Keynote Speaker

Prof. Yuval Noah Harari

Prof. Yuval Noah Harari

Historian, Philosopher and Best Selling Author

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 ​ , ​21 Lessons for the 21st Century, and Sapiens: A Graphic History ​ . His books have sold 27.5 Million copies in 60 languages​, and he is considered one of the world’s most influential public intellectuals today. ​Born in Haifa, Israel, in 1976, 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.

In 2018 and in 2020, Yuval Noah Harari gave keynote speeches on the future of humanity on the Congress Hall stage of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos. He regularly discusses global issues with heads of state, and has had public conversations with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte and with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. He also met with President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President Mauricio Macri of Argentina, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, and Mayor Ying Yong of Shanghai. In 2018, Harari presented the first ever TED talk delivered as a digital avatar, and in 2019, he sat down for a filmed discussion on technology and the future of society with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

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?

Published in 2014, Harari’s ​Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind ​ ​ has become an international hit. 16 Million copies had been sold and the book was translated into 60 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. ​Sapiens ​ was recommended by Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Janelle Monáe, and many others. The Guardian has ​credited ​Sapiens ​ with revolutionizing the non-fiction market and popularizing “brainy books”.

In 2016 Prof. 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. Since its publication, 7.5 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, 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 its first year of publication, 4 Million copies of ​21 Lessons ​ had been sold worldwide and it was translated into over 40 languages.

In 2020 Harari (as creator and co-writer) joined forces with renowned comics artists David Vandermeulen (co-writer) and Daniel Casanave (illustrator). Together, they created the first volume of ​Sapiens: A Graphic History ​ : a radical adaptation of the original ​Sapiens ​ into a graphic novel series that is bursting with wit, humour and colour (to be launched autumn 2020). This illustrated book casts Yuval Noah Harari in the role of guide, who takes the reader through the entire history of the human species, accompanied by a range of fictional characters and traveling through time, space and popular culture references.

Prof. Harari’s writings have received several accolades. In 2020, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from VUB (the Free University of Brussels). In 2019, ​21 Lessons ​ was honoured as ‘Knowledge Book of the Year’ by the German magazine Bild der Wissenschaft, and ​Sapiens ​ won the ‘Academic Book of the Year’ prize as part of the UK’s Academic Book Trade Awards. In 2017 ​Homo Deus ​ won Handelsblatt’s German Economic Book Award for ‘the most thoughtful and influential economic book of the year’, and in 2019 it was recognized as the ’Wise Book of the Year’ by Krakow’s Jagiellonian University. Yuval Noah Harari is a two-time winner of the Polonsky Prize for Creativity and Originality, which he was awarded in 2009 and 2012. In 2011 he won the Society for Military History’s Moncado Award for outstanding articles on military history.

Harari lectures around the world on the topics explored in his books and articles, and has written for publications such as The Guardian, Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Nature magazine. He also offers his knowledge and time to various organizations and audiences on a voluntary basis.

In 2019, Yuval Noah Harari and Itzik Yahav co-founded​ Sapienship​: a multidisciplinary organization whose mission is to clarify the global conversation, focus attention on the most important challenges and support the quest for solutions.


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