Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang today launched Humanity Forward, a nonprofit organization intended to embody the spirit of the Yang 2020 presidential campaign, which focused on issues like the impact of automation on humans. As part of the launch, Humanity Forward pledged to give $500,000 to a city in New York state to test a universal basic income program. With the slogan “Humanity First,” Yang’s campaign started in 2018 and focused on issues like a $1,000 a month universal basic income for every U.S. adult as a way to address the impact of automation and reduce poverty and income inequality.
According to a press release shared with VentureBeat to announce the forming of the organization, Humanity Forward will launch a podcast and Future of Work conference to discuss the impact of automation. Humanity Forward will also grow initiatives to reach voters who are not engaged in the political process today, funding pilot programs that explore issues like democracy dollars for average citizens to fuel campaign finance, universal basic income, and the idea of data as a property right.
Early supporters include Reddit cofounder Alex Ohanian, comedian Dave Chappelle, and entertainer Ken Jeong.
Yang rose from a relatively unknown businessman to as high as sixth in national polls, but following tepid results from the New Hampshire primary, Yang dropped out of the race to become the Democratic Party presidential nominee last month.
“We stood on the debate stage and shifted our national conversation to include the fourth industrial revolution, a topic no one wanted to touch until we made it happen here with this campaign,” he said in the speech to end his campaign. “We highlighted the real problems in our communities as our economy is being transformed before our eyes by technology and automation, and Americans know now that when you go to a factory in Michigan, you do not find wall-to-wall immigrants doing work. You find wall-to-wall robot arms and machines doing the work that people used to do.”
Shortly after dropping out out of the presidential race, Yang joined CNN to act as a political commentator.