Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Tue 9/2

Image - Book Discussion: The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman

Book Discussion: The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman

Date: Tue, September 02, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM

Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August is a compelling book to discuss during this 100th anniversary of the inception of World War I. The first world war was the signal event of the modern era: without it, no Hitler, no Holocaust, no World War II, no Bolshevik Revolution, no Cold War (including the Korean and Vietnam Wars), and no nuclear weapons. The book discussion will focus on the first 158 pages. Anyone not interested in the minutiae of military history after hostilities opened can stop at page 158, which completes Ms. Tuchman’s brilliant discussion of how and why the four years of horrendous hostilities began in August of 1914.

Wed 9/3

Image - Journalism: The Agriculture Beat Resurgence

Journalism: The Agriculture Beat Resurgence

Date: Wed, September 03, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Exploring the growing appetite for food news.

Tara Duggan, Staff Writer, San Francisco Chronicle; Author, Root to Stalk Cooking: The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable
Naomi Starkman, Founder and Editor in Chief, Civil Eats; Winner of the Publication of the Year, 2014 James Beard Awards
Andy Wright, Senior Editor, Modern Farmer
Sasha Khokha, Central Valley Bureau Chief, KQED – Moderator

The agriculture beat was once an important area of coverage for all major media outlets, delivering news about rural areas as well as policy decisions in Washington, D.C. But, like most mainstream media, the agriculture beat has taken a significant hit due to cutbacks in editorial and reporting staff. At the same time, more consumers are hungry for news about where their food is coming from and new outlets are seeking to feed their interest. This panel will explore the intersection between the changing state of journalism and its impact on the future of food and agriculture reporting. Post-program, enjoy local and organic bites provided by Bi-Rite Catering.

Image - Vietnam, the U.S. and China Today: Insights from the Consul General

Vietnam, the U.S. and China Today: Insights from the Consul General

Date: Wed, September 03, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Exploring the global relationships between these countries.

Nguyen Ba Hung, Consul General of Vietnam in San Francisco

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, with a population of almost 90 million people, is on a course of economic growth as it moves toward a market-oriented economy. Its GDP is forecasted to grow 5.5 percent this year. Overseas makers of apparel, footwear and electronics are attracted by low labor costs and have set up factories there. Foreign direct investment in 2013 is said to have increased 36 percent over 2012. How are relations between Vietnam and the United States? How will its conflict with China over territory in the South China Sea affect Vietnam? Hear the views of the consul general of Vietnam in San Francisco and bring your questions.

Thu 9/4

Image - Russian Hill Walking Tour
This event is Sold Out

Russian Hill Walking Tour

Date: Thu, September 04, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Join a more active Neighborhood Adventure!

Join a more active Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure! Russian Hill is a magical area with secret gardens and amazing views. Join Rick Evans for a two-hour hike up hills and staircases and learn about the history of this neighborhood. See where great artists and architects lived and worked, and walk down residential streets where some of the most historically significant houses in the Bay Area are located.

Image - The West Without Water

The West Without Water

Date: Thu, September 04, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Exploring the climate of the American West throughout history.

B. Lynn Ingram, Professor, Earth & Planetary Science and Geography, UC Berkeley; Co-author, The West Without Water
Frances Malamud-Roam, Senior Environmental Planner and Biologist, Caltrans; Co-author, The West Without Water
 
The West Without Water documents the tumultuous climate of the American West over 20 millennia, with tales of past droughts and deluges and predictions about the impacts of future climate change on water resources. Its authors ask the central questions of what is “normal” for the West, and whether the relatively benign climate of the past century will continue into the future. Their answers are derived by merging climate and paleoclimate research from a wide variety of sources.

Image - Sal Khan: INFORUM's 21st Century Visionary Award

Sal Khan: INFORUM's 21st Century Visionary Award

Date: Thu, September 04, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM

Sal Khan, Founder, Khan Academy; Author, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined

In conversation with Kishore Hari, Director, Bay Area Science Festival

"I teach the way that I wish I was taught."
– Sal Khan

When Sal Khan started helping his teenage cousin with algebra from across the country, he didn’t set out to change the world. Starting only with an office in his Bay Area apartment, he now has over 4,000 video lessons in his online library, ranging from chemistry to history to finance. Khan is truly an educational pioneer, reaching millions of students, teachers and individuals. Khan Academy’s mission to give a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere has breached the educational divide between poor and privileged and pioneered a transformation at the intersection of learning and technology. INFORUM will award this educational innovator with our 21st Century Visionary Award. Don’t miss your chance to learn from one of the best teachers you’ll ever have, in conversation with a special guest, live at the Castro Theatre.

