Upcoming Events: San Francisco
The West Without WaterDate: Thu, September 04, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Exploring the climate of the American West throughout history.
B. Lynn Ingram, Professor, Earth & Planetary Science and Geography, UC Berkeley; Co-author, The West Without Water
Frances Malamud-Roam, Senior Environmental Planner and Biologist, Caltrans; Co-author, The West Without Water
The West Without Water documents the tumultuous climate of the American West over 20 millennia, with tales of past droughts and deluges and predictions about the impacts of future climate change on water resources. Its authors ask the central questions of what is “normal” for the West, and whether the relatively benign climate of the past century will continue into the future. Their answers are derived by merging climate and paleoclimate research from a wide variety of sources.
Sal Khan: INFORUM's 21st Century Visionary AwardDate: Thu, September 04, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Sal Khan, Founder, Khan Academy; Author, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined
"I teach the way that I wish I was taught."
– Sal Khan
When Sal Khan started helping his teenage cousin with algebra from across the country, he didn’t set out to change the world. Starting only with an office in his Bay Area apartment, he now has over 4,000 video lessons in his online library, ranging from chemistry to history to finance. Khan is truly an educational pioneer, reaching millions of students, teachers and individuals. Khan Academy’s mission to give a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere has breached the educational divide between poor and privileged and pioneered a transformation at the intersection of learning and technology. INFORUM will award this educational innovator with our 21st Century Visionary Award. Don’t miss your chance to learn from one of the best teachers you’ll ever have, in conversation with a special guest, live at the Castro Theatre.
What Is It to Redeem Your Past? Some Lessons from Nietzsche and KunderaDate: Mon, September 08, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Straight from Stanford's The Art of Living course.
Lanier Anderson, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Stanford University
Monday Night Philosophy focuses on the ancient issues raised by the human ability to remember our pasts. Should it exert a heavy burden upon the present, or light the way to a better future? Though neither extreme is commonly indulged, redeeming ourselves from our apparently unredeemable pasts does get a lot of cultural attention. Straight from Stanford's The Art of Living course, hear Professor Anderson's views on Friedrich Nietzsche's and Milan Kundera's insights into one version of redemption.
The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of ReaganDate: Tue, September 09, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Creating the Reagan Revolution
Rick Perlstein, Author, The Invisible Bridge
The Invisible Bridge is a dazzling portrait of America on the verge of a nervous breakdown in the tumultuous 1970s. In the wake of Watergate, Nixon's resignation, congressional investigations of CIA assassinations and the chaotic end to the Vietnam War, Americans began thinking about their nation in a new way, as just one nation among many, no more providential than any other. But Ronald Reagan never got the message. Instead, he was reconstituting the conservative political culture we know now. Perlstein recalls that in America's bicentennial year, that temporary vision of patriotism rooted in a sense of American limits was quickly derailed by the rise of the smiling politician from Hollywood.
Sheryl Sandberg & Marianne Cooper Talk: The Anxieties of Modern FamiliesDate: Tue, September 09, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
The worries all American families face and what can be done about it.
Marianne Cooper, Stanford Sociologist & Author, Cut Adrift
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook & Lean In
In an increasingly insecure economy, it’s easy to get bogged down with statistics and lose sight of the human costs of the recession. Stanford sociologist and lead researcher for the book Lean In, Marianne Cooper wants to change that. In her new book, Cut Adrift, Cooper weaves together deep data analysis of our frightening economic condition with real-world stories of families struggling to adjust. Hearing from everyone from suburban soccer moms to those struggling to feed their children, we’re given an intimate look at the challenges facing modern families, and how financial anxiety penetrates the daily lives of those at every socioeconomic level. Whether it’s the wealthy seeking even stronger security or the poor trying to avoid further instability, Cut Adrift gives us a glimpse of changing gender dynamics and how families are coping in a go-it-alone economy. Hear Cooper in conversation with LeanIn.org Founder Sheryl Sandberg, as they unpack the worries all American families face and brainstorm what can be done about it.
James EllroyDate: Wed, September 10, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Come hear the "Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction."
James Ellroy, Author, L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia and Perfidia
In conversation with Eddie Muller, Author; Founder and President, Film Noir Foundation
In Perfidia, his latest work, Ellroy delves more deeply than ever before into his characters' intellectual and emotional lives. But it has the full-strength, unbridled story-telling audacity that has marked all the acclaimed work of the "Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction."
