21 Lessons for the 21st Century
W 2019


Who am I? What is the meaning of my life? Humans have been asking these questions from time immemorial. Every generation needs a new answer, because what we know and what we don't know keeps changing. Given everything we know and don't know about science, about God, about politics, and about religion, what is the best answer we can give today. These topics will be explored among many other topics we will discuss  in this S/DG.


This S/DG will use Yuval Noah Harari's  "21 Lessons in the 21st Century" as our core book. In Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari explored our past; in Homo Deus he speculated about our future. Now, the bestselling author and one of the most innovative thinkers on the international stage turns to the present, helping us make sense of the most pressing issues facing humankind today.

Religion, terrorism, war, politics, fake news, human migration, the environment, nationalism are topics that will be discussed in this S/DG. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing investigation into the big subjects that we are confronting on a daily basis in the media and in our lives, and the issues of crucial importance to understand as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, terrorism and fundamentalism rise, and the world feels more polarized than ever. Harari makes sense of it all and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves if we are to survive. In 21 Lessons for the 21st Century the questions Harari raises are both provocative and profound. Harari provides advice on how to think about these topics and how to act in order to prepare for a future unlike anything we can dream of. This S/DG course should be of interest to all PLATO members interested in how to navigate the world they live in today.

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Weekly Topics


1. Introduction and Disillusionment

2. Work/Liberty


4. Civilization/Nationalism

5.  Religion/Immigration

6. Terrorism/War

7.  Humility/God

8.  Secularism/Ignorance

9. Justice

10. Post-Truth

11. Science Fiction

12. Education

13. Meaning

14. Meditation.


Yuval Noah Harari's  "21 Lessons in the 21st Century"