Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Wed 12/16

Image - CorpsAfrica: Peace Corps for Africans

CorpsAfrica: Peace Corps for Africans

Date: Wed, December 16, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Africans helping themselves.

Liz Fanning, Founder and Executive Director, CorpsAfrica

CorpsAfrica was started by former Peace Corps volunteers to provide educated young Africans the chance to serve in their own countries, along the lines of the Peace Corps model. Young Africans are living in faraway regions of their own country, developing the kind of understanding of poverty that only comes from living it, and benefitting personally and professionally from the transformative experience of achieving successful development efforts. CorpsAfrica volunteers ask local people what they want, connect them to the resources of local, regional and international NGOs, and build the villagers' capacity to help themselves.

Cindy Crawford

A Conversation with Cindy Crawford

Date: Wed, December 16, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM

Cindy Crawford, Mom; Businesswoman; Model

This is a Good Lit event, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Cindy Crawford earned a reputation as one of the world’s top supermodels.

Cindy’s new memoir, Becoming, includes some of her favorite photos from her extensive portfolio and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the people and places that defined her career. Cindy also discusses her roles as a wife, mother and businesswoman and provides her unique take on issues like female empowerment, motherhood and aging.

Join us in welcoming Cindy to the INFORUM stage for a candid discussion about her iconic career, her life after modeling and the lessons that she has learned along the way. 

Mon 12/21

Image - Socrates Café

Socrates Café

Date: Mon, December 21, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Discussion of philosophical issues.

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.

Mon 1/4

Book Discussion: The Meursault Investigation, by Kamel Daoud

Date: Mon, January 04, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM

In this book, the young brother of “the Arab” killed in Camus’ book The Stranger meditates about the story 70 years after the killing. He writes from the nameless “stranger’s” perspective and about the murder’s effect on the brother and his mother. The failure of Camus to give even a name to the victim resonates throughout. However, this is more than a twist on the original. The Meursault Investigation is not only a profound meditation on Arab identity and the disastrous effects of colonialism in Algeria, but also a stunning work of literature in its own right, told in a unique and affecting voice.

Tue 1/5

Image - Poets, Painters and Spies: The Cultural Cold War in Latin America

Poets, Painters and Spies: The Cultural Cold War in Latin America

Date: Tue, January 05, 2016
Time: 11:30 AM

Patrick Iber, Assistant Professor of History, University of Texas, El Paso; Author, Neither Peace Nor Freedom

During the Cold War, left-wing Latin American artists, writers and scholars worked as diplomats, advised rulers, opposed dictators and even led nations. Their competing visions of social democracy and their pursuit of justice, peace and freedom led them to organizations sponsored by the governments of the Cold War powers: the Soviet-backed World Peace Council, the U.S.-supported Congress for Cultural Freedom and, after the 1959 Cuban Revolution, the homegrown Casa de las Américas. Neither Peace Nor Freedom delves into the entwined histories of these organizations and the aspirations and dilemmas of intellectuals who participated in them, from Diego Rivera and Pablo Neruda to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jorge Luis Borges.

Thu 1/7

Image - Russian Hill Walking Tour

Russian Hill Walking Tour

Date: Thu, January 07, 2016
Time: 1:45 PM

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 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 - Disrupting Politics As Usual

Disrupting Politics As Usual

Date: Thu, January 07, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Matt Mahan, CEO, Brigade
Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and Executive Director, Code for America
Dan Pfeiffer, Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama for Strategy and Communications

More than ever, technology companies have a reason to consider their political impact and policy positions—we’ve seen the results of this in important issues such as net neutrality, cyberbullying, immigration reform, voter registration and even same-sex marriage. As politicians embrace new media as the best way to communicate with their constituents, the role of technology leaders in government has grown.

Federal government officials and political campaign operatives based in Washington, D.C., are packing up and heading west to help tech companies navigate Washington’s complicated bureaucracy and to create new organizations that are working with politicians to tackle tough policy issues by approaching them with a tech-centric mindset. At the same time, the Bay Area’s top talent is being heavily recruited by political campaigns and the federal government to make our government more efficient and better prepared to serve the American people.

Join us for a panel discussion with federal government and campaign officials-turned-tech-experts who will break down how the tech community is working to disrupt politics as usual in Washington by bringing the spirit of innovation that drives the Bay Area across the country to the halls of Congress and the West Wing. 

