The Berggruen USC Fellows Program

The Berggruen USC Fellows Program is a partnership between the Berggruen Institute and the USC Dornsife Center on Science, Technology and Public Life. We welcome academics with an existing appointment (most likely for a sabbatical year), and intellectuals without an existing academic appointment, for whom the Berggruen Fellowship may serve as a retreat from work in industry, government, or the arts. Berggruen USC Fellows are resident in Los Angeles and pursue their own research projects while also participating in the Berggruen Institute’s public engagement initiatives. Fellows are able to leverage the intellectual resources of the University of Southern California and are encouraged to develop joint intellectual activities with USC faculty and graduate students.

The application cycle is normally from October to December every year. For more information on application timeline and requirements, please visit https://dornsife.usc.edu/stpl/usc-beggruen-fellowship-application/

The Berggruen Fellowship Program is a cornerstone of the Institute’s mission to nurture ideas that shape the future. Since its inception in 2015, the program has established academic partnerships at premier research universities throughout the world: Harvard, New York University, Oxford, Peking University, Stanford, Tsinghua University, and University of Southern California. It offers scholars the opportunity of flexible periods to live and work in both the United States and China.

Berggruen Fellows produce books, scholarly workshops, deliver lectures, colloquia, and academic articles to disseminate the ideas cultivated throughout their fellowship. Although diverse in their areas of study, Berggruen Fellows also collaborate and dialogue with one another throughout their term, providing an opportunity to expand upon and refine their ideas.

The themes of the fellowship range from global and technological development to philosophical and cultural change, with the focus varying within each program area. Berggruen Fellows’ independent research and points of collaboration will extend the Institute’s programmatic work on these Great Transformations: the Future of CapitalismTransformations 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.