With an amazing turnout for our second meetup (approximately 30-35 people?), there was a ton of energy in the room and a very strong sense of desire to make something happen. I’m very excited by the outcome of this meetup because it is exactly what I was hoping would happen in this group, and a growing number of highly motivated people are coming together to brainstorm and strategize ways to bring a basic income to Australia.
We had an incredibly diverse group of people offering a wide range of skills, perceptions and ideas to the discussion which dominated most of the night. We had people there from the Future Party, The Pirate party, The Transhumanist Party, and the newly formed Australian Progressives party. We had someone there who is currently doing his PHD on a Basic Income implementation for Australia.
We have all of the pieces in place, the task now is to make sure we keep everything moving and growing.
My main takeaways from the night, and ideas to decide upon and put into action are as follows:
- I think I will set up a website with a Wiki and Forum to record important information and facilitate more meaningful discussion (facebook is good for easily posting articles and news stories, but terrible for engaging meaningfully with complex issues)
- Actions: Register domain. Create website with appropriate CMS systems.
- Questions: What domain? (coming to this below)
- I think we should incorporate as a non-profit charity. I believe we will need to find a lawyer who is happy to help us set this up.
- Actions: Find a lawyer able to help us out. Procure enough money to afford the fees. Start registration process.
- Questions: Feedback on this step? Is there agreement that this is the right direction to go? How do we raise money? Monthly membership fees and/or donations?
- I think we want a different name for the official organisation (and thus website). I’m currently looking at “Basic Income for Australia”, but I think I’ll put together a facebook poll for this and let the group decide.
- Actions: Decide on a good organisation name. Create and vote in poll.
- There seems to be wide agreement that we are unlikely to implement a basic income in Australia in the next 5 years – even ten years might be a long shot. So that feels like a reasonable goal for the group. Which leads me to propose a mission statement: “Striving to guarantee a basic income for everyone living in Australia by 2025”
- Actions: Hold another facebook poll on a mission statement/slogan?
NEXT MEETUP PLANS
Next meetup! I’m planning on making it happen mid January. Thanks to Peter Xing for offering us a space at Deloitte, which in part, in combination with the fact that the government is firmly on the “Innovation” bandwagon at the moment, plus the knowledge that a basic income would super-power entrepreneurs (and unleash massive innovation potential), I think the next meetup should be Innovation themed.
Perhaps title the meetup: Basic Income for an Innovation Nation?
Now I just need to figure out how to package the information to actually deliver that! Anyone want to participate in planning this? Anyone want to talk?
If we do this, I think it might be possible to get some good press. Maybe even get some government interest. If nothing else, if we can bring more of the entrepreneurial community on board, then we can start that process of gaining public support and traction.
- Actions: 1. Get help organising content so that it tells a compelling story which will convince attendees that a Basic Income will spur massive innovation. 2. Book venue. 3. Create Meetup.com group, create event, start promoting event. 4. Contact key people in startup community, government and media once the content is better organised and the event is more thoroughly organised.
- Questions: Who wants to help? Do we want to do this next, or wait for a little more traction/organisation?