Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Tue 9/8

Image - Dr. Ben Carson, Republican Presidential Candidate
This event is Sold Out

Dr. Ben Carson, Republican Presidential Candidate

Date: Tue, September 08, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson

Ben Carson, M.D., Republican Presidential Candidate
In conversation with Dan Ashley, Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors; News Anchor, ABC 7 Television News, San Francisco

Following the first Republican presidential debate, Dr. Ben Carson has continued to rank highly in the polls. He advocates a flat tax and the replacement of the Affordable Care Act with health savings accounts, is opposed to the Iran agreement, says the climate change debate is “irrelevant” and that there should not be federally determined standards for education. Dr. Carson is also a pioneering neurosurgeon who performed the first successful separation of twins joined at the back of the head. He has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and holds degrees from Yale and the University of Michigan Medical School. Bring your questions for one of the country’s leading conservative voices.

Book Discussion: The Pope and Mussolini

Date: Tue, September 08, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM

Pius XI, who was pope during Mussolini’s rise to power in the 1920s, arranged to accept Il Duce’s political dominance in return for assurances of rights and privileges for the church. Over time, Pius XI became conflicted about fascism and Italy’s alliance with Nazi Germany. He prepared a statement condemning the Nazis as he was dying in 1938, but others in the Vatican prevented the original draft from being distributed. Kertzer explores ecclesiastical skullduggery and intrigue, including information revealed in recently opened Vatican archives.

Wed 9/9

Image - Let’s Do the Numbers: 10 Years with Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal

Let’s Do the Numbers: 10 Years with Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal

Date: Wed, September 09, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Kai Ryssdal, Host and Senior Editor, American Public Media’s “Marketplace”
John Boland, President and CEO, KQED - Moderator

As host and senior editor of “Marketplace,” Kai Ryssdal is one of the most recognizable voices in the country. Each day he translates the most important business and economic news for millions of listeners, from Wall Street to the Oval Office to small business owners and everyday participants in the American and global economies.

This fall marks Rysdall’s 10-year anniversary hosting the evening broadcast of “Marketplace,” the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country. He’ll talk about his time on the show, his unique path to radio, and what it’s been like to cover such an unprecedented time in the U.S. economy.

Thu 9/10

Image - Analyzing Police Encounters with the Public: Some Methods for Reducing t

Analyzing Police Encounters with the Public: Some Methods for Reducing the Use of Force

Date: Thu, September 10, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Examining research into techniques to diffuse explosive situations

Geoffrey Raymond, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Sociology, UC Santa Barbara
Nikki Jones, Professor of African American Studies, UC Berkeley

Police encounters with suspects and protesters ripped straight from the headlines of 2015 give the impression of an unavoidable descent into violence and chaos. However, the timely research of Professors Raymond and Jones show a way forward. Their results make it clear that various methods have been developed and successfully implemented that both reduce police overreaction during dangerous situations and diminish the tendency for such situations to get out of hand to begin with.

Image - Pope Francis: Climate Changer?

Pope Francis: Climate Changer?

Date: Thu, September 10, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
A discussion of stewardship across faiths.

Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, President and Founder, Interfaith Power and Light
Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J., President, University of San Francisco
Sam Liccardo, Mayor, San Jose

When Pope Francis entered the fray on climate change, he sent shock waves across the political and religious worlds. The Catholic leader’s bold encyclical linking hard science and biblical passages has prompted a discussion of stewardship across faiths. It has also emboldened critics on the fringe who dare to challenge the basic tenets of capitalism.

How is Pope Francis changing the politics of climate in the United States? What can cities and congregations do to address the climate challenge and opportunity?

A conversation about the popular pope two weeks before he makes his highly-anticipated visit to the United States and a few months before the UN climate summit in Paris.

Mon 9/14

Image - Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

Date: Mon, September 14, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With author and former SFPD and FBI agent John Mindermann

John Mindermann, Author, In Pursuit

Monday Night Philosophy arrests your attention with John Mindermann’s insights from his book In Pursuit (co-authored with Brian Solon). Gathered from nearly a decade on the SFPD and his career as an FBI agent, the book details his riveting experiences, including June 17, 1972, when Mindermann just happened to be called in to investigate a burglary at the Watergate complex. You cannot get any closer to history than this.

Longevity Explorers Discussion Group: Better Aging. You. Your Parents.

Date: Mon, September 14, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM

This regular discussion group will be exploring new and emerging solutions to the challenges of growing older. Not only will we be uncovering interesting new products at the intersection of aging and technology, we will also be conducting a series of ongoing deep dive discussions into topics like brain health, apps for seniors, hearing and wearables for seniors. The results of our discussions will be shared with a larger community of older adults interested in improving their quality of life through our partner in this initiative, Tech-enhanced Life, PBC. The discussions will be facilitated by Dr. Richard Caro, whom many of you have heard speak at prior grownups forum events.

