Press release

Convening of Interdisciplinary Group of Distinguished Experts Develops A Vision for What Our Society Should be a Generation From Now

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Today, the Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity in collaboration with the Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley are announcing the release of the document “Automation, Opportunity, and Belonging: Vision and Foundations for a Better Society.” It is available for download, free of charge at

In these tempestuous times when the United States of America is divided as never before in modern times and facing an increasingly untenable economic challenge, Gisèle Huff, President of the Fund, and john powell, Director of the Institute brought together a distinguished, diverse group of organizational leaders and academics to craft a vision of what our society ought to be a generation from now.

The participants included: Wendy Ake, Othering & Belonging Institute, University of California, Berkeley (co-convener); Rev. Jennifer Bailey, Founder and Executive Director, Faith Matters Network; Rob “Biko” Baker, Executive Director of the League of Young Voters; Whitney Kimball Coe, Director of National Programs, Center for Rural Strategies; Sunita Gupta, Director of the Future of Work(ers) Program, Ford Foundation; Darrick Hamilton, Executive Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, John Glenn College of Public Affairs, Ohio State University; Gisèle Huff, President, Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity (convener); Rob Johnson, President, Institute for New Economic Thinking; Livia Lam, Director of Workforce Development, Center for American Progress; Richard Murphy, Editor-in-Chief and Director, ServiceNow; Manuel Pastor, Director, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE), University of Southern California; john powell, Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute, University of California, Berkeley (co-convener); Anne Price, President, Insight Center; William Rodgers, Chief Economist, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Bloustein School for Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University; Scott Santens, Editor, Basic Income Today; Andrea Saveri, education consultant, formerly at Institute for the Future.

Over a period of a year, meeting virtually because of the pandemic, the participants set out to design a future that recognizes and upholds the intrinsic worth of every person and community; provides an equitable foundation of economic rights, human and financial capital, and liberatory education; and harnesses entrepreneurship and technology to increase opportunity, agency, inclusion, and well-being for all.

Two years ago, many elements of this vision would have seemed utopian. Today, a broad cross-section of Americans sees the need for major changes in the way we organize our society, and senses that there is real potential for us to do so. This vision is offered as a North Star for dialogue on long term goals for social change among activists, philanthropists, and business and government leaders.

“It has long been the case that, when a crisis strikes, there is a scramble to resolve it using the tools at hand that are usually inadequate” stated convener Gisèle Huff. “The pandemic coupled with growing income inequality and social unrest have revealed that we need to develop a vision for the future of our nation that is so clear that it can be readily implemented. That is what this remarkable group has achieved.”

Co-convener john powell added: “We have to help call into being a world where all people belong, and we have right relationship with each other and the earth free of domination.”

Rob Johnson, President of the Institute for New Economic Thinking is planning a series of podcasts with his fellow participants at “The Vision that Gisèle and john had in bringing this vital and timely project to life is inspiring. I look forward to making a series of podcasts on the key elements of this “North Star” vision that this outstanding group of people joined together to create over a series of meetings. I am grateful to have been a part of this learning and look forward to seeing it shared with many people around the world who are, like the members of this group, yearning to create a bright and humane future on earth.”

Based on their own experience with the convening, it is the hope of the participants that this vision document will start a national dialogue about the direction our country should take. The more public support for this vision builds, the more it will inform the replacement of the current institutional arrangements that no longer serve.

About the Othering and Belonging Institute

The Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley brings together researchers, organizers, stakeholders, communicators, and policymakers to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society in order to create transformative change. We are a diverse and vibrant hub generating work centered on realizing a world where all people belong, where belonging entails being respected at a level that includes the right to both contribute and make demands upon society and political and cultural institutions. The Othering & Belonging Institute responds to issues that require both immediate action and long-term strategy. The Institute engages in innovative communications, arts and cultural strategy, and strategic narrative work that attempts to re-frame the public discourse from a dominant narrative of control and fear towards one that recognizes the humanity of all people, cares for the earth, and celebrates our inherent interconnectedness. For more information, please visit

About The Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity

The Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity is a Section 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was created in 2019 to promulgate the vision of the late Gerald Huff, an ardent proponent of Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a transitional solution to the existential threat of technological unemployment. Through various programs and initiatives, the Fund supports UBI by collaborating with education and advocacy programs and individuals to further its understanding, acceptance, and implementation to benefit all Americans. Among the Fund’s current initiatives are Basic Income Today, an online information and community site dedicated to providing news and information and furthering the discussion and debate about UBI. For more information, please visit