Yuval Noah Harari and Russell Brand to give talk to Kennington schoolkids

Josh Salisbury (21 September, 2018)

The talk will be given to 300 schoolchildren at a Kennington school

25317The scholar is best known for his runaway bestseller Homo Sapiens Photo: Olivier Middendorp

A best-selling author will be giving a talk to Kennington schoolchildren alongside comedian Russell Brand.

On September 28, Professor Yuval Noah Harari – who is best known for his best-seller Homo Sapiens – will be speaking at the Lilian Baylis Technology school in a talk organised by Penguin.

The event, the first in the ‘Penguin Talks’ series aimed at the next generation of readers, will see 300 schoolkids from the local area come to see Harari talk about the ideas in his latest book 21 Lessons for the 21st century.

The professor 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?”

Gary Phillips, head teacher at Lilian Baylis school, said: “As a huge fan of Yuval Noah Harari myself, I think it’s fantastic that our students are being given the opportunity to hear and respond to Harari’s ideas first-hand.

“No matter what subjects they are studying or what they want to do in the future, the issues Harari covers are universally relevant and important to their generation.

“I am sure it will be a hugely enjoyable and thought-provoking afternoon.”

The talk is the author’s first aimed at younger people in the UK.

The book is billed as an attempt to tackle the most serious contemporary issues, such as Brexit, immigration and fake news.

The hour-long event will be opened by Tom Weldon, CEO of Penguin Random, before it is handed over to conversation between comedian Brand and writer Harari.

Mr Weldon said: “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.”

All those attending the talk will be given a free copy of Professor Harari’s latest book.

The series of ‘Penguin Talks’ aim to aim to help equip young people with writers and influential figures who are published by Penguin.


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