Tue 9/15

Image - Jeh Johnson: Security Challenges Confronting The Homeland

Jeh Johnson: Security Challenges Confronting the Homeland

Date: Tue, September 15, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security

Hon. Jeh Johnson, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
Dr. Gloria Duffy, President and CEO, The Commonwealth Club — Moderator

Jeh Charles Johnson was sworn in on December 23, 2013, as the fourth secretary of homeland security. Prior to joining DHS, Secretary Johnson was chief judge of the New York courts. Secretary Johnson also served as general counsel for the Department of Defense, where he led the more than 10,000 military and civilian lawyers across the department.

As general counsel of the Defense Department, Johnson oversaw the development of the legal aspects of many of our nation’s counterterrorism policies and spearheaded reforms to the military commissions system at Guantanamo Bay in 2009. Johnson was general counsel of the Department of the Air Force from 1998 to 2001 and served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York from 1989 to 1991. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1979 and received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1982.

Secretary Johnson was the first African-American to be elected to partnership at the prestigious New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, and has been an advocate for civil rights, including co-authoring the 250-page report that paved the way for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010. He was an early political supporter of President Barak Obama.

Secretary Johnson is in the thick of controversial issues ranging from sanctuary cities and immigration to combatting ISIS and homegrown terrorism. He has warned against over-militarizing the U.S. domestic approach to counter-terrorism. Please join us with Secretary Johnson to discuss the latest challenges and strategies for protecting Americans in the context of civil rights and other societal priorities.

Image - Science and Practice of Mindfulness Meditation in Sports, Work and Life

Science and Practice of Mindfulness Meditation in Sports, Work and Life

Date: Tue, September 15, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With an opportunity to try it!

JoAnn Dahlkoetter, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist; Coach for Five Olympic Gold Medal Athletes; Author, Your Performing Edge
Philippe Goldin, Ph.D., Psychology, Neuroscience; Assistant Professor, UC-Davis; Researcher, Stanford; Developer, Google's Mindfulness Trainings

Meditation is embraced by world-class athletes, Fortune 500 corporations and by public figures such as Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, Clint Eastwood and Rupert Murdoch. This ancient practice is often used to improve mindfulness, spirituality and to reduce stress, but is it something worth including in your day to day or just another spiritual/religious paradigm? Our panelists will discuss the underlying science of meditation and answer your questions about improving your happiness as well as your physical, mental and emotional performance. At the end, we’ll all have an opportunity to try it.

Image - Erica Jong

Novelist Erica Jong: From Fear of Flying to Fear of Dying

Date: Tue, September 15, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
A game-changing author discusses life, love and sex

Erica Jong, Novelist; Author, Fear of Flying and Fear of Dying

In conversation with Linda Gray Sexton, Author, Bespotted: My Family's Love Affair with Thirty-Eight Dalmatians and Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton

This program is part of the Club’s Good Lit Series, sponsored by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Before there was Fifty Shades of Grey, there was Erica Jong. In 1973, Jong blew conventional thinking about women, marriage and sexuality out of the water with her first and most famous novel Fear of Flying. The book went on to sell 27 million copies and has been translated into 40 languages. In Isadora Wing, her fictional doppelganger, Erica created everywoman – not as she existed in public life in the '70s, but inside a woman’s own mind. Ms. Jong has written over 20 books since then — including her new novel, Fear of Dying — that articulate what many women think but may never voice, from sex to the broader issues facing American women today.

Join Erica Jong in a dialogue about life, love, sex and the power of women to change the world.

Wed 9/16

Image - Living Fully: Reimagining End-of-Life

Living Fully: Reimagining End-of-Life

Date: Wed, September 16, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
A human-centered model of care.

BJ Miller, MD, UCSF; Executive Director, Zen Hospice Project

Despite being a universal experience, death usually is a topic looked at only when unavoidable. As Executive Director of Zen Hospice Project and faculty at UCSF, Dr. BJ Miller is changing the conversation around the end-of-life experience. Informed by a life-threatening accident and work as a palliative care and hospice physician, Miller, a leader in the movement dedicated to a human-centered model of care, advocates quality of life all the way to the end.

Following the program, please join us for a cocktail reception.

Thu 9/17

Image - Waterfront Walk

Waterfront Walk

Date: Thu, September 17, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM
A neighborhood adventure with Rick Evans

Join Rick Evans for his new walking tour exploring the historic sites of the waterfront neighborhood that surrounds the location of the future Commonwealth Club headquarters. Hear the dynamic stories of the entrepreneurs, controversial artists and labor organizers who created this recently revitalized neighborhood. This tour will give you a lively overview of the historic significance of this neighborhood and a close look at the ongoing development.

Image - The Stress Shield

The Stress Shield: Three Ways to Upgrade Your Brain, DNA and Hormones As You Age

Date: Thu, September 17, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With author Sara Gottfried

Sara Gottfried, M.D., Author, The Hormone Cure and The Hormone Reset Diet

Groundbreaking science now theorizes that approximately 10 percent of disease is genetic, and 90 percent is due to the way you eat, move, think and supplement – collectively known as your "exposome." Dr. Gottfried, Harvard- and MIT-educated, practices functional medicine, a systems-based approach to address health from your DNA to your exposome. In this talk, you will learn to customize a plan meant to best serve your health goals and strengthen your “stress shield.”

