A Conversation with Noreena Hertz

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online event!

This programme is part of the festival Forum on European Culture, 17 – 20 September 2020 in Amsterdam.

​In his address to the nation under lockdown last April, king William Alexander of the Netherlands mentioned the ‘loneliness virus’ as a major cause of concern. And if there’s one thing we have learned over the past few months, it’s that many of us are very able to be simultaneously hyper-connected and lonelier than ever.

Here to diagnose this strange conundrum with us is sharp-witted British economist Noreena Hertz. In what way exactly do political, economic and technological forces globally influence our most private, individual emotions?

Tackling the loneliness crisis from a global perspective, Hertz illustrates in The Lonely Century how processes of digitalization and globalisation have managed to break down meaningful connections with the world around us. What are we losing exactly and is this erosion of community accelerating under various degrees of lockdown? If so, what dangers does this collective loneliness pose to the future of democracy in Europe?

This is an online event. Watch it live on 20 September 7:00 PM.

Do you have a question for Noreena or Jeroen? Please submit your question via the following link:


Noreena Hertz (United Kingdom, 1967) is an English economist, author and broadcaster. Mrs Hertz gained a reputation as a leading thinker due to her impressive track record in predicting global trends and her activities as a strategic advisor to the world’s key figures in business and politics. Her best-selling books, which include The Silent Takeover, IOU:The Debt Threat, and Eyes Wide Open, have been published in 22 languages. Vogue named Mrs Hertz “one of the world’s most inspiring women.” Her upcoming book The Lonely Century argues that the advances of the modern age cause widespread loneliness across the globe.

Jeroen Smit (1963), graduated in business administration and is a former professor of journalism. He has been researching leadership in business for more than thirty years. Smit gained fame as an investigative journalist by writing books about two spectacular debacles that hit Dutch business in the first decade of the new century, Het Drama Ahold (2004) and De Prooi about ABN Amro (2008). In 2005, “The Drama Ahold” was awarded the “management book of the year” award.


Noreena HertzEconomist, author, broadcaster
Jeroen SmitModerator