Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Fri 9/25

Bread from Stones

Bread From Stones

Date: Fri, September 25, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
With author Keith Watenpaugh

Keith David Watenpaugh, Associate Professor of Modern Islam, Human Rights and Peace Studies, UC Davis

Hear Watenpaugh, a noted Middle East historian and educator, discuss his latest book, Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism. Watenpaugh will elaborate on the development of helping victims following the mass violence, genocide, displacement of millions, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the advent of late colonialism in the Middle East.

Mon 9/28

Humanities West Book Discussion: Dante’s Divine Comedy (Books 1 & 2)

Date: Mon, September 28, 2015
Time: 5:00 PM
With discussion led by Lynn Harris

Join us for a discussion of hell and purgatory within Dante’s Divine Comedy, led by Lynn Harris. The Clive James’s translation will be used, which was decades in the making and renders the entire epic as a coherent and compulsively readable lyric poem. Yet 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.

Middle East Discussion Group

Date: Mon, September 28, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Make your voice heard!

Make your voice heard in an enriching, provocative and fun discussion with Club members as you weigh in on events shaping the face of the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan. Each month, the Middle East Member-Led Forum hosts an informal roundtable discussion on a topic frequently suggested by recent headlines. After a brief introduction, the floor will be open for discussion. All interested members are encouraged to attend. There will also be a brief planning session.

Socrates Café

Date: Mon, September 28, 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 - Gun Violence and Public Health

Gun Violence and Public Health

Date: Mon, September 28, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Investigating gun violence as a public health issue

Ricky Choi, MD, MPH, Department Head of Pediatrics, Asian Health Services Community Health Center
Margot Hirsch, President, The Smart Tech Challenges Foundation
Michael McBride, Lead Pastor, The Way Christian Center, Berkeley CA; Director of Urban Strategies, PICO National Network
Robyn Thomas, Executive Director, The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Underwritten by The California Wellness Foundation

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention & Control, more than 31,000 Americans were killed in 2010 due to homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings, and approximately 73,000 were treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal gunshot wounds. In recent years, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and organizations such as the American Bar Association and the American Public Health Association have all stated that gun violence should no longer be discussed only in the context of gun control, but as an actual public health issue. Join our panel for a discussion about how gun-related injuries and casualties impact the health of Americans and what can be done to prevent gun violence in the United States.

Tue 9/29

Image - The Future of Digital Competition in Asia

The Future of Digital Competition in Asia

Date: Tue, September 29, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With former Obama advisor Dr. Peter Cowhey

Peter Cowhey, Ph.D., Dean, School of Global Policy & Strategy, UCSD; Former Chief, International Bureau of the FCC; Former Obama Advisor

Asia-Pacific nations, most notably China, the U.S., Japan, and India, account for half of the world’s consumers and are home to the majority of leading digital hardware, software, e-commerce, and service firms. As a result, the Asia-Pacific region will play a key role in shaping the future “platform economy.” Dr. Peter Cowhey is an expert on U.S.-China technology and innovation issues and an advisor to the Obama administration on trade policy. Join us as he discusses the future of Asia-Pacific digital landscape and how coming changes will affect nations, firms and private citizens.

Image - Dale Russakoff: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?

Dale Russakoff: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?

Date: Tue, September 29, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Dale Russakoff, Author, The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?

Listen to Dale Russakoff, expert journalist, deliver a story of high ideals and hubris as reformers face off against entrenched unions, skeptical parents and bewildered students. The Prize is a portrait of a titanic struggle over the future of education for the poorest kids, and a cautionary tale for those who care about the shape of America’s schools.

The book’s story begins with Mark Zuckerberg announcing in front of a cheering "Oprah" audience his $100 million pledge to transform the Newark schools. The lauded plan soon ran into a constituency not so easily moved—Newark’s key education players, fiercely protective of their billion-dollar-per-annum system.

Join us as Russakoff explains how the prize seems to have enriched everyone except for Newark’s students.

Wed 9/30

Image - Seven Keys to a Successful Job Search
This event is Rescheduled

Seven Keys to a Successful Job Search

Date: Wed, September 30, 2015
Time: 5:15 PM
Navigating today’s competitive job market.

Mary Eileen Williams, M.A., NCCC, Job Search Expert; Author; Blogger; Speaker; Radio Host

Williams aims to provide mature applicants with critical information on navigating today’s competitive job market, including how to brand yourself for success, make yourself marketable, differentiate yourself from the competition and create a powerful presence both in-person and online. She’ll also discuss networking and the “halo effect,” and the ups and downs of compensation. As a Nationally Board Certified Career Counselor with a master's degree in career development, she has over 20 years’ experience as a career strategist working with jobseekers and career changers.

