About the UBI Center

Mission: Produce open-source research to inform a robust policy debate around universal basic income.


UBI is worth serious research and public discourse.

Philosophers and economists have explored universal basic income for centuries, and a new appetite for bold ideas opens an opportunity for UBI, if it can become associated with real policy. Policymakers, advocates, and the media need to know how we'd fund it and whom it would affect in what ways. The UBI Center analyzes specific UBI policies, produces UBI plans, builds tools to communicate results, and evaluates policies in the vein of UBI.

The future of policy analysis is open-source.

Nearly all public policy analysis is performed by organizations that keep their code private, making it impossible to reproduce the analysis or adjust it with different parameters. Relying on organizations' trustworthiness reinforces political divisions and slows progress toward consistent analysis from the policy research community. Open-source analysis enables analysts to build credibility from peer review and produces better models from which we can all benefit.

All UBI Center work is on GitHub (soon this website will be too!). We welcome researchers who want to check our work, extend it to other analyses, or just help out. There's a lot to do, from building interactive graphics to analyzing more policies to incorporating labor responses and more.

Thanks to the Open Source Policy Center and Policy Simulation Library, whose models underlie much of the UBI Center's analyses.


Max Ghenis, Founder and President

Max Ghenis is the founder of the UBI Center. From 2010 to 2018, he was a data scientist at Google, where he most recently researched YouTube's emerging markets products. Max has a bachelor's degree in operations research from the University of California at Berkeley, and is pursuing a master's degree in Data, Economics, and Development Policy from MIT.

Email | Twitter | Medium | GitHub

Nate Golden, US Policy Intern

Nate Golden is a math teacher in DC Public Schools, and formerly worked in the same position in Charlotte Mecklenberg Schools. Additionally, he has worked as a policy advisor for State Representative Leslie Herod of Colorado and a researcher for The Colorado League of Charter Schools through the Urban Leaders Fellowship summer program. Nate has a bachelor's degree in economics from Penn State University. He believes in the importance of policy work to alleviate poverty and inequality.

Email | Twitter | GitHub

John Walker, International Policy Intern

John Walker is a researcher in development and health economics at the University of Sydney. John is interested in how evaluation techniques from econometrics can be used to build more robust public policy that is sensitive to the needs of program recipients. In the past few years, John has worked and volunteered in monitoring and evaluation and community engagement roles with development economics-focused NGOs, including the Global Green Growth Institute and RESULTS Australia. John holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney and is preparing to begin their Master’s program in development economics at MIT in Spring 2021.

Email | GitHub

Matt Gilbert, US Policy Intern

Matt Gilbert is a rising senior at Harvard University, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science. He has previously worked for two startups in the clean energy field. He has also been involved with Harvard for Yang and Boston Basic Income. Matt has written a series of columns about universal basic income for the Harvard Crimson, a student-run newspaper. He believes that a world without poverty is possible.

Email | GitHub | Medium

Charles Bauman, International Policy Intern

Charles Bauman is a student at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he is pursuing a Master's degree in Theory and History of International Relations. He previously was an intern for the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, where he researched economic and foreign policy. Charles received a Master's degree in Medieval History from King's College London and a Bachelor's degree in History from Northwest Nazarene University.


Want to help out?

Email contact@ubicenter.org, or consider supporting the UBI Center's work with a donation.

To make a tax-deductible donation instead, you can contribute to the Policy Simulation Library and let us know at contact@ubicenter.org.