Mon 9/8

Image - Driven: Saudi Arabian Women Leaders

Driven: Saudi Arabian Women Leaders

Date: Mon, September 08, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Philippa Kelly, Ph.D., Educator, UC Berkeley; Author; Dramaturg

Dina Ibrahim, Associate Professor of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, SFSU – Moderator

Dr. Kelly has published widely, including books on Shakespeare and papers on dramaturgy and cultural engagement. She will discuss her work in teaching and leadership at Saudi universities. Kelly's next book will record the experiences of Saudi Arabia's female leaders in a society that is still rigidly masculinist. 

Image - What Is It to Redeem Your Past? Some Lessons from Nietzsche and Kundera

What Is It to Redeem Your Past? Some Lessons from Nietzsche and Kundera

Date: Mon, September 08, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Straight from Stanford's The Art of Living course.

Lanier Anderson, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Stanford University

Monday Night Philosophy focuses on the ancient issues raised by the human ability to remember our pasts. Should it exert a heavy burden upon the present, or light the way to a better future? Though neither extreme is commonly indulged, redeeming ourselves from our apparently unredeemable pasts does get a lot of cultural attention. Straight from Stanford's The Art of Living course, hear Professor Anderson's views on Friedrich Nietzsche's and Milan Kundera's insights into one version of redemption.

Tue 9/9

Image - The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

Date: Tue, September 09, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Creating the Reagan Revolution

Rick Perlstein, Author, The Invisible Bridge

The Invisible Bridge is a dazzling portrait of America on the verge of a nervous breakdown in the tumultuous 1970s. In the wake of Watergate, Nixon's resignation, congressional investigations of CIA assassinations and the chaotic end to the Vietnam War, Americans began thinking about their nation in a new way, as just one nation among many, no more providential than any other. But Ronald Reagan never got the message. Instead, he was reconstituting the conservative political culture we know now. Perlstein recalls that in America's bicentennial year, that temporary vision of patriotism rooted in a sense of American limits was quickly derailed by the rise of the smiling politician from Hollywood.

Image - Marianne Cooper & Sheryl Sandberg Talk Modern Families Cut Adrift

Sheryl Sandberg & Marianne Cooper Talk: The Anxieties of Modern Families

Date: Tue, September 09, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
The worries all American families face and what can be done about it.

Marianne Cooper, Stanford Sociologist & Author, Cut Adrift
In conversation with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook and Lean In
Introduction by Jaleh Daie, Managing Partner, Aurora Equity; Former President, Association for Women in Science

In an increasingly insecure economy, it’s easy to get bogged down with statistics and lose sight of the human costs of the recession. Stanford sociologist and lead researcher for the book Lean In, Marianne Cooper wants to change that. In her new book, Cut Adrift, Cooper weaves together deep data analysis of our frightening economic condition with real-world stories of families struggling to adjust. Hearing from everyone from suburban soccer moms to those struggling to feed their children, we’re given an intimate look at the challenges facing modern families, and how financial anxiety penetrates the daily lives of those at every socioeconomic level. Whether it’s the wealthy seeking even stronger security or the poor trying to avoid further instability, Cut Adrift gives us a glimpse of changing gender dynamics and how families are coping in a go-it-alone economy. Hear Cooper in conversation with LeanIn.org Founder Sheryl Sandberg, as they unpack the worries all American families face and brainstorm what can be done about it.

Wed 9/10

Image - James Ellroy

James Ellroy

Date: Wed, September 10, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Come hear the "Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction."

James Ellroy, Author, L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia and Perfidia

In conversation with Eddie Muller, Author; Founder and President, Film Noir Foundation

In Perfidia, his latest work, Ellroy delves more deeply than ever before into his characters' intellectual and emotional lives. But it has the full-strength, unbridled story-telling audacity that has marked all the acclaimed work of the "Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction."