Mon 1/11

Image - Values that Guide Healthcare Decisions

Values that Guide Healthcare Decisions

Date: Mon, January 11, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
A critical component of end-of-life choices

Mileva Saulo Lewis, Ed.D., RN, Associate Professor, Samuel Merritt University; Vice President, The Center for Medical Ethics and Mediation

The values that guide our medical treatment decisions become increasingly important when we face the sudden onset of a stroke or heart attack and become even more critical when we cannot speak for ourselves after serious trauma from a car accident or fall. Dr. Lewis' presentation draws on a values history approach developed at The Center for Medical Ethics and Mediation in San Diego, which examines the decision-making process and quality-of-life factors. It provides a way to shape and share health-care decisions with family and health-care providers, and to review or revise them as your health changes. It is a critical component of end-of-life choices.

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

Date: Mon, January 11, 2016
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 also will be conducting a series of ongoing deep-dive discussions into topics such as 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 1/12

Image - STEM to STEAM Movement

STEM to STEAM Movement

Date: Tue, January 12, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Donn K. Harris, Executive and Artistic Director, Oakland School for the Arts; Chairman, California Arts Council
Additional Speakers TBA

The STEM to STEAM movement takes the benefits of STEM and integrates access principles in and through the arts, connecting learning in these critical areas together with arts practices, elements, design principles and standards.

Donn Harris, executive and artistic director of Oakland School for the Arts and the chairman of the California Arts Council, is joined by science and technology leaders in talking about the future of STEAM at the center of transforming the 21st-century economy through research policy,education and workplace innovation. 

Thu 1/14

Image - Former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry

Former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry: A Personal Journey to Reduce the Nuclear Threat

Date: Thu, January 14, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

William Perry, Ph.D., U.S. Secretary of Defense 1994-97;Senior Fellow, Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute and Hoover Institution; Author, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink
Gloria Duffy, Ph.D., President and CEO, The Commonwealth Club; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Clinton Administration—Moderator

Part of The Club's Good Lit Series underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Here’s a chance to meet a remarkable statesman whose career has spanned academia, industry, entrepreneurship, government and diplomacy. Dr. Perry has dealt first-hand with the changing nuclear threat and worked to mitigate it. He was one of the Silicon Valley’s early entrepreneurs, founding a company that pioneered digital technologies in the race to understand the Soviet nuclear missile arsenal. His expertise led to advising the government on national security, including an urgent summons in October 1962 asking him to serve on the secret team analyzing U-2 photos exposing the Soviet installation of nuclear armed missiles in Cuba.

Perry’s appointment as undersecretary of defense for research and engineering in the late 1970s put him at the helm of crafting a defense strategy that would usher in the age of stealth, smart weapons, GPS, and sophisticated technologies and weaponry that changed the face of modern warfare. As secretary of Defense, Dr. Perry galvanized efforts to secure nuclear stockpiles inherited by former Soviet states and presided over the dismantlement of more than 8,000 nuclear weapons. Since then he has unrelentingly practiced a unique form of diplomacy that blends his warm personal relationships with officials in many countries with diplomatic initiatives focusing on the world’s most critical security hotspots, including North Korea, Iran, Russia and China.

In 2007, Dr. Perry, George Shultz, Sam Nunn and Henry Kissinger together formed the Nuclear Security Project, to share the vision of a world free from nuclear weapons with urgent but practical steps that can be taken immediately to reduce nuclear dangers. To implement this imperative, Dr. Perry also founded the William J. Perry Project in 2013.

Tue 1/19

At Home with Growing Old: Activism Starts in Your Own Home

Date: Tue, January 19, 2016
Time: 5:15 PM

Susanne Stadler, MBA, MArch, Architect, Social Entrepreneur

Our homes are a resource for us as we age. Though age-friendly design is often about grab bars and ramps for supporting mobility and preventing accidents, it is most of all about living well in our homes. Architect and social entrepreneur Susi Stadler will help the audience discover the potential of our homes to adapt to our changing needs.

She will teach us how, by demanding practical, creative and elegant solutions, to arrive at a different way of living in our homes by seeing age-friendly design as a way to enhance overall quality of life. 

