“An Introduction to HudsonUP & the History of Universal Basic Income”

Virtual Program Description: The Hudson Area Library and The Spark of Hudson present an informational meeting on the history of Universal Basic Income (UBI) and HudsonUP, a current UBI pilot program based in Hudson. In this virtual program, Albert Wenger and Susan Danziger, co-founders of The Spark of Hudson and HudsonUP, will speak on UBI’s history and the value and details of the UBI pilot program for Hudson. Q & A will follow.

Date/Time: Thursday, August 20, from 6 to 7pm (via Zoom)

Registration: To register for this meeting and receive the Zoom link, email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org or call 518-828-1792 ext 101.

HudsonUP is a basic income pilot created by The Spark of Hudson and Humanity Forward and is based in Hudson, NY. The initiative is being designed in collaboration with the community and is championed by Mayor Kamal Johnson

Many advocates of basic income have long maintained that the coming technological shift and wave of automation would wipe out millions of traditional jobs and leave everyday Americans without a safety net. The concept of a universal basic income is a simple one: unconditional, regularly recurring payments made to everyone. With HudsonUP, The Spark of Hudson & Humanity Forward aim to partner with the Hudson community to test this simple concept by providing $500 each month to 22 randomly-selected Hudson residents for five years.

Universal Basic Income has a longer history than some realize. One of the first proponents of Universal Basic Income in the United States was Thomas Payne, author of the Common Sense pamphlet, and individuals as varied as Martin Luther King, Jr. and economist Milton Friedman have spoken in support of the concept. Andrew Yang’s recent presidential campaign highlighted the importance of a national UBI program for the United States.

Albert Wenger is a managing partner at Union Square Ventures (USV), a thesis-driven venture capital firm. USV backs trusted brands that broaden access to knowledge, capital, and well-being by leveraging networks, platforms, and protocols. USV’s current portfolio companies include Coinbase, Duolingo, Nurx, Skillshare, Stash. Past portfolio companies include Etsy, MongoDB, Twilio and Twitter. Before joining USV, Albert was the president of del.icio.us through the company’s sale to Yahoo and an angel investor (Etsy, Tumblr). He previously founded or co-founded several companies, including a management consulting firm and a healthcare data analytics company. Albert graduated from Harvard College in economics and computer science and holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology from MIT. In his book, World After Capital, Albert describes the shift to a Knowledge Age — and its implications not only for businesses but all of us. He blogs at Continuations and is @albertwenger on Twitter.

Susan Danziger, founder/CEO of Eutopia Holdings, is an entrepreneur and investor focused on building models for living, learning and giving. Her most recent initiatives include The Spark of Hudson, an innovative community learning center set to launch in Hudson, New York as well as Wally Farms, an innovation hub for growing climate solutions. Susan previously founded Ziggeo, an award-winning video technology company, and DailyLit, a pioneer in digital serialization. Named a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, Susan received a B.A. as a College Scholar from Cornell University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. 

The Spark of Hudson is an innovative, community learning center launching in Hudson, NY.  A model for education and community development, The Spark is dedicated to supporting individuals from all corners of Hudson and beyond to learn, teach and grow. Founded by Susan Danziger and Albert Wenger, The Spark has recently spearheaded and supported a number of community initiatives in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. 

 The Hudson Area Library is located at 51 North Fifth Street in Hudson, NY. The mission of the library is to enrich the quality of life by providing free and equal access to programs, services and resources, and by creating opportunities for all members of our community to connect, create, learn and grow. For more information visit hudsonarealibrary.org.