Guy Standing

Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London

Guy Standing is a labour economist and Professorial Research Associate at SOAS University of London. He previously held chairs at SOAS and the universities of Bath (UK) and Monash (Australia). These followed a long career at the International Labour Organization where he was Director of its Socio-Economic Security Programme. He has a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

Professor Standing is a founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), an international NGO promoting basic income as a right.

At SHIFT 2020, Guy will discuss the case for basic income in a time of pandemics. The justification for a basic income system, in which every legal resident would receive a modest monthly amount as an economic right, is fundamentally an ethical one linked to common justice, freedom, and basic security. However, the orthodox economic policies of the past four decades have brought about the collapse of the old income distribution system, and the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an economic collapse waiting to happen. In that context, Guy claims, basic income has become an economic imperative.


SHIFT’s climate partner Chooose has agreed to offset the speaker’s CO2 emissions for six months, including their participation to SHIFT 2020.