Sarah Friar is passionate about community and the impact it has on our lives. Often described as “one of the most powerful women in the Silicon Valley tech scene”, she became the CEO of neighbourhood-based social networking service Nextdoor last year.

The platform, which launched in 2011 in the US, now claims to have more than 236,000 neighbourhoods across 10 countries. It has most recently established a presence in Denmark and Sweden and is now also active in Germany and in the UK, where it covers 16,000 neighbourhoods or 90 per cent of the population.

After a $123m (£97m) funding round, the company is now valued at $2bn. Ms Friar’s ambition is now to make it a “global powerhouse” that will bring communities together. “What I don’t like about technology is how much it is driving social isolation, loneliness and polarisation,” she tells The Independent. “A lot of that is because we are all stuck behind our screens way too much and we end up being in an echo chamber of people like us, which only reinforces the feeling that our opinion is the right one.

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