Collectief Kapitaal is a Dutch initiative of Denise Harleman, started during Covid-19 in 2020. It’s inspired by a personal experience: a friend that gave her a few 100 euros for some months to skip her stress about not having enough income, without expecting anything in return.
Harleman decided to start a basic income experiment in Amsterdam, aiming for national distribution in the long term and it wants to inspire policy makers: from a private to a public initiative on a larger scale?
In Collectief Kapitaal, 100 people donated a monthly contribution of 50 euro for 8 months, in order to offer a basic income of 1.000 euro for 8 months (= 40.000 euro in total) to 5 individuals/families, next to their minimal income. The experiment started in September 2021. It’s repeated in 2022 in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, for 10 people during 12 months.
Collectief Kapitaal is developed as a collective of people that wants change in society. “It’s about what kind of society you want to live in, and which relations you have to others.” Part of the experiment is the discussion about certain dilemmas between the 100 donors. So there’s also a social relation / debate going on between them.
Basic principles behind Collectief Kapitaal are ‘trust’, ‘dignity’ and ‘autonomy’: this creates ‘a level-playing field’ between people that feel the need to share, and people that feel the need to get support.
The 5 people that receive the basic income have a low income (they are ‘minima’) and are raffled: they can register as candidates and will be chosen randomly, by lottery. Because of legal, fiscal and administrative questions, they are limited to just one neighbourhood: Amsterdam-Noord. There are no other conditions. During the 8 months of the experiment, they are asked to testify about their experience, if they want.
The 100 donors have different motives to take part in Collectief Kapitaal: they believe in the idea of a basic income, they feel the need for system change or are curious to new forms of redistribution. They want to share experiences and knowledge or just want to give. The group is very diverse in terms of age, education and living area. “In fact they only agree about our basic principles.”