Yuval Noah Harari is addressing 300 schoolchildren this month on pressing issues facing their generation at a free event hosted by Russell Brand. Their conversation will be the first in Penguin’s new series of "talks for the next generation of UK readers", Penguin Talks.
On 28th September, Harari (pictured) will be speaking at Lilian Baylis Technology School in Kennington, South London, in his first ever talk specifically for young people in the UK. With comedian Brand scheduled to host the inaugural event, attendees will comprise 300 young people from Lilian Baylis alongside other local schools, colleges and youth clubs in the area.
Primarily Harari will be talking about some of the ideas he explores in his latest book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (published on 30th August by Jonathan Cape), touching on topics such as the future of education and the job market, and answering questions from Brand and from the floor.
According to Penguin Random House, the hour-long free event is intended to give the audience the opportunity to both hear from and directly question a world-renowned thinker, writer from PRH's family of authors, and, helping to equip young people for the future by introducing them to new ideas and perspectives, is part of its social outreach to local communities as part of its ambition to close the creativity gap.
Tom Weldon, c.e.o. PRH UK, will open the event, and an address from Harari, an "in conversation" discussion between him and Brand, and an interactive Q&A session with the audience will follow. All attendees will receive a free copy of 21 Lessons, and Penguin will offer curriculum-based resources for teachers to facilitate engagement in classrooms with the themes and issues discussed. The content from the talk will be available for free online for young people across the country to access too.
Weldon commented: “I can’t think of anyone more perfect to launch our new Penguin Talks series. As one of the world’s foremost contemporary thinkers and one of our bestselling authors, Prof. Yuval Noah Harari’s arguments on the future of humankind address urgent issues that need to be heard by everyone, particularly by younger generations.
“Connecting readers with great writing and ideas is part of Penguin Random House’s DNA, rooted in our founder Allen Lane’s mission to make good books available to all. Building on this heritage, the ambition behind Penguin Talks is to ensure that young people from across the country are given access to these writers and feel inspired and empowered to engage in their debates.”
Harari said: “Nobody has any idea what the world will look like in 2050, except that it will look very different from today. I do my best to map the different possibilities, but my vision is obviously limited. So I am thrilled about the opportunity to talk with young people about how they see the future. What questions bother them most? What would they like the grown-ups to focus on? And what are they doing right now to shape the future? I am grateful for the Penguin Talks for making this happen.”