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Stolen focus with Johann Hari

29 September 2022
6.30pm – 7.30pm AEST
This event has ended
Johann Hari

Johann Hari | Rosalind Dixon 

Our ability to pay attention is collapsing. It’s not just you, our focus has been stolen by powerful external forces.

New York Times best-selling author Johann Hari has been on a mission to uncover why this is happening to us and whether we can get our focus back. In his newest book, Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention, Hari investigates how technology and other facets of modern life have impacted our ability to concentrate. What he discovered were structural problems rather than the individuals personal failing.  

In conversation with UNSW’s Rosalind Dixon, they explore why it is so important that we pay attention to this ‘attention revolution’ and what we can do to get our focus back. 

Head here to purchase a copy of Johann Hari's book, Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention. 


This event will be available on the UNSW Centre for Ideas website and UNSW YouTube channel. Closed captions will be available on each platform.

A link to watch the event will be sent just before the event to registered attendees.






For event enquiries or to discuss your access requirements, please call the Centre for Ideas on 02 9065 0485 or email

The Centre for Ideas is happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for 02 9065 0485. Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 02 9065 0485. Internet relay users, visit, then ask for 02 9065 0485. 

Johann Hari

Johann Hari

Johann Hari is the author of three New York Times best-selling books, and the Executive Producer of an Oscar-nominated movie and an eight-part TV series starring Samuel L. Jackson. His books have been translated into 38 languages, and been praised by a broad range of people, from Oprah to Noam Chomsky, from Elton John to Naomi Klein. His latest book, Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention, published in January 2022, received rave reviews everywhere from the Washington Post to the Irish Times to the Sydney Morning Herald. It has been a best-seller on three continents. Johann’s first book, Chasing the Scream: the First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film The United States Vs Billie Holiday. It has also been adapted into a documentary series which is available to view now. His second book, Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions was described by the British Journal of General Practice as “one of the most important texts of recent years”, and shortlisted for an award by the British Medical Association.   

Rosalind Dixon

Rosalind Dixon

Rosalind Dixon is a Professor of Law and Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW Sydney. She is a graduate of UNSW and Harvard, and has taught at law schools around the world – including Harvard, Columbia, the University of Chicago and the National University Singapore, and is the author of the book, with Richard Holden, From Free to Fair Markets: Liberalism after COVID. She is passionate about law and politics, and currently Director of the Pathways to Politics for Women Program at NSW.