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The World Until Yesterday: What we can learn from traditional societies

RSA Event


RSA House, London

  • Education
  • Communities
  • Science

Jared Diamond – the Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘master storyteller of the human race’ – reveals how traditional societies provide us with important and often overlooked insights into human nature.


RSA Keynote

Why are modern afflictions like diabetes, obesity and hypertension largely non-existent in tribal societies? Do traditional societies have superior ideas about how to live well?

Our current, modern way of living comprises only a tiny fraction of human history. Traditional living has moulded and shaped us for millennia, and tribal societies today provide us with incredible insights into all aspects of human nature and the human condition.

Join Jared Diamond as he draws on his experiences from over five decades working and living in New Guinea, an island that is home to one thousand of the world's 7,000 languages and one of the most culturally diverse places on earth. He will explore how tribal peoples approach essential human problems, from childrearing to old age to conflict resolution to health.

Speaker: Jared Diamond, professor of geography at UCLA, author and noted polymath, influential in the fields of anthropology, biology, ornithology, ecology and history.

Chair: Evan Davis, economist, journalist and presenter of the BBC’s Today Programme.

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