Image - Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Megan Smith

Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Megan Smith

Date: Wed, September 30, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
A tech upgrade for the U.S. government

Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States
In conversation with Sal Khan, Founder, Khan Academy

“If we’re the country that makes Amazon and Facebook and Twitter, why can’t the federal government have websites and digital services that are awesome?” – Megan Smith

It’s no secret that the U.S. government needs a tech upgrade, says U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, who is committed to shaking up things. President Obama’s tech mandate is far more than just moving on from floppy disks – initiatives of the Office of Science and Technology Policy include getting more women and people of color in tech jobs, pushing regulatory reform that would allow entrepreneurs to advance their ideas more quickly, and delivering better digital services such as welfare registration. And when they’re done there, Megan’s team has its eyes on expanding online networks to 900 million people in Africa.

As former VP of business development at Google and CEO of PlanetOut, a media company targeting the LGBT demographic, Megan Smith has a unique understanding of the capacity of technology to impact public policy. Join us for a conversation between Megan Smith and Sal Khan, founder and executive director of Khan Academy. This event is the second in the new INFORUM series of interviews featuring Sal Khan in conversation with various leaders pushing the limits of learning and breaking boundaries in their industry.

Thu 10/1

Image - Rick Snyder and William Clay Ford: Growing the U.S. Economy

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and William Clay Ford: Growing the U.S. Economy

Date: Thu, October 01, 2015
Time: 1:00 PM

Rick Snyder, Governor, Michigan
William Clay Ford Jr., Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company
Greg Dalton, Founder and Host, Climate One – Moderator

Based on their experiences in Michigan, Snyder and Ford have a positive economic tale to tell, with implications for the country.

First taking office in 2011, Governor Snyder pledged a common-sense approach to governing focused on working together to find solutions for the state’s toughest problems. In his first term, the state passed four balanced budgets, eliminated a $1.5 billion deficit and reformed tax and regulatory codes. Since Snyder took office, Michigan has created nearly 400,000 new private sector jobs, with Michigan’s unemployment rate now at its lowest in 12 years. As executive chairman of Ford Motor Company (and the great grandson of Henry Ford), William Clay Ford, Jr. has been at its helm since January 1999. He also served as CEO of the company from 2001 to 2006. “During the recent industry downturn, Ford made two big bets: one on fuel economy and the other on technology, investing heavily at a time when many others were pulling back,” he says. “Today, we are a leader in both.”

Join us for a unique conversation about business, energy and innovation.

Image - Mature Job Seeker? Seven Keys to Your Success!

Mature Job Seeker? Seven Keys to Your Success!

Date: Thu, October 01, 2015
Time: 5:15 PM
Navigating today’s competitive job market.

Mary Eileen Williams, M.A., NCCC, Job Search Expert; Author; Blogger; Speaker; Radio Host

Williams aims to provide mature applicants with critical information on navigating today’s competitive job market, including how to brand yourself for success, make yourself marketable, differentiate yourself from the competition and create a powerful presence both in-person and online. She’ll also discuss networking and the “halo effect,” and the ups and downs of compensation. As a Nationally Board Certified Career Counselor with a master's degree in career development, she has over 20 years’ experience as a career strategist working with jobseekers and career changers.

Image - Voices of the Wild

Voices of the Wild

Date: Thu, October 01, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Inspiring sights and sounds of nature

Bernie Krause, Soundscape Artist; Author, Voices of the Wild: Animal Songs, Human Din, and the Call to Save Natural Soundscapes
Jason Mark, Editor, Earth Island Journal; Author, Satellites in the High Country, Searching for the Wild in the Age of Man

Is any place on Earth still wild? What does it feel like to be in the extended absence of any human-made sounds? Bernie Krause and Jason Mark have traveled the world seeking and recording wild landscapes and soundscapes. While even the most remote places are impacted by human-caused climate disruption, they both have stories of finding incredible beauty and wonder in the natural world.

Join us for a conversation about inspiring sights and sounds of nature and how they can guide us toward a healed climate.

Fri 10/2

Image - Women in Tech: Can Silicon Valley Women Have It All?

Women in Tech: Can Silicon Valley Women Have It All?

Date: Fri, October 02, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM

Jaleh Daie, Ph.D., Managing Partner, Aurora Equity; Member, Silicon Valley of Angels; Former Head of Science, David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Technology has always been a male dominated industry even in the midst of the women’s liberation movements. Within the ever-expanding Silicon Valley, the gender gap in the job market has become ever more prevalent as the industry becomes increasingly one-sided. Dr. Jaleh Daie, a leading female VC in Silicon Valley, discusses her own career as she established herself in a male-majority industry. Join us for a conversation about what we can do to attract more young women to technology and what women can bring to the technological table.