Mon 9/21

Explore the World from The Commonwealth Club

Date: Mon, September 21, 2015
Time: 5:00 PM
A one-hour planning meeting

All interested Club members are welcome to attend our bimonthly, one-hour planning meetings of the International Relations Member-Led Forum. We focus on Europe, Latin America, Africa and worldwide topics. Join us to discuss current international issues and plan programs for early 2016.

Tue 9/22

Image - San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

Nob Hill Walking Tour

Date: Tue, September 22, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM
A neighborhood adventure with Rick Evans

Explore one of San Francisco’s 44 hills, and one of its original “Seven Hills”. Because of great views and its central position, Nob Hill became an exclusive enclave of the rich and famous on the west coast who built large mansions in the neighborhood. This included prominent tycoons such as Leland Stanford, and other members of the Big Four. Highlights include the history of four landmark hotels: The Fairmont, Mark Hopkins, Stanford Court, and Huntington Hotel. Visit the city’s largest house of worship, Grace Cathedral, and discover architectural tidbits and anecdotes about the railroad barons and silver kings. A true San Francisco experience of elegance, urbanity, scandals and fabulous views.

Image - SOCAP Preview 2015: Funding What Matters in Our Local Economies

SOCAP Preview 2015: Funding What Matters in Our Local Economies

Date: Tue, September 22, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Investors and philanthropists pursing neighborhood economics.

Kevin Jones, Founder, Good Capital; Co-founder and Convener, Social Capital Markets
Jenny Kassan, Capital Raising Coach; Former CEO, Cutting Edge Capital
Jonny Price, Senior Director of Kiva Zip, Kiva.org
Kevin O’Malley, President TechTalk/Studio – Moderator

Cities and small towns can become more resilient when residents see where resources are flowing, decide together the changes to prioritize and strategically blend giving and investing to reach those goals. Hear from leading investors and philanthropists who are pursing neighborhood economics as an antidote to “two pocket thinking” –where giving and financial-return investments happen separately, and often in contradiction to each other – and bringing the full diversity of a community into local economy-building.

Image - Arctic Melting and Rising

Arctic Melting and Rising

Date: Tue, September 22, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
With a panel of consuls general

Sergey Petrov, Consul General, Russia
Hilde Janne Skorpen, Consul General, Norway

Most Americans will never travel to the Arctic, and few give much thought to the land of Santa and polar bears. But the Arctic matters much more to American life and economy than people realize. Arctic sea ice influences the very jet stream that drives much of our weather. If you like to go skiing or whitewater rafting, the faraway Arctic impacts your fun. Disappearing sea ice is spurring a rush to tap oil and natural gas deposits in the Arctic. Will the rush for resources bring international conflict or cooperation to the new north?

Join a conversation about politics and economics at the top of a hot and crowded world.

Wed 9/23

Image - The Wilder Side of Life

The Wilder Side of Life

Date: Wed, September 23, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Tom Stienstra, Outdoors Writer, San Francisco Chronicle

This program is co-sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle

The life of an outdoorsman can be dangerously exciting. From leading a five-week expedition to find Bigfoot, to being charged by a grizzly bear at point-blank range, the list of stories Tom Stienstra, outdoors editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, has is extensive. Join us as Stienstra showcases his experiences through dramatic photos and elaborate tales collected throughout his career.

Thu 9/24

Image - The Revolution in Small Satellites

The Revolution in Small Satellites

Date: Thu, September 24, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Space opens up to new entrants...

Mike Safyan, Director of Launch and Regulatory Affairs, Planet Labs

A revolution is happening in the space industry. What used to be the domain of nation states and a handful of big corporations is now accessible to students and startups. Planet Labs, a local San Francisco startup, is launching fleets of small satellites to image the entire Earth every day. Mike Safyan, one of Planet's founding team members, will tell the story of how Planet Labs went from garage to orbit to create an unprecedented view of the Earth's changes. As space opens up to new entrants, more people than ever before will have access to radical new tools and data streams to help solve global challenges, such as deforestation, urban sprawl and food security.

Safyan is the director of launch and regulatory affairs at Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based firm that designs, builds and operates the world’s largest fleet of Earth imaging satellites. He has been involved with the launch and operations of over 100 satellites to date.

Image - Competition for Power

Competition for Power

Date: Thu, September 24, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
San Francisco’s electricity market

London Breed, President, San Francisco County Board of Supervisors

Additional panelists TBA

Marin and Sonoma counties are now giving citizens a choice to buy electricity from PG&E or a new government-run provider. Is that a good deal for consumers and businesses? Supporters say that the new energy is cleaner than PG&E, which sells some of the cleanest electricity in the country. Others aren’t so sure. A look at where power choice is up and running.

In the second half of the program, we will discuss the long-running battle over competition in San Francisco’s electricity market, which is going before voters in the November election. Supporters say the ballot measure, called the “Renewable Energy Truth in Advertising Act,” will prevent alternatives to PG&E from overstating how green their electricity really is. Supporters of San Francisco’s alternative, Clean Power SF, say the proposal is an attempt to kill Clean Power SF and protect PG&E’s monopoly. A discussion presenting both sides of the debate.