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A Conversation with Professor Yuval Noah Harari

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13 November 2018, 18:00
RUSI Whitehall
RUSI Members Only
Lord Hague of Richmond, Chairman of RUSI, spent the evening in conversation with Professor Yuval Noah Harari, the bestselling author and renowned academic, as they discussed the themes of his books Sapiens, Homo Deus, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

In a lively and wide-ranging conversation, they confronted some of the most urgent questions for the modern world and their implications for policy makers and the societies they serve.

Why is liberal democracy in crisis? How do the forces of migration, nationalism and populism interact? What can be done about fake news? Which political systems will dominate the coming century and using what tools? How is conflict evolving and exploiting which emerging technologies? What prospect is there for multilateral solutions to the global challenges of inequality, population growth and climate change? How best can we prepare ourselves for the challenges ahead?

Professor Yuval Noah Harari is the bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. He originally specialised in world history, medieval history and military history. His current research focuses on macro-historical questions such as: What is the relationship between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded? What ethical questions do science and technology raise in the 21st century?

Published in 2014, Professor Harari’s book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind has become an international hit. By 2017, eight million copies had been sold and the book was translated into nearly fifty languages. It was listed on the Sunday Times bestseller list for over six months in paperback, was a New York Times top 10 bestseller and recommended by Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.

In 2016, Professor Harari’s critically acclaimed book, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, was published, examining the big future projects facing humanity in the 21st century. Within less than two years, four million copies of the book had been sold worldwide, and again was translated into nearly fifty languages.

After exploring deep into the past and then the future, in 2018 Professor Harari published 21 Lessons for the 21st Century in which he takes the pulse of our current global climate, focusing on the biggest questions of the present: What of most significance is happening right now? What are today’s greatest challenges and choices? To what should we pay attention?

The Rt Hon the Lord Hague of Richmond served as Member of Parliament for Richmond (Yorkshire) from 1989 to 2015. He first entered the Cabinet in 1995 and led the Conservative Party from 1997 to 2001. From 2010 to 2014 he served as Foreign Secretary and between 2014 and 2015 he was Leader of the House of Commons. He became Chairman of RUSI in September 2015.

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