From "one of the great American writers of our time" (Los Angeles Times Book Review) comes a brilliant crime/historical novel, and his largest, most accessible novel yet: a pulse-pounding, as-it-happens narrative that unfolds in Los Angeles over 23 days beginning on December 6, 1941. The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. The United States teeters on the edge of war. The roundup of allegedly treasonous Japanese Americans is about to begin. And in L.A., a Japanese family is found dead. Murder or ritual suicide?
The investigation will draw four people into a totally Ellroy-ian tangle: a brilliant Japanese American forensic chemist; an unsatisfiably adventurous young woman; one police officer based in fact (William H. "Whiskey Bill" Parker, later to become the groundbreaking chief of the LAPD), the other the product of Ellroy's inimitable imagination (Dudley Smith, arch villain of The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, White Jazz). As their lives intertwine, we are given a story of war and of consuming romance, a searing exposé of the Japanese internment and an astonishingly detailed homicide investigation.
Politics, Environment and National SecurityDate: Thu, September 11, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Louis Schubert, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, Social Sciences Department, City College of San Francisco.
Politics, environment and national security may seem like an odd combination of opposing narratives, theories and topics. Yet all three are closely related. Healthy or unhealthy environments are part of every nation's security and politics. And all three – politics, environment and national security – are interactive and intertwined in the outcomes of worldwide environmental health, security and violence. Join us in an exploration of these three seemingly opposite narratives: politics, environment and national security and how an understanding of these narratives interacting as a whole will give us a more inclusive picture of the impacts of environmental health and security on local peoples, communities, nations and the world.
What Makes a Perfect Loaf?Date: Fri, September 12, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Journalist Fromartz and baker Robertson delve deep into bread.
Samuel Fromartz, Author, In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker's Odyssey; Blogger, ChewsWise; @fromartz,
In conversation with Chad Robertson, owner Tartine, Bar Tartine; Author, Tartine Book No. 3: Modern, Ancient, Classic, Whole; @tartinebaker
In this discussion, journalist Fromartz and renowned baker Robertson will delve deep into bread, attempting to define a great loaf and what it takes to make it. Fromartz, a home baker for more than 17 years, traveled through the U.S. and to Europe to meet bakers, millers and sourdough microbiologists and translate their lessons to his kitchen. Robertson, the owner of Tartine Bakery, travelled to countries, including Denmark, bringing a new understanding of whole grain loaves into his repertoire. The two will riff off themes in Fromartz's book, touching on everything from the art of fermentation to the craft of the baker.
U.S. Senator Kirsten GillibrandDate: Sat, September 13, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
The senator recounts her personal journey in public service.
Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator; Author, Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World; Twitter: @SenGillibrand
The senator recounts her personal journey in public service and aims to galvanize women to reach beyond their busy lives and make a meaningful difference in the world around them. If women were fully represented in politics, Gillibrand says, national priorities would shift to issues that directly impact them: affordable daycare, paid family medical leave, and equal pay. Pulling back the curtain on Beltway politics, she speaks candidly about her legislative successes (securing federally funded medical care for 9/11 first responders, repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) and her crushing disappointments (failing by five votes to pass a bill protecting survivors of sexual assault in the military). Gillibrand also shares stories of growing up the daughter and granddaughter of two trailblazing feminists in a politically active family in Albany, New York, and retraces her nonlinear path to public office.
Deepak Chopra and Rinaldo Brutoco: Changing Energy, Changing ConsciousnessDate: Mon, September 15, 2014
Time: 9:00 AM
Exploring the deeper impact of energy consciousness.
Deepak Chopra, M.D., Mind-Body Physician; Author, The Soul of Leadership
Rinaldo Brutoco, President, Chopra Foundation; Founding President, World Business Academy; Author, Freedom from Mid-East Oil
Greg Dalton, Host and Founder, Climate One – Moderator
Our guests say that changing our choices about energy changes consciousness. Where should our energy come from – fossil fuels and nuclear plants? Or 100 percent safe, clean and renewable sources? Chopra and Brutoco say that because energy is the fundamental macro system of human society, once we change our consciousness about energy, we are capable of changing our consciousness about everything. Chopra and Brutoco will discuss the California Moonshot Project aimed at eliminating global warming and fossil fuels to lead the planetary shift toward safe energy. As a global leader and pioneer in the field of mind-body medicine, Chopra’s goal is to transform the way the world views physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellness. Core areas of Brutoco’s work include clean energy, climate change analysis and mitigation as well as sustainable business strategy.
