The Logic of the UBI Simulation

In this article we are going to demonstrate how the UBI works “under the hood” by looking at the underlying game logic.

The game makes some vast simplifications of how a national economy works – it is after all designed to be a learning experience rather than a mirror of how the world actually works.

Continue reading “The Logic of the UBI Simulation”

UBI Simulation Game

Some results from alpha testing of the Universal Basic Income simulation game

Together with the Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation I am developing a Universal basic Income “Business Game“. The idea is to take a simplified, fictive country and play around with various aspects of UBI to learn by doing.

We are into the first alpha testing phase and have produced an overview dashboard to look into what sort of figure we are interested in following as the game progresses

Conditions: raise VAT, lower taxes on wages, start raising UBI, reduction in workforce.

The above run was a force run to see how raising taxes and lowering numbers in work looks in the system. As you see the state gets less to spend on services as income declines. Maybe not so interesting. The next run looks at raising UBI from under minimum standard and just raising VAT.

Conditions: raise UBI from under minimum, raise VAT.

The second run added spending power of UBI takers to the dashboard. If you raise VAT you lower spending power. Interestingly – in the simplified model at least – you get MORE state income and the UBI takers do not get lowered VAT. This gives us a hint that it might be possible to raise UBI and Universal Basic Services, although the UBI eats away at the money available for social costs.

Modelling like this raises many detailed questions and it is a difficult task to make the game engine simple enough to handle in a game situation ( so that you learn basic principles) and complex enough to give a feeling of “real life” (so it feels authentic enough).

Let me know in the comments if there is any logic I am missing or any metric you want to see on the dashboard.

Click here for more articles on the UBI simulation

Dividend-bearing pollutant fees in simulation at European Phosphorus Platform

BERLIN 5 MARCH 2015: As an extra attraction at the 2nd European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC2), The Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation (TSSEF.SE) presented a shortened version of its simulation of divided-bearing pollutant fee mechanism. The  simulation, which is played as a business game scenario, pits a government charged with reducing emissions of phosphorus against food producers and property owners who are charged with following regulations and keeping profits up.

The aim of the simulation is to bring participants up close to the myriad of factors  – from technical and legal to emotional – surrounding putting a price on pollution. The simulation is aimed at giving participants an idea of how Environmental Fiscal Reform (EFR) works. The simulation highlights the dividend-bearing pollutant mechanism created by TSSEF. Basically a surcharge is levied as high up in the supply chain as possible on potential pollutants. (Pollutants are also useful substances, just in the wrong form and the wrong place.) Essential to understanding the levy is that it is paid back to taxpayers – to ensure that consumers retain spending power. Download the poster here. Continue reading “Dividend-bearing pollutant fees in simulation at European Phosphorus Platform”

Simulating the five P’s of the local economy

DSC_0668Length: 0.5-1 day
Purpose: learn about local economy and the role of currency by participating in a this simulation
Why attend? By taking a step back and simulating the local economy you can quickly gain deep insights into how the local economy works and could work with local currency. By creating your own currency you gain deep insights into how money works that you would otherwise only gain from literature study.
Main contents: Using a form of the complementary currency MINUTOS the simulation goes from a market with turnover assets of zero to creating functioning market, organisations, products and thriving citizens.

Learning: a separate group of “reporters” follows the simulation to gather data on how money and feelings, negative and positive, connect. They gather learning on essentials of money systems and collect statistics of how “economic growth” proceeds during the simulation.
Includes: The 5 P’s: place, people, products, payment mechanism and projects (organisations). Continue reading “Simulating the five P’s of the local economy”

Workshop: Simulating how the market based instrument flexible fees works

Aligning economic policy to physical constraints and people’s needs

Length: 0.5-2 days
Purpose: to simulate how flexible fees stimulate the development of the circular economy. This will give you insights into how economy, ecology and sustainability  overlap and what can be done practically and on policy level in this age of constraints.

Why attend?  Get ahead fast by learning through simulation to gain insights otherwise hard to access.
Main contents: Introduction to the flexible fee mechanism applied to mineral and  fossil fuel resource use, climate system and land degradation
 Includes: Economic, practical and psychological  perspectives – how clean-tech, fees and policy interact with perceptions.

Should there not, many argue, be a market mechanism by which industrial emissions are curbed? Market -based instruments to encourage recycling and land restoration? Why are these mechanisms in their infancy? Should we not be learning more about these methods and developing them?

Of course, but market mechanisms are emotional as well as logical – so we need a way to explore emission-curbing market mechanisms in the economic, practical and psychological dimensions. Simulation is a great way to get to understand these policy instruments up close, and to explore your own assumptions. Continue reading “Workshop: Simulating how the market based instrument flexible fees works”

Voluntary currency workshops reveal how global monetary system can hamper local economic development

cover ITKPublished on the 26th March, a new report from the Institute of Swedish Safety and Security, ISSS, written by fellow Stephen Hinton, sums up recent experiences with running workshops on local economic development, risk preparedness  and voluntary currency. Two results speak volumes about the sustainability predicament we find ourselves in today. Firstly, in simulating creating a local currency most participants realized they had no idea of how their national currency was created. Secondly, it became clear that creativity and collaboration are held back when money is a bearer of scarcity.

From following what happened in the workshop simulations, it seems the best way to approach developing a resilient local economy is to start from where you are, who you are, and what you have. And collaborate. And get multi-skilled. Preferably organize into projects to focus energies. All of these factors are essential regardless of whether a currency or points system or any other system is used.

pdf Download the report here. ITK_report2


Read more about the ITK currency.