Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Thu 3/5

Go to Explore the World from The Commonwealth Club Planning Meeting

Explore the World from The Commonwealth Club Planning Meeting

Date: Thu, March 05, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Discuss international issues and plan programs.

All interested Club members are welcome to attend our bimonthly, one-hour planning meetings of the International Relations Member-Led Forum. We focus on Europe, Latin America, Africa and worldwide topics. Join us to discuss current international issues and plan programs for 2015.

Image - In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural

In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China

Date: Thu, March 05, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With author Michael Meyer

Michael Meyer, Author, In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and The Transformation of Rural China and The Last Days of Old Beijing

Meyer draws on his three-year residence in his wife’s hometown of Wasteland, Manchuria, to bring to life a sweeping view of a rapidly changing China. Once a commune, the rice-farming village was transformed in a process that has been repeated across rural China: A privately owned company moved in, paved new roads, introduced organic farming, and provided workers apartments in new high-rise buildings – in exchange for their land rights. Using Wasteland as a fulcrum, Meyer weaves in Manchuria’s rich past – from the last Chinese emperor through Japanese occupation to communist victory – to help make sense of variegated contemporary China.

Tue 3/10

Image - International Careers: Explore the World As You Work

International Careers: Explore the World As You Work

Date: Tue, March 10, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
A panel of worldly experts.

Terry Vogt, Managing Director, Terra Global Capital
Lisa Reinsberg, Executive Director, International Justice Resource Center
Vaido Vald, Superintendent, Skanska – Global Project Development and Construction Group
Nikki Sayres, Senior Director of Field Representation and Operations, The Asia Foundation

Have you ever thought of taking your sharply honed professional skill set overseas? Perhaps to use your management expertise to help shape the next green building complex in Denmark? Or your legal and human rights knowledge to push for the fair treatment of migrant workers in China? Our panel of international specialists from private industry and the nonprofit sphere will discuss opportunities for international work in various disciplines. Learn about the rewards and possible pitfalls of working abroad. Following the program you will have the opportunity to talk directly with the speakers.

Image - Bruce Schneier: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data

Bruce Schneier: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data

Date: Tue, March 10, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Author and Chief Technology Officer

Bruce Schneier, Chief Technology Officer, Co3 Systems; Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School; Author, Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World

Join us for a shocking look at the ways corporations and governments track and control people, and the ways we can fight back.

Data is everywhere. We create it every time we go online, turn our phone on (or off!) or pay with a credit card. This data is stored, studied and bought and sold by corporations and governments for surveillance, profit and control. “Foremost security expert” (Wired) and best-selling author Bruce Schneier shows how this data has led to a double-edged Internet: a Web that gives power to the people but is abused by the institutions on which those people depend.

In Data and Goliath, Schneier reveals the full extent of surveillance, censorship and propaganda in society today, examining the risks of cybercrime, cyberterrorism and cyberwar. He shares technological, legal and social solutions that can help shape a more equal, private and secure world.

Wed 3/11

Image - Michael Rich, President and CEO, RAND Corporation

Michael Rich, President and CEO, RAND Corporation

Date: Wed, March 11, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Getting to Good Policy in the Era of Political Polarization.

Getting to Good Policy in the Era of Political Polarization

Michael Rich, President and CEO, RAND Corporation

Rich is the head of the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis. Since assuming his roles in 2011, Rich has focused on extending the impact of RAND's work: challenging the organization to extend its legacy of innovation and helping decision makers stay ahead of the curve on the issues that matter most.

In his nearly 40-year career at the RAND Corporation, Mr. Rich has consulted with heads of state, top-ranked generals, business executives, philanthropists and other senior leaders on how to address the world’s most pressing problems. As the political climate has become increasingly polarized, is there a role for institutions like RAND that are committed to objective analyses and data-driven conclusions? He explains how rigorous research and analysis can and should influence the policy debate even in today’s heated political environment.

Thu 3/12

Go to 2015: Critical Year for Planet Earth

2015: Critical Year for Planet Earth

Date: Thu, March 12, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

James Fahn, Executive Director, Internews' Earth Journalism Network; Journalism Lecturer, UC Berkeley
David Akana, Journalist, Cameroon
Gustavo Faleiros, Journalist, Brazil
Neha Sethi, Journalist, India; Visiting Scholar, UC Berkeley
Mark Schapiro, Journalist, United States; Author, Carbon Shock

This year is going to be crucial for the earth's climate and for the future of our planet. Diplomats and other stakeholders will be gathering in Paris in December 2015 to try to finally agree on an international protocol that will coordinate concerted and collaborative action against global warming.

Earth Journalism Network has been reporting on climate summits since Kyoto in 1997. Join us to hear from these seasoned journalists who cover climate change, the impacts of global warming and the future of our planet.

Mon 3/16

Image - The Amazons

The Amazons

Date: Mon, March 16, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Were these ancient warrior women fact or fiction?

