Berggruen Institute

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Berggruen Institute
FounderNicolas Berggruen
Registration no.C3671781
  • Los Angeles, CA 90013
Revenue (2016)
Expenses (2016)$7,864,358[1]
Endowment (2016)$500 million[2]
Nicolas Berggruen, founder, 2017.

The Berggruen Institute is a Los Angeles-based think tank founded by Nicolas Berggruen.


Berggruen Institute was formed in 2010 by founder Nicholas Berggruen and co-founder Nathan Gardels as a global network of “thinkers” dedicated to coming up with systemic solutions to various world problems.[3]

In 2014, the Institute created an online global publication called The WorldPost, which was partnered with Huffpost and later The Washington Post.[3] The WorldPost is now known as Noema Magazine, which is published both online and in print.[4]

In 2015, the Institute created the Berggruen Fellowship Program in partnership with several universities. The program sponsors young, emerging “thinkers”.[3]

Berggruen has recruited numerous supporters and advisers of the Institute including Eric Schmidt, Reid Hoffman, Arianna Huffington, Evan Spiegel, Stephan Schwarzman, Ernesto Zedillo, Jack Dorsey, Elon Musk, and Patrick Soon-Shiong.[5]

Berggruen Institute councils and committees[edit]

21st Century Council[edit]

The 21st Century Council brings together former heads of state, global thinkers and entrepreneurs from across cultural and political boundaries to address the problems arising from power shifts from Western-dominated globalization to a multipolar world. The Council is devoted to global governance reform with the aim to "build on a convergence of interests in order to create a community of interests."[6] The council is chaired by former president of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo.[7]

Council on the Future of Europe[edit]

The Council on the Future of Europe is a committee engaged in research, debate and advocacy to move forward the project of a united Europe.[8] It advocates not only a fiscal and political union within Europe but also the engagement of European citizens. It supports "town hall" meetings[9] and seminars to provide a forum for Council members and European leaders to bring their ideas to the public.

In May 2013, the council held a "town hall" meeting endorsed by the French President Francois Hollande, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and Italian labor minister. The council and Germany's labor minister, Ursula von der Leyen, proposed an investment, training, and jobs program for Europe. The program eventually became a part of European policy in January 2015 when European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker proposed the 315 billion euro Investment Plan.[10]

The Think Long Committee for California[edit]

The Think Long Committee for California promotes a comprehensive approach for improving California's government. It has involved a politically bi-partisan board from the outset. In November 2011, the Committee published its report, A Blueprint to Renew California.[11] The report recommended the devolution of power to local governments and school districts, reform of the democracy initiative process to ensure greater consideration of measures proposed by the public, establishment of a "rainy day" fund for economic downturns, a body of long-term oversight to balance the short-term, special-interest character of the elected legislature, and modernization of California's tax system.[12]

In 2014, the committee helped promote SB 1253, "The Ballot Initiative Transparency Act", eventually approved on September 28, 2014.[13] It increase the opportunities for public comment, and allows lawmakers and proponents to make changes before ballot initiatives go to the voters. The committee also supported Proposition 2 in 2014, "The Rainy Day Fund", which sets aside a small percentage of revenue each year to pay the state's debt and safeguard against economic downturns.[14]

The LA Committee[edit]

The LA Committee, introduced in 2016, is made up of Los Angeles and California residents from across sectors whose aim is to assist the institute in building a community of support and creating impactful programs in Los Angeles. The committee is chaired by Geoffrey Cowan, the founding president of Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands.[15]

Sense LA[edit]

The Sense LA program was unveiled in 2019 to be a tool for social cohesion and public participation in Los Angeles using the power of art and the city's collective intelligence. In September 2019 it launched its first project with the Korean American Federation to develop formal and actionable recommendations for the city's master urban plan, a field test in participatory representative democracy. Sense LA is led by Berggruen fellow Gabriel Kahan.[16]

Berggruen Institute programs and work[edit]

The Institute's core work is done through its four programs:[17] Future Humans, The Future of Capitalism, The Future of Democracy, and Geopolitics and Globalization. Additionally, the Global Fellowship Program enables thinkers to study globally in different areas of the world. In 2016, the Berggruen Prize, an annual one million dollar award, was unveiled.[18]

Future Humans[edit]

Launching in Fall 2022, this interdisciplinary program will unite experimentalists, creators, and scholars who will not only track, but also shape, how humans of the future will collaborate with forecasted natures and technologies.[19]

The Future of Capitalism Program[edit]

The Future of Capitalism program[20] seeks to envision new models and mechanisms for managing and legitimating market economies while addressing the current environmental and distributional challenges. It has two main programs: the Universal Basic Assets program which explores ways to equip individuals with universal access to an asset base that is mutually administered and distributes benefits to its stakeholders and the New Political Economy program which explores innovative proposals for how leaders at all different levels of governance can best respond to and reshape globalized capitalism.

The Future of Democracy Program[edit]

The Future of Democracy program[21] brings together leaders and thinkers to re-imagine democracy for the new era to develop new ideas for how to reinvent democratic institutions and rebuild the public square for the 21st century.

Geopolitics and Globalization Program[edit]

The Geopolitics and Globalization Program,[22] home to the 21st Century Council, focuses on two projects: Thriving in a Transactional International Order, which is aimed at building a forward-looking model of the international system that focuses on liberal outcomes without relying on the revival of anachronistic institutions, and Promoting US-China Dialogue on AI & Security, which is responsible for the three "Understanding China" conferences in Beijing since its inception.

Global Fellowship Program[edit]

The Fellowship Program is a two-year program that gives scholars the opportunity to study at academic institutions all over the world.[23]

Berggruen Prize[edit]

The Berggruen Institute presented its first Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture in 2016. The million-dollar award, chosen by an independent jury, is given annually to a thinker whose ideas are of broad significance for shaping human self-understanding and the advancement of humanity.[24]

The inaugural recipient in 2016 was Charles Taylor, one of the world's foremost philosophers who has deepened the understanding among different intellectual traditions and civilizations.[25] The 2017 laureate was Onora O’Neill. A broad-ranging philosopher of politics and ethics, international justice and bioethics, O'Neill is a Professor Emerita of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and the former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Great Britain.[26]

In 2018, the Prize was awarded to author and public philosopher Martha C. Nussbaum to recognize her ability to use the power of literature and the classical world to help global audiences understand vulnerability—particularly the emotions in moral and political life—and the conditions for human wellbeing and happiness.[27]

The 2019 Berggruen Prize was awarded to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for her work in pioneering gender equality and using the law to advance ethical and philosophical principles of equality and human rights.[28]

The 2020 Berggruen Prize was awarded to Dr. Paul Farmer for his impactful work at the intersection of public health and human rights.[29]

Peter Singer, the Australian philosopher and bioethicist, was awarded the 2021 Berggruen Prize for his pioneering work to encourage altruism, as well as his work on animal rights and the global eradication of poverty. [30]

In 2022, Kojin Karatani became the first Asian laureate to receive the Prize. Announcing the award, the Berggruen Prize jury lauded Mr. Karatani as a polymath whose scholarly breadth has encompassed philosophy, literary theory, economics, politics and aesthetics, among other disciplines.[31]

In 2023, sociologist and social theorist Patricia Hill Collins became the first African-American woman to be awarded the Berggruen Prize. In their statement, the Berggruen Prize jury described her work and writing which has identified often overlooked arenas of political action and explored injustice and resistance to it. [32]

Berggruen Prize Essay Competition: In 2024, The Berggruen Institute announced the annual Berggruen Prize Essay Competition. The competition welcomes essay submissions in English and Chinese, awarding $25,000 per language category. By delving into fundamental philosophical inquiries relevant to both the present and future, it aims to broaden the scope of our quest for fresh ideas and new paradigms during unprecedented times. This contest complements the Berggruen Prize for Philosophy & Culture which acknowledges significant lifelong contributions.[33]

Berggruen China Center[edit]

In June 2018, the Berggruen Institute[34] announced plans to house a China Center at Peking University, an interdisciplinary research center founded with the aim to foster more cross-cultural dialogue.[35] It houses fellows, and offers symposia and conferences.[36]

Noema Magazine[edit]

In 2014, Berggruen Institute created a global media platform, The WorldPost, and partnered with HuffPost to publish The WorldPost on its HuffPost platform. Later in 2017, Berggruen Institute announced a partnership with The Washington Post to publish The WorldPost content only on Washington Post as a media platform that included op-eds, videos, and features by writers around the world.[37][38]

Then in 2020, The WorldPost turned into a digital and print magazine and was named Noema Magazine. Noema publishes essays, interviews, reportage, videos, and art on several topics including culture, technology, philosophy, governance, geopolitics, and economics. As of 2021, Nathan Gardels is editor in chief of Noema, and Kathleen Miles is the executive editor.[37][39][40]

Berggruen Institute Scholar's Campus: Monteverdi[edit]

The Berggruen Institute is planning a new Scholars’ Campus in the Santa Monica Mountains, above the Getty Center. The campus, designed by a team of architects led by Herzog and de Meuron and L.A's Gensler, will house the institute's educational programs, fellowships and scholars.[41][42][43]


