Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Thu 10/22

Arts Forum Planning Meeting

Date: Thu, October 22, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM

Our meeting is open to all members who have an interest in the visual and performing arts. We welcome your ideas and your energy. This is a chance for you to take a more active role in planning the Club’s calendar of events.

Image - Civil Saints and Civic Pride in the Renaissance City-State

Civil Saints and Civic Pride in the Renaissance City-State

Date: Thu, October 22, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With assistant professor Mary Doyno

Mary Harvey Doyno, Assistant Professor, Humanities and Religious Studies, CSU Sacramento

Campanilismo is the Italian term for civic pride, something that was a quintessential part of life in Italian city-states during the Renaissance. During this time, the city-state provided a crucial piece of identity: a person was a Sienese, Florentine or Venetian above all else, and the veneration of a city’s patron saint was key when creating this all-encompassing civic identity. Join us as Doyno explains how the Italian Renaissance society was championing a return to an ancient, pre-Christian worldview, while at the same time creating complex civil religions steeped in devotion to Christian saints.

China and The U.S.: Can Conflict Be Avoided?

Date: Thu, October 22, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
The world is watching

Zhang Weiwei, Professor and Director, Centre for China Development Model Research, Fudan University; Director, SASS Institute of China Studies
Gary Roughead, Admiral USN (Ret.), Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution; Former Commander, U.S. Pacific and Atlantic Fleets

News headlines frequently present China in a less than positive light, with reports of government-sponsored computer hacking, worsening bilateral trade and an unprecedented military buildup. The world is watching to see if China and the U.S. can avoid falling into Thucydides’ trap, a popular empirical observation from history that a rising power and a reigning power inevitably end up in bitter conflict. Join us to hear nuanced Chinese and American perspectives on what each side needs to do to avoid a disastrous war.

Fri 10/23

Image - Lebanon


Date: Fri, October 23, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM

Eddy Simonian, Masters in International Studies

Maher Kalaji, Ph.D. Chemistry — Moderator

Lebanon has been plagued by war, political instability and refugee crises since its inception as a country in 1920. Simonian, an Assyrian Christian who was raised in Lebanon, will discuss the complicated ethnic and religious history of Lebanon and the sectarian conflict, which was the topic of his 2011 master’s thesis.

Image - U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood Randall

U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood Randall

Date: Fri, October 23, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM

Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood Randall, Deputy Energy Secretary; Former White House Coordinator for Defense Policy
Dr. Gloria Duffy, President and CEO, The Commonwealth Club—Moderator

Protecting America’s Energy Infrastructure

Deputy Energy Secretary Sherwood Randall will discuss resiliency in the energy sector related to natural and man-made threats, including those in the cyber domain. She will focus on the Department of Energy’s diverse initiatives to strengthen and protect the nation&;s energy infrastructure, and how the department partners with the private sector to support shared resiliency goals.

Dr. Sherwood-Randall has served as second in command at the Energy Department since October 2014. She joined the Obama administration on day one, serving from 2009 to 2013 as special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council, and from 2013 to 2014 as White House coordinator for defense policy, countering weapons of mass destruction, and arms control. Before joining President Obama’s team, Dr. Sherwood-Randall worked at Stanford University, Harvard University, and the Council on Foreign Relations. In the Clinton Administration, she served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia from 1994 to 1996. Dr. Sherwood-Randall attended college at Harvard and then went on to graduate school at Oxford University, where she was among the very early ranks of female Rhodes Scholars. After finishing her education, she began her career working for then-Senator Joe Biden as his chief advisor on foreign and defense policy.


Mon 10/26

Humanities West Book Discussion: Dante’s Divine Comedy (Book 3)

Date: Mon, October 26, 2015
Time: 5:00 PM

Join us to discuss paradise within Dante’s Divine Comedy with discussion leader Lynn Harris. The Clive James’s translation will be used, which took decades to finish and renders the entire epic as a coherent and compulsively readable lyric poem. The translation reproduces the same wonderful momentum of the original Italian, propelling the reader along the pilgrim’s path, from hell to heaven, from despair to revelation.

Socrates Café

Date: Mon, October 26, 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.
Image - Flame Out

Flame Out

Date: Mon, October 26, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM

Arlene Blum, Executive Director, Green Science Policy Institute
Mark Leno, California State Senator
James Redford, Director, Toxic Hot Seat
John Olech, Director of Global Partner Operations, Crate and Barrel 
Greg Dalton, Founder and Host, Climate One—Moderator

What chemicals might be migrating into your body when you are vegging on the couch watching TV? A new California law allows furniture manufacturers to meet fire safety standards without toxic chemicals. But labels are often confusing, and even the most conscientious retailers and consumers can be misled. Join us for a program to explain what might be lurking in your couch or your closet and what to look for as an informed consumer.

Tue 10/27

Image - The Most Famous Grizzly Bear

The Most Famous Grizzly Bear: How Will She and Other Grizzlies Survive U.S. Trophy Shootings?

