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Learn the key ideas of the book by Yuval Noah Harari

21 Lessons for the 21st Century

How to deal with the present and the future

Man’s ability to create stories that can engage and guide us towards the future has been a constant that has helped humanity to move forward. However, the great global stories of the last century have become irrelevant over time and humankind needs to write a new narrative for the 21st century, one that is coherent and can be shared. Through an analysis of  the great themes that need to be included in this narrative, in his book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Noah Harari asks questions that make us think about war, equality, religion, freedom and on the very meaning of man today.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century
Read in 15 min.
Listen in 19 min.

Many useful tips to:

  • Understand and face our time and the future head on.
  • Reflect on the role of religions and ethical secularism.
  • Figure out which elements will make up the next global narrative.

The author of the book:

Yuval Noah Harari was born in 1976, he is a historian and an Israeli public intellectual. Harari is a member of the Young Israeli Academy of Sciences and teaches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has become internationally famous for his best seller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, published in 2014. Harari is also very popular online: he teaches a course in English called A Brief History of Humankind, followed by over 130,000 people worldwide.

IDEA CHIAVE 1/8

A new narrative to walk us into the future of information technology and biotechnology

Humans think in storytelling terms, the simpler the story is, the better. In the 20th century there were 3 great stories: fascism, communism and liberalism. Fascism was wiped out by the Second World War, at the end of the eighties, communism collapsed and liberalism, which was the only one left to dominate, has disappeared recently: people no longer believe that guaranteeing everyone total freedom is the answer to our problems. The liberal narrative created great expectations that were respected in the past, but today, young people can consider themselves fortunate if they are able to maintain their current standard of living. Without a story to explain the future, we become disorientated and begin to think in apocalyptic terms. Added to this is our growing inability to keep up with technology, even in the precarious financial sector. What is going to happen when artificial intelligence makes it impossible for most people to understand the world of finance? What political repercussions will there be when a country’s budget has to be approved by an algorithm? Globally the masses feel as though they are becoming irrelevant and we observe people’s desire for a global narrative diminishing when we look at Trump who is trying to move towards an isolated America, the United Kingdom that chose Brexit and China who is currently rediscovering its historical traditions. The time has come to work on a new story, one that can tackle both the IT and the biotech revolutions, a story that will gain momentum over the coming decades and impact all our lives. For us to do this, we need to go from panic to perplexity: it is time to admit that we do not know what is happening in the world.

  

The key ideas of "21 Lessons for the 21st Century"

01.
A new narrative to walk us into the future of information technology and biotechnology
02.
Designing new models to manage changes to the working world
03.
Artificial intelligence should build a bridge between online and offline
04.
The challenge of a single human civilisation: religion, ultra-nationalism and racism
05.
Man and wars in the 21st Century
06.
Man’s roots, storytelling and the future
07.
Quotes
08.
Take-home message
 
 
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