Meeting the moment, together

The BIG Conference

22nd Annual Basic Income Guarantee Conference

2 Days in San Francisco

We’ve partnered with several hotels to offer conference participants a discounted rate. But act now…rooms will go fast!

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The Basic Income Guarantee Conference (BIG!) is the only annual conference in the U.S. focused on all things basic income. In July, 2024 we will be celebrating our 22nd event, which will include collaborative sessions, panel discussions, interactive activities and more, as we dig deep into the most critical issues we face as a society, and a movement.

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We are excited to host this year's conference at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco, a city at the heart of a region (and a state) with a thriving basic income community. Throughout the two days the voices and experiences of those in the Bay Area and from across California will be integrated into the broader discussions about how we can continue to meet the challenges we face as a movement.

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Community-led sessions

Great Venue, Exciting Sessions

The BIG Conference is a national convening for the basic income community to engage in fun and inspiring sessions that celebrate the progress and wins from across our movement while connecting and collaborating on the work yet to do. The 2024 event will be hosted at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. Check out more about this exciting campus.

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What BIG is All About

The BIG Conference is a dynamic two day event. See some of how we incorporate innovation and community into the our Conference design to foster meaningful experiences and conversations.

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Diverse Programming

From policy efforts or pilot best practices to storytelling cohorts and artist installations, bringing a broad set of perspectives to the programming landscape is foundational to the BIG Conference.

Social Hours for Networking

Lunch breaks, collaboration sessions, and receptions are planned for people from across the community to connect with each other. These are opportunities for casual conversations, networking and deeper debates about all things basic income.

Interactive Sessions

Conference organizers work closely with panelists, artists and more to design sessions that allow for audience participation and interaction with the ideas being covered.

Sponsoring Organizations

The BIG Conference is designed and funded by and for the basic income community. The following organizations have generously supported the 2024 BIG Conference through sponsorship.

Our 22nd Conference

2024 marks the 22nd annual BIG Conference. This year’s BIG programming is co-designed by over 200 individuals across our broader community to collectively shape the topics, speakers and activities that will make up the two day event.  The Fort Mason campus includes four dynamic spaces to support collaborative sessions, interactive activities, practical workshops, and peer conversations alongside keynote speakers and panel discussions. We will focus on topics prioritized by the community, including: paying for and scaling existing programs with public funds, developing post-pilot strategies across the pillars of the movement, building the base via community centered practices, intersectional justice work and the role of basic income in some of the most pressing issues of our time, including climate change and AI proliferation.

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.

Highlights from the 2023 BIG Conference

Narrative Change: Centering Community Voices, Building Strategic Campaigns

This session provided key frameworks for thinking about narrative change, evaluating messaging based on shared values, and incorporating successful examples into our work in guaranteed income. We heard about recent successes in Minnesota, where the legislature passed the country’s largest unconditional child tax credit, built upon concerted narrative change efforts by We Make Minnesota and Faith in Minnesota. Speakers also discussed narrative change values and resources across the guaranteed income community, drawing on work from Income Movement, the Jain Family Institute, and the Guaranteed Income Community of Practice.
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The Importance of a Diverse Policy Landscape in Early Stage Movement Building

Different policy efforts can help inform design requirements, be a forcing function for tool and infrastructure design, and provide opportunities for the public and politicians alike to engage with the ideas behind basic income and its role in transforming the economy and society. This plenary highlights the current work being done in the policy space, including the opportunities these different efforts provide for informing potential north star federal policy, as well as begins to identify gaps in knowledge or open questions we need to answer to better lay the groundwork for a national basic income.
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The Road to Permanency: The Cook County Promise

The Cook County Promise is unique in its stated purpose to establish a permanent program upon the pilot’s completion, with revenues from cannabis taxes providing one source of ongoing funding. In this session, Cook County Promise leadership discusses how Cook County Government came to embrace direct cash policy and commit to a permanent program. Presenters also describe how they built the pilot and its research component with permanency and good governance in mind, as well as touch on their current progress towards building the permanent program. The panel also features Promise Pilot participants who will describe their experience applying for and participating in the pilot.
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