Renovating Democracy: The Conversation Starts Here

Berggruen Institute Founders Nicolas Berggruen and Nathan Gardels kicked off their book tour in March 2019 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. As a follow-up to Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way between West and East, their latest work Renovating Democracy: Governing in the Age of Globalization and Digital Capitalism is the first in the Berggruen Institute series on the “Great Transformations” published by the University of California Press (UC Press). Below are select media conversations and public events related to the book.

Public Conversations with Nicolas Berggruen and Nathan Gardels

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Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership
With the rise of populist movements in the West, and China in the East, many question whether Democracy as we know it is in crisis. In their new book, Renovating Democracy, co-authors Nicolas Berggruen and Nathan Gardels take this question head on, arguing that our governance models must evolve to reflect the rapid changes in our globally-connected, technology-driven world. At the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership Berggruen and Gardels discuss these issues, and others, with David Gergen, Founding Director of the Center for Public Leadership.
Asia Society | New York
Watch Nicolas Berggruen and Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran in a thought-provoking conversation on his newest book Renovating Democracy, with Nathan Gardels, as they discuss how technology and social media are impacting democracy.
Brookings Institution
The Foreign Policy program at Brookings hosted Nathan Gardels and Nicolas Berggruen, authors of Renovating Democracy to present finding from their research on how democratic systems work — and how they fail. Following opening remarks by Brookings Vice President and Director Bruce Jones. Washington Columnist for The Boston Globe Indira Lakshmanan moderated a conversation with the authors.
UCLA Burkle Center

Listen to the podcast of this book talk moderated by Kal Raustiala, Director of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations with Nicolas Berggruen as he discusses ideas from Renovating Democracy.
Oxford Blavatnik School of Government
Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School, moderated a discussion between Nathan Gardels and Nicolas Berggruen as they discuss issues and their arguments from their new book: Renovating Democracy with Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government.
Chatham House
The BBC's Razia Iqbal moderates a panel with Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, and Chatham House Senior Research Fellow Hans Kundnani on whether or not democratic systems can be rethought and rejuvenated in the 21st century.
Commonwealth Club
Berggruen and Gardels joined Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, to discuss their new ideas for better governance and why a forward-looking approach is so critically needed.
European University Institute – School of Transnational Governance

Gardels and Luca Belgiorno-Nettis, The New Democracy Foundation, discuss an alternative framework of governance through enhanced participation without populism and direct democracy via new mediating institutions to complement representative government. Gardels argued that globalization can be harnessed through ‘positive nationalism’ at home and that global cooperation is feasible with a viable rules-based world order. The discussion was moderated by Fabrizio Tassinari, School of Transnational Governance, EUI with introductory remarks by Debora Spini, NYU Florence.
UC Berkeley Social Science Matrix
Berggruen and Gardels discuss their new book with Laura Tyson, Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School at the Haas School of Business & Faculty Director of the Institute for Business & Social Impact.
Live Talks Los Angeles
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Berggruen and Gardels to unfold the authors' proposals for an alternative framework for governance and harness globalization through positive nationalism at home while advocating for global cooperation.


Media Highlights

Nikkei Asian Review
In their joint Op-Ed, Berggruen and Gardels discuss how global polarization is going to set back efforts to prevent the world from warming. Read the article here.

Barron’s: The Answer to Rising Inequality Isn’t Redistribution
In their joint Op-Ed, Berggruen and Gardels discuss their idea of “predistribution” as opposed to redistribution to combat inequality. Read the article here.

BBC Newshour: Tim Franks Interviews Nicolas Berggruen 
Berggruen in-studio interview with Tim Franks from BBC World Service flagship radio program Newshour to discuss the new book, the future of democracy, and its need for renovation. Listen here.

Bloomberg: There Are Better Ways to Do Democracy
Peter Coy discusses how democracy needs a third stage of development with Berggruen and Gardels. Read the article here.

The Economist: Democracy Is Floundering: We Need to Fix It or Lose It
The Economist Open Futures features a book excerpt and interview with Berggruen and Gardels. Read the article here.

Le nouvelle Economiste: Nicolas Berggruen – “Le Capitalisme Numérique Appelle un Nouveau Contrat Social”
Philippe Plassart interviews Nicolas Berggruen on digital capitalism, populism and China. Read the article here.

Slate: Brainstorming Ways to Rekindle Democracy
Yascha Mounk interviews Berggruen and Gardels on how money influences government, Trump’s impact on democracy, capitalism, populism and ideas for the future. Read the article here.

Vanity Fair: Nicolas Berggruen Founder of the Berggruen Institute Predicts Humanity is Toast
Nicolas Berggruen sits down with Nick Bilton to discuss the book, gene editing and why we’re losing to China. Listen here.

WorldPost: Renovating Democracy
Nathan Gardels writes about presenting his new book with Nicolas Berggruen Renovating Democracy, at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.



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.