World Economic Forum, Finland is paying people a guaranteed income - and they don’t have to work.


To Work or Not to Work?

Finnish Pilot on Basic Income Receives Wide Global Attention

March 22, 2017, Marianna Mäki-Teeri

The Finnish basic income experiment has sparked lot of international interest before and after its launch in January Kela, The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, has received inquiries from all over the Europe and other continents including countries like Canada, US, Korea, Mexico, Australia and Japan. The experiment has also gathered wide media attention by reaching the headlines of many global news outlets such as CNN, El País, New York Times, FOX News, Le Monde and Reuters.  If the pilot will have good results, Finland may gain a leading position globally in preparing for changes in future with more or less work, or no work at all.

Basic income is an alternative model of social security, which aims to safeguard individuals’ livelihood by offering them a regular payment instead of a variety of cause-based social security payments.

In recent years, different kinds of basic income models have been at the forefront of political and societal discussion. This may largely be due to impacts of increasing automation, and the questions it has raised on how to organise employment and fair distribution of income in the future.

The most pioneering steps to actualise basic income have been made in Finland, as it has boldly launched the first national level experiment, which includes 2000 randomly selected unemployed Finns, who receive 560 euros of basic income per month.

The two-year experiment aims to unravel if and how basic income can help people in finding employment. The global audience hopes that the results of the pilot will provide concrete information that may help to understand the potential and feasibility of basic income models.

Although, it’s too early to say if the experiment will encourage or discourage participating people to work, the first interviews suggest that the recipients of the basic income perceive the experiment as a positive and encouraging opportunity. As The Guardian, Business Insider and Al Jazeera have reported, many of them are already considering to take part-time jobs or test their potential as entrepreneurs.


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