Yuval Noah Harari

Conversation with Yuval Noah Harari

Historian, philosopher and bestselling author 

Wednesday July 10th, 2019 | 5:00 pm | SwissTech Convention Center

In English

As part of EPFL’s 50th anniversary, Yuval Noah Harari, the best-selling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2014), Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016) and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018) gave a talk at the SwissTech Convention Center.

Mr. Harari shared his vision of a technological future in which biotech and infotech merge – and what that means for humans. In a series of one-on-one and panel discussions with important figures from the worlds of science and politics – Ken Roth (executive director of Human Rights Watch), Effy Vayena (professor of bioethics at ETH Zurich), Jacques Dubochet (UNIL, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry), Grégoire Courtine (EPFL), Jocelyne Bloch (CHUV), and Jamie Paik (EPFL) – he also reflected on how the technology coming out of EPFL is changing the world.

This event was organized by EPFL and the Empowerment Foundation.

Prof. Yuval Noah Harari is a historian, philosopher and the bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

Born in Haifa, Israel, in 1976, Prof. Yuval Noah Harari received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2002, and is currently a lecturer at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Prof. Yuval Noah Harari originally specialized 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?

In 2018, Prof. Yuval Noah Harari gave a keynote speech on the future of humanity on the Congress Hall stage of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos. Three months later, he presented the first ever TED talk delivered as a digital avatar.

Published in 2014, Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind has become an international hit. By 2018, 11.5 Million copies had been sold and the book was translated into over 50 languages. It was a New York Times top 10 bestseller, and held positions #1-#3 on the Sunday Times’ bestseller list for 96 consecutive weeks, with over 150 weeks in the top ten.

In 2016, Prof. Yuval Noah Harari returned with Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, a critically acclaimed book that examines the big future projects facing humanity in the 21st century. Within two years, 5.5 Million copies of the book had been sold worldwide, and it was translated into over 50 languages.

After exploring deep into the past and then the future, Prof. Yuval Noah Harari published 21 Lessons for the 21st Century in 2018. Here he stopped to take the pulse of our current global climate, focusing on the biggest questions of the present moment: What is really happening right now? What are today’s greatest challenges and choices? What should we pay attention to? Within a few months, 2 Million copies of 21 Lessons had been sold worldwide.

More information here.

This event took place on 10 July 2019 at 17:00 (CEST).

The SwissTech Convention Center sits in the heart of Europe, right in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is ideally located on the EPFL Campus, the “MIT of Europe”. Click here to see how to get to the SwissTech Convention Center.