Fri, 2 April 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm BST

Beginners – The Curious Power of Lifelong Learning

Tom Vanderbilt In Conversation With Hannah MacInnes

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‘Tom Vanderbilt elegantly and persuasively tackles one of the most pernicious of the lies we tell ourselves – that the pleasures of learning are reserved for the young.’ – Malcolm Gladwell

Why are children the only ones allowed to experience the inherent fun of facing new challenges? Could we benefit from embracing new skills, even if we’re initially hopeless? What does learning do for the brain?

For many of us, learning new skills is for childhood. As adults we tend to shy away from trying new things, preferring to stay in our comfort zone. In this livestream event, bestselling author and journalist Tom Vanderbilt will turn this assumption on its head, joining us for an uplifting exploration of brain plasticity and how we can all begin to learn anew.

Tom set out to acquire several new skills under the tutelage of professionals, including singing, juggling, chess, surfing, drawing – and what he learned was not only practical, but profound. He joins us to share his insights.

Praise for Tom Vanderbilt’s Beginners:

‘Wonderful…[Vanderbilt] explores how to learn completely new skills, how to change our world – even after we’re supposed to be done with schooling. This is a book about how to become a beginner again, and it makes you want to plunge in with both feet.’ Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit

‘A wonderful and inspirational book. The only thing that will make you put it down is a burning desire to try something new. It’s full of the sort of encouragement and wisdom that bridges the small, tricky gulf between enthusiasm and action. A book that will launch thousands of journeys that might not otherwise have happened and prove life-changing for many who take those first steps.’ Tristan Gooley, author of The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs

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Tom Vanderbilt

Journalist and Bestselling Author

Tom Vanderbilt writes on design, technology, science and culture for numerous publications, including Wired, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. He is the author of the international bestseller Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us). He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Hannah MacInnes

Presenter, podcaster and host of How To Academy’s live programmes.

Hannah MacInnes is a broadcaster and journalist. Alongside hosting How To Academy’s live programmes and podcast, she presents a cultural show on Times Radio and interviews on-stage at a number of other major literary events. She is the host of The Klosters Forum Podcast series and has written for the Radio Times, the Evening Standard and TLS. Before going freelance she worked for 8 years at BBC Newsnight, as Planning Editor and as a Producer / Filmmaker.