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How to survive the 21st century: Three existential threats to humanity
This paper discusses how the 21st century presents three existential threats to humanity: social and economic upheaval, unprecedented inequality due to the artificial intelligence revolution and the rise of digital dictatorships. The world is at risk of technology dividing it into wealthy elites and exploited ‘data colonies’. This paper makes the case for better international cooperation in order to tackle global challenges.
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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, Yuval 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. His books have sold over 25 million copies worldwide. Yuval originally specialised in world history, medieval history and military history. In 2018 and 2020, Yuval gave keynote speeches on the future of humanity on the Congress Hall stage of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos. Yuval regularly discusses global issues with heads of state and has had public conversations with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte and 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, Yuval 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 chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg. Yuval 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 Times, The Economist and Nature magazine. He also offers his knowledge and time to various organisations and audiences on a voluntary basis. In 2019, Yuval and Itzik Yahav cofounded Sapienship (https://www.sapienship.co/): an organisation whose mission is to clarify the global conversation, focus attention on the most important challenges and support the quest for solutions.