Date: Tue, October 27, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Todd Wilkinson, Journalist; Author
Thomas D. Mangelsen, American Wildlife Photographer
Bruce Hamilton, Deputy Executive Director, Sierra Club

Since 1975, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the grizzly bear as “threatened,” with the goal of recovering the animal’s range and helping populations recover. Today, the federal government may soon remove grizzly bears’ protection under the Endangered Species Act, allowing people again to trophy hunt grizzly bears across the United States. Join in a discussion with Wilkinson, Mangelsen and Hamilton about what will happen to the iconic animals if the destructive and threatening sport of trophy hunting is revived.

Wed 10/28

Image - Understanding Digital Video and the Future of Social Media

Understanding Digital Video and the Future of Social Media

Date: Wed, October 28, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Jon Leland, Founding Director of Creative Services, USA Network; Author, Internet Marketing: 8 Key Concepts Every Business MUST Know

Social media, mobile marketing and cloud-based computing are the most widely understood mega-trends that are revolutionizing online communications. In this eye-opening presentation, media innovator and pioneer Jon Leland goes a step further to illuminate how these new forms of multimedia—and digital video in particular—are creating revolutionary new channels that are democratizing media consumption and creation. Consumers are more empowered, but so are businesses and organizations as well as content creators. Anyone can now reach customers, audiences and constituencies in entirely new ways.

Surprisingly, in Leland's view, the real power is fueled by humanistic values, such as authentic engagement. Leland will explain the long-term implications of these fresh new digital video and social media ecosystems, including the veritable explosion in video-based pay-per-click advertising (via Facebook and YouTube), new content sponsorship trends (via Kickstarter and Patreon) and the latest music offering from Apple.

Image - Joe Klein: Time Columnist

Joe Klein: Time Columnist

Date: Wed, October 28, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
War heroes' stories of inspiration and leadership.

Joe Klein, Columnist, Time; Author, Charlie Mike: A True Story of Heroes Who Brought Their Mission Home
Holly Kernan, Executive Editor, KQED News—Moderator

A Good Lit program underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation

To serve your country can mean more than shipping off overseas to fight a war. Navy SEAL veteran Eric Greitens and former Marine Sergeant Jake Wood prove that in their stories of inspiration and leadership. After returning from their tours, both Greitens and Wood had a sense of futility, and when they met with other veterans, they found that many wanted to continue to serve their country regardless of their injuries. So Greitens founded The Mission Continues program. He and fellow leader Wood, along with other determined veterans, have worked together to provide public services within their local communities.

Join us as author Joe Klein, who wrote about these two heroes’ stories, discusses how Greitens and Wood have saved the lives of those who gave everything they had for their country.

Mon 11/2

Book Discussion: The Money Changers, by Upton Sinclair

Date: Mon, November 02, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
A tangled web of unscrupulous power brokers!

Sinclair’s novel about the 1907 stock panic explores the inner workings of Wall Street at the time. In the novel, a prosperous New York lawyer, Montague, tries to help an old friend from Mississippi, who’s just moved to the city, sell a block of stock. Lucy, whose beauty makes men's hearts skip a beat, is eager to move forward and establish herself in the right social circles. But with that one transaction, they unwittingly became tangled in a web of unscrupulous power brokers who’ve concocted a daring scheme to manipulate the stock market for personal gain. Could such greed and corruption have modern parallels?

Image - The 49ers Champion Levi’s® Stadium: The First LEED Gold New Stadiu

The 49ers Champion Levi’s® Stadium: The First LEED Gold New Stadium and Venue

Date: Mon, November 02, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Learn about sustainable management, design, function and construction

Jim Mercurio, Vice President of Stadium Management and General Manager of Levi's® Stadium
Pat Rogan, Director of Engineering Operations, 49ers Stadium Management Company

Achieving the LEED gold certification for the 49ers new home field is the first such championship achievement for a new stadium. Its builders hope it will serve as a model for sports leadership in environmental design and construction worldwide. Join us to learn about the sustainable management, design, function and construction of the Levi's Stadium — home to the 49ers and host of Super Bowl 50 in February 2016. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design [LEED] gold rating is determined by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Image - Power Drive

Power Drive

Date: Mon, November 02, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
The future of cars in California.

Alexandre Bayen, Liao-Cho Professor of Engineering and Director, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley
Diarmuid O’Connell, Vice President of Business Development, Tesla

Tesla’s provocative cars have insanely fast acceleration while electric cars overall have been slow out of the gate—stubborn high costs, range anxiety, and cheap gas are all factors. While Tesla is all-in on batteries, Toyota is bullish on hydrogen cars and California is spending millions of dollars to support them. Chevrolet is racing Tesla to the middle market with its Chevy Bolt, a new battery electric car that promises a range of 200 miles for about $30,000.

Are auto dealers also putting speed bumps in the way of EVs? Is their business model challenged by cars with fewer parts and fluids to fix and replace? Transit advocates say Californians need to go in a different direction and get out of their cars, using transit to avoid more gridlock and reduce emissions that are driving severe weather. That may be a challenge when autonomous cars promise the allure of legally surfing the web while cruising the highways. Join us for a conversation about the future of cars in California in the era of high technology and high carbon pollution.

Wed 11/4

Image - Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 11/4/15

Date: Wed, November 04, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
An election-time political roundtable!

Josh Richman, State and National Politics Reporter, Bay Area News Group; Political Blogger, ibabuzz.com/politics; Twitter  
Debra J. Saunders, Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle; "Token Conservative" Blogger, SFGate.com; Twitter  
Additional Panelists TBA

For the day after Election Day, 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 stay after 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).

Image - Your Health, Your Wealth: Seven Steps to Planning Ahead for Long-Term Care

Your Health, Your Wealth: Seven Steps to Planning Ahead for Long-Term Care

Date: Wed, November 04, 2015
Time: 5:15 PM

Denise Michaud, CLTC, Independent Insurance Broker

Most people used to rely upon family for their long-term care. In the 1960s, insurance for nursing home and home care was developed, later called LTC insurance, to provide funds for professional caregivers. Over time there have been many changes to LTC insurance, and new types of products have been introduced. Learn how to decide how much LTC insurance to buy versus relying upon your own assets, your family members or MediCal.

Mon 11/9

Challenges in Covering International News

Date: Mon, November 09, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
With former CNN VP Parisa Khosravi

Parisa Khosravi, Former Vice President for Global Relations and News Gathering, CNN
Robert Rosenthal, Executive Director, Center for Investigative Reporting – Moderator

CNN has said that no one has played a greater role in the emergence and dominance of CNN international news gathering than Parisa Khosravi. Khosravi, a journalist and expert in crisis risk management, has covered some of the world's most dangerous places. She will now discuss her experiences relating to important world leaders and covering historic events such as the Iraqi War, the Arab Spring and Syria.

Image - America's Future Role in Global Security

America's Future Role in Global Security

Date: Mon, November 09, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Monday Night Philosophy revisits America’s foreign policy

Eugene Gholz, Stanley Kaplan Visiting Professor of American Foreign Policy, Williams College
David M. Kennedy, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus, Stanford University; Author, Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War (Pulitzer Prize)
Kori Schake, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution

Monday Night Philosophy revisits America’s foreign policy. The United States a neutral nation for 150 years after its inception, observing George Washington’s “Great Rule.” Following the Truman Doctrine, some argue that the U.S. has acted as the world's policeman for the past 70 years. Are we ready for a third phase of American history? Is the global community ready? The panelists will debate questions and possibilities regarding the U.S. as an empire or an umpire for the rest of the world, raised in the forthcoming PBS documentary, American Umpire, based upon the book by Elizabeth Cobbs.

Activist/Philanthropist Jacob Lief: How to Help Society’s Most Vulnerable

Date: Mon, November 09, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Addressing challenges throughout the world

Jacob Lief, Founder and CEO, Ubuntu; Author, I Am Because You Are Here
In conversation with Daniel Lurie, CEO and Founder, Tipping Point Community

When Jacob Lief cofounded Ubuntu Education Fund in 1999, it started small, trying to address a single aspect of the educational crisis in South Africa. He quickly realized that even when students had books, pencils and notebooks, many continued to struggle in the classroom, distracted by hunger, issues at home and HIV/AIDS. As Ubuntu grew, he discovered that a traditional development model does not have the capacity to address the complex challenges that the community faces. Redefining the theory of “going to scale,” Ubuntu targets comprehensive household stability, health and educational services to a community of 400,000 people, focusing on the depth rather than the breadth of their impact.

Daniel Lurie’s Tipping Point Community has raised more than $80 million and reached more than 365,000 people in need in the Bay Area. Join Lief and Lurie for a conversation that challenges status-quo ideas about philanthropy and education and offers a unique approach to helping vulnerable populations throughout the world.

Tue 11/10

Patient Safety: Get the Diagnosis Right

Date: Tue, November 10, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Join the discussion with medical experts

Elizabeth McGlynn, Ph.D., Director, Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research, Kaiser Permanente
Urmimala Sarkar, M.D., MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine, UCSF
Kathryn McDonald, M.M., Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, Stanford University
George Lundberg, M.D., Professor, Pathology, Health Research Policy, Stanford University; Editor-at-Large, Medscape; Founder, The Lundberg Institute – Moderator

Modern medical science accepts it as fact that no one can know absolute medical truth. It is understood that diagnoses act as shortcuts for quickly conveying a common understanding of what certain symptoms imply about a body's state of health. But diagnostic errors can be as lethal as therapeutic errors. The fifth annual Lundberg Institute Lecture welcomes three panelists from the National Academy of Medicine's Committee on Diagnostic Error in Health Care. They will discuss current knowledge of the dangers of false diagnoses in terms of its economic and personal costs. Join the discussion with medical experts focusing on how to improve diagnostic clarity and effectiveness.