Still Got It, Still Doing It: Sexuality and Intimacy in Older AdultsDate: Mon, September 15, 2014
Time: 5:15 PM
Rick Nizzardini, LCSW; Clinical Counselor & Faculty, San Francisco State University; Lecturer, UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare and the CSU-East Bay Educational Psychology Program; Former Attorney
This presentation will focus on highlighting the often-overlooked issue of sexuality and older adults. With the cultural lens almost uniformly focused on sexuality and youth, where does that leave older adults in our society? Indeed, with a large portion of the baby boomer generation now over 65 years older, this issue demands that we shine the light on how older adults thrive as sexual beings in the 21st century. We will engage in group dialogue and watch video clips that present an affirmative view of sexuality in older adults and also explore the challenges older adults face as they continue to develop sexually in later life.
Powering InnovationDate: Mon, September 15, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Katie Fehrenbacher, Reporter, GigaOm
David Crane, CEO, NRG
Amazon, Apple, Google and your local power company: One of these things is not like the other. But NRG Energy executive David Crane says utilities should aspire to be in league with the strongest tech brands. What’s at stake? Electric companies must quickly find innovative ways to deliver clean and affordable energy, or more severe weather will destabilize the global economy. Government regulation alone won’t get the job done.
NRG is involved with some of the largest solar energy projects in the world including Ivanpah and Agua Caliente in California. Crane says consumers should have choices and that doesn’t mean deciding between powering your home today and the health of your family and our planet tomorrow. Katie Fehrenbacher writes about how innovative technologies are bringing exciting new changes to the way America produces and uses energy. Join us for a conversation about innovation, connected lifestyles and powering our future.
Science & Technology Planning MeetingDate: Mon, September 15, 2014
Time: 6:15 PM
Join fellow Club members with similar interests and brainstorm upcoming Science & Technology Member-Led Forum programs. All Commonwealth Club members are welcome. We explore visions for the future through science and technology. Discuss current issues and share your insights with fellow Club members to shape and plan programs for the months ahead.
Stewart Brand and Ryan Phelan: Genetic Rescue for Extinct and Endangered WildlifeDate: Tue, September 16, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Stewart Brand, Co-founder, Revive and Restore; Founder, The Long Now Foundation; Founder/Editor, The Whole Earth Catalogue
Ryan Phelan, Co-founder and Executive Director, Revive & Restore
Brand and Phelan seek to restore extinct species to their former homes in the wild. Their organization Revive & Restore’s flagship project The Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback is underway to bring the iconic passenger pigeon back from extinction using the genome of the band-tailed pigeon and genomic technology. Not shying away from the gargantuan challenges of de-extinction, the organization is pushing forward an endeavor to recreate the woolly mammoth in order to generate ecosystem changes capable of altering adverse climate change on a global scale. These audacious projects also advance the use of biotechnology for the genetic rescue of existing endangered species, such as Revive & Restore’s newest project: the endangered black-footed ferret.
Revive & Restore helps coordinate efforts so that genomic conservation can move ahead with the best current science, plenty of public transparency and the overall goal of enhancing biodiversity and ecological health worldwide. Phelan is a serial entrepreneur and was the founder and CEO of two innovative health-care companies, DNA Direct and Direct Medical Knowledge. Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalogue, was trained as a biologist at Stanford and served as an infantry officer in the US Army.
The Cutting Edge of Science and Homeopathy and NanomedicineDate: Wed, September 17, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Dana Ullman, MPH, CCN, Author, Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines; Founder, Homeopathic Educational Services
The body of evidence for homeopathy and nanopharmacology is so much larger than most people realize, says Ullman. He promises that this talk will highlight the best studies from the most respected physicians and scientists who have published in leading peer-review journals. Both basic science and clinical research will be discussed in user-friendly language. This talk will also describe plausible mechanisms of action for the nanodoses used in homeopathic medicines. He says that the cutting edge of conventional medicine today is exploring the power of nanodoses as a compelling and safer way of infiltrating cell membranes and blood-brain barriers. He will discuss the implications of homeopathy as a cutting edge science and medicine.
