Even before a global pandemic introduced us to terms like “social distancing,” loneliness was a defining condition of the twenty-first century, academic Noreena Hertz posits. She argues that the fabric of community was unraveling, and our personal relationships were under threat.
Combining a decade of research with firsthand reporting, Hertz joins us to discuss her findings, collected in her book The Lonely Century: How to Restore Human Connection in a World that’s Pulling Apart. She shares how technology is not the sole culprit, but equally to blame are the dismantling of civic institutions, the reorganization of the workplace, the mass migration to cities, and decades of policies that have placed self-interest above the collective good. This loneliness is not merely a mental and physical health crisis, Hertz contends, but an economic and political one as well. But she believes it’s a crisis we have the power to solve, and she offers bold solutions for healing our fractured communities and restoring connection in our lives.
Noreena Hertz is a renowned thought leader, academic, and broadcaster. She is the author of The Silent Takeover, The Debt Threat, and Eyes Wide Open. Her opinion pieces have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and Financial Times. She is currently based at University College London, where she holds an honorary professorship.