Mon 10/5

Image - China Today: Environmental Progress and Challenges
This event is Postponed

China Today: Environmental Progress and Challenges

Date: Mon, October 05, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With NRDC Senior Attorney Barbara Finamore

Barbara Finamore, Senior Attorney and Asia Director, Natural Resources Defense Council

China is the largest contributor to the world’s air pollution. So much so that media have dubbed China’s current pollution state as an “airpocalypse” that has led to a frenzy of new green policies. Inadvertently, China is now one of the largest investors in green energy as well. The dramatic number of policy changes is promising for the climate’s future, but these changes are not without their own obstacles. Is China at a tipping point? Finamore will discuss China’s world status, the challenges China faces and the opportunities that may arise from this new green effort.

21st Century Solutions to Critical Western United States Water Woes

Date: Mon, October 05, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Reactions to California's historic drought

Sara Aminzadeh, Executive Director, California Coastkeeper Alliance
Heather Cooley, Water Program Co-Director, Pacific Institute
Max Gomberg, Senior Environmental Scientist, California State Water Resources Control Board
Kimery Wiltshire, CEO and Director, Carpe Diem West

California is experiencing the worst drought in recorded history. Projections show climate change is creating hotter and drier conditions in the western states. Our distinguished panel of water experts will discuss strategies, reforms and innovations that will help us survive and thrive during drought and the years to come for cities, farms, rivers, mountains and coastal ocean areas.

Image - Resilient Cities

Resilient Cities

Date: Mon, October 05, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Prepare for the furious tantrums of Mother Nature

Patrick Otellini, Chief Resilience Officer, San Francisco
Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director, SPUR

Generously underwritten by The San Francisco Foundation and The Seed Fund

Cities from around the world have faced a dramatically changing climate in the past decade. San Francisco alone has stood against earthquakes, large storms and heavy winds in 2014 and the Rim Fire that cost the city $36 million dollars. What can we do to prepare ourselves for the furious tantrums of Mother Nature? Join us as our panelists Patrick Otellini and Laura Tam investigate what we have learned from past calamities and what other cities from around the world are doing to protect their citizens.

 

Image - www.commonwealthclub.org/events/archive/transcript/justice-sandra-day-o’

Tim Draper: A “Shark Tank” for Good Government

Date: Mon, October 05, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
An unusual approach to the political process

Tim Draper, Venture Capitalist; Founding partner, Draper Associates, DFJ; Founder, Draper University of Heroes

Successful Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper – who floated the idea of splitting California into six states – has a new project: The Fix California Challenge and a related website called InnovateYourState.Org. This is a self-described “Shark Tank” incubator for state government reform ideas. Draper hopes to push what he calls this new “venture governance” style effort to “innovate public engagement.” In July, Innovate Your State announced that out of 427 diverse submissions, eight were selected as finalists, and one of those will have an opportunity to win the “Fix California Challenge” and receive financial backing to get on the 2016 California ballot. Come hear Draper’s thoughts on this unusual approach to the political process and on the selection he believes has the best chance.

 

Tue 10/6

Image - Can we stop Alzheimer’s Disease?

Can We Stop Alzheimer’s Disease?

Date: Tue, October 06, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
With Nutritional Biochemist Steve Blake

Steve Blake, Sc.D., Nutritional Biochemist; Author, A Nutritional Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease; Faculty, Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience

What if there was a way to delay the development of Alzheimer’s disease by up to seven years? With both wise food choices and scientifically based supplementation, Steve Blake thinks it just might be possible. Find out the importance of vitamin D, antioxidants and polyphenols from food when it comes to lowering your risk of dementia, while Blake explains how you can implement these helpful techniques for yourself.

Image - Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature

Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature

Date: Tue, October 06, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With professor Alva Noë

Alva Noë, Professor of Philosophy, UC Berkeley; Author, Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature

What is art? Why do we value art as we do? What does art reveal about our nature? Alva Noë offers new answers to these questions through his book Strange Tools, which makes provocative use of examples in philosophy, art history and cognitive science. Listen to Noë explain why recent efforts to frame questions about art in terms of neuroscience and evolutionary biology alone have been, and will continue to be, unsuccessful.

Image - Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 10/6/15

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 10/6/15

Date: Tue, October 06, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM

Panelists TBA

Join us as for a special edition of Week to Week, 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, an inside look at what Californians think, 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).