Award-winning writer Johann Hari explores why we have lost our ability to focus and, most importantly, how we can get it back.

Presented in partnership with the Wheeler Centre, RMIT Culture and UNSW as part of The Big Anxiety.

This digital event will be available for the duration of The Big Anxiety, 9am Wed 21 Sep to 11.59pm Sat 15 Oct.


Inability to focus can feel like a personal failing – a flaw in each one of us. In his acclaimed latest book, Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention and How to Think Deeply Again, award-winning writer and journalist Johann Hari posits that our failure to focus is not personal, but a social phenomenon caused by powerful external forces. Our focus has been stolen.

In this special digital lecture recorded at the Wheeler Centre for the Big Anxiety Festival, Hari will share his discoveries following a three-year journey interviewing leading experts on attention and uncovering the reasons behind our shortening attention spans.Don’t miss this timely event about how – as individuals, and as a society – we can get our focus back, if we are determined to fight for it.

Image Credit: Kathrin Baumbach

Artist Biography

Johann Hari

Johann Hari is a bestselling writer and journalist. He has written for the New York Times, Le Monde, the Guardian and other newspapers. His TED talks have been viewed over 70 million times, and his work has been praised by a broad range of people, from Oprah to Noam Chomsky. He lives in London.Twitter: johannhari101Instagram: johann.hari