On July 13th 2022, in collaboration with IndoBIG, CirclesUBI.id - at the time called Circles BALI - participated in a national webinar to discuss how Blockchain technology could support the acceleration of Universal Basic Income (UBI) applications in the region.
The Indonesian Basic Income Guarantee Network (IndoBIG) was established in October 2017 as an informal network of researchers and activists interested in studying Basic Income Guarantees (BIG) potential in Indonesia. The IndoBIG Network, which is committed to educating the Indonesian public on global BIG developments, is affiliated with the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN).
Some highlights from the lively discussion included:
Yanu Endar Prasetyo, Founder of the IndoBIG Network
Mas Yanu opened the event by sharing highlights of Basic Income experiments from around the world. He explained that while various experiments have been conducted in several countries, none of them can truly be termed as "universal" as each project has targeted specific target participant bases. That being said, UBI-type experiments are indeed gaining popularity and momentum worldwide.
He explained: "Most of the current UBI experiments or Pilots are constrained by the need for the use of fiat currency as basic income guarantees, I welcome initiatives that could introduce a "Point System" or other innovative approaches for BIG delivery, including CirclesUBI."
Bika Pidada, Head of Toko Token Tokocrypto
Ibu Bika from Tokocrypto has been advocating and supporting Crypto education in the region for decades. She explained how Blockchain and Cryptocurrency technology is shaping the future, and how developments are happening at a very rapid rate, including in Indonesia.
She then clarified that while associated regulations are a hot debate the passion and enthusiasm of the Crypto community in Indonesia is strong. Blockchain technology is increasingly contributing to the diversity and transparency of financial instruments. “Blockchain has the advantage of being effective at keeping track of information and transactions. It is also proven to be safe and transparent," she explained.
I Made Chandra Mandira, UNDIKNAS Bali Academic
UNDIKNAS University has the vision of delivering excellence in the fields of education and teaching, research, and community service based on the Balinese Tri Hita Karana concept, as well as producing graduates with an entrepreneurial spirit based on research results, science, and technology and National Pancasila values.
Bapak Made Chandra an academic lead from the respected institution emphasized Bali's agrarian potential citing the severe impacts that COVID-19 had on the Balinese tourism-dependant economy. While tourism can become quickly and massively disrupted food production and agriculture are in continuous demand. In his opinion, Blockchain-based UBI would be a natural fit with the Balinese agricultural sector.
Pak Made explained: "Blockchain could be used to strengthen the supply chain of Bali's agricultural commodities and UBI could help Balinese farmers to be more resilient and prosperous."
Garlan Duarsa, Circles Bali
Garlan introduced the vision of CirclesUBI and the platform's intention to provide a practical solution for supporting the Indonesian movement for UBI or BIG applications.
The results of the community surveys conducted in 2021 were also shared including testimonials captured on a short documentary film which highlights the enthusiasm of Balinese respondents from local leadership to farmers and small micropeneurs on the potential of the CirclesUBI system in their communities. The general feedback from the survey participants was that they felt the intended application would be useful for them in addressing the important social need to ensure that communities could help themselves in building resilience and ensure that all people are able to access basic needs.
The conclusion of the dynamic discussion was enthusiastic support for how CirclesUBI could deliver a trial for Blockchain-based UBI or BIG as a social technology innovation, and the importance of the development of a user-friendly, accessible platform that could readily be used by anyone in the region.