The Unplugged Lunch



The Unplugged Lunch offers a refreshing opportunity to disconnect to reconnect. This challenge encourages you to gather a diverse group of 8 to 12 individuals from various spheres of your life—be it professional colleagues, close friends, or new acquaintances—and engage in a meaningful, technology-free meal. The goal is simple: to foster genuine connections and understandings across different life paths without the interference of digital devices.

The Unplugged Lunch Challenge

Connecting with yourself and creating new bonds.

Understanding the Unplugged Lunch Challenge

The essence of The Unplugged Lunch lies in its simplicity and the deliberate choice to prioritize human connection over digital engagement. By inviting people from different aspects of your life and ensuring a mixed gathering, the lunch becomes a melting pot of perspectives, experiences, and insights, enriching everyone involved.


The Unplugged Lunch stands out as not only one of the inaugural challenges conceived by The Unplug Project but also as one of its most celebrated. This unique initiative goes beyond the simple act of dining, transforming it into a unique opportunity for genuine connection, understanding, and the exchange of diverse perspectives, all within a digital-detox framework.


The Unplugged Lunch was designed to counteract the pervasive digital distractions that increasingly encroach upon our social interactions. By encouraging individuals to step away from their screens and engage with each other in a meaningful, face-to-face context, this challenge quickly resonated with a wide audience, becoming a flagship activity of The Unplug Project. Its simplicity, accessibility, and impact on participants’ sense of connection and presence have contributed to its popularity.

The Benefits of the Challenge

  • Enhanced Connection: Enjoy deeper conversations and more meaningful interactions without the distraction of phones.
  • Diverse Perspectives: Learn from the varied experiences and viewpoints of people from different walks of life.
  • Mindful Eating: Experience your food more fully when you’re not distracted by screens.
  • Stress Reduction: Taking a real break from work and digital stimuli can help lower stress levels.

Implementing The Unplugged Lunch in Your Routine

  1. Invite Selection: Curate a guest list of 8 to 12 people who represent different facets of your life, ensuring a rich diversity of backgrounds.
  2. Venue Selection: Choose a location conducive to group discussions, where you can all sit at one large table, emphasizing the communal aspect of the meal.
  3. Digital Detox Commitment: Make it clear in your invitation that phones are to be kept away for the duration of the lunch to encourage presence and participation.
  4. Conversation Starters: Prepare a list of engaging and open-ended questions to spark discussions and ensure inclusive participation.

Setting Boundaries for the Challenge

  • No Phones at the Table: Phones should be silenced or ideally left in another room.
  • Open-mindedness: Encourage an atmosphere where all perspectives are welcomed and respected.
  • Time Bound: Set a clear start and end time for the lunch to respect everyone’s schedules.

Overcoming Common Challenges

  • Digital Temptation: Remind guests of the no-phone rule and the purpose behind it at the start.
  • Awkward Silences: Use your conversation starters to keep the dialogue flowing.
  • Diverse Dynamics: Facilitate introductions and steer conversations to find common ground among guests.

The Unplugged Lunch is more than just a meal; it’s a step towards cultivating richer, more varied interpersonal connections. Choosing to unplug and tune into the moment can lead to discoveries, insights, and relationships that enrich your life in unexpected ways.

Sample Conversation Starters

  • “What’s something you’ve learned recently outside of your professional life?”
  • “If you could pick up a new skill in an instant, what would it be?”
  • “What’s one book or movie that has profoundly impacted your perspective?”
  • “What’s a hobby or activity that you find incredibly fulfilling?”
  • “Can you share a memorable travel experience and why it stands out to you?”