  1. ^ a b "Berggruen Institute" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
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  3. ^ a b c "About – Berggruen Institute". Retrieved 2024-04-23.
  4. ^ "About Us". NOEMA. Retrieved 2024-04-23.
  5. ^ Steinberger, Michael (2022-04-06). "How the 'Homeless Billionaire' Became a Philosopher King". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2024-02-03.
  6. ^ Gardels, Nathan (7 December 2011). "China's Zheng Bijian on "The Global Convergence of Interests"". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Ernesto Zedillo to Chair 21st Century Council of Berggruen Institute on Governance". GlobeNewswire (Press release). 31 October 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  8. ^ ""Europe is the solution, not the problem"". Jacques Delors Institute. 9 September 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Council for the Future of Europe". Berggruen Institute. Archived from the original on 31 July 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Juncker Plan exceeds original €315 billion investment target". European Commission. 18 July 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  11. ^ Gardels, Nathan; Berggruen, Nicolas (20 January 2012). "A Blueprint to Renew California". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Think Long California – Our Work". Berggruen Institute. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  13. ^ "Governor Brown Signs Ballot Reform Measure". State of California. 27 September 2014. Archived from the original on 19 December 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  14. ^ Megerian, Chris (4 November 2014). "Californians OK Proposition 2, on rainy day fund". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  15. ^ "LA Committee Archives". Berggruen Institute. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  16. ^ "Sense LA – Our Work". Berggruen Institute. 2 July 2019. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  17. ^ "Our Work". Berggruen Institute. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  18. ^ Cleary, Skye (2016-10-14). "#IdeasMatter: Interview with Nicolas Berggruen | Blog of the APA". Retrieved 2024-01-04.
  19. ^ "Future Humans – Our Work". 21 July 2018.
  20. ^ "The Future of Capitalism – Our Work". Berggruen Institute. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  21. ^ "The Future of Democracy – Our Work". Berggruen Institute. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  22. ^ "Geopolitics and Globalization – Our Work". Berggruen Institute. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  23. ^ "Berggruen". Archived from the original on 2016-05-25. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
  24. ^ "Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture". Berggruen Institute. 30 May 2018. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  25. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (2016-10-04). "Canadian Philosopher Wins $1 Million Prize". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  26. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (2017-10-03). "Onora O'Neill Wins $1 Million Berggruen Prize for Philosophy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  27. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (2018-10-30). "Martha Nussbaum Wins $1 Million Berggruen Prize". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  28. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (2019-10-23). "Ruth Bader Ginsburg Wins $1 Million Berggruen Prize". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  29. ^ Carmel, Julie (16 December 2020). "Paul Farmer Is Awarded the $1 Million Berggruen Prize". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  30. ^ Gharib, Malaka. "Why Peter Singer — The 'Drowning Child' Ethicist — Is Giving Away His $1 Million Prize". NPR. Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  31. ^ Bilefsky, Dan (8 December 2022). "Kojin Karatani Wins $1 Million Berggruen Prize". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-12-08.
  32. ^ Ross, Janell (25 October 2023). "The Winner of a $1 Million Philosophy Prize Sees a Silver Lining to Ideas Getting Attacked". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2023-10-25.
  33. ^ "Berggruen Prize Essay Competition". Berggruen Institute.
  34. ^ "Berggruen China Center – Our Work". Berggruen Institute. 17 June 2018. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  35. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (2015-09-15). "Nicolas Berggruen Wants to Bridge the East-West Gap". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  36. ^ Candid. "Berggruen Institute Invests $25.5 Million for Beijing Research Center". Philanthropy News Digest (PND). Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  37. ^ a b "A new journal establishes its identity". TLS. Retrieved 2022-02-01.
  38. ^ "Noema a new magazine: ideas and culture for a transforming world". Malta Independent. 2021-07-31. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  39. ^ "About the Noema Magazine Leadership Team". Malta Independent. 2021-07-31. Retrieved 2022-02-01.
  40. ^ Healy, Amber (7 October 2021). "482. Noema aims to help academics, policy makers think differently". Retrieved 2022-02-01.
  41. ^ "Herzog & de Meuron reveal plans for Berggruen Institute site north of the Getty Center". Los Angeles Times. 2017-08-23. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  42. ^ "Plans for Berggruen Institute's 'scholars' campus' in the Santa Monica Mountains move forward". 15 February 2020. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  43. ^ "Berggruen Institute signals new ambition for Herzog & de Meuron-designed Scholars' Campus in L.A." Archinect. Retrieved 2020-06-05.


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