From "one of the great American writers of our time" (Los Angeles Times Book Review) comes a brilliant crime/historical novel, and his largest, most accessible novel yet: a pulse-pounding, as-it-happens narrative that unfolds in Los Angeles over 23 days beginning on December 6, 1941. The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. The United States teeters on the edge of war. The roundup of allegedly treasonous Japanese Americans is about to begin. And in L.A., a Japanese family is found dead. Murder or ritual suicide?

The investigation will draw four people into a totally Ellroy-ian tangle: a brilliant Japanese American forensic chemist; an unsatisfiably adventurous young woman; one police officer based in fact (William H. "Whiskey Bill" Parker, later to become the groundbreaking chief of the LAPD), the other the product of Ellroy's inimitable imagination (Dudley Smith, arch villain of The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, White Jazz). As their lives intertwine, we are given a story of war and of consuming romance, a searing exposé of the Japanese internment and an astonishingly detailed homicide investigation.

Thu 9/11

Image - Politics, Environment and National Security

Politics, Environment and National Security

Date: Thu, September 11, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Louis Schubert, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, Social Sciences Department, City College of San Francisco.

Politics, environment and national security may seem like an odd combination of opposing narratives, theories and topics. Yet all three are closely related. Healthy or unhealthy environments are part of every nation's security and politics. And all three — politics, environment and national security — are interactive and intertwined in the outcomes of worldwide environmental health, security and violence. Join us in an exploration of these three seemingly opposite narratives: politics, environment and national security and how an understanding of these narratives interacting as a whole will give us a more inclusive picture of the impacts of environmental health and security on local peoples, communities, nations and the world.

Fri 9/12

Image - Reforming Our Broken Mental Health System

Reforming Our Broken Mental Health System

Date: Fri, September 12, 2014
Time: 9:00 AM
Tim Murphy, U.S. Representative (R-Penn.)

Tim Murphy, U.S. Representative (R-Penn.)

Congressman Tim Murphy, Ph.D, believes in rebuilding the nation’s broken mental health system. As chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, Murphy conducted a year-long investigation with multiple congressional hearings, forums, interviews and research into why those who need help the most have been the least likely to get it. Dr. Murphy, who is also a clinical psychologist, will discuss his groundbreaking Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717).

Image - What Makes a Perfect Loaf?

What Makes a Perfect Loaf?

Date: Fri, September 12, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Journalist Fromartz and baker Robertson delve deep into bread.

Samuel Fromartz, Author, In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker's Odyssey; Blogger, ChewsWise; Twitter @fromartz,
In conversation with Chad Robertson, owner Tartine, Bar Tartine; Author, Tartine Book No. 3: Modern, Ancient, Classic, Whole; Twitter @tartinebaker

In this discussion, journalist Fromartz and renowned baker Robertson will delve deep into bread, attempting to define a great loaf and what it takes to make it. Fromartz, a home baker for more than 17 years, traveled through the U.S. and to Europe to meet bakers, millers and sourdough microbiologists and translate their lessons to his kitchen. Robertson, the owner of Tartine Bakery, travelled to countries, including Denmark, bringing a new understanding of whole grain loaves into his repertoire. The two will riff off themes in Fromartz's book, touching on everything from the art of fermentation to the craft of the baker.

Image - Climate on the Brain

Climate on the Brain

Date: Fri, September 12, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
The psychology behind why humans ignore climate change.

George Marshall, Author, Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change
Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley

Abundant scientific evidence demonstrates that climate disruption is happening in all 50 states now and many Americans are directly experiencing impacts. Yet many people are failing to do all they can to reduce carbon pollution and build a resilient future. Are we mad? Or are we simply human?

While fossil fuels are challenges on many systemic levels – biological, economic, political, international – one of the most daunting obstacles is human cognition. Human brains are wired to detect threats such as tigers in the bush and are not well equipped for odorless invisible gases coming out our own tailpipes and pie holes.

Join us for a conversation about how extreme weather events could make us less concerned, not more. Does having children make people less concerned about climate change? What can people do to become informed and empowered?

Sat 9/13

Image - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Date: Sat, September 13, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
The senator recounts her personal journey in public service.

Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator; Author, Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World; Twitter: @SenGillibrand

The senator recounts her personal journey in public service and aims to galvanize women to reach beyond their busy lives and make a meaningful difference in the world around them. If women were fully represented in politics, Gillibrand says, national priorities would shift to issues that directly impact them: affordable daycare, paid family medical leave, and equal pay. Pulling back the curtain on Beltway politics, she speaks candidly about her legislative successes (securing federally funded medical care for 9/11 first responders, repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) and her crushing disappointments (failing by five votes to pass a bill protecting survivors of sexual assault in the military). Gillibrand also shares stories of growing up the daughter and granddaughter of two trailblazing feminists in a politically active family in Albany, New York, and retraces her nonlinear path to public office.

Mon 9/15

Image - Deepak Chopra and Rinaldo Brutoco: Changing Energy, Changing Consciousne

Deepak Chopra and Rinaldo Brutoco: Changing Energy, Changing Consciousness

Date: Mon, September 15, 2014
Time: 9:00 AM
Exploring the deeper impact of energy consciousness.

Deepak Chopra, MD, Founder, The Chopra Foundation; Author of more than 80 books translated into 35 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. www.choprafoundation.org
Rinaldo Brutoco, President, Chopra Foundation; Founding President, World Business Academy; Author, Freedom from Mid-East Oil
Greg Dalton, Host and Founder, Climate One – Moderator

Deepak Chopra and Rinaldo Brutoco say that changing our choices about energy changes consciousness. Where should our energy come from – fossil fuels and nuclear plants? Or 100 percent safe, clean and renewable sources? Chopra and Brutoco say that because energy is the fundamental macro system of human society, once we change our consciousness about energy, we are capable of changing our consciousness about everything. Chopra and Brutoco will discuss the California Moonshot Project aimed at eliminating global warming and fossil fuels to lead the planetary shift toward safe energy. As a global leader and pioneer in the field of mind-body medicine, Chopra’s goal is to transform the way the world views physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellness. Core areas of Brutoco’s work include clean energy, climate change analysis and mitigation as well as sustainable business strategy.

Image - Still Got It, Still Doing It: Sexuality and Intimacy in Older Adults

Still Got It, Still Doing It: Sexuality and Intimacy in Older Adults

Date: Mon, September 15, 2014
Time: 5:15 PM

Rick Nizzardini, LCSW; Clinical Counselor & Faculty, San Francisco State University; Lecturer, UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare and the CSU-East Bay Educational Psychology Program; Former Attorney

This presentation will focus on highlighting the often-overlooked issue of sexuality and older adults. With the cultural lens almost uniformly focused on sexuality and youth, where does that leave older adults in our society? Indeed, with a large portion of the baby boomer generation now over 65 years older, this issue demands that we shine the light on how older adults thrive as sexual beings in the 21st century. We will engage in group dialogue and watch video clips that present an affirmative view of sexuality in older adults and also explore the challenges older adults face as they continue to develop sexually in later life.

Image - Powering Innovation

Powering Innovation

Date: Mon, September 15, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Katie Fehrenbacher, Reporter, GigaOm
David Crane, CEO, NRG
Adam Lowry, Co-Founder and Chief Greenskeeper, Method Products
Arun Majumdar, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford; former Vice President for Energy, Google

Amazon, Apple, Google and your local power company: One of these things is not like the other. But NRG Energy executive David Crane says utilities should aspire to be in league with the strongest tech brands. What’s at stake? Electric companies must quickly find innovative ways to deliver clean and affordable energy, or more severe weather will destabilize the global economy. Government regulation alone won’t get the job done.

NRG is involved with some of the largest solar energy projects in the world including Ivanpah and Agua Caliente in California. Crane says consumers should have choices and that doesn’t mean deciding between powering your home today and the health of your family and our planet tomorrow. Katie Fehrenbacher writes about how innovative technologies are bringing exciting new changes to the way America produces and uses energy. Join us for a conversation about innovation, connected lifestyles and powering our future.

Image - Science & Technology Planning Meeting

Science & Technology Planning Meeting

Date: Mon, September 15, 2014
Time: 6:15 PM

Join fellow Club members with similar interests and brainstorm upcoming Science & Technology Member-Led Forum programs. All Commonwealth Club members are welcome. We explore visions for the future through science and technology. Discuss current issues and share your insights with fellow Club members to shape and plan programs for the months ahead.