Several highly localized Guaranteed Income pilots are taking place throughout the United States, most of them funded by philanthropic organizations. Pilot organizers, the local partner municipal governments, and researchers hope these pilots will serve an important role in advancing discussions among policy makers and provide meaningful evidence on the potential impact of more universal basic income policies to municipal and statewide legislators considering UBI implementation.

The two lead researchers for the high profile guaranteed income pilot in Stockton, California - the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED), founded by then Mayor Michael Tubbs and funded, in part, by the Economic Security Project, highlighted the key findings from the pilot thus far. The founder and director of the newly established Cash Transfer Lab at NYU spoke to complementary work to the pilots done at the Lab which examines the universal cash transfer program in place in Alaska since 1982. The founding director of Steady, which has developed a platform to identify need and distribute cash intelligently, reflected on the efficacy of UBI pilots in improving lives and informing policy-makers. And a key data analyst reviewed results from the Manitoba Pilot. The five panelists will then engage in a more general discussion regarding the impact of basic income pilots - both actual and potential - in grassroots organizing, advocacy and lobbying, and ultimately, policy passage and implementation at municipal, state, and federal levels. 

Click here to watch this session from our 2021 conference.

About the Panelists

Amy Castro Baker, Ph.D., Founding Director, Center for Guaranteed Income Research at the University of Pennsylvania

Amy Castro Baker, PhD, MSW is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the Co-Founder of the Center for Guaranteed Income Research at Penn.

Sarah Cowan, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, Cash Transfer Lab at New York University

Sarah Cowan is a social demographer with expertise in American fertility, social networks and survey methodology. These days she is also doing a lot of work on a Universal Basic Income. She earned her PhD in Sociology and Demography at UC Berkeley and completed a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society post-doctoral fellowship at Columbia prior to beginning at NYU, where she currently works. Dr. Cowan is the founder and director of the newly established Cash Transfer Lab at NYU which examines the universal cash transfer programs such as the one in place in Alaska since 1982. Her published work has two overlapping subject-areas: abortion in the United States and people keeping secrets from each other. Her current work expands from abortion to other areas of reproductive health.

Stacia West, Ph.D., Founding Director, Center for Guaranteed Income Research at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Tennessee

Stacia Martin-West is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work and the co-Founder and Director of the Center for Guaranteed Income Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. West holds a B.A. in Women's Studies and Philosophy and a Masters of Science in Social Work from the University of Tennessee. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Kansas. She is the co-PI of the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, the first modern city-led guaranteed income experiment in the US. Her research focuses on universal basic income, unconditional cash transfers, women’s poverty and wealth inequality, and the affordable housing crisis. Her research portfolio includes numerous grants, state and non-profit evaluation contracts, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Asset Funders Network. Her work has been published in leading social science journals including the Journal of Society for Social Work and Research, Social Science and Medicine, The Journal of Family and Economic Issues, and The Gerontologist, and is regularly featured in major national media outlets.

Adam Roseman, Founder and CEO, Steady

As the CEO of Steady, Adam is a leading advocate and thought leader for part-time, contract, hourly and gig workers. Steady’s platform puts powerful AI in the hands of 3 million hourly workers to help them increase their income, and generates insights that help government leaders design programs to get Americans back to work faster. Adam previously spent several years building and investing in businesses in China, including six years working to help stimulate economic and jobs growth in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities of China with a focus on investing heavily in renewable energy to lower China’s out of control carbon footprint. He started his career with a decade in investment banking, working in M&A and corporate finance transactions, primarily at Lehman Brothers and Barrington Associates (sold to Wells Fargo). Adam has also served on numerous corporate and non-profit Boards, including the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles and Orange County.

Dr. Evelyn L. Forget, University of Manitoba

Evelyn L Forget is Professor of Economics and Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg (Canada). Her research examines the health and social implications of poverty and inequality, and she is often called upon by governments, First Nations and international organizations to advise on poverty, inequality, health and social outcomes. Her most recent books are Basic Income for Canadians: from the COVID-19 emergency to financial security for all (Lorimer and Co., 2020) and (with Hannah Owczar) Radical Trust: Basic Income for Complicated Lives, forthcoming in July.

Moderated by:

Stacey Rutland


The date


June 18, 2021


6:00 pm

Who is this workshop for?

Pilot Organizers


Policy Wonks

about the speaker