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Q+A with Noreena Hertz + Reconnection In Action | The Lonely Century | May 2022

February 16, 2023


For May 2022, we took on the theme, ‘Friendship’. We shortlisted 3 books which explored different takes on what it is to connect, how friendships shape and evolve and the structural factors affecting and shaping how we are with each other. The May 2022 vote results were as follows…

🏆 The Lonely Century by Noreena Hertz
🥈 Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer
🥉 Big Friendship by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman

So throughout the month of May, we joined Noreena Hertz in her Call To Reconnect. This blog will take you through the highlights from the month!


"Offering bold solutions ranging from compassionate AI to innovative models for urban living to new ways of reinvigorating our neighborhoods 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."

In the words of Adam Grant, The Lonely Century "examines why our hyperconnected world feels so isolating and how we can solve the crisis of loneliness. The takeaways are as relevant to our families and friendships as they are to building bridges in our neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.”


Noreena Hertz kindly joined us from her trip to Tel Aviv to talk to us + answer question about The Lonely Century.

Here are a selection of clips from that chat...

To kick off, Ben asked Noreena if we're making any progress on The Lonely Century?

Next up, Ben asks Noreena if the 'kinder form of capitalism' she talks about is really possible and how?

RBC member, Luke, talks to Noreena about how globalisation could have affected loneliness and community?

Finally, RBC member, Carol, asks Noreena whether building individualistic societies makes building community harder, and weighs up the pros and cons.

Thank you to Noreena for sharing her time and insights with us! And to our club members for their excellent wisdom + questions on this theme.


We were invited to Toca Social in London to host our May event by RBC member, Michael. This felt like the perfect venue to put Noreena's theory into action. All members were invited to bring a friend with them and we split out into nonfiction themed teams to play digital football games; ie. using play to reconnect.

During the evening, we heard from start up Emma at More Human about their focus to 'reduce loneliness by empowering anyone to be a brilliant organiser of community events and clubs'. Check out More Human's work on The Big Lunch here.

More Human Co-Founder, Emma Lawton, speaks to RBC Co-Founder, Ben Keene.

We also tasked members to think up some of the best ways to reconnect in a city the size of London. Examples included merging friendship groups, speaking to people on the tube, or simply putting your phone down and smiling at people as you pass them.

Thank you so much to our excellent hosts, Toca Social, and to our May drinks sponsors Days Beer, Sxcollie Cider and Tribe Snacks.


We are Rebel Book Club, a global nonfiction book club.

We’ve been reading together for 5+ years and we exist to accelerate your reading habits, connect you with like-minded thinkers + doers and take positive action in a changing world…

We have an event at the end of each month, where we hear from experts in a relevant field to the books we’re reading – which is how this blog post came about.

If you’d like to find out more, check out our website, follow us on Instagram or email our Membership Manager at hello@rebelbookclub.co.uk.

We can’t wait to welcome you aboard!

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