Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Thu 5/22

Image - North Beach Walking Tour
This event is Sold Out

North Beach Walking Tour

Date: Thu, May 22, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Find hidden gems with Rick Evans

Join another Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure! Explore vibrant North Beach with Rick Evans during a two-hour walk through this neighborhood with a colorful past, where food, culture, history and unexpected views all intersect in an Italian “urban village.” In addition to learning about Beat generation hangouts, you’ll discover authentic Italian cathedrals and coffee shops. 

Image - Leonard Susskind & Art Friedman: Quantum Mechanics -

Leonard Susskind & Art Friedman: Quantum Mechanics - The Theoretical Minimum

Date: Thu, May 22, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A lively and accessible introduction to a famously difficult field

Leonard Susskind, Felix Bloch Professor of Theoretical Physics, Stanford University; Co-author, Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

Art Friedman, Data Engineer; Co-author, Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

Come hear physicist Susskind and data engineer Friedman present a lively and accessible introduction to a famously difficult field, the theory and associated mathematics of quantum mechanics, which attempts to understand the behavior of sub-atomic objects through mathematical abstractions. Susskind and Friedman offer crystal-clear explanations of the principles of quantum states, uncertainty and time dependence, entanglement and particle and wave states, among other topics. They provide a tool kit for amateur scientists to learn physics at their own pace.

Image - The Economist's John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge Talk Smart Gover

The Economist's John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge Talk Smart Government

Date: Thu, May 22, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM

John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief, The Economist; Co-author, The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State
Adrian Wooldridge, Management Editor and Schumpeter Columnist, The Economist; Co-author, The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State

From its unsustainable debt load to a gridlocked Washington, the American government is failing. John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge are asking the tough questions. Are China and India pulling ahead? Will the West be left behind? Will democracy and liberty triumph in the 21st century? Believing that world growth is being inhibited by dysfunctional government, Micklethwait and Wooldridge are calling out the big bad nation-state. Join us for a discussion with the gurus who make global economics provocative.

Thu 5/29

Image - The Faraway Nearby

The Faraway Nearby

Date: Thu, May 29, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Rebecca Solnit, Author, The Faraway Nearby

Award-winning San Francisco author Solnit reaches beyond her own life to the stories she heard and read that helped her navigate the difficult journey through her mother's illness, disintegrating memory and eventual death. Exploring the essential elements of empathy for dealing with irreparable loss, Solnit has created a marvelous Russian doll of a book with a narrative as rich as the fairy tales she recreates. 

 

Image - SF’s Power Women of Eventbrite, ModCloth & One Kings Lane

SF’s Power Women of Eventbrite, ModCloth & One Kings Lane

Date: Thu, May 29, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
A conversation on growing your business.

Julia Hartz, Co-Founder and President, Eventbrite

Susan Gregg Koger, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, ModCloth

Alison Pincus, Co-Founder, One Kings Lane; Founder, Hunters AlleyOn

Jory Des Jardins, Co-Founder and President of Strategic AlliancesBlogHer – Moderator

ModCloth, One Kings Lane, and Eventbrite are three ventures that have revolutionized the field of e-commerce, transforming our access to and interactions with the goods and services we want.  We’re bringing together the three power women behind these companies for an in-depth look at building a successful brand in the nation’s tech hub, the changing nature of the online marketplace, and what it’s like to be a woman business leader. Julia Hartz and her ever-evolving team of “Britelings” have grown Eventbrite into a company with award-winning culture, focused on bringing the world together through live experiences. Susan Gregg Koger, one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30,” is reinventing online shopping with one-of-a-kind social community. Digital media fiend Alison Pincus boldly launched One Kings Lane in the middle of the 2009 recession, only to have it become one of the fastest growing online businesses, worth almost $1 billion. Join us as we host three of the most innovative young female tech entrepreneurs for a conversation on gutsily growing your business and being a woman power player.

