Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Wed 6/15

Image - Time to Choose

Time to Choose

Date: Wed, June 15, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Screening and filmmaker discussion.

Charles Ferguson, Oscar-Winning Director, Inside Job

This documentary from Academy Award winner Charles Ferguson examines the power of climate solutions already available. Through interviews with world-renowned entrepreneurs, innovators and brave individuals living on the front lines of climate change, Ferguson takes an In-depth look at the remarkable people working to save our economy and planet.

Post-screening conversation with Charles Ferguson and Climate One’s Greg Dalton.

Image - Week to Week at The Commonwealth Club

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Social Hour 6/15/16

Date: Wed, June 15, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Timely and lively political commentary, plus a social hour

Joe Garofoli, Senior Political Writer, San Francisco Chronicle; Twitter  
Debra J. Saunders, Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle; "Token Conservative" Blogger, sfgate.com; Twitter  
Additional Panelist TBA

We'll 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).

Thu 6/16

Image - Dr Lucy Kalanithi

Dr. Lucy Kalanithi: When Breath Becomes Air

Date: Thu, June 16, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Lucy Kalanithi, M.D., Faculty, Stanford School of Medicine; Widow of Dr. Paul Kalanithi, Author of When Breath Becomes Air
In conversation with Mark Zitter, Co-founder and Former Chairman, Vital Decisions

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

Stanford neurosurgery resident Paul Kalanithi was 36 years old when he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. A gifted writer, he spent the last two years of his life giving birth to both a baby and a book. When Breath Becomes Air describes his experience as a doctor facing a terminal illness. The book became an instant hit, reaching number one on The New York Times best-seller list. Paul Kalanithi’s widow, Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, shepherded the book through publication and wrote a moving epilogue. She will be interviewed by Mark Zitter as part of the Commonwealth Club’s ongoing series on end-of-life issues. The session will include readings from the book.

An internist on faculty at the Stanford School of Medicine, Dr. Kalanithi completed her medical degree at Yale, where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society. She did her residency at the University of California San Francisco and postdoctoral fellowship training in health-care delivery innovation at Stanford’s Clinical Excellence Research Center. At the cross-section of her career as a medical professional and her personal experience standing alongside her husband during his life, diagnosis, treatment and death, Dr. Kalanithi has special interests in health-care value, meaning in medicine, patient-centered care and end-of-life care. She has appeared on "PBS NewsHour," "NPR Morning Edition," and "Yahoo News with Katie Couric," and has been interviewed by People and The New York Times. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her daughter, Elizabeth Acadia.

Fri 6/17

Image - Mineta National Transportation Policy Summit

7th Annual Mineta National Transportation Finance Summit: Superior Infrastructure = Economic Success

Date: Fri, June 17, 2016
Time: 8:15 AM

Brian Kelly, Secretary, California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA)—Keynote
Norman Y. Mineta, Secretary (ret.), U.S. Department of Transportation
Asha Agrawal, Ph.D., Director, Mineta Institute’s National Transportation Finance Center
Grace Crunican, General Manager, Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART)
Steve Heminger, Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Division
Tim Rainey, Executive Director, California Workforce Development Board
Karen Philbrick, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute

Congress says that Americans won’t pay more taxes and fees for mobility. Is that true? What exactly are the funding challenges and how are transportation leaders addressing them?

At this summit, MTI will present the results of year seven of a national public opinion poll asking more than 1,500 Americans if they would support various tax options for raising federal transportation revenues, including a special focus on understanding support for increasing revenues for public transit. The event will begin with a keynote address by California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly, followed by a presentation of survey results by Dr. Asha Agrawal, director of the Mineta Transportation Institute's National Transportation Finance. A panel of experts will then discuss their viewpoints.

Image - Catherine Williamson

A Rare Book Day in June

Date: Fri, June 17, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

Catherine Williamson, Ph.D., Vice President, Director of Fine Books & Manuscripts/Entertainment Memorabilia, Bonhams, Los Angeles

Dr. Catherine Williamson, who frequently appears as an appraiser for PBS' "Antiques Roadshow," is vice president and director of fine books and manuscripts/entertainment memorabilia at Bonhams in Los Angeles. She will talk about the challenges and issues facing appraisers and collectors today, and share stories of some great discoveries on the "Roadshow"—and elsewhere.

Mon 6/20

Image - Senator Barbara Boxer

Senator Barbara Boxer: The Art of Tough

Date: Mon, June 20, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senator (D-California); Author, The Art of Tough: Fearlessly Facing Politics and Life; Twitter
Mary Marcy, President, Dominican University of California—Moderator

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

"One goal of this memoir is to inspire people to fight for change. It takes what I call the 'art of tough,' and I've had to do it all my life." —Senator Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer has made her mark, combining compassionate advocacy with outspokenness in a political career spanning more than three decades. Now, retiring from the U.S. Senate, she continues the work to which she's dedicated 30 years in Congress. She will share her provocative and touching recollections of service, and her commitment to the fight for women, families, quality, environmental protection—all in a peaceful world.

