Future of Democracy Intern

Position Type: Paid Internship

Berggruen Institute Intern Job Posting Winter 2021

About the Berggruen Institute
The Berggruen Institute was established in 2010 to develop new ideas about how to reshape political and social institutions in the face of great transformations the world now faces. Our goal is to work across cultures, disciplines, and political boundaries by engaging with great thinkers in developing and promoting long-term answers to the biggest challenges of the 21st Century. No one person can accomplish this goal alone. It takes a team —people with different backgrounds, technical knowledge, and skills sets.

Our Values:

Pursue excellence.
Cultivate future-oriented solutions.
Inquire with an open mind.
Build a collaborative environment.
Invest in people and relationships.
Respect the human dignity of all.


About the Internship

The Berggruen Institute is seeking a paid Intern to support the Future of Democracy (FOD) program. This is a paid internship. The start date of the internship is January 25, 2021. This position will report to the Associate Director, Future of Democracy.

The Future of Democracy program at the Berggruen Institute seeks to develop new institutions of governance designed for the current age. Democracies across the world are operating in a very different environment from the world in which they first emerged. The institutions in place need to be updated for the 21st century in order to preserve democratic values and the rule of law. The Future of Democracy addresses this by bringing together thoughtful leaders and new aged thinkers to re-imagine democracy for the new era.

The length of the Internship is six (6) weeks. This position will be working remotely to start; however, the successful candidate should be based close enough to downtown Los Angeles office for the anticipation of our return to the office in early 2021. Flexible scheduling with 15 hours per week.

Responsibilities Include:

• Advanced undergraduate or graduate student preferred
• Conduct research and analysis on networks as societies, deliberative polling, civic engagement, youth engagement, climate change, economic recovery, and national service in the US and Europe
• Present research findings to program team
• Draft memos, executive summaries, and presentations to prepare program team for roundtable discussions with policymakers and experts
• Assist with development and execution of youth outreach strategy, particularly those engaged in climate issues
• Map out key youth climate organizations across the US and Europe
• Map out climate and national service proposals and key supporters
• Assist with Future of Democracy’s Youth Environment Service awareness and outreach campaign


Candidates should have the following characteristics:

• A team-oriented individual who seeks out tasks when work is completed and assists co-workers to ensure goals deadlines are met
• Able to use critical and creative thinking to solve problems, both large and small
• Ability to work independently in a work from home environment with minimal supervision
• Strong computer skills: Microsoft Office, Power Point, Teams etc.
• Strong interest in geopolitics, government, climate change, and civic engagement

Note: We are interested in every qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we are not able to sponsor visas at this time. Being authorized to work in the U.S. is a precondition of employment.

Please email cover letter and resume to careers@berggruen.org and put “Intern” followed by “Future of Democracy Intern”. No phone calls please.

Berggruen Institute is a proud equal opportunities workplace. We firmly believe employing a diverse workforce is important regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, sexual stereotypes, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. We also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state and local law. Berggruen Institute is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities in our recruiting process. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know.

composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.

RAVE (IRCAM 2021) https://github.com/acids-ircam/RAVE