 

Mon 6/2

Image - Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 6/2/14

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 6/2/14

Date: Mon, June 02, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
Let's have a mid-year political check-in. 

Josh Richman, State and National Politics Reporter, Bay Area News Group, San Jose Mercury NewsOakland TribuneContra Costa Times; Twitter @Josh_Richman
Additional panelists TBA

Let's have a mid-year political check-in. Week to Week takes a look at the issues and the people in local, state and national politics. Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, audience discussion of the week’s events and our 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 6/3

Go to Secrets of Treasure Island: Uncovering the Navy's Radioactive Legacy

Secrets of Treasure Island: Uncovering the Navy's Radioactive Legacy

Date: Tue, June 03, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

George Moore, Scientist-in-Residence, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies
Kai Vetter, Head, Applied Physics Program, Nuclear Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Dale Smith, Member, Treasure Island Restoration Advisory Board
Matt Smith, Reporter, The Center for Investigative Reporting – Moderator

The island in the middle of San Francisco Bay where the city plans to build a second downtown was once home to military training schools and ship operations that included dangerous radioactive substances inclucing radium, cesium and plutonium. The U.S. Navy says there is now no risk to the island's residents, as the island is prepared for even more construction. Yet in March, 2014, the military announced that it will test residents' homes for radioactive waste. Experts question whether the Navy's investigation will permit and include independent research, investigation and findings in addition to the Navy's testing and what the military use and history of Treasure Island means for the island and for San Francisco Bay.

Wed 6/4

Image - Fixing Global Poverty: What Works and What Doesn't

Fixing Global Poverty: What Works and What Doesn't

Date: Wed, June 04, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Thomas A. Nazario, Professor, Author

Thomas A. Nazario, Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco School of Law; Author Living on a Dollar A Day: The Lives and Faces of the World's Poor; Founder & President, The Forgotten International

People often spend too much time discounting one proposal aimed at tackling a problem in order to shore up or push another. As with many of the world's great problems, however, there is no silver bullet that will resolve them all, but advocates insist that solutions do exist. After traveling around the world and visiting with some of the world's poor, Nazario, author of Living on a Dollar a Day: The Lives and Faces of the World's Poor, will present some strategies he believes can help to end a great deal of the poverty and suffering presently experienced by one-sixth of the world's people. Nazario’s expertise lies in the area of children’s rights and global poverty. He has testified before Congress and appeared on many national television and radio shows, including “Oprah” and “The Larry King Show.”

Thu 6/5

The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication, Money and Today's Push for Performance

The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication, Money and Today's Push for Performance

Date: Thu, June 05, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A discussion that could explain the rise of ADHD.

Stephen Hinshaw, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley; Vice-Chair for Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, UCSF
Richard M. Scheffler, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Health Economics and Public Policy, UC Berkeley; Director, Nicholas C. Petris Center; Director, Global Center for Health Economics and Policy Research

ADHD diagnosis is soaring, but is it a real psychiatric disorder — or a social construction used to label kids or adults who don't fit the norm? The speakers argue for the reality of ADHD, with clear biological underpinnings and documented impairments, but only if diagnosis is done carefully. Competition for admission to the best schools and high-paying jobs intensifies today's push for performance, fueling the ADHD explosion. Come hear a discussion of the high-stakes testing policies in schools, direct-to-consumer advertisements and the quality of diagnostic standards that could explain the sharp rise of ADHD and medication treatments.

Image - Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: Reinventing American Health Care

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: Reinventing American Health Care

Date: Thu, June 05, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Trends that will determine the market in 2020 and beyond.

Dr. Ezekiel EmanuelVice Provost for Global Initiatives and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania; Author, Reinventing American Health Care

Emanuel has written a brilliant diagnostic explanation of why health care in America has become such a divisive social issue, how money and medicine have their own – quite distinct – American story, and why reform has bedeviled both liberal and conservative presidents for more than 100 years. He will forecast six mega trends in health that will determine the market for health care in 2020 and beyond.

Mon 6/9

Image - Resource Revolution

Resource Revolution

Date: Mon, June 09, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Matt Rogers, Director, McKinsey & Co.; Co-author, Resource Revolution: How to Capture the Biggest Business Opportunity in a Century

With more than 2.5 billion people in developing countries poised to move into cities and out of poverty in the next couple of decades, the world is facing a huge economic shift. The rise of urban middle classes in Asia and elsewhere will put further strain on water, food and other resources already under stress and drive commodity prices higher.

Are those indicators of success or warnings of trouble ahead? A case can be made that human innovation usually trumps doomsday scenarios predicted by environmentalists.

Will business innovators be able to make enough stuff to satisfy the world’s burgeoning consumer class without wrecking the planet and triggering climatic chaos? Is techno-optimism delusional?

Image - The 83rd Annual California Book Awards

The 83rd Annual California Book Awards

Date: Mon, June 09, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Meet the state's top literary achievers

Since 1931, the California Book Awards have honored literary excellence among authors in the Golden State. At our special awards ceremony, we will bestow gold and silver medals in several categories, including: fiction, nonfiction, first fiction, poetry, young adult, juvenile, Californiana and contribution to publishing. Hear from some literary giants and amazing writers. See you at the ceremony!

Wed 6/11

Image - Jack Devine: An American Spymaster's Story

Jack Devine: An American Spymaster's Story

Date: Wed, June 11, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Jack Devine, Founding Partner and President, The Arkin Group; Author, Good Hunting: An American Spymaster’s Story

As one of the legendary spymasters of our time, Jack Devine served America’s interests for more than 30 years in a wide range of covert operations, ultimately overseeing the Directorate of Operations, a CIA division that watches over thousands of American covert operatives worldwide.

Good Hunting is his guide to the art of spy craft, told with great wit, candor and common-sense wisdom. Caricatured by Hollywood, lionized by the right and pilloried by the left, the CIA remains one of the least understood instruments of the United States government. Now Devine sees the agency trapped within a larger bureaucracy, losing swaths of turf to the military and, most ominous of all, being transformed into a paramilitary organization, thereby degrading its capacity to do what it does best.

Image - GMOs: Necessary in a Hot and Crowded World?

GMOs: Necessary in a Hot and Crowded World?

Date: Wed, June 11, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Robert Fraley, Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto 
Andrew Kimbrell, Founder and Executive Director, Center for Food Safety 
Nathanael Johnson, Food Writer, Grist; Author, All Natural: A Skeptic's Quest to Discover If the Natural Approach to Diet, Childbirth, Healing, and the Environment Really Keeps Us Healthier and Happier
Jessica Lundberg, Seed Nursery Manager, Lundberg Family Farms

With global population climbing toward 10 billion, food security is a growing concern. Extreme droughts and floods have slammed agricultural exports from the United States, Australia and Russia in recent years. Future severe weather is expected to put upward pressure on crop prices. That prospect raises thorny questions. Is there a role for seeds that are genetically modified to be drought resistant? Can 10 billion people be fed without GMO crops? Can organics feed a growing and hungry world? Consumer support of full labeling of GMO products is getting the attention of food producers and retailers. Whole Foods recently said all GMO foods on its shelves must be labeled by 2018. General Mills announced that Cheerios would not include GMOs. Labeling laws are also being put before voters around the country. Join us for a discussion about the prospect and perils of tinkering with the genetics of our food supply as we brace for more climate disruption.

Thu 6/12

Image - Russian Hill Walking Tour

Russian Hill Walking Tour

Date: Thu, June 12, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Join Rick Evans for a two-hour hike!

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 two-hour 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 - Laurence Tribe: The Supreme Court and the Constitution

Laurence Tribe: The Supreme Court and the Constitution

Date: Thu, June 12, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Laurence Tribe, Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School; Co-author, Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution

From Citizens United to its momentous rulings regarding Obamacare and gay marriage, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has profoundly affected American life. Yet the court remains a mysterious institution, and the motivations of the nine men and women who serve for life are often obscure.

Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz’s Uncertain Justice arrives at a crucial time for the nation and the court. Political gridlock, cultural change and technological progress mean that the court’s decisions on key topics – including free speech, privacy, voting rights and presidential power – could be uniquely durable. Acutely aware of their opportunity, the justices are rewriting critical aspects of constitutional law and redrawing the ground rules of American government.

Filled with original insights and compelling human stories, Uncertain Justice illuminates how the Supreme Court and the Constitution frame the way we live.

Mon 6/16

Image - Earn Save Spend Give: Four Things to Do With Your Money and How to Make It All Work

Earn Save Spend Give: Four Things to Do With Your Money and How to Make It All Work

Date: Mon, June 16, 2014
Time: 5:15 PM

Denise Hughes, Author

Hughes speaks about what is needed to make money work in life. Viewing money as a portal, inviting us to step into greater consciousness through the doorway of self-awareness, she focuses on the behaviors that create one’s personal financial numbers. She posits that our portfolios, bank accounts and financial struggles are mirrors reflecting back to us the behaviors we bring to our relationship with money. Come hear how any of us can change our financial picture if we look within and begin to change the mindsets, negative emotions and sabotaging actions we practice when it comes to money. 

Tue 6/17

Image - Self-made Gangster Exclusively Reveals All to His Nephew

Self-made Gangster Exclusively Reveals All to His Nephew

Date: Tue, June 17, 2014
Time: 5:15 PM

Bruce Farrell Rosen, Author, Bombed in His Bed: Confessions of Jewish Gangster Myer Rush; Banker

The gangster Myer Rush was front-page news around the world in the late 1960s when he was accused of a $100 million stock fraud. Hours before he was expected to appear in court, a bomb went off under his bed and, after dying twice on the way to the hospital, he survived the explosion. Rosen, Meyer’s nephew, reveals an astounding journey that traverses love, honor, betrayal, grief, joy and greed. It is a mesmerizing story that will challenge our thinking about what a man can endure in life.

Wed 6/18

Image - An Emerging Epidemic: Food Allergies

An Emerging Epidemic: Food Allergies

Date: Wed, June 18, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Mireille Schwartz, Food Allergy Expert; Author
Mireille Schwartz, Founder & CEO, Bay Area Allergy Advisory Board; Food Allergy Expert; Author, The Family Food Allergy Book
 
Since the mid-1990s, food allergies have shifted into high gear; what used to be a relative rarity has become increasingly commonplace, with scientists estimating that the problem is continuing to get worse. There is currently no cure for food allergies. California State Senate Award-winning expert and author Schwartz examines the evolutionary history of food allergies: what they are, how to prevent them and how to treat them. Severely allergic to seafood herself, Schwartz explains the pragmatic stress involved with managing food allergies, as well as step-by-step solutions with an understanding that food is everywhere and our relationship to food needs to be healthy if we are to stay healthy.
 

Mon 6/23

Image - Kenneth Turan: Lifetime of Film

Kenneth Turan: Lifetime of Film

Date: Mon, June 23, 2014
Time: 12:00 AM
From All About Eve to Seven Samurai to Sherlock Jr.

Kenneth Turan, Film Critic, LA Times and NPR’s Morning Edition; Author, Not to be Missed: Fifty-Four Favorites from a Lifetime of Film; Twitter @KennethTuran 

Turan’s favorite films span a century of the world’s most satisfying romances and funniest comedies, the most heart-stopping dramas and chilling thrillers from All About Eve to Seven Samurai to Sherlock Jr. Come hear about these timeless films – classic and contemporary, familiar and obscure, with budgets big and small – and judge for yourself the truth of director Ingmar Bergman’s observation that “no form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul.”