BIG Experience

BIG Experience Logo

How might we invite more people to envision alternative economies?

About the Project

The BIG Experience is a campaign tool for spreading the idea of basic income in the form of a facilitated workshop for large groups that combines visioning meditation and curated conversation with a short documentary about a basic income trial in Canada in the 1970s. The facilitation guide, assets, and film itself are all available for open sources download for organizers or other enthusiastic folks to freely use.

The tool was designed by the Dream BIG Collective and funded by the Universal Income Project.

The BIG Experience was featured at the North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress in Toronto, Canada, and is now on a North American library and campuses tour, with organizers downloading and using the tool internationally.

NABIG participants checking out the BIG Experience

NABIG participants checking out the BIG Experience


Our goals

  1. Spread the word about basic income and democratize who has the right to dream about a better way to be in economic relationship.

  2. Go deeper with conversations about basic income and alternative economies from the start. We found that conversations about basic income often immediately stalled in the “But how?” and “Who’s going to pay?” level of discourse right away. We set out to design tools that could help organizers facilitate deeper conversations right away by experimenting with mediation, storytelling, and pacing.

The Design

The experience begins with a meditation that traces the history of money, while exploring felt sensations of scarcity, abundance, merit, privilege, and cooperation. The facilitator than leads participants in sharing and deep listening exercises with strangers to explore and be surprised by some of their feelings about economies. The documentary is then screened, and participants are led through a final set of curated participation exercises. Participants leave with a deepened sense of their own feelings about economies, and armed with a few facts about basic income—both successes from past trials and ways to get involved in current movements.

Getting physical during a BIG Experience demo (collaborator Alan Webb pictured)

Getting physical during a BIG Experience demo (collaborator Alan Webb pictured)

Our Approach

This entirely grassroots project was developed over six months by a group including myself and three other lead designers with an open door for collaborators at our weekly evening meetings, with over 25 people joining for some part of the process.

The first sessions were spent brainstorming possible approaches, with the parameters that we wanted the tool to be participatory and game-like. From there we tested 6 different possible game formats by building low-fi prototypes and playing them in small groups. Once we had determined the general flow of the experience, we did a one-month sprint to develop it more fully. From there we tested again on a larger group and surveyed them. Leveraging their feedback we entered a final production phase and developed the tools, facilitation guide, logo and other brand assets, and website before testing a final time by running a public version of the experience and collecting feedback. After the final edits we launched the experience at the NABIG conference and it is now going on a library and campuses tour.

ideation → testing → sprint to mvp → feedback session → production → beta experience & more feedback → launch & distribution

One of many living room design sessions

One of many living room design sessions

A BIt about the BRAND

I led a session during the production phase to brainstorm our brand identity and developed those conversations into a flexible visual identity for the experience.

The anchor of the visual identity is a logo that references blocks, gameplay, and tetris in the final design. We selected purple for the brand color to represent futurity and bipartisanship. The typeface selection and clean design references our big brand idea: You Are a Citizen Economist.

Mock up for stickers/badges we hand out at the end of the experience

Mock up for stickers/badges we hand out at the end of the experience


Learn more about the BIG Experience here: