Cal Newport and Tim Harford discuss: Digital Minimalism

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35 Powis Square, off Portobello Road, London W11 2AY
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Professor Cal Newport shows us how to live better with less technology. In conversation with the 'Undercover Economist' Tim Harford.

Cal Newport
Digital Minimalism

In this timely talk, professor Cal Newport discusses his work, ideas and new book on Digital Minimalism with behavioural economist, Tim Harford.

The urge to pick up our phones every few minutes has become a nervous twitch that shatters our time into shards too small to be present. Our addiction to tech leaves us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. But it doesn't have to be that way. Cal Newport argues we can pair back digital distractions and live better with less technology.

Introducing us to digital minimalists - the calm, happy people who can hold long conversations without furtive glances at their phones or obsessively document everything they eat. How can we learn to live more intentionally in our tech-saturated world?

Cal Newport is author of a number of ground breaking books including Digital Minimalism and Deep Work.

Tim Harford is a behavioural economist, BBC radio and TV presenter and award-winning Financial Times columnist, author of seven books, including The Undercover Economist, which has sold nearly 2 million copies.


'Digital Minimalism is the Marie Kondo of mobile phones' Evening Standard

"You’re not the user, you’re the product. Hang up, log off, and tune in to a different way to be in the world. Bravo, Cal. Smart advice for good people." - Seth Godin, author of This Is Marketing

“What a timely and useful book! It's neither hysterical nor complacent - a workable guide to being thoughtful about digital media. It's already made me rethink some of my media use in a considered way.” - Naomi Alderman, author of The Power

Tim Harford
Digital Minimalism

“He’s a genius at telling stories that illuminate our world” – Malcolm Gladwell

“Perhaps the best popular economics writer in the world” – The New Statesman

Tim Harford is a behavioural economist, BBC radio and TV presenter and award-winning Financial Times columnist. He offers a distinctive blend of storytelling, humour and intelligence.

Tim has written seven books, including The Undercover Economist, which has sold nearly 2 million copies in over 30 languages. His BBC Radio 4 series, More or Less, offers a genial smackdown of dubious statistics, while his BBC World Service radio series Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy was critical success and iTunes-topper. His new podcast, Cautionary Tales, has also broken into the top ten on iTunes on both sides of the Atlantic.

Tim’s writing has won several prestigious awards, including the Bastiat Prize for economic journalism (2006 and 2016), Science and Data Commentator of the Year (2018), Economics Commentator of the Year (2014), Society for Business Economists writing prize (2014) and the Royal Statistical Society prize for journalism (2015). He was awarded an OBE “for services to improving economic understanding” in the 2019 New Year honours.

Tim has also worked at Shell and the World Bank. He’s a member of Nuffield College, Oxford and the only journalist to be an honorary fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. He has given numerous invited lectures, including at the Royal Economic Society, Google, the Bank of England, PopTech, the Sydney Opera House and three times at TED. His TED talks alone have been viewed nearly 10 million times.


In late 2019, Tim’s podcast, Cautionary Tales, broke into the charts with critically-acclaimed stories of fiasco and disaster – and the science behind avoiding catastrophe ourselves.

Tim’s eighth book, The Next Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy, will be published in May 2020. It accompanies the BBC World Service / Radio 4 series.

Tim’s long-running series, More or Less, is about to move to the prestigious 9am / 9.30pm slot on Wednesdays, the same slot as Start The Week, In Our Time and Desert Island Discs.

Tim’s next “big idea” book, working title How To Make The World Add Up, is due for publication in the autumn. The book explains how to avoid spin and our own cognitive traps as we think clearly about the statistical claims all around us. Tim helps us not just to be wiser about the numbers, but to be wiser about ourselves.