History of the Conference
The BIG Conference (formerly the North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress) has been held every year since 2002 with the exception of 2020, to promote networking and exchange of ideas among scholars, activists, and policy makers. The first eight Conferences were organized by the US Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG) in conjunction with the Eastern Economic Association meetings. Beginning with the 2010 Montreal Congress, NABIG was co-sponsored by USBIG and the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) and alternated annually between Canada and the United States. In 2021, the number of sponsors of the NABIG Congress expanded to include Income Movement and Fund for Humanity. Because of the pandemic, the conference was entirely virtual.
Conferences have been supported by hosts such as the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, New York City, Centre for Research in Ethics at the University of Montreal, the University of Toronto, the University of Manitoba, and McMaster University, with financial support from foundations such as the Economic Security Project, and with the cooperation of other organizations including the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, Low Income Families Together, the Roosevelt House, and the Basic Income Earth Network. As the conference has grown in recent years, it had cemented itself as a critical strategic place for building the national movement for basic income in the US.