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Universal Basic Income

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We gather some of the best heads for Rjukan's creative atmosphere, to discuss UBI at a seminar at the end of April 2022. Our goal with the seminar is to gather more support for basic income, emphasize the importance for current and future societies, and start the process towards implementation at Rjukan.

A separate organization will be established to further support the process. BIEN Rjukan will be a local team to BIEN Norway, and thus connected to the global Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN). The network consists of academics, politicians and activists from around the world. We are so lucky to have Vice-Chair of BIEN Hilde Latour with us this weekend.


The seminar will address; presentation of what basic income is, why it is a good idea / what research and pilot projects have shown, present possible approaches / models. Basic income and the link to the sustainability goals.


The seminar is part of a broad collaboration between a number of organizations and institutions and the weekend will end with a May 1 celebration at Vemork and a performance by visual artist Marianne Heier.

Location: Rjukan Varelager

18.00 - 20.00: Founding BIEN Tinn 
BIEN Norway's second local network will be founded in Rjukan(Tinn).


Location: Rjukan Varelager

10.00 - 11.00: Introduction to the topic - What is unconditional universal basic income(UBI)?

(In English)

11.00 - 12.00: Bullshit jobs and paid work 

It's like someone out there inventing meaningless jobs just for us to keep working. This is what the anthropologist David Graeber wrote in the essay "On the phenomenon of bullshit jobs" in 2013, where he looks at the emergence of meaningless work, and what it does to both society and the individual. The essay received tremendous attention and created debate. Now, nine years and a pandemic later, the debate is no less relevant.

When we talk about work, it is most often paid work that is referred to, but does not paid work also have a value?

Mona Sæther Evensen has written about work and business for over ten years, and has written several articles about "bullshit jobs" - and will give lectures on the topic.

(In Norwegian)

12.00 - 13.00: Lunch


13.00 - 14.00: An approach to basic income in Norway

In Norway, we have an established welfare state and tax system. We will present a concrete approach to basic income within the existing systems. Former NAV doctor Georg Espolin presents his note where he proposes a basic income / minimum income of 210,000 a year.

(In Norwegian)

14.30 - 16.00: UBI and cryptocurrency

Hilde Latour will give an in-depth presentation on blockchain-based basic income projects and the trust-based currency / system Circle .

We end this meeting with a workshop to see how we can proceed to start with Circles in Rjukan. For this workshop, it is helpful if you open a Circles wallet and remember your username: Please make sure you write down the seedwords on paper.

(In English)


Traditional program by the 1st of May committee in Rjukan

14.20: Marianne Heier - General economics

On the bridge at Vemork Nia (Norwegian Industrial Workers' Museum), visual artist Marianne Heier will give a speech entitled «General economics». The work, which has been specially developed for the occasion, draws inspiration from local and international historical references and mixes them with poetic, mythological and political statements. Anxiety and hope, light and darkness are set against each other and point towards an unknown and uncertain, but at the same time opportunity-filled future. The performance borrows expressions from spoken word poetry, song and choreography.

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Marianne Heier

Marianne Heier (b. 1969, Norway) is a visual artist based in Milan and Oslo. Questions related to finance and value circulation are central to Heier's entire art, with the gift's inherent power as a recurring theme. She questions the "obvious" and invites other interpretations and possibilities. Her works include performances, installations and texts.

Heier is educated at Brera in Milan and the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo. She was a festival exhibitor in Bergen in 2012 and won the Lorck Schive Art Prize in 2013. Her work has been purchased by the National Museum, Preus Museum, Stavanger Art Museum and Henie Onstad Art Center, and she has produced several major public works to order from KORO and National Tourist Routes.


Photo: Adrian Bugge


Lena Stark

Co-founder of Mission Possible 2030, Basinkomst BIEN Sweden and the Swedish Basic Income Party.

Former core member of Unconditional Basic Income Europe.

Hilde Latour

Vice-Chair – Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN)

Co-founder of Mission Possible 2030

Board member for International Relations of Vereniging Basisinkomen
Facilitator SOLIHub (Self Organised Learning & Innovation)

Director Hunza Valley Water ltd.

Over 20 years of experience in grassroots program management

Anja Askeland

Co-founder of and international contact BIEN Norway 

Co-founder of Mission Possible 2030

Initiator of the Nordic UBI network, UBI Nordic and coordinator of UBI Nordic conference in Oslo 2019.

Over15 years of experience in grassroots program management 

Mona Sæther Evensen

Mona Sæther Evensen has been writing and thinking about working life and technology for over ten years, as a journalist, content producer and writer.
She has a degree in media studies, with continuing education in economics and programming.

Georg Espolin Johnson

Georg Espolin Johnson (1953 model) is a doctor and historian of ideas who for most of his working life has been concerned with social security issues and the status and power of doctors in society. For the past 25 years, he has mostly worked in the National Insurance Court and the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration and has been increasingly critical of the National Insurance Act's disease requirements for the right to sickness benefits, work clearance benefits and disability benefits. Georg has been a board member of BIEN Norway for just over a year.


We are going to implement universal basic income in Rjukan.


The drive toward a basic income isn’t new. It’s a 100-year-old movement that has gotten stronger each time inequality has returned to the public discussion. There have been some bigger waves of support for UBI during various periods of the last century. Today’s discussion took off around 2010 and has grown in strength with each passing year. This is UBI’s third, and by far its largest, wave of support yet.


Universal basic income will ensure everyone a minimum income and enable us to recognize all unpaid, often vital, work that is done in the home and in civil society. In addition to being the intention of the National Insurance Act and part of the UN's human rights, it goes without saying that by securing everyone's income, quality of life and health will improve. There is a need for more research on how much such a reform will affect the communities, economic growth, art and culture, volunteering and democracy in western countries. For the evaluation of these matters, Rjukan is the ideal location.


After Hydro withdrew from Rjukan in the 1990s, the city is spectacularly post-industrial, and the need for Radical Innovation is back - this time to fill the city's beautiful architecture with people and new activity. Rjukan City and Tinn Municipality can serve as the world's first permanent testing ground for citizens' salaries by attracting the best minds with ideas for new industries that cannot be developed by the economic structures we live by today.


We are gathering some of those best minds to Rjukan’s creative atmosphere, to discuss UBI in a seminar held at the end of April 2022. Our goal with the seminar is to gather more support for basic income, emphasize its importance to current and future societies, and begin the process toward its implementation in Rjukan.


How is life in Rjukan when UBI is implemented, and how did we get there? Anja Askeland will through a creative experiment present a text that shows the milestones on a trajectory towards UBI in Norway. We will also celebrate the tradition of Utopian literature and look into how utopian thinking can be a tool for changing society.

See also Rjukan Solarpunk Academy's input in the 1st of May celebration in Rjukan in 2021: Video

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