Sometimes lauded, sometimes vilified, but always standing tough, Boxer fought for her values even when her personal convictions conflicted with her party or the majority rule.

Image - Jake Myrick

The Sake Revolution: Sequoia Sake

Date: Mon, June 20, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
Listen, learn and taste

Jake Myrick, Co-Founder, Sequoia Sake

Sequoia Sake, which produces the first artisan sake (pronounced sa-KEH) in San Francisco, is leading the next revolution in beverages. Sequoia blends the traditional art of making sake learned from Japan, where it has been brewed for more than 2,000 years, with the enterprising spirit and unique qualities of San Francisco. Sequoia produces small batches of hand-crafted, premium sake with full rich flavors. It is part of the new American “micro-sake” revolution. Myrick will help us understand how sake is made and how to enjoy its complex flavors and varieties. Come hear and taste!

Socrates Café

Date: Mon, June 20, 2016
Time: 6:30 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.

Tue 6/21

Image - Debbie Shore

End Childhood Hunger: What You Can Do to Help

Date: Tue, June 21, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

Debbie Shore, Co-Founder, Share our Strength

Childhood hunger is a problem that threatens an entire generation of future leaders, innovators and problem-solvers. Share Our Strength's primary mission is "to end hunger and poverty in the United States and abroad by mobilizing industries and individuals, and creating community wealth to promote lasting change.

Educators, parents, and anyone involved with kids and interested in eliminating hunger can attend and come away with ideas and direction about what to do to help end childhood hunger.

Image - William Kristol

William Kristol: Where Is the Republican Party Headed?

Date: Tue, June 21, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard; Political Commentator and Columnist
Kori Schake, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution—Moderator

William Kristol has been called “the godfather of neoconservativism.” Most recently, he has been outspoken in his concern over a Donald Trump presidency, having said, “Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination makes Hillary Clinton president for the next four years, probably.” He has also written, “Donald Trump has brought to light the rot of an ideological movement that many of us had thought was alive and reasonably well. He has revealed, to some degree, the degradation of a public for whom many of us had higher hopes and expectations.”

Kristol is the editor of The Weekly Standard, a regular on ABC’s "This Week" and on ABC’s special events and election coverage, and appears frequently on other leading political commentary shows. Before starting The Weekly Standard in 1995, he led the Project for the Republican Future, where he helped shape the strategy that produced the 1994 Republican congressional victory. Prior to that, Kristol served as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle during the first Bush Administration and to Education Secretary William Bennett under President Reagan. Before coming to Washington in 1985, Mr. Kristol was on the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Here’s chance to hear from one of the major voices of the Republican establishment on where the party and the country are headed.

Image - Emma Cline, courtesy of and copyright Emma Cline

An Evening with Emma Cline, Author of “The Girls”

Date: Tue, June 21, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Emma Cline, Author, The Girls
Claire Bidwell Smith, Grief Therapist; Mother; Author, The Rules of Inheritance and After This: When Life is Over, Where Do We Go?—Moderator

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

The Girls, the forthcoming, highly anticipated debut novel by Emma Cline, tells the story of Evie, a young woman who gets drawn into the mysterious world of a gang of girls and quickly finds herself immersed in their world and in over her head.

Emma’s writing has been praised by everyone from Lena Dunham to Mark Haddon for her deeply insightful observations about girls and the women they become. Emma rose to prominence when she signed a three book deal in 2014, at the age of 25.

Join INFORUM at The Commonwealth Club of California for a riveting evening with Emma.

Wed 6/22

Image - Nancy Easton

Wellness in the Schools

Date: Wed, June 22, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

Nancy E. Easton, Co-Founder/Executive Director, Wellness in the Schools

Wellness in the Schools inspires healthy eating, environmental awareness and fitness as a way of life for kids in public schools. Through meaningful public/private partnerships with school leadership, teachers, chefs, coaches, parents and kids, WITS develops and implements programs that provide healthy foods, healthy environments and opportunities for regular play to help kids learn and grow. Today WITS programs serve approximately 30,000 public school children across New York City, Kentucky, and Florida.

In an effort to combat childhood obesity and create healthier learning environments, Wellness in the Schools (WITS) developed Cook for Kids and Coach for Kids, hands-on food and fitness programs that are poised for replication nationwide. Cook for Kids has even received national accolades from First Lady Michelle Obama, and the WITS model served as inspiration for the Chefs Move to Schools Initiative.

Image - Larry Jacobson

Sail into Retirement

Date: Wed, June 22, 2016
Time: 5:15 PM

Larry Jacobson, Author; Speaker; Retirement Transition Coach

Larry Jacobson will describe how to make a meaningful and fulfilling transition from career to retirement. Jacobson is a non-financial retirement transition coach whose coaching program, "Sail into Retirement," is specifically designed to answer the question "What am I going to do with my time in retirement?" Not accepting that retirement is a time to stop growing, he will describe how he coaches clients to discover untapped passions beyond their previous careers, and combines these passions with the knowledge from their vocations to build a plan of action for a retirement of fulfillment and purpose.

