Humankind - A Hopeful History

by Rutger Bregman

This Global Read was held on Decmber 15th, 2021 at 8am Pacific Time.

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International bestseller Rutger Bregman provides new perspective on the past 200,000 years of human history, setting out to prove that we are hardwired for kindness, geared toward cooperation rather than competition, and more inclined to trust rather than distrust one another. In fact this instinct has a firm evolutionary basis going back to the beginning ofHomo sapiens.

From the real-life Lord of the Flies to the solidarity in the aftermath of the Blitz, the hidden flaws in the Stanford prison experiment to the true story of twin brothers on opposite sides who helped Mandela end apartheid, Bregman shows us that believing in human generosity and collaboration isn't merely optimistic---it's realistic. Moreover, it has huge implications for how society functions. When we think the worst of people, it brings out the worst in our politics and economics. But if we believe in the reality ofhumanity's kindness and altruism, it will form the foundation for achieving true change in society, a case that Bregman makes convincingly with his signature wit, refreshing frankness, and memorable storytelling.


About the Author

Colum McCann

Rutger Bregman (born April 26th, 1988) is a Dutch popular historian and author. He was born in Renesse, the Netherlands. His father is a Protestant minister and his mother is a special needs teacher. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in history at Utrecht University in 2009. He earned his Master's of Arts in history in 2012, partly at Utrecht University and partly at the University of California, Los Angeles.

He has published 5 books on history, philosophy, and economics, including Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World, (Dutch title: Gratis geld voor iedereen) which has been translated into thirty-two languages. In it he promotes a more productive and equitable life based on three core ideas which include a universal and unconditional basic income paid to everybody, a short workweek of fifteen hours, and open borders worldwide with the free exchange of citizens between all nations.


About the Host

TheaCynthia (Thea) La Grou is a creative synergist traversing multiple domains. Driven by curiosity and the desire for positive world change, her journey has taken the form of a high stake's adventurer, solution-oriented storyteller who seeks to guide our civilization into a regenerative future. She believes that through the arts we can inspire a renaissance – a new enlightenment towards an ecological civilization – one that envisions a new earth wherein planetary citizens regenerate earth's living systems and pursue peace with all life. 

Thea is Executive Director at Compathos, an arts and media nonprofit, home of IMRSIV>Storylab, and Films for the Planet- the best in environmental and social action films on demand. Films for the Planet supports the work of filmmakers, acting in a promotional capacity connecting people to films that will assist them in their journey as catalysts for positive change. She is also arts and media coordinator for the Charter for Compassion.

Author, speaker, media strategist and story weaver – she specializes in crafting immersive experiences that harness the shifting nuances of cultural engagement. Thea has produced award-winning films and books, long-form interactive, media expeditions, art exhibitions, expositions, film festivals, virtual learning journeys and streaming film events with significant reach. Projects also include impact reports using data visualization to document how large-scale film campaigns with multi-stakeholder engagement affect whole systems transformation.
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