A global network of thinkers navigating change through ideas

what we do

We develop new conceptual frameworks to meet the challenges & harness the opportunities of the arriving future

Our work forges new frameworks of thought in democracy, capitalism, planetary politics, science and technology, and philosophy and culture. We foster dialogue between East and West, and develop shared perspectives for our world. Our goal is to create a planetary network of thinkers from diverse disciplines and cultures. We believe these thinkers—connected and emboldened—can reshape our social and political institutions, and drive solutions to some of the biggest challenges of our time.

ANIMATING questions

Illustration for Vaster Than Empires

What will life become?

We are immersed in a time of meteoric change. Researchers are creating technoscientific objects—computational intelligences, outer space telescopes, and synthetic and virtual life forms—that call into question historical notions of what it means to be human. The Future Humans Theme hypothesizes that such phenomena demand a philosophical reordering. We ask, what will life become? One area of our research, speculative and science fiction, explores the tools that are materializing our shared future with other-than-human entities through the Vaster than Empires project.

Learn more

Can we envision democratic practices and forms of political participation that extend beyond the ballot box?

More people are eligible to vote in 2024 than at any other point in history—but the shadow of authoritarianism looms over this historic moment. To meet this crisis, we are reimagining democratic institutions beyond elections by placing the citizen at the center of the democratic process.

Learn more
Illustration for "Building Our Municipalities Markets Better"

How can capitalism be reformed to address growing inequality?

The innovations of digital capitalism, most notably AI, are divorcing productivity growth and wealth creation from employment and income, thus vastly increasing inequality — something that can only be addressed by fostering an ownership share by all in the wealth generated by intelligent machines that are displacing gainful employment — that is, predistribution via universal capital.

Read more
Image for The Planetary

What would governance look like if our profound integration in Earth’s planetary systems was central to our politics?

The Planetary Program works to place the fact that we live on a planet – which enables and constrains all life – at the center of politics. We are developing a new conceptual vocabulary to help envision Earth as a political space that can be governed for the benefit of life.

Learn more

Should human and machine intelligence be “aligned,” or would that prevent new possibilities and ensure dangerous outcomes?

To strongly align AI to human values presumes that anthropocentric mirroring is the best guarantee of viable futures, but what if this is based on faulty presumptions about what human values actually are and what the evolution of intelligence really means?

Learn more

our themes

Photo of Renovating Democracy event

Renovating Democracy

Bringing together public leaders and thinkers, the Renovating Democracy theme is reimagining democratic institutions to meet the challenges of the 21st century, placing the citizen at the center of the democratic process.


Universal Capital

Global capitalism is the dominant form of economic organization but is unable to address problems such as climate change, wealth inequality, and financial and price instability. Our work in this area develops and implements cutting-edge thinking designed to address these failures of capitalism’s institutional architecture.

Photo for Future Humans

Future Humans

Future Humans connects experimenters, creators, and scholars who are shaping how humans of the future will collaborate with natures and technologies. At the center of these projects is a crucial question: What will life become?


The Planetary

We are entering a new era, in which our most pressing challenges exceed the narrow concerns of human beings. These challenges call for a conceptual break with traditional human-centered understandings of the world and its politics, toward processes and institutions that are planetary in scale and scope.



Antikythera is a research and development organization reorienting planetary computation as a philosophical, technological, and geopolitical force. Directed by Philosopher of Technology, Benjamin Bratton, and incubated by the Berggruen Institute, Antikythera produces new philosophies of technology through design studios, salons, and productions that orbit around five core research themes–Synthetic Intelligence, Recursive Simulation, Synthetic Catallaxy, Hemispherical Stacks, and Planetary Sapience.


Our Centers

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a place where innovation and diversity are celebrated, and where far-reaching ideas are given a chance to take root. The city is uniquely suited to be the headquarters for the Berggruen Institute, where the world’s best minds will study the most pressing issues of our time.

Learn more
Photo of Casa de Tre Oci in Venice, Italy


Europe’s exposure to the limits of the nation state makes it a unique laboratory to explore our planetary future. The Berggruen Institute Europe attracts philosophers and political thinkers, artists and architects, scientists and technologists, to develop and promote long-term answers to the main challenges of the 21st century by developing ideas that emerge from Europe and address the world.

Learn more
Photo of Berggruen Institute Beijing


Established in December 2018, the Berggruen China Center is located at the heart of Peking University. The Center engages with outstanding thinkers on its global platform to examine, share, and develop ideas to address planetary challenges in times of profound great transformation. Intellectual themes for research programs are focused on frontier science, technology, and philosophy; Creative Futures; and Ancient Wisdom and Planetary Governance. The Center funds a fellowship program, supports publications that feature its major research focuses, hosts programs activities such as lectures, workshops, and symposia, and produces multi-media outreach programs.

Learn more
Rendering of Scholars Campus

Scholars Campus (Upcoming)

The Berggruen Institute vision for the Scholars Campus is to create a leading research center that brings together the world’s top thinkers to study the most pressing issues of our time. This contemplative campus will serve as headquarters for the Berggruen Institute research, programs, and dialogue: a space for scholars to study, collaborate, and exchange ideas with academics and thought leaders.

Learn more
Noema magazine

Check out the latest articles in Noema Magazine

A Publication of The Berggruen Institute

Learn more
newsletter signup background

Stay Current with the Future

Sign up for the Berggruen Institute Quarterly