What is the world of the 21st century like now that the centrality of the West is no longer given? How were the societies and cultures of today's world together with their interconnections forged, and what is driving human society in our times? In short, what is the state of the world today as we enter the second decade of the 21st century? This is the first book which deals with planetary human society as whole. It is a beginner's guide to the world after the West and after globalization, compact, portable, and jargon-free. It is aimed at everybody who, even with experience, has kept a beginner's curiosity of the world, to everybody who does not know everything they want to know about it, about the good, the evil, and the salvation of the world. * It lays bare the socio-cultural geology of the world, its major civilizations, its historical waves of globalization, its family-sex-gender systems, and its pathways to modernity. * It outlines the dynamics of the world, its basic drives, the contours of its most important global and sub-global processes. * It presents the big team players on the world stage, populous as well as rich countries, missions and movements as well corporations and cities. * It traces the life-courses of men and women on all the continents, from their birth and childhood to their old age, and their funeral.