Overline: Edited volume
Headline: An Unconditional Basic Income for a Sustainable Society

Could an unconditional basic income foster freedom and equal opportunity, curb the excesses of an age of acceleration driven by competition and help to conserve our finite natural resources? The freelance curator, author, theorist and activist Adrienne Goehler has studied this question as an IASS Fellow. Her recently published book "Nachhaltigkeit braucht Entschleunigung braucht Grundein/auskommen" presents essays, interviews, stories, diagrams and artistic interventions from a range of authors on the relationship between sustainability, deceleration, and an unconditional basic income.

The Corona Crisis opens a window of opportunity for us to imagine a different world.
The Corona Crisis opens a window of opportunity for us to imagine a different world. Private

In view of the unfolding coronavirus pandemic, the book offers important impulses, says Goehler: "Once seemingly immutable values and hierarchies have been thrown into disarray. We have a window of opportunity to think beyond the familiar and to shift from our current model of imposed acceleration to one of voluntary deceleration and relevant action, to strengthen domestic markets through demand, to take away people's fear of mass redundancies, and to ask ourselves how we really want and should work in order to build a sustainable economy. An unconditional basic income empowers people to shape the future, instead of remaining dependent on jobs that harm both people and the planet."

The book juxtaposes insights from the financial sector with ideas from agricultural and development policy and knowledge from the fields of climate science and ecology. Artistic interventions explore the big questions of our age:  What do we need for a good life and is there enough of it for everyone on Earth? How will we work in the future and what will be the role of traditional forms of employment? Can we achieve greater gender equity by learning to perceive social work, which is often unpaid or poorly paid, as equivalent to other work? How can we find a meaningful and fulfilling task? And, last but not least: could the introduction, as a human right, of an unconditional basic income – or basic livelihood, as Goehler prefers – initiate a paradigm change that would bring us closer to achieving the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals?

Featuring contributions from Elke Schmitter (author and journalist), Uwe Schneidewind (scientific director of the Wuppertal Institute), Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber (founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) and Patrizia Nanz (scientific director at the IASS), the book will open readers' eyes to the possibilities and contradictions of this moment. Presenting more than just a cross-section of positions from across the basic income movement, this book treads new ground with its emphasis on sustainability and sustainable development. But above all else, this book is a passionate wake-up call: again and again the authors' remind us that have to break with rigid patterns of thinking and action in order to lend our future a greater thirst for knowledge and freedom of movement.