Ruth S. DeFries: The Big Ratchet - How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural CrisisDate: Thu, September 18, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
Exploring the cycle of crisis and growth with Ruth DeFries.
Ruth S. DeFries, Denning Family Professor of Sustainable Development and Chair, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University; Author, The Big Ratchet
The Big Ratchet is the story of how in the 20th century a range of technologies – from fossil fuels to scientific plant breeding to nitrogen fertilizers – combined to nearly quadruple our population in a century and to grow our food supply even faster. To some, these technologies are a sign of our greatness; to others, of our hubris. MacArthur fellow DeFries argues that the debate is the wrong one to have. Limits do exist, but every limit that has confronted us, we have surpassed. That cycle of crisis and growth is the story of our history; indeed, it is the essence of her book. Understanding it could reveal not just how we reached this point in our history, but how we might survive it.
Van Jones & John Hope Bryant: How the Poor Can Save CapitalismDate: Fri, September 19, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Financial dignity for the “teetering class.”
Van Jones, Host, “Crossfire”; Former Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, White House Council on Environmental Quality
John Hope Bryant, Founder and CEO, Operation HOPE; Author, How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class
"There is a difference between being broke and being poor; being broke is a temporary economic situation, but being poor is a disabling frame of mind.” John Hope Bryant
Van Jones will talk with Bryant about his work as founder of Operation HOPE. Bryant plans to revive the American economy by building financial dignity and empowerment for the “teetering class” to rise out of poverty, while reigniting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s "Poor People’s Campaign” for economic justice.
Van Jones is the president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy. He has also written two New York Times best sellers about the green economy and progressive politics.
John Hope Bryant was raised in Compton and South Central Los Angeles and has tirelessly promoted the virtues of hope, self-esteem, empowerment and opportunity for all. He has received more than 500 awards and citations for his work to empower low-wealth communities and has been an advisor to the last three sitting U.S. presidents. Bryant’s new book is How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class.
San Francisco Neighborhood Newspapers: Creating Healthy and Informed Environments and NeighborhoodsDate: Mon, September 22, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Explore the impact of SF's community newspapers.
Juan Gonzales, Founder and Editor, El Tecolote
Paul Kozakiewicz, Publisher, Richmond Review and Sunset Beacon
Willie Ratcliff, Publisher, San Francisco Bay View
Glenn Gullmes, Publisher, West Portal Monthly – Moderator
San Francisco's vibrant community newspapers play a critical role in the environment, health and safety of the city's distinct neighborhoods. Join San Francisco media and news publishers and reporters who have created and maintained a “hometown view” of what is happening in and to San Francisco and its many diverse communities. Find out what it means to report first-hand on the streets of San Francisco and why this reporting is so important for the future development of the city.
Joe Zee: What’s In, What’s Out, What’s YouDate: Mon, September 22, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
Get a rare glimpse into the fashion world.
Here’s a chance to improve your own sense of style in a world where the clothes you put on each morning send a message. As San Francisco Fashion Week begins, noted fashion expert Joe Zee will provide a rare inside look at the trends that dominate the fashion industry. He’ll also bring behind-the-scenes stories about designers and the celebrities who wear them. Having previously held fashion editorial positions at W, Details, Vanity Fair and House & Garden, Zee will also discuss his latest role at Yahoo.
Nob Hill Walking TourDate: Tue, September 23, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Eegance, urbanity, scandals and fabulous views!
Explore one of San Francisco’s 44 hills, and one of its original “Seven Hills”. Because of great views and its central position, Nob Hill became an exclusive enclave of the rich and famous on the west coast who built large mansions in the neighborhood. This included prominent tycoons such as Leland Stanford, and other members of the Big Four. Highlights include the history of four landmark hotels: The Fairmont, Mark Hopkins, Stanford Court, and Huntington Hotel. Visit the city’s largest house of worship, Grace Cathedral, and discover architectural tidbits and anecdotes about the railroad barons and silver kings. A true San Francisco experience of elegance, urbanity, scandals and fabulous views.