In her new book THE LONELY CENTURY: How to Restore Human Connection in a World That’s Pulling Apart, renowned thinker and economist Noreena Hertz investigates how radical changes to the workplace, mass migration to cities, technology’s ever greater dominance of our lives, and decades of neoliberal policies that placed self-interest above the collective good have coalesced to  create a society in which loneliness, atomisation and isolation prevail – which COVID has only amplified. Hertz provides an empowering and inspiring vision for how to mitigate this, reconnect with each other and come together again. Hertz combines a decade of research with first-hand reporting that takes her from ‘renting a friend’ in New York to family-friendly Belgian far-right festivals, from elderly women knitting bonnets for their robot caregivers in Japan to Ivy League colleges running ‘How to Read a Face in Real Life’ remedial classes. What she uncovers is a global population feeling more and more alienated and isolated. In this exclusive interview, I speak to Noreena Hertz about the causes of our loneliness epidemic, the consequences for each and every one of us, and what we can do to restore human connection in a world that’s pulling us apart.

Thought Economics

Called the “closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience,” by The Atlantic magazine, Tristan Harris spent three years as a Google Design Ethicist developing a framework for how technology should “ethically” steer the thoughts and actions of billions of people from screens. He is now co-founder & president of the Center for Humane Technology, whose mission is to reverse ‘human downgrading’ and re-align technology with humanity. Additionally, he is co-host of the Center for Humane Technology’s Your Undivided Attention podcast with co-founder Aza Raskin. Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce notes that, “Tristan Harris is probably the strongest voice in technology pointing where the industry needs to go. This is a call to arms and everyone needs to hear him now.” In this exclusive interview I spoke to Tristan Harris about how the technologies of social media and the smartphone are destroying our society, and what we can do to pull it back from the brink.

Thought Economics

In these exclusive interviews, we speak to Professor Philip Kotler (S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management and described as ‘the most influential marketer of all time’) and Martin Lindstrom (Chairman and founder of Buyology Inc, who was voted one of the World’s 100 Most Influential people by Time magazine). We discuss the nature of ‘brand’ and ‘branding’ together with the role branding plays in our economic and social world.

Thought Economics

In this article, we are privileged to speak to Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and president of Wikia Inc. We speak to Mr. Wales about his latest project, “Wikia” and about how our world is now, and will forever be, remarkably changed by Participatory Culture, Mass-Collaboration and the pace of technological advance.

Thought Economics

In this article, we speak to Professor Robin Dunbar, Head of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford about the psychology and anthropology of social networks, together with their impact on human behaviour and the structure of our society.

Thought Economics

Stay up to date. Signup to my newsletter.

We use cookies on our website to give you the best possible experience. By continuing to use our site, we assume you are OK with that.
Accept Privacy Policy
  Contact
Close Contact Form

To get in touch with Vikas Shah, author of Thought Economics, please use this contact form.