Universal Basic Income

I spent my morning commute listening to Scroobius Pip interview Rutger Bregman about his new book, Utopia for Realists. One of the core subjects was the concept of Universal Basic Income, which has interested me for a long time.

The idea of a Universal Basic Income has been around for over 500 years, but only recently are we starting to see experiments to see if it can become a reality.  Often, it is described as a new way of thinking about welfare by ensuring that ALL citizens are provided with a basic level of income, regardless of whether they work or not.

A Universal Basic Income puts choice into the hands of citizens, creating new markets and cutting down on the bureaucracy of the state trying to intervene (and save money) in all cases.

The thought of an unconditional income that raises all citizens above the poverty line might seem utopian but in fact, the benefits could be way beyond the simple uplift of people from potential hardship. Click To Tweet

It is no secret that the world of work is changing. Automation, AI and algorithms will reduce the need for humans to work, and whilst a leisure-focused future awaits, there will need to be a shift from consumption to creation.

Our current thinking drives young people towards work, even against their dreams and wishes.  How many talented artists and musicians have ‘stored away’ their aspirations to pursue a degree and take an unrelated job that brings them an income.  Universal Basic Income might allow those people to foster those ambitions with a safety net, and create more than consume.

Even today, there are a high number of people that would like to spend time contributing back to society; volunteering, spending time with family and helping out with schools.  Working part-time is not an option.  However, half a job plus UBI could create a world where two people do a job, reducing unemployment and bringing people back into the world of work where jobs will become more scarce.

Like all big societal shifts, this thinking seems radical but is gaining a lot of support.  There is a two-year trial underway in Finland, and the Adam Smith Institute has been urging world leaders at Davos to consider the idea.

For me, the idea of preempting the shift to a world with less work and more leisure, less consumption and more creation and a way to encourage people towards more meaningful pursuits than just chasing a wage.

This video explains Universal Basic Income in a really simple way:




Working Out Loud Circle – Week Seven

This is part of a series of posts documenting my journey with a Working Out Loud circle, as defined in John Stepper’s book; Working Out Loud: For a better Career and Life.  You can read the rest of the series here.

Our circle was reduced to three this week, does that make it a Working Out Loud Triangle?  Still, as usual the discussion was an interesting & energising way to start Friday.

So what did we do this week?

Our routine is well established now, we spend our first minutes checking on progress since the last meeting, and hearing about peoples successes is a nice way to set the tone for this week.

Moving onto the exercises, we read through the ‘letters from our future selves’ and I was impressed with how the rest of the circle had done this. The letters seemed to have very definite visions of the future and some clearly defined pathways.

For me, this was the hardest exercise so far in the WOL journey.  I didn’t manage to achieve this before the meeting, and afterwards, I spent a lot of time struggling to get this down.   I pride myself on being able to ‘grind’ something out when it gets tricky, but a letter from my future self just seemed impossible.

We discussed the challenge, and the rest of the group were supportive – with their own experience as good input to helping me tackle this.  I’ve reflected hard on why I found this difficult, and I think it’s down to how I approach work as a whole.

I am usually very execution focused, my entire role revolves around taking vision and strategy and breaking it into small steps that mean I can constantly move forward.  Whilst I can contribute well to the vision, I have to see a roadmap and a plan – and this exercise didn’t take me there.

Apart from that, I never really make plans for my life – I pride myself on being agile and flexible and this ‘crystallisation’ of the future is not something I find easy.

We discussed how writing the letter is one thing, but reading it back was really powerful, and how we might share aspirations in our online profiles and world.


My key takeaways

  • Envisioning the future is not easy for everyone, but it can be a powerful tool.
  • Reading back your goals and aspirations can really increase the impact of the exercise.

What did I do after this weeks meeting?

  • Reflected on the difficulty I had in completing the exercise
  • Wrote a draft of the letter, which I’ll spend more time on the future
  • Resolved to ‘forget’ this weeks exercise  and look forward!


Sunday Six Pack #5

Time to relax, pour yourself a coffee and enjoy the Sunday Six Pack, all killer, no filler, just six of the best links curated from a week of reading. Previous editions here.

Compiled whilst listening to Nils Frahm – All Melody

The Sunday Six Pack - great reading from across the web, curated for Sunday enjoyment Click To Tweet

Friday Customer Experience Pack #5

Every Friday, I’m going to round up the best Customer Experience writing I have seen during the week. Subscribe below if you’d like to receive this by email each week. Previous editions are here.

Onboarding is a critical part of your customer journey, get it wrong here and customers will walk every time. Click To Tweet

What did I miss? Let me know the best Customer Experience writing you’ve seen this week in the comments.

February Review

Each month, I’m reviewing my progress in building my blog and holding myself accountable for writing every day. Previous reviews here.

For 2018, I set myself a goal of writing every day, and hopefully building my blog audience back up.  I’m tracking myself daily, but also keeping a monthly review here so that I can see progress.

So, how did I do in February

  • Posts in February: 36 posts (vs 32 in January)
  • Top Post: Working Out Loud – Week 6 (this series has had a lot of positive feedback)
  • Words Written: 7712 (vs 9541)
  • Average per post : 214 (vs 289)
  • Page Views: 706 (vs 342 in January – decent progress)

And a new count – to track another goal for this year:

  • Steps taken (from my Apple Watch): 138790 / 21 days worn = 6690 avg (Jan – 142403/20 = 7120 avg)

    Target for March = 8000 average