Wed 1/20

Image - Jacob Weisberg

Ronald Reagan

Date: Wed, January 20, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Jacob Weisberg, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, The Slate Group; Former Editor, Slate Magazine; Author, Ronald Reagan

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

Since Ronald Reagan left office, he has been cast in marble by Republicans and dismissed by Democrats. The years 1981 to 1989 were a time of economic crisis and recovery, American assertiveness abroad, and an engagement with the Soviet Union that moved in surprising directions, laying the groundwork for the end of the Cold War. Weisberg provides a bracing portrait of Reagan and the ideas that animated his political career, including his belief that nuclear weapons were immoral and ought to be eliminated, helping us understand why his presidency turned out to be so consequential. 

Thu 1/21

Image - 10 Ways to Heal Health Care

10 Ways to Heal Health Care: How Consumers Can Revolutionize Their Care Experience

Date: Thu, January 21, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

Bridget Duffy, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Vocera Communications; Recognized by Various Media as 2015 Woman of the Year, One of the Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business for 2015, and Among 20 People Who Make Healthcare Better

How can it be that customers often rate their experience at the DMV as better, more timely and less painful than their experience at the hospital? Despite enormous sums spent on health care and extensive training of professionals, patients are largely dissatisfied with the service they receive. A growing body of evidence points to the human experience as a key driver for improved patient satisfaction, health outcomes and loyalty.

How can we turn this around? What role can patients, with unprecedented access to health-care information, play in a system that historically has disempowered them? What is a realistic vision of a patient-centric system that delivers both medical care and compassionate health-care journeys?

Dr. Bridget Duffy, the nation’s first chief experience officer at the Cleveland Clinic and the leader of the patient experience movement, has spent more than 20 years defining the components of an ideal healing environment. Relentless in her mission to fix this broken system, Dr. Duffy will share 10 ways to restore humanity, respect and trusted relationships in health care. 

Image - Chinatown Walking Tour

Chinatown Walking Tour

Date: Thu, January 21, 2016
Time: 1:45 PM

Enjoy a Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure. Join Rick Evans for a memorable midday walk and discover the history and mysteries of Chinatown. Explore colorful alleys and side streets. Visit a Taoist temple, an herbal store, the site of the first public school in the state, and the famous Fortune Cookie Factory.

Fri 1/22

Israel and European Union Relations

Date: Fri, January 22, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

Ravit Baer, Deputy Consul General for Israel for the Pacific Northwest

Baer who was born in Jerusalem and received her law degrees at Hebrew University served as legal advisor to the prime minister's office until she became a career diplomat in 2004. Her first posts were to the Ivory Coast and to Cyprus. Before coming to San Francisco this August, as the deputy consul general for the Pacific Northwest, Baer served as desk officer for Israel's Department of Multilateral Institutions, coordinating Israel's cooperation with the European Union, NATO, etc. She will discuss her experiences and comment on the European situation with regards to Israel.

Mon 1/25

Socrates Café

Date: Mon, January 25, 2016
Time: 5:00 PM

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. 

Image - Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 1/25/16

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 1/25/16

Date: Mon, January 25, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Starting a presidential election year in style

Panelists TBA

It's a new year—and a presidential election year!

Join us as we explore 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).

Tue 1/26

Health and Hope from the Ocean Depths to the Mountain Tops

Date: Tue, January 26, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Arlene Blum, Executive Director, Green Science Policy Institute
Liz Cunningham, Author; Environmental Activist

From the depths of the ocean to the highest mountain summits, our planet is under assault as never before. From very different perspectives, two female adventurers share their extraordinary worldwide experiences to inspire action to meet urgent environmental challenges that face us now and in the future. Their message is one of inspiration and hope that all of us working together can save and preserve the wild and wonderful environments on our planet. Learn about their work, adventures and inspiration, now and for the future of planet earth. 

Image - Ellie Krieger: Fabulous Healthy Meals

Ellie Krieger: Fabulous Healthy Meals

Date: Tue, January 26, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
The secret of do-ahead meals

Ellie Krieger, Author, You Have It Made: Delicious, Healthy, Do-Ahead Meals; Twitter

This event is part of our Food lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation

Ellie Krieger, New York Times best-selling and award-winning author, has written a cookbook devoted to the kind of recipes that her fans have been waiting for—"make-ahead meals." For those who are always short on time when it comes to cooking, her recipes—which include breakfast bakes, soups, salads, casseroles, and more—can all be prepared ahead of time, making putting food on the table that much easier.