressive positive effects

  • on a variety of domains.

  • Take crime, for instance:

  • in all countries, many crimes are poverty-related, right?

  • Well, in Namibia, for example,

  • we saw a decrease of total crime rates by 30 percent,

  • within one year when people received a basic income.

  • Thirty percent!

  • With an impressive decline in illegal hunting.

  • You can look at health: what are the effects on people's health?

  • Well, people change their eating patterns,

  • they eat healthier food because they can afford it.

  • Sanitation improves

  • in countries where these facilities are not sufficiently available.

  • Are you stressed?

  • You'll be delighted to hear

  • that a basic income reduces stress and stress-related health issues.

  • Confirmed, again,

  • by the recent experiments in Canada,

  • where almost 90 percent reported less stress;

  • and in Finland,

  • where we also see that people become healthier and happier

  • when they receive a basic income.

  • A basic income contributes to decent work.

  • Decent work? What is decent work?

  • We're obedient workers, aren't we?

  • Isn't that decent enough?

  • No, decent work means no more child labor.

  • Decent work means no more exploitation.

  • People get the freedom to say, "No,"

  • or, "No, thank you very much," if you want to be polite.

  • But you can have the freedom to say "No"

  • to employers who don't treat you well.

  • People start their own businesses.

  • They choose work and activities that are meaningful to them.

  • You can choose activities.

  • You can call it work,

  • but you can choose activities that are meaningful to you

  • when you have a basic income.

  • It even contributes to community participation.

  • People become more caring for others, compassionate.

  • Education.

  • Children stay in school longer.

  • We saw that in India and many other countries.

  • In countries like the Netherlands, students will not graduate with a debt.

  • And if you're in your 40s and you want to change career,

  • with a basic income it is much easier to work less hours or quit your job,

  • so you have time to learn new skills and really change direction.

  • So yes, if you look at the definition of a basic income

  • and the evidence gathered in basic income experiments

  • and cash transfer programs around the world,

  • you will see that a basic income alone

  • contributes to 11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

  • Eleven, with one simple intervention.

  • Eleven, with one simple intervention!

  • OK, great - let's do that, fantastic.

  • But who is going to pay for this?

  • Or, should I ask, what is going to pay for this?

  • Let's have a look at innovation and see if we can find some answers there.

  • Innovation is a tricky one.

  • Production and logistics became so efficient

  • that fewer and fewer people earn more and more,

  • while more and more people are struggling to survive

  • because they lost their paid job because of automation.

  • The gap between the ultra-rich and the poor

  • is growing faster than we've ever seen before.

  • Ninety percent of the wealth generated in 2018

  • went to one percent of the people.

  • And the ultra-rich protect their position through things like intellectual property.

  • That raises the question: can you really own knowledge?

  • In my opinion, there is no such thing as intellectual property.

  • We have a collective consciousness, and the Internet.

  • Intellectual property is nothing more

  • than a business model based on exclusion of others.

  • It's based on competition, an I-win-you-lose mentality.

  • Well, I prefer collaboration.

  • And times are changing.

  • The technologies of today enable us to think and act very differently.

  • We can redesign the future ourselves.

  • If we build the machines

  • and we program the algorithms for the world of tomorrow,

  • then we can decide what our world of tomorrow will look like.

  • Machines have no intrinsic motivation

  • to earn money or accumulate wealth,

  • have they?

  • Unlike most humans,

  • machines have no intrinsic motivation to earn money or accumulate wealth.

  • So let's free the machines from their human owners.

  • Let's liberate them and make them part of the commons.

  • Let's create infrastructures of machines that are not owned by anyone -

  • or owned by all of us, if you like.

  • Let them generate value

  • and distribute it to the people as a basic income.

  • Would that be possible with the technologies of today?

  • Or is it just my crazy dream?

  • May I tell you a little story?

  • Once upon a time, not so far from here,

  • Paul, an artist, and his friend Max, a computer programmer,

  • they bought a piece of forest,

  • and they called it terra0.

  • And they wanted to investigate

  • if this forest could own and utilize itself.

  • And they started coding on the blockchain.

  • They programmed a smart contract, a set of rules programmed into code.

  • And this contract stated

  • that the forest, the non-human actor, or the computer program

  • could buy terra0 shares from Paul and Max,

  • so-called "tokens" registered on the blockchain.

  • Another smart contract orders a satellite image from terra0

  • every six months.

  • A computer program analyzes the image and defines the trees

  • that can be harvested without damaging the forest too much.

  • Then the forest starts trading.

  • Licenses to cut the trees are sold.

  • With the money that comes in, the non-human actor, the computer program,

  • the forest, buys terra0 shares

  • from Paul and Max, all fully automated.

  • Once payment is complete, Paul and Max hold no more tokens.

  • So the forest is the sole shareholder of its own economic unit.

  • The forest, in economic terms, controls itself

  • and can start trading on its own.

  • Paul and Max really exist.

  • Paul is actually two persons, Paul Seidler and Paul Kolling.

  • Max is Max Hampshire.