Wed, 4 August 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm BST

The Power of Strangers

Joe Keohane In Conversation With Matthew Stadlen

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Why don’t we talk to strangers – and what wonderful things would happen if we did?

In our cities, we barely acknowledge one another on public transport, even as rates of loneliness skyrocket. Online, we carefully curate who we interact with. In our politics, we are increasingly consumed by a fear of people we’ve never met. But what if strangers, long believed to be the cause of many of our problems, were actually the solution?

In this livestream event, Joe Keohane explores the surprising benefits that come from talking to strangers, examining how even passing interactions can enhance empathy, happiness and cognitive development, ease loneliness and isolation, and root us in the world, deepening our sense of belonging.

Warm, witty, erudite and profound, this deeply researched talk will make you reconsider how you perceive and approach strangers, showing you that talking to strangers is not just a way to live, it’s a way to survive.

Praise for Joe Keohane’s The Power of Strangers:

‘Rare is the book that delivers on the promise of a big answer to an even bigger question, but Joe Keohane’s The Power of Strangers does just that. This lively, searching work makes the case that welcoming “others” isn’t just the bedrock of civilization, it’s the surest path to the best of what life has to offer’ — Ayad Akhtar, author of Homeland Elegies

‘In a thrilling, immersive journey across time and continents, Keohane upends everything we thought we knew about the people we don’t know’ — Will Storr, author of The Science of Storytelling

‘Joe Keohane has changed my life. This book is an important tool in rescuing our tribal, smartphone-obsessed world. If you see me on the street, please say hi so we can discuss it’ — AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

You can access this event and many more by subscribing to How To + for £17.50 + VAT a month.

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Joe Keohane

Author and Editor

Joe Keohane first saw interaction with strangers as the son of a funeral director. He has since practised talking with strangers as a journalist who has written and edited many types of stories for publications including Esquire, New York magazine, Wired, the Boston Globe and New Republic. He has also been the executive editor of Entrepreneur magazine.

Matthew Stadlen

Broadcaster, writer and regular How To Academy host.

Matthew Stadlen is a broadcaster, writer and regular How To Academy host. Previously he was an LBC presenter, wrote The Matthew Stadlen Interview for the Telegraph and presented the TV series Five Minutes With and On The Road With for the BBC. He is a birdwatcher and photographer, and his book How To See Birds is out now. Twitter: @matthewstadlen