Adrienne Mayor, Research Scholar, Classics and History and Philosophy of Science, Stanford University

Amazons – fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world – were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles dueled Amazon queens, and Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great and Pompey each tangled with them. But who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback? Were Amazons real? Mayor's is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across the ancient world, including new archaeological discoveries of battle-scarred female skeletons buried with their weapons. Mayor argues that a timeless search for a balance between the sexes explains the allure of the Amazons and reminds us that there were as many Amazon love stories as there were war stories.

Tue 3/17

Image - The Allure of Irish Dancing

The Allure of Irish Dancing

Date: Tue, March 17, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Michael Dillon of the Dillon Magh Adhair Academy of Irish Dance

Michael Dillon, ADCRG, Dillon Magh Adhair Academy of Irish Dance

Come celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a demonstration of Irish dancing by championship-level dancers from a renowned Bay Area dance school. Dillon, an Ard Diploma Coimisiuin le Rinci Gaelacha (a teacher certified by the worldwide governing body of Irish dance), will also explain the history that permeates this detailed and disciplined dance culture. This will be the perfect pre-pub experience, as you are sure to leave with your feet tapping out a jig — or maybe even a reel.

Wed 3/18

Go to Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman: The Untold Story of Psychiatry

Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman: The Untold Story of Psychiatry

Date: Wed, March 18, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM

Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D.; Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Author, Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychology

Psychiatry has come a long way since the days of cruelly chaining "lunatics" in cold cells and parading them as freakish marvels before a gaping public. However, the path to legitimacy for "the black sheep of medicine" has been anything but smooth. Through a period that saw hydrotherapy, lobotomies and primal screaming regularly used as treatments, psychiatry has endured serious growing pains on its way to becoming an accepted evidence-based profession. Dr. Lieberman traces the history of the field, from its birth as a mystic pseudo-science to its maturity, all the while arguing that we dispel the stigma linked to mental illnesses and treat them as diseases rather than as unfortunate states of mind.

Image - Estate Planning in Film

Estate Planning in Film

Date: Wed, March 18, 2015
Time: 5:15 PM
Age-old estate planning questions raised in the popular movie A Thousand Acres

John E. O’Grady, Esq., Chair of the Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Section, Bar Association of San Francisco

Attorney and mediator O’Grady discusses the latest approaches to the age-old estate planning questions raised in the popular movie A Thousand Acres, a contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” He’ll show relevant clips to explore creative ways to protect your property rights and plan for your care and financial security without giving up control of your affairs. There is no need to see the movie in advance.

Go to Socrates Café

Socrates Café

Date: Wed, March 18, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Discussion of philosophical issues.

The Humanities Forum brings Socrates Café to The Commonwealth Club. It will be held every third Wednesday evening for the discussion of philosophical issues. At each monthly meeting the group's facilitator, Bob Enteen, will invite participants to suggest topics, which are then voted on. The person who proposed the most popular topic will briefly explain why she or he considers the subject interesting and important. An open discussion will follow, ending with a summary. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Thu 3/19

Image - Waterfront Walk

Waterfront Walk

Date: Thu, March 19, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM

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 two-hour tour will give you a lively overview of the historic significance of this neighborhood and a close look at the ongoing development.

Image - The Streets of San Francisco: Policing and the Creation of a Cosmopolita

The Streets of San Francisco: Policing and the Creation of a Cosmopolitan Liberal Politics, 1950-1972

Date: Thu, March 19, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Christopher Agee, Assistant Professor

Christopher Agee, Assistant Professor, History Department, University of Colorado, Denver

During the Sixties, the nation turned its eyes to San Francisco as the city's police force clashed with the free speech, civil rights and sexual liberation movements. More than just one-time flare-ups, these street-level conflicts forced Americans (and San Franciscans) to reconsider the role of the police officer in democratic society. Historian Christopher Agee explores the influential ways in which San Francisco liberals provided a solution that championed both broad diversity and strong policing by turning to the police as partners and granting them a powerful tool: the use of discretion.

Image - Tom Hayden: Why Cuba Matters

Tom Hayden: Why Cuba Matters

Date: Thu, March 19, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Author and Activist

Tom Hayden, Activist; Director, Peace and Justice Resource Center; Author, Listen, Yankee: Why Cuba Matters; Twitter @tomehayden

In the wake of President Obama’s momentous move to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba, one of America's best-known voices of political and social activism offers fresh insight into one of history's most enigmatic relationships between nation states. He draws upon his own past as a revolutionary student leader whose efforts to mobilize political change in the U.S. mirrored a simultaneous radical transformation in Cuba. He explores the great opportunity both countries now have to finally find common ground to the advantage of Cubans and Americans alike.

Fri 3/20

Image - Future of Afghanistan

Future of Afghanistan

Date: Fri, March 20, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
A panel of young Fulbright scholars.

