This week, we spoke with Professor Noreena Hertz, author of The Lonely Century.
Even before a global pandemic introduced us to terms like social distancing, loneliness was already becoming the defining condition of the twenty-first century.
Carl, the Los Angeles media executive so lonely he pays to be cuddled. Eric, the Parisian baker finding community in the political far right. Peter, the London schoolboy distraught because no one 'likes' his Instagram posts.
All around us, the fabric of community is unravelling and our personal relationships are under threat. And technology isn't the sole culprit; equally to blame are the dismantling of civic institutions, the radical reorganisation of the workplace, mass migration to cities, and decades of neoliberal policies that placed self-interest above the collective good.
Offering bold solutions ranging from compassionate AI to innovative models for urban living to new ways of reinvigorating our neighbourhoods and reconciling our differences, The Lonely Century offers a hopeful and empowering vision for how to heal our fractured communities and restore connection in our lives. Download the first chapter of her book here for free.
Listen to Noreena's Daily Life Lesson as she explains that loneliness is political as well as personal. She provides simple ways to help reduce loneliness for yourself, and for others and implores us to reduce our use of our weapons of mass distraction - our phones!