Guaranteed National Income

Conversation Guide

What would happen if we had a National Basic Income (NBI)? Every citizen of the country is
guaranteed to receive money, regardless of circumstances. This idea has
been around for a few decades as a potential solution to ending poverty.
It has also been championed as a way to reduce social programs and
government bureaucracy. In the spring of 2016, Switzerland voted down a
referendum on this, but Finland is drafting a plan which will be
presented via referendum in late 2016. While some fear automation will
shrink available jobs, others see NBI as a way to stimulate the economy.
We invite you to engage in a little dreaming about what our future
could be.

Background Information:

While you don’t need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic.

Let's Get Started!

This Living Room Conversation flows through three rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before You Begin...

Please go over the Conversation Agreements with your participants.

Introductions: Getting Started/
Why Are We Here?

What interested you or drew you to this conversation?

Round 1: Core Values

Answer one or more of the following:
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?

Round 2:

What are your thoughts on Guaranteed National Income?

Remember that the goal for this Living Room Conversation is for all of us to listen and learn about where we have different opinions and where we have shared interests, intentions and goals. Answer ​one or more of the following questions:
  • If you knew you had a survival level of income, guaranteed, how would your life change?
  • How do you think a guaranteed basic income would impact your community?
  • How do you think other people would respond to a survival level of income?
  • What conditions, if any, would you place on receiving a basic income?

Round 3: Reflection & Next Steps

Answer ​one or more​ of the following questions:
  • In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
  • What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
  • Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

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