Rohila Jalali, B.A., Business Administration
Nangyalai Attal, B.A., English Language and Literature, 2014 UN Youth Courage Awardee
Akmal Siddiqu, B.A., Finance and Management
Ihsanullah Shagiwal, B.A., Business Administration
Atta Arghandiwal, Author, Lost Decency: The Untold Afghan Story – Moderator

A panel of young, dedicated Fulbright scholars hailing from Afghanistan and studying critical business and management fields at San Francisco’s Golden Gate University consider their nation’s future and their own personal goals for when they return to their beloved homeland. The three men and one woman are compelling figures: Rohila, who grew up in a Pakistani refugee camp, worked for USAID in Afghanistan; Nangyalai, a recent United Nations Youth Courage Awardee, pushed his government for labor reform; Akmal is a leader in the developing Afghan telecommunications industry; and Ihsanullah has taken on roles for the Afghan government and numerous international aid organizations. Regardless of their varied backgrounds, all are guided by a commitment to gender equality and open entrepreneurial opportunity in shaping Afghanistan’s development.

Tue 3/24

Image - Shelby Steele: Equality and Justice

Shelby Steele: Equality and Justice

Date: Tue, March 24, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM

Shelby Steele, Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution; Author, Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country

The United States today is hopelessly polarized. The political right and left have hardened into rigid and deeply antagonistic camps, preventing any sort of progress. Amid the bickering and inertia, the promise of the 1960s – when many people came together to fight for equality and universal justice – remains unfulfilled.

Shelby Steele writes that the roots of this impasse can be traced back to that decade of protest, when in the act of uncovering and dismantling our national hypocrisies – racism, sexism, militarism – liberals internalized the idea that there was something inauthentic, if not evil, in the American character. He says the result has been a half-century of well-intentioned but ineffective social programs, such as affirmative action. Steele believes that not only have these programs failed but they also have in almost every case actively harmed America’s minorities and poor. Ultimately, Steele argues, post-60s liberalism has utterly failed to achieve its stated aim: true equality. Liberals, intending to atone for our past sins, have ironically perpetuated the exploitation of this country’s least fortunate citizens.

Wed 3/25

Image - Tavi Gevinson: INFORUM’s 21st Century Visionary Award

Tavi Gevinson: INFORUM’s 21st Century Visionary Award

Date: Wed, March 25, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Maybe the most influential 18-year-old in America.

Tavi Gevinson, Editor-in-Chief, Rookie Magazine; Editor, Rookie Yearbook Three; Broadway Actress, “This Is Our Youth”

It’s quite possible that Tavi Gevinson is the most influential 18-year-old in America. Despite the fact that she just graduated from high school, her résumé includes blogging phenom, magazine editor, writer, movie actress and Broadway star. At age 11, she started Style Rookie, a blog that garnered the attention of fashionistas the world over and has since spawned a corresponding online culture magazine, Rookie, three annual yearbooks and a nationwide tour. Frequently dubbed a wunderkind, Tavi is both a hero to teen girls everywhere and a leading creative voice in the digital era, covering topics – from astrophysics and Carl Sagan to how to wear a leotard “without giving a damn” – through a smart, modern, feminist lens. Join us as we honor Tavi Gevinson and her singular voice with INFORUM’s 21st Century Visionary Award.

Thu 3/26

Image - Russian Hill Walking Tour

Russian Hill Walking Tour

Date: Thu, March 26, 2015
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 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 - Deep Decarbonization of the United States

Deep Decarbonization of the United States

Date: Thu, March 26, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With scientist Jim Williams

Jim Williams, Chief Scientist, Energy and Environmental Economics (E3)

Is it possible to greatly reduce the carbon emissions of the United States and still maintain a vigorous economy? Concern about climate change impacts on the environment and economy is leading to innovation as scientists seek new ways to reduce carbon emissions. Dr. Williams and his team at E3, along with researchers at Berkeley Lab and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, have completed an assessment of the technical and economic feasibility of reducing U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Their work is based on a detailed sector-by-sector, region-by-region, year-by-year analysis of the infrastructure changes, technology requirements and costs of a low-carbon transition.

The work was sponsored by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), an international collaboration with research teams from the 15 largest GHG emitting nations, who are developing long-term scenarios for decarbonization in their own countries. The DDPP aims to advance the climate dialogue by providing decision makers with a more concrete understanding of what limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius would mean for their countries, states and businesses.

Tue 3/31

Go to Regional Transit Governance Seminar

Regional Transit Governance Seminar

Date: Tue, March 31, 2015
Time: 8:30 AM
With transportation experts and public officials.

Join us for a half-day seminar with transportation experts and public officials discussing regional transit governance challenges and best practices that shape development and growth in several vibrant urban landscapes. This event will be held in conjunction with the release of the Eno Center for Transportation’s most recent paper.

Getting to the Route of It: The Role of Governance in Regional Transit
Joshua Schank, President and CