Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Thu 9/10

Image - Analyzing Police Encounters with the Public: Some Methods for Reducing t

Analyzing Police Encounters with the Public: Some Methods for Reducing the Use of Force

Date: Thu, September 10, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Examining research into techniques to diffuse explosive situations

Geoffrey Raymond, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Sociology, UC Santa Barbara
Nikki Jones, Professor of African American Studies, UC Berkeley

Police encounters with suspects and protesters ripped straight from the headlines of 2015 give the impression of an unavoidable descent into violence and chaos. However, the timely research of Professors Raymond and Jones show a way forward. Their results make it clear that various methods have been developed and successfully implemented that both reduce police overreaction during dangerous situations and diminish the tendency for such situations to get out of hand to begin with.

Image - Pope Francis: Climate Changer?

Pope Francis: Climate Changer?

Date: Thu, September 10, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
A discussion of stewardship across faiths.

Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, President and Founder, Interfaith Power and Light
Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J., President, University of San Francisco

When Pope Francis entered the fray on climate change he sent shock waves across the political and religious worlds. The Catholic leader’s bold encyclical linking hard science and biblical passages has prompted a discussion of stewardship across faiths. It has also emboldened critics on the fringe who dare to challenge the basic tenets of capitalism. How is Pope Francis changing the politics of climate in the United States? What can cities and congregations to address the climate challenge and opportunity? A conversation about the popular pope and creation care in the runup to the UN climate negotiations later this year.

Mon 9/14

Image - Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

Date: Mon, September 14, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With author and former SFPD and FBI agent John Mindermann

John Mindermann, Author, In Pursuit

Monday Night Philosophy arrests your attention with John Mindermann’s insights from his book In Pursuit (co-authored with Brian Solon). Gathered from nearly a decade on the SFPD and his career as an FBI agent, the book details his riveting experiences, including June 17, 1972, when Mindermann just happened to be called in to investigate a burglary at the Watergate complex. You cannot get any closer to history than this.

Longevity Explorers Discussion Group: Better Aging. You. Your Parents.

Date: Mon, September 14, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM

This regular discussion group will be exploring new and emerging solutions to the challenges of growing older. Not only will we be uncovering interesting new products at the intersection of aging and technology, we will also be conducting a series of ongoing deep dive discussions into topics like brain health, apps for seniors, hearing and wearables for seniors. The results of our discussions will be shared with a larger community of older adults interested in improving their quality of life through our partner in this initiative, Tech-enhanced Life, PBC. The discussions will be facilitated by Dr. Richard Caro, whom many of you have heard speak at prior grownups forum events.

Tue 9/15

Image - Jeh Johnson: Security Challenges Confronting The Homeland

Jeh Johnson: Security Challenges Confronting the Homeland

Date: Tue, September 15, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security

Hon. Jeh Johnson, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
Dr. Gloria Duffy, President and CEO, The Commonwealth Club — Moderator

Jeh Charles Johnson was sworn in on December 23, 2013, as the fourth secretary of homeland security. Prior to joining DHS, Secretary Johnson was chief judge of the New York courts. Secretary Johnson also served as general counsel for the Department of Defense, where he led the more than 10,000 military and civilian lawyers across the department.

As general counsel of the Defense Department, Johnson oversaw the development of the legal aspects of many of our nation’s counterterrorism policies and spearheaded reforms to the military commissions system at Guantanamo Bay in 2009. Johnson was general counsel of the Department of the Air Force from 1998 to 2001 and served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York from 1989 to 1991. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1979 and received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1982.

Secretary Johnson was the first African-American to be elected to partnership at the prestigious New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, and has been an advocate for civil rights, including co-authoring the 250-page report that paved the way for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010. He was an early political supporter of President Barak Obama.

Secretary Johnson is in the thick of controversial issues ranging from sanctuary cities and immigration to combatting ISIS and homegrown terrorism. He has warned against over-militarizing the U.S. domestic approach to counter-terrorism. Please join us with Secretary Johnson to discuss the latest challenges and strategies for protecting Americans in the context of civil rights and other societal priorities.

Image - Science and Practice of Mindfulness Meditation in Sports, Work and Life

Science and Practice of Mindfulness Meditation in Sports, Work and Life

Date: Tue, September 15, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With an opportunity to try it!

JoAnn Dahlkoetter, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist; Olympic Coach; Author, Your Performing Edge
Philippe Goldin, Ph.D., Psychology, Neuroscience; Assistant Professor, UC-Davis; Researcher, Stanford

Meditation is embraced by world-class athletes, Fortune 500 corporations and by public figures such as Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, Clint Eastwood and Rupert Murdoch. This ancient practice is often used to improve mindfulness, spirituality and to reduce stress, but is it something worth including in your day to day or just another spiritual/religious paradigm? Our panelists will discuss the underlying science of meditation and answer your questions about improving your happiness as well as your physical, mental and emotional performance. At the end, we’ll all have an opportunity to try it.

Image - Erica Jong

Novelist Erica Jong: From Fear of Flying to Fear of Dying

Date: Tue, September 15, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
A game-changing author discusses life, love and sex

Erica Jong, Novelist; Author, Fear of Flying and Fear of Dying

This program is part of the Club’s Good Lit Series, sponsored by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Before there was Fifty Shades of Grey, there was Erica Jong. In 1973, Jong blew conventional thinking about women, marriage and sexuality out of the water with her first and most famous novel Fear of Flying. The book went on to sell 27 million copies and has been translated into 40 languages. In Isadora Wing, her fictional doppelganger, Erica created everywoman – not as she existed in public life in the '70s, but inside a woman’s own mind. Ms. Jong has written over 20 books since then — including her new novel, Fear of Dying — that articulate what many women think but may never voice, from sex to the broader issues facing American women today.

Join Erica Jong in a dialogue about life, love, sex and the power of women to change the world.

Wed 9/16

Image - Living Fully: Reimagining End-of-Life

Living Fully: Reimagining End-of-Life

Date: Wed, September 16, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
A human-centered model of care.

BJ Miller, MD, UCSF; Executive Director, Zen Hospice Project

Despite being a universal experience, death usually is a topic looked at only when unavoidable. As Executive Director of Zen Hospice Project and faculty at UCSF, Dr. BJ Miller is changing the conversation around the end-of-life experience. Informed by a life-threatening accident and work as a palliative care and hospice physician, Miller, a leader in the movement dedicated to a human-centered model of care, advocates quality of life all the way to the end.

Thu 9/17

Image - Waterfront Walk

Waterfront Walk

Date: Thu, September 17, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM
A neighborhood adventure with Rick Evans

Join Rick Evans for his new walking tour exploring the historic sites of the waterfront neighborhood that surrounds the location of the future Commonwealth Club headquarters. Hear the dynamic stories of the entrepreneurs, controversial artists and labor organizers who created this recently revitalized neighborhood. This tour will give you a lively overview of the historic significance of this neighborhood and a close look at the ongoing development.

Image - The Stress Shield: Three Ways to Upgrade Your Brain, DNA and Hormones As You Age

The Stress Shield: Three Ways to Upgrade Your Brain, DNA and Hormones As You Age

Date: Thu, September 17, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With author Sara Gottfried

Sara Gottfried, M.D., Author, The Hormone Cure and The Hormone Reset Diet

Groundbreaking science now theorizes that approximately 10 percent of disease is genetic, and 90 percent is due to the way you eat, move, think and supplement – collectively known as your "exposome." Dr. Gottfried, Harvard- and MIT-educated, practices functional medicine, a systems-based approach to address health from your DNA to your exposome. In this talk, you will learn to customize a plan meant to best serve your health goals and strengthen your “stress shield.”

Tue 9/22

Image - San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

Nob Hill Walking Tour

Date: Tue, September 22, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM
A neighborhood adventure with Rick Evans

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.

Image - SOCAP Preview 2015: Funding What Matters in Our Local Economies

SOCAP Preview 2015: Funding What Matters in Our Local Economies

Date: Tue, September 22, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Investors and philanthropists pursing neighborhood economics.

Kevin Jones, Founder, Good Capital; Co-founder and Convener, Social Capital Markets
Jenny Kassan, CEO, Cutting Edge Capital
Michael Shuman, Co-founder, Cutting Edge Capital; Author, Local Economy Solution; Founding Board Member, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies
Kevin O’Malley, President TechTalk/Studio – Moderator

Cities and small towns can become more resilient when residents see where resources are flowing, decide together the changes to prioritize and strategically blend giving and investing to reach those goals. Hear from leading investors and philanthropists who are pursing neighborhood economics as an antidote to “two pocket thinking” –where giving and financial-return investments happen separately, and often in contradiction to each other – and bringing the full diversity of a community into local economy-building.

Image - Arctic Melting and Rising

Arctic Melting and Rising

Date: Tue, September 22, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
With a panel of consuls general

Sergey Petrov, Consul General, Russia
Hilde Janne Skorpen, Consul General, Norway

Most Americans will never travel to the Arctic, and few give much thought to the land of Santa and polar bears. But the Arctic matters much more to American life and economy than people realize. Arctic sea ice influences the very jet stream that drives much of our weather. If you like to go skiing or whitewater rafting, the faraway Arctic impacts your fun. Disappearing sea ice is spurring a rush to tap oil and natural gas deposits in the Arctic. Will the rush for resources bring international conflict or cooperation to the new north?

Join a conversation about politics and economics at the top of a hot and crowded world.

Wed 9/23

Image - The Wilder Side of Life

The Wilder Side of Life

Date: Wed, September 23, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Tom Stienstra, Outdoors Writer, San Francisco Chronicle

This program is co-sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle

The life of an outdoorsman can be dangerously exciting. From leading a five-week expedition to find Bigfoot, to being charged by a grizzly bear at point-blank range, the list of stories Tom Stienstra, outdoors editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, has is extensive. Join us as Stienstra showcases his experiences through dramatic photos and elaborate tales collected throughout his career.

Thu 9/24

Image - The Revolution in Small Satellites

The Revolution in Small Satellites

Date: Thu, September 24, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Space opens up to new entrants...

Mike Safyan, Director of Launch and Regulatory Affairs, Planet Labs

A revolution is happening in the space industry. What used to be the domain of nation states and a handful of big corporations is now accessible to students and startups. Planet Labs, a local San Francisco startup, is launching fleets of small satellites to image the entire Earth every day. Mike Safyan, one of Planet's founding team members, will tell the story of how Planet Labs went from garage to orbit to create an unprecedented view of the Earth's changes. As space opens up to new entrants, more people than ever before will have access to radical new tools and data streams to help solve global challenges, such as deforestation, urban sprawl and food security.

Safyan is the director of launch and regulatory affairs at Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based firm that designs, builds and operates the world’s largest fleet of Earth imaging satellites. He has been involved with the launch and operations of over 100 satellites to date.

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.

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.