The Future of Capitalism

  • A National Endowment for Prosperity

Capitalism has seemingly conquered the world. Market economies are now the “only game in town.” However, at the same time, this system that has created so much wealth finds itself on the verge of interlocking crises of inequality, environmental degradation, and geopolitical competition. The Berggruen Institute “Future of Capitalism” program confronts these challenges by trying to better understand how a global capitalism can be reshaped and regulated at all levels of governance: regional, national, and international. Our program is focused around two interlocking themes: pre-distribution and multi-level economic policy making.

The pre-distribution agenda asks how we can get ahead of changes in technology and social structure to make sure that states and publics have ownership of wealth producing assets at their inception. We have explored various forms of rethinking ownership including sovereign wealth funds, publicly supported individual savings institutions, public retirement institutions, and cooperative enterprise ownership. We have worked with policy makers to envision ways that publics can retain stakes in common goods that are now being commercialized by private actors.

Our multilevel governance research asks how we can adapt existing institutions and establish new mechanisms to build regulatory and fiscal systems that are flexible and comprehensive enough to govern global capitalism on the international, national, and regional scale. We have been active in campaigns to help extend Federal monetary authority to state governments and to re-imagine global monetary orders.

Some of our partners have included, the Aspen Institute, the St. Louis Federal Reserve, the Georgetown Center for Retirement Initiatives, and the Institute for the Future. Together, we strive to build an economy that is both productive and inclusive. One that makes sure that productivity and wealth go to all stakeholders rather than a lucky few.




The rapid privatization of wealth generating assets in the late-twentieth century has created almost historically unprecedented economic inequality that can no longer deliver sustainable growth. Moreover, it is impossible to go back to the old “welfare” state that assumed services could be financed and delivered only through re-distribution. This impasse requires us to develop a new model of wealth ownership, not to eliminate privately owned wealth, but to supplant it with the mutual wealth in a way that arms citizens with a set of endowments that allows them to have more negotiating leverage with private power. The Berggruen Institute’s Universal Basic Capital program explores ways to equip individuals with universal access to an asset base that is mutually administered and distributes benefits to its stakeholders.



The 2008 financial crisis has demonstrated that the globalization of financial systems has made sovereignty far weaker than leaders would sometimes like to believe. These leaders and publics have been faced with a contradictory set of phenomena, on one hand an expectation of a multi-polar world and, on the other, the increasing inability of individual governments to exercise control over their economies. The Berggruen Institute’s “New Political Economy” explores innovative proposals for how leaders of national, supranational and subnational polities can best respond to and reshape globalized capitalism in three core areas: the relationship between internationalized money and finance and national sovereignty; the institutional changes and financialization of wealth and its impact on monetary and fiscal policy tools; and ways of coordinating national and supranational development and trade policy.

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.