Natalie Portman to appear in conversation with Harari

Natalie Portman to appear in conversation with Harari

Yuval Noah Harari is appearing in conversation with actor, director and activist Natalie Portman to mark the publication of his new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (Jonathan Cape). 

The event, hosted by how to: Academy, will be held on 27th September at Central Hall Westminster in London where over 2,300 readers and fans will be able to hear Harari expand on arguments presented in 21 Lessons for the 21st Century and discuss "the most urgent issues of our times” with Portman.

According to Vintage, the pairing was “a really natural partnership”. Portman, a Harvard graduate, is a long-time fan of Harari and, as an activist and humanitarian, is concerned by the same issues, the publisher said. She also studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where Harari now teaches. 

Publishing on 30th August, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is described as Harari’s most accessible title to date. Following perennial bestsellers Sapiens, which delved into humanity's past, and Homo Deus, which peered into its future, 21 Lessons in the 21st Century is rooted in the here and now; centred on current affairs, it explores issues ranging from Brexit, fake news and the future of welfare to mental stability, ecological cataclysm and technological disruptions.

During the 'in conversation' this September, it has been promised Harari will turn his attention to "some of the most provocative and insightful questions he poses in the book and how we can all find our focus in this increasingly complicated 21st century world".

Harari said: “I am very much looking forward to talking with Natalie. We were both born in the myth-factory of the world, and much of our careers have revolved around the tension between myth, science and science fiction. I am keen to hear her take on reality, fiction and everything in between. Neither of us is known for dodging difficult issues – so it should be interesting.”

Michal Shavit, publishing director at Jonathan Cape, said: “It’s been extraordinary to see how powerfully and resoundingly Yuval Noah Harari’s ideas have resonated around the globe since publication of Sapiens and Homo Deus. We are thrilled that Natalie Portman and Yuval Harari will be marking the publication of his new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, with a conversation about some of the most urgent themes confronting us today. This is an incredibly important and timely book that will no doubt resonate with an ever widening readership of this great 21st Century thinker.”

John Gordon, founder and c.e.o. of how to: Academy, added: “I’m enormously excited to be hosting an unmissable conversation between Yuval Noah Harari and Natalie Portman. This promises to be an extraordinary event featuring two inspirational people together on stage for the first time.”

Tickets for the event go on sale on Friday (13th July) and will be available from The event forms part of a programme run by how to: Academy featuring leading scientists, business theorists, Nobel Prize laureates, philosophers and authors.