The “I’ of Authenticity and the “We” of the Common Good

Speaking at the first Beggruen Salon of 2020

For their first #BerggruenSalon of 2020, the Beggruen Institute welcomed Rabbi Sacks to speak to their group in Los Angeles. He discussed what he refers to as the “cultural climate change” we are facing in the West.

“The overemphasis on the ‘I’ and the underemphasis on the ‘we’,” he said “is damaging everything and everyone. We need to recover that moral sense or we will lose the greatest experiment in freedom that humanity has ever taken.”

This is also the premise of his book, “Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times” which had not yet been published in January 2020 when this salon took place. (The book was published in March 2020 in the UK, and the US edition launched in September 2020 with a new afterword sharing Rabbi Sacks' reflections on the coronavirus pandemic.

Founded by Nicholas Beggruen in 2020, the Berggruen Institute was established to develop foundational ideas about how to reshape political and social institutions in the face of these great transformations. Working across cultures, disciplines, and political boundaries, they encourage great thinkers to develop and promote long-term answers to the biggest challenges of the 21st Century.

Beggruen Salons: The Berggruen Institute gathers friends in Los Angeles for regular salons to discuss big ideas from the era of great transformations - from the rise of China to preparing our roads for driverless cars.

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Watch a 4 minute highlight clip from the speech