Berggruen Institute Announces 2020–2021 Class of Fellows, Leading Thinkers Studying Great Transformations — News — Berggruen Institute

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Berggruen Institute has welcomed its sixth cohort of Fellows to research transformative ideas that will shape human society while promoting both academic and cultural exchange. Former Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors Laura D’Andrea Tyson, Yuk Hui, Vilas Dhar, Drew Endy, and Michael Specter have joined the Institute as Senior Fellows. Joining the Berggruen’s notable roster of Fellows and Researchers are: Aneesh Aneesh, Shunong Bai, Eddie Barnes, Nina Begus, Margaret Liu Clinton, Gabriel Coren, Jeanne Dreskin, Weiwen Duan, Maya Ganesh, Jingfang Hao, Sara Hudson, Xiao Liu, Qiaoying Lu, Robert Neuwirth, Matt Prindible, Trebor Scholz, Lana Swartz, Anjan Sundaram, Sebastian Sunday Grève, Jamie Susskind, Fabrizio Tassinari, Claire Webb, Leah Willemin, and Gary Zhexi Zhang.

“Drawn from a variety of disciplines and from countries all over the world, Berggruen Fellows and Researchers aim to seed and develop ideas that address major shifts in the world’s fundamental systems,” said Nils Gilman, Berggruen Institute Vice President of Programs. “As the pandemic has raised obstacles to collaboration, our program crucially provides an integrative environment in which Fellows can refine and build upon each other’s research.”

Founded in 2010 by philanthropist and investor Nicolas Berggruen, the Berggruen Institute develops the foundational ideas and critical analysis needed to unlock enduring progress for political, economic, and social institutions in the 21 stcentury. Since its inception, the Berggruen Institute has launched the , the Council for the Future of Europe, the Berggruen China Center, the Think Long Committee for California, and the signature Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture.

In partnership with the University of Southern California Dornsife Center on Science, Technology and Public Life (STPL), Berggruen Fellowships offer scholars flexible periods of work and study in both the United States and China. The 2020–2021 Berggruen Fellows and Researchers will deliver and produce lectures, books, scholarly workshops, colloquia, and academic articles throughout their fellowships. Senior Fellows’ decades of research pedigree and real-world leadership experience will enrich and amplify the work of the Institute’s fellowships and programs.

Great Transformations Fellows Research

Over the last five years, the themes of the Fellowship have evolved from comparative philosophy and religion to the fundamental changes reshaping today’s world. Berggruen Fellows’ independent research and points of collaboration will extend the Institute’s programmatic work on these Great Transformations: the Future of Capitalism, Transformations of the Human, the Future of Democracy, and Geopolitics and Globalization.

Fellows working with the Future of Capitalism program will explore how forgotten communities band together to raise their collective prospects, how money can be considered a medium of communication subject to technological, cultural, and political change, and how the co-op ownership model can be merged with the platform economy to promote equity and stability for an increasingly precarious workforce. The Transformations of the Human (ToftH) program represents a philosophical study and artistic exploration of the ways AI and biotech challenge our conception of what it means to be human. Its Researchers will be placed in commercial and academic labs to cultivate understanding of AI and biotech development as not merely technical pursuits, but also as fundamentally philosophical and artistic practices with far-reaching consequences. Fellows working with the Future of Democracy program will pursue exciting angles on the reimagination of government by popular will, including devising an alternative framework for citizenship in a stateless world society, and harnessing digital technologies for the democratic process. Finally, the work of all Fellows will inform and support the Geopolitics and Globalization program, which seeks to promote collaboration on shared planetary challenges while preventing the disintegration of global order into blocs of hostile powers.

About the 2020–2021 Berggruen Fellows, Researchers, and Senior Fellows
(for full Fellow bios, please visit

Originally published at on September 21, 2020.

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