From the doctor’s surgery to the ballot box, loneliness has become the most important social issue of our time. Noreena Hertz shows us how we can come together again.
Even before a global pandemic introduced us to terms like social distancing, loneliness was well on its way to becoming the defining condition of the twenty-first century.
Described as ‘one of the world’s most inspiring women’ by Vogue and ‘one of the world’s leading thinkers’ by the Observer, economist, activist, broadcaster and scholar Noreena Hertz joins How To Academy to reveal the extent of the global loneliness crisis – from ‘renting a friend’ in New York to Belgian far right festivals replete with face-painting and bouncy castles, from elderly women knitting bonnets for their robot caregivers in Japan to isolated remote workers in London during lockdown.
All around us, the fabric of community is unravelling and our personal relationships are under threat. And technology isn’t the sole culprit. This crisis stems from the dismantling of civic institutions, the radical reorganization of the workplace, the way we live and love now, and decades of neoliberal policies that placed self-interest above the collective good.
Nor is this merely a mental health crisis. Loneliness increases our risk of heart disease, cancer and dementia. Statistically, it’s as bad for our health as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day. It’s also an economic crisis, costing us billions annually. And it’s a political crisis, as feelings of marginalization fuel divisiveness and extremism around the world.
It’s not too late to turn the tide against loneliness. In this livestreamed talk, Noreena Hertz reveals how.
Praise for Noreena Hertz’s The Lonely Century:
‘An indispensable, engaging and brilliant book about the pervasiveness of loneliness in the twenty-first century and its far-reaching impact… With its powerful vision for how we can come together again, ultimately it is a hopeful book that couldn’t be more important or timely.’ PHILIPPA PERRY
‘Fascinating, timely and important. Noreena Hertz zeroes in on one of the central problems of our age. Seeing the problem lurking at the back of your head dragged into the light will actually make you feel a tad less lonely. Read it, then pass it on to friend. If you can find one.’ CHARLIE BROOKER
‘In The Lonely Century, Noreena Hertz delivers a compelling vision for how we can bridge our many divides at this time of great change and disruption. Passionately argued and deeply researched, this book is for everyone who wants to build a healthier and more connected world.’ ARIANNA HUFFINGTON
A bold and thought-provoking analysis of how we built a lonely world and what we must do to come together again, from ‘one of the world’s leading thinkers’ (Observer)
‘Highly original, persuasive and thought-provoking, The Lonely Century is both a landmark book and a page-turner. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to make sense of our complex times and understand where we are heading. Destined to be a classic, I couldn’t recommend it more strongly.’ NOURIEL ROUBINI, Professor of Economics, New York University
This event takes place at 6:30pm BST. All copies of Noreena’s new book The Lonely Century bought along with a ticket will be signed by the author.
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