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2021 Korea Basic Income Fair to kick off on April 28

(2021 Korea Basic Income Fair)
(2021 Korea Basic Income Fair)
The 2021 Korea Basic Income Fair, the world’s largest venue for public discussions on basic income, will take place online and offline at the Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX) in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, from April 28 to 30.

The first Korea Basic Income Fair was held in 2019. Now marking its third anniversary, this year’s event will be the largest to date with 68 scholars from around the world participating in online discussions under the theme of “Humans Humanely, Basic Income.”

Korean National Assembly Member and 2021 Korea Basic Income Fair Organizing Committee Chairman Jung Seong-ho said in a press conference held on April 14, “During the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the global COVID-19 pandemic with consequent low economic growth due to employment shock and falling demand, basic income is emerging as a new policy alternative that is attracting global attention. Now it is time to bring the basic income issue to the table for discussion in preparation for its full-fledged implementation.”

At the press conference, National Assembly Member and organizing committee advisor Kim Seung-won referred to “basic economic rights during the pandemic” and National Assembly Member Lee Gyu-min described “food security and rural basic income” by saying, “This year‘s fair will be a venue at which we can publicly discuss basic income, our lives, and basic economic rights. I ask for your interest and participation.”

Organizing Committee Spokesperson Yong Hye-in said, “Basic income is now becoming a global agenda item. Marking its third anniversary, the 2021 Korea Basic Income Fair will be attended by the largest number of speakers yet. The participants will engage in various policy discussions on matters such as basic economic rights, historical reviews of basic income, and basic income from a religious perspective.”

At the opening ceremony, scheduled to take place on April 28, Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung will make an opening address, which will be followed by a keynote speech on the theme “Proliferation of Basic Income in the Era of COVID-19 Pandemic” by Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2019.

After the keynote speech, approximately fifty local governments, including the Gyeonggi Provincial Government, will participate in the inaugural meeting of the Local Government Council on Basic Income to declare its protocols and select a chairperson.

The International Conference on Basic Income will run for two days from April 28 to 29 on the topic of “From the COVID-19 Disaster to New Great Transition, Basic Income.” A total of 68 scholars and experts from Korea and abroad will attend the conference.

On the first day of the conference (April 28), Sarath Davala, President of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), will deliver a special address titled “Lessons from Basic Income Initiatives All Over the World.” On the second day (April 29), Joseph Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University and a Nobel Prize-winning economist, will make a keynote speech on “Necessity of Basic Income As Universal Expenditure in COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Transformation,” and Emeritus Professor Chohan Haejoang at the Department of Cultural Anthropology of Yonsei University will deliver a special address on “Basic Income and Social Maternality and Spirituality.”

The 2021 Fair opened its virtual exhibition on April 1 at It features: the Basic Income Theme Hall, the Basic Income South Korea Hall, the Basic Income World Hall, the Local Government Council Hall, the Youth Basic Income Hall, the Basic Income for Rural Farmers Hall, the Local Currency Hall, the GH Basic Housing Exhibition Hall, the Special Delivery Hall, the Basic Income Video Theater, the Basic Income Idea Contest Exhibition Hall, and the Basic Income Event Hall.

Spokesperson Yong Hye-in said, “Basic income is no longer a thing of the distant future. Please join this global policy event for discussions on basic income and basic economic rights in our lives.”