Thu 6/23

Image - Beth Greer

How to Have a Holistic, Healthy, Happy Home: Solutions for Parents of Kids with Challenges

Date: Thu, June 23, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

Beth Greer, Award-winning Journalist; Environmental Health Advocate; Holistic Lifestyle Educator; Author, Super Natural Home: Improve Your Health, Home and Planet … One Room at a Time

Beth Greer, known as the Super Natural Mom, bestselling author, holistic health coach and one of the foremost experts on sustainable and toxin-free living will give a talk on things you need to know to help kids who have challenges. She will offer powerful information on the toxins in everyday products that can have triggering reactions in a child’s nervous system; five things in the home to avoid to create a safe, healthy, toxin-free home; practical and convenient solutions that give dramatic results; and symptoms to look for in kids that indicate they’re being impacted by toxins in their home environment.

She’ll also discuss a non-psychological approach to behavioral changes in kids. Don’t miss this talk to help you enhance your child’s well-being as well as your own (caregiving can be stressful). 

Russian Hill Walking Tour

Date: Thu, June 23, 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.

Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War

Date: Thu, June 23, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
What the War on Terror has wrought.

Mark Danner, Author, Former Staff Writer, The New Yorker; Chancellor’s Professor of Journalism and English, UC Berkeley

In his latest book, Spiral, Danner describes a nation altered in fundamental ways by 9/11. Fourteen years of armed conflict makes the War on Terror the longest war in U.S. history, even though only a tiny percentage of our citizens fight in actual combat. Now Al Qaeda has been replaced by multiple jihadist and terror organizations, including the most notorious: ISIS.

Guantanamo, indefinite detention, drone warfare, enhanced interrogation, torture and warrantless wiretapping are all words that have become familiar and tolerated in the name of security. By defining the War on Terror as boundless, apocalyptic and unceasing, we have, Danner concludes, “let it define us as ideological crusaders caught in an endless war.”

Mon 6/27

Middle East Forum Discussion

Date: Mon, June 27, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM

The Middle East Forum discussion group that primarily covers the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan has been meeting for more than eight years. We do not debate. We exchange ideas and opinions. The discussion is considered a perk of membership but those interested, especially students, are welcome to attend.

Image - Public Health and Public Spaces

Public Health, Public Spaces

Date: Mon, June 27, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Lisa Chen, Planner, Citywide Division, San Francisco
Richard J. Jackson, M.D, Professor and Former Chair, Environmental Health Sciences, Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA
Fran Weld, Vice President of Strategy and Development, San Francisco Giants
Bill Worthen, Executive Director, Urban Fabrick

This program is underwritten by The California Wellness Foundation.

In recent years, there has been growing scientific evidence indicating a connection between public health and how places—particularly our cities and suburbs—are designed and built. From higher car use in suburban sprawl to urban neighborhoods lacking green space and walkways, every aspect of the built environment surrounding us impacts our health. What is being done to rethink the structure of our towns and cities? How can we improve the health of our communities through design? Come for a discussion on our cities, our health, and what we can do to increase the number of healthy spaces in our growing communities.

Wed 6/29

Image - Turning Homelessness into Headline News

Turning Homelessness into Headline News

Date: Wed, June 29, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Audrey Cooper, Editor-in-Chief, San Francisco Chronicle
Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief, Mother Jones
Holly Kernan, Executive Editor of News, KQED
Edward Wasserman, Ph.D., Dean, U.C. Berkeley Journalism School; Former Executive Business Editor, Miami Herald; Ph.D., London School of Economics—Moderator

On June 29, more than 30 Bay Area media organizations spanning radio, print, online and television news will curate an unprecedented wave of coverage about homelessness in San Francisco to inspire a public dialogue and to urge local politicians to come up with impactful solutions to this ongoing problem.

It's not often that journalists set aside their differences in order to unify behind a shared purpose, so on the day that this special media collaboration launches, INFORUM is proud to present a panel discussion featuring several journalists who are involved in this important project. You'll hear more about how this coordinated media campaign started, what the journalists hope to accomplish through their efforts and how they see the changing role of media in society.

Thu 6/30

Image - David Burkus

The End of Business As Usual

Date: Thu, June 30, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

David Burkus, Professor, Oral Roberts University; Founder and Host, "Radio Free Leader"; Author, Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business As Usual

Should employees know each others’ salaries? Can companies win by putting their employees’ welfare first, and their clients second? Are annual performance reviews necessary? Burkus challenges the traditional and widely accepted principles of business management—proving that they're outdated, outmoded and simply don’t work—and presents winning strategies using case studies and in-depth research. You'll learn how the nature of work is changing—and what that means for business, society and your own career.