Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Fri 6/9

Image - Uniting Through Dance

Uniting Us Through Dance

Date: Fri, June 09, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
The 39th San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival

Clara Rodriguez, AguaClara Flamenco 
Eric Solano, Parangal Filipino Dance Company 
2017 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival Participants

For decades, the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival has served as the embodiment of the Bay Area’s cultural diversity and as a beacon for sustaining and celebrating world culture. Two local dance groups, showcasing two different dance forms, will give a lecture and demonstration, providing participants with an intimate look at the festival’s performance series, which will be performed at the San Francisco Opera House for the first time.

Clara Rodriguez, director of AguaClara Flamenco, has trained and worked professionally in the flamenco world for 25 years. She has been a featured soloist in productions throughout the United States, Spain, Portugal and India and has also performed at Oakland’s Disco Volante.

Parangal Dance Company is led by Eric Solano. The company’s hopes to honor Filipino heritage, presenting richly varied ethnic attire, music and inspired dances from different regions.

Mon 6/12

Image - Clair Brown

Buddhist Economics

Date: Mon, June 12, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Applying Buddhism to economics

Clair Brown, Professor of Economics; Director, Center for Work, Technology and Society at the University of California, Berkeley; Author, Buddhist Economics

Monday Night Philosophy travels a different path to economic wisdom. Traditional economics measures the ways we earn and spend our income, but it doesn't always consider what gives our lives meaning. In response, Clair Brown has developed a holistic model that approaches the organizational structure of an economy by using Buddhist values, emphasizing sustainability, interconnectedness, capability and happiness to promote a more compassionate society. By replacing the endless cycle of desire with collective priorities, Brown argues we will benefit both personally and globally for generations to come.

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86th Annual California Book Awards

Date: Mon, June 12, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Annual book awards

Join us for one of the Golden State’s premier literary events—the California Book Awards! The 2017 Book Awards, now in its 86th year, recognizes the best published California writing published in 2016.

The California Book Awards have often been on the vanguard, honoring previously unknown authors who go on to garner national acclaim. Since 1931, the California Book Awards have honored the exceptional literary merit of California writers and publishers. Each year, a select jury considers hundreds of books from around the state in search of the very best in literary achievement. This year’s award ceremony will include a special tribute to Kevin Starr, a giant of California letters who died this past January. Starr’s eight-volume history of the state, collectively known as Americans and the California Dream, lays out an epic story that is still unfolding today. 

Come celebrate the state's best writers! Meet and learn more about the authors, get your books signed and visit with your fellow admirers of great California writing. Enjoy wine and a chance to win a complete set of this year's award-winning books in the Book Awards raffle. See you at the ceremony!

Tue 6/13

Image - Cathryn Jakobson Ramin

Crooked: What It Takes to Outwit the Back Pain Industry and Get on the Road to Recovery

Date: Tue, June 13, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Recovering from back pain

Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, Journalist; Investigative Reporter; Author, Carved in Sand: When Attention Fails and Memory Fades in MidlifeCrooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery

In an effort to manage her chronic back pain, investigative reporter and New York Times best-selling author Cathryn Jakobson Ramin spent years and a small fortune on a panoply of treatments. But her discomfort only intensified, leaving her feeling frustrated and perplexed. As she searched for better solutions, she exposed a much bigger problem. Costing roughly $100 billion a year, spine medicine—often ineffective and sometimes harmful—exemplified the worst aspects of the U.S. health-care system.

The result of six years of intensive investigation, her new book, Crooked, offers a startling look at the poorly identified risks of spine medicine, providing practical advice and solutions. Ramin interviewed scores of spine surgeons, pain management doctors, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, exercise physiologists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and specialized bodywork practitioners. She met with many patients whose pain and desperation led them to make life-altering decisions—and with others who triumphed over their limitations.

The result is a brilliant and comprehensive book that is not only important but essential to millions of back pain sufferers and all types of health-care professionals. Ramin shatters assumptions about surgery, chiropractic methods, physical therapy, spinal injections and painkillers while addressing evidence-based rehabilitation options—showing, in detail, how to avoid therapeutic dead ends and also save money, time and considerable anguish. With Crooked, she reveals what it takes to outwit the back pain industry and get on the road to recovery.

Wed 6/14

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Opera for Our Time: Bringing New Works to Life

Date: Wed, June 14, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Exploring opera with longtime dramaturg

Kip Cranna, Dramaturg, San Francisco Opera

San Francisco Opera’s longtime dramaturg Clifford “Kip” Cranna has managed the commissioning of more than 20 new operas, including “Harvey Milk,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Dead Man Walking,” “Doctor Atomic,” “Appomattox,” “The Bonesetter’s Daughter,” “Moby Dick,” “Dream of the Red Chamber” and the upcoming “Girls of the Golden West.” Join Cranna for an insider’s viewpoint—with video examples—as he explores the thriving world of contemporary American opera and offers behind-the-scenes tales of how new operas are born.

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Take a Wild Uber Ride with Adam Lashinsky

Date: Wed, June 14, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Uber in an on-demand economy

Adam Lashinsky, Journalist, Fortune; Author, Inside AppleWild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination
Kara Swisher, Executive Editor, Recode; Host, Recode Decode Podcast; Co-Executive Producer, Code Conference—Moderator

Uber makes complimentary and controversial headlines every day. Since its 2009 launch, it’s been influencing the minds and phones of millions worldwide. But what do we really know about Uber, and, more importantly, what lies ahead?

In the last eight years as a leader in the on-demand economy, Uber has battled lawmakers and competitors in emerging markets, facing protests and riots in cities from Paris to Mumbai; it has hustled to build the first self-driving car while also responding to major employee allegations. CEO Travis Kalanick is known as a ruthless businessman, appearing in the news almost as often as the Silicon Valley giant he runs. With competition from the likes of Google and Lyft, the company is valued at billions—and now there’s talk of an initial public offering (IPO). Uber continues to rise in value and global impact even while questions around finances, leadership, valuation and the future continue to arise. The question remains: What else should the public know?

Join Adam Lashinsky, journalist and best-selling author of Inside Apple, for a conversation about his new book, Wild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination. Lashinsky will dive deep into the Uber universe, discussing what’s on the horizon for the company the world can’t stop talking about.

Thu 6/15

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Waterfront Walking Tour

Date: Thu, June 15, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM
Walking tour

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.

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Life After Diagnosis! How to Live Well with Serious Illness

Date: Thu, June 15, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Surviving serious illness

Steven Z. Pantilat, M.D., Professor of Medicine, the Department of Medicine at UC San Francisco; Kates-Burnard and Hellman Distinguished Professor in Palliative Care; Founding Director, the UCSF Palliative Care Program

Dr. Steven Pantilat is a renowned international expert in palliative care. He will discuss the cultural myths that get in the way of our receiving good care and living life fully with serious illness. When you or someone you love receives a diagnosis of a serious illness, it can be devastating. Yet the time after a serious diagnosis, which can be years or decades, is the rest of your life. The essential question is how to live that life as well as possible for as long as possible. Based on decades of experience, Dr. Pantilat will offer clear, sage and practical tips for living well with serious illness. This program is for those with serious illness and the family and friends who love them.

Fri 6/16

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Mineta Transportation Summit

Date: Fri, June 16, 2017
Time: 8:15 AM

Are We There Yet? 
Bridging the Gap in California’s Transportation Funding

Underwritten by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI)

The need to invest in California’s transportation system is dire. Estimates suggest a nearly $140 billion backlog in deferred maintenance on highways, bridges, and local streets and roads. While the funding crisis is widely recognized, solutions are difficult to come by. Senate Bill 1, passed by the California State Legislature in early April, dedicates over $50 billion to transportation projects through increased fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees, yet that only partially fills the gap. This free, half-day summit looks at various strategies the state, local and regional governments as well as transportation agencies are taking to address California’s transportation needs. MTI will present the results from the eighth year of a national public opinion poll on various tax options for raising federal revenues for transportation.

Confirmed speakers
Welcome: Karen Philbrick, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute
Opening remarks: Norman Mineta, U.S. Secretary of Transportation (Ret.)
Keynote: Jim Beall, Chairman, California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee

Panelists
Asha Agrawal, Ph.D., Director, Mineta Transportation Institute’s National Transportation Finance Center; Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, San Jose State University
Nuria Fernandez, General Manager and CEO, Valley Transportation Authority
Steve Heminger, Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Bill Higgins, Executive Director, California Association of Councils of Governments

Mon 6/19

Image - Manal al-Sharif

Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening

Date: Mon, June 19, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Women's right to drive

Manal al-Sharif, B.S., Computer Science; Women's Rights Activist
Banafsheh Keynoush, Ph.D., International Law and Diplomacy—Moderator

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Manal al-Sharif, who was named one of Times' 100 most influential people in 2012 and received the Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent, went from being a niqab-wearing conservative to one of the most eminent voices of the women's rights movement in the Middle East. Although she was the first woman to work in the information security division of Armco, she was forbidden to drive off campus. In 2011, when she learned that the driving ban for women was custom and not law, al-Sharif became the face of the Women2Drive movement. She was imprisoned after posting a video of herself driving. Al-Sharif will describe her fascinating story and provide an enlightened look at the current state of women in Saudi society.

Image - Week to Week

Week to Week Politics Roundtable and Social Hour 6/19/17

Date: Mon, June 19, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Insight into political issues, delivered with expertise and wit

Carson Bruno, Assistant Dean for Admission and Program Relations, School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University; Author, California Realpolitik Newsletter; Twitter
Barbara Marshman, Editorial Pages Editor, Mercury News; Twitter
Dan Schnur, Director, Los Angeles Region of the American Jewish Committee; Former Chairman, California's Fair Political Practices Commission; Former Director, Unruh Institute; Twitter

Let's get together for a special summertime Week to Week.

It's never a dull moment in politics these days, and we'll discuss the biggest, most controversial and sometimes the surprising political issues with expert commentary by panelists who are smart, are civil, and have a good sense of humor. Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, audience discussion of the week’s events, and our live news quiz!

And come early before the program to meet other smart and engaged individuals and discuss the news over snacks and wine at our member social (open to all attendees). 

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Socrates Café

Date: Mon, June 19, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Ongoing Socrates forum
On one Monday evening of every month the Humanities Forum sponsors Socrates Café at The Commonwealth Club. Each meeting is devoted to the discussion of a philosophical topic chosen at that meeting. The group's facilitator, John Nyquist, invites participants to suggest topics, which are then voted on. The person who proposed the most popular topic is asked to briefly explain why she or he considers that topic interesting and important. An open discussion follows, and the meeting ends with a summary of the various perspectives participants expressed. Everyone is welcome to attend.
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SFDebate

Date: Mon, June 19, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Biweekly debate

The SFDebate is an open forum for discussion on the events of our time. It is a place where you will not only be exposed to opposing points of view, but a safe place where you will be encouraged to find and speak up for yours. SFDebate is also a meeting of minds, and we follow every meeting with continued debate and conversation at a nearby bar/restaurant.

Click here to sign up for this program via Meetup. 

Tue 6/20

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Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan

Date: Tue, June 20, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
The state of the economy

Current Economic Conditions and Implications for Monetary Policy

Robert Kaplan, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Former Professor and Associate Dean, Harvard Business School

Here’s a rare chance to hear from an officer of the Federal Reserve on the state of the economy and where it’s headed.

Having served as the 30th president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas since September 8, 2015, Robert Steven Kaplan represents the 11th Federal Reserve District on the Federal Open Market Committee in the formulation of U.S. monetary policy. He oversees the 1,200 employees of the Dallas Federal Reserve.

Before his work at the Federal Reserve, Kaplan served as the Martin Marshall professor of management practice and a senior associate dean at Harvard Business School. Prior to this, Kaplan was the vice chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., where he was given global responsibility for the firm's investment banking and investment management divisions. During his 23-year career at Goldman Sachs, Kaplan served in various other capacities. He was the global co-head of the investment banking division. He was also a member of the firm’s management committee and served as co-chairman of the firm’s partnership committee and as chairman of the Goldman Sachs Pine Street leadership program.

Kaplan serves as co-chairman of Project ALS and as co-chairman of the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a global venture philanthropy firm that invests in developing nonprofit enterprises dedicated to addressing social issues. He is also a board member of Harvard Medical School. Born and raised in Kansas, Kaplan holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Kansas and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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LGBT Activist Cleve Jones: When We Rise

Date: Tue, June 20, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
AIDS Memorial Quilt founder

Cleve Jones, American Human Rights Activist; Lecturer; Organizer, UNITE HERE; Author, When We RiseStitching a Revolution 
Mark Leno, Former California State Senator—Moderator

In an emotional roller coaster of real experiences, Cleve Jones will take you through the gay liberation movement and AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. Jones will share how Harvey Milk became the first largely outspoken gay elected official—as well as Jones' mentor. Jones keeps Milk’s legacy and the gay liberation movement alive, aspiring to have a similar impact on young adults as Milk had on Jones. Come hear Jones’ inspiring words on the political movement.

Jones joined the gay liberation movement in the early 1970s. He was mentored by pioneer LGBT activist Harvey Milk and worked in Milk’s City Hall office as a student intern until Milk’s assassination in 1978. Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in 1983. In 1987, he founded the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, one of the world’s largest community arts projects.

Jones was portrayed by Emile Hirsch in Milk, Gus Van Sant’s Oscar-winning film, and served as the historical consultant for the production. In 2009, Jones led the National Equality March in Washington, D.C. He served on the advisory board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which challenged California’s Proposition 8 in the U.S. Supreme Court. In November 2016, ABC aired a miniseries partially inspired by Jones’ 2016 memoir, When We Rise.

Wed 6/21

Image - Gloria Dunn-Violin

How to Revive and Revitalize Your Life After Retirement

Date: Wed, June 21, 2017
Time: 5:15 PM
Aging with grace

Gloria Dunn-Violin, Author, Workshop Leader, Motivational Speaker

Learn how to transform retirement into "revivement" and revitalize your later years. We will cover: how leading-edge scientific research can inform you in making your brain smarter and younger, how to influence your genes, and how to increase your longevity. Also learn how to plan the rest of your life—and about the beauty of age as well as the nine pillars to having a life of meaning and fulfillment. Is there something you always wanted to do? Areas you wanted to explore? Ideas you wanted to create? Accomplishments you wanted to achieve? Now is the time! Learn how to make your next years your best years.

Image - Brynjolfsson and McAfee

Creating Our Digital World with Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

Date: Wed, June 21, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
MIT's Initiative on the Digital Economy

Erik Brynjolfsson, Director, MIT Center for Digital Business; Co-Author, Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future
Andrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist, MIT Center for Digital Business; Co-Author, Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future

We live in a time when machines outplay humans at strategy games, new companies such as Apple and Google destroy industry stalwarts, and ideas from the crowd are repeatedly more innovative than corporate research labs. Come hear Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, co-founders of MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy, talk about the new dynamics between minds and machines, products and platforms, and the core and the crowd. Join us for an intriguing conversation on what the effects of the digital revolution are and how society is changing because of it.

Thu 6/22

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The Gay Bar in American History

Date: Thu, June 22, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The history of the gay bar

Nancy Unger, Professor of History, Santa Clara University

For more than 100 years, gay clubs and bars have served as havens and sanctuaries as well as party spots and hookup sites. They've been the centers of solidarity, community and education. They've also been the sites of violence and persecution that ultimately led to great advancements in pride, rights and freedoms. Unger's richly illustrated talk highlights the history of a long and colorful American tradition central to the LGBTQ community: the gay bar—from jook joints to the Stonewall Inn to Orlando's Pulse and beyond.

Image - Norberg and Henderson

Is America in Retreat? Film Screening and Discussion

Date: Thu, June 22, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
The great policy debate

Johan Norberg, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; Senior Fellow, European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels; Executive Editor, Free to Choose Media
David R. Henderson, Professor of Economics, Naval Postgraduate School; Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
Introduction by Bob Chitester, Chairman, President and CEO, Free To Choose Network and Free To Choose Media
Additional Panelists TBA

The new documentary Is America in Retreat? examines the greatest foreign policy debate of our decade and the hard questions American leaders face in dealing with a rapidly changing world order. Since the Second World War, the United States has been at the forefront of a Pax Americana—a period of relative peace guaranteed by U.S. military might. Today, that peace is threatened by an ambitious and aggressive foreign policy in China, Russian territorial claims and occupations in Eastern Europe, and deteriorating conditions in the Middle East and North Korea. More than half of Americans polled today believe we should “mind our own business.” Is there a downside to retreat, or does the world still require American global leadership? Come view a clip of the documentary. A discussion will follow.

Mon 6/26

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Middle East Forum Discussion

Date: Mon, June 26, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM
Discussion group

The Middle East Forum discussion group—which primarily covers the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan—has been meeting monthly for nine years. We are not a debate group. Each month we discuss timely, cultural subjects in a civil atmosphere with respect for others and their opinions.