We believe everyone has a right to financial security

A basic income would guarantee financial security for all. It has five core characteristics:

  • Cash: it’s money you can spend on whatever you want.
  • Regular: so you know the next payment is coming.
  • Individual: Each person gets their own basic income, paid to the individual not the household.
  • Unconditional: You don’t have to work or make any promises to get your basic income, there are no strings attached
  • Universal: everyone gets it.

Everything else, well that’s to be decided. Including how much it is and how it’s paid for. Many affordable models have been proposed and the impacts have been studied with modelling and trials.

But before we design a specific basic income, we need to decide what we want it to do. Should it be enough to live on or just a top up? Do we want it to redistribute wealth and address inequality? How do we know what people and communities would do differently with a basic income?

There are big questions about this big idea. To find answers we need a national Basic Income Conversation.

Launched in 2020, we work with individuals and organisations who are having their own Basic Income Conversations. These are happening in communities across the UK, around kitchen tables and in the boardroom.

We support a Research Network so we can share the findings of its members who are at the cutting edge of work on basic income.

We help coordinate a growing network of cross-party politicians and activists to put basic income at the top of the political agenda.

To help take this Conversation all across the UK we created the Basic Income Conversation Toolkit. It talks you through a step by step process so you can bring people together for a Conversation about Basic Income.

You can host your own Basic Income Conversation or attend one of our quarterly Big Basic Income Conversations.


A basic income would touch the lives of everyone, so everyone should have their say.

We work with people across civil society to understand the opportunities, questions and concerns. We help organisations decide if they should add basic income to their policy toolkit and look at how it fits alongside other big policy reforms.

We listen to people and make sure their voices are central to the basic income debate.

Every day people are discovering basic income for the first time. There is a rapidly growing movement taking basic income from an idea to reality.


The Basic Income Conversation team

Cleo Goodman

Cleo is Autonomy's Basic Income Lead and a co-founder of The Basic Income Conversation. She sees basic income as an opportunity for deep social change and thinks we need an idea as compelling and transformative as basic income at this point in history. Email: cleo@basicincomeconversation.org

Jack Kellam
Lead Editor

Jack is Lead Editor at Autonomy, where he has worked on a range of influential basic income projects, from pilot programmes in Wales to modelling global dividend schemes. He sees basic income as a necessary for a society based on dignity Email: jack@autonomy.work

Partners and funders

We are not alone. The basic income movement is growing and vibrant. The Basic Income Conversation works alongside the UBI Lab Network, Basic Income UK, Basic Income Network Scotland and Citizen's Basic Income Trust to promote basic income across the UK.

We're grateful to our funders Geoff Crocker from ubi.org and Mustardseed Trust for their core funding of our work this year and the hundreds of small donors who donate each month to help grow the Conversation.

Compass was an important part of our journey, helping initiate the project and hosting Basic Income Conversation for the first three years. We are very grateful in particular to Lena Swedlow, Compass' Campaigns and Projects Officer for her crucial work on Basic Income Conversation.


Basic Income Conversation is hosted by Autonomy

Autonomy is an independent, progressive research organisation that focuses on tackling climate change, the future of work and economic planning. From pilot design and costing, to economic modelling, we look to push forward the debate on unconditional cash transfers in social and economic policy.