Building the path towards Universal Basic Income
through Advocacy, Research, and Technology
Bringing Universal Stability, Security, and Hope
Our mission is to provide poor communities with basic financial means to escape constant instability brought on by poverty, build personal security, and promote living with dignity. We aspire to achieve this through thoughtful, empathetic, and responsive program design and technology R&D, centered on UBI or cash transfer programs for individuals and families facing poverty, instability, and adversity.
Universal Basic Income
Ubiquity is a nonprofit foundation. It conducts action research, technology development, and inclusion advocacy to build and support viable pathways for least-developed and developing countries to design, advocate, and deploy progressive financial inclusion solutions. It focuses on long-term, sustainable UBI or cash transfer programs to enable people to overcome endemic poverty and social exclusion.
UBI Supporting Education Enrollment and Attendance, Myanmar
Myanmar’s population suffers from economic and political strife, ongoing civil war, the COVID-19 pandemic and endemic poverty. Many public and private services function poorly or are entirely
absent. The livelihoods and security of the most vulnerable people face daily threats.
Education is fundamental to Myanmar’s long-term development. Ubiquity’s UBI quest begins in Myanmar with a cash-transfer programme for households with middle-school-age children. We seek to build economic security for the family unit to promote school attendance and encourage enrollment for children in danger of losing the opportunity.
In 2022, Ubiquity will pilot conditional cash transfer as a route to UBI in Myanmar. We will develop, deploy, and test technologies designed specifically for developing communities, seeking to overcome barriers families face in finding security and keeping their children in school. Our core aim is to help families overcome intergenerational poverty by promoting social and economic inclusion.
Meet The Team
Social Development Technologies
Chris has been working at the intersection of social development, development finance, and technology development for the past decade. He received a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation with a focus on informal economy and smart city design. In the past seven years, he has co-founded a social development technology company based in Hong Kong called Shanzhai City, through which has developed and deployed technology-based solutions in poor and developing communities across East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Brazil. Interventions include artificial intelligence for poverty identification in China, micro social impact bonds on blockchain in Myanmar, digital tokenization of time bank micro-economies in Hong Kong, civic data infrastructure for the Hong Kong government, and decentralized identification for Early Child Development programs in Brazil. Chris also taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong as Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Urban Design program for their graduate thesis studio to advance research on informal urban systems.
Myanmar Politics & Education
Ian taught political science at the University of Manchester in the 1990s and City University of Hong Kong in the 2000s. He was a Fulbright Scholar at New York University in the late 1990s. For the past fifteen years he has worked at the University of Hong Kong, serving for five years as Dean of Social Sciences and for seven years as Vice-President (Teaching & Learning). His teaching and research focus on Myanmar. Since 2008 he has led programmes enabling hundreds of Hong Kong students to teach English on the Thai-Myanmar border and inside Myanmar. His books include: Burma Redux: Global Justice and the Quest for the Political Reform in Myanmar (Columbia University Press, 2011); Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Myanmar (Routledge, 2018), co-edited with Adam Simpson and Nicholas Farrelly; Liberalism and Democracy in Myanmar (Oxford University Press, 2018), co-authored with Roman David; and Painting Myanmar’s Transition (Hong Kong University Press, 2021), co-edited with Aung Kaung Myat. He is a board member of Connecting Myanmar. His Thukhuma collection of contemporary Myanmar art has 150 paintings on display around the world.
Social Programme Architecture
Philanthropy & Human Rights
For the last 10 years, Tat has been working in social development and social finance projects for poverty alleviation, regional development and community development in China, Southeast Asia, and South America. He is the founder and CEO of Shanzhai City, designing and providing next generation data technology solutions for international organizations and government agencies such as World Food Programme, Brazil Ministry of Citizenship, Municipality Government of Boa Vista, China Development Research Foundation, and Grameen Trust in Bangladesh.
Sandra creates safe and inclusive spaces for people to participate in social programme design, implementation and evaluation. She has 6 years work experiences in non-profits, research institutions and social start-up in Myanmar, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and London. She taught English, Art Therapy and Social Enterprise at Mae La Refugee Camp at Thai-Myanmar border. Sandra graduated from the University College London with a Master of Science in Social Development Practice, and is a board member of Connecting Myanmar.
Edward Tsoi is the founder of Connecting Myanmar, a charity in Hong Kong that supports youth development in Myanmar through providing University scholarship to grassroot community leaders. Edward has taught in a Karen migrant school in Maesot on the Thai/Myanmar border and has engaged with the civil society there since 2011. He holds an LLM in Human Rights (Distinction) from the University of Hong Kong, where he was awarded the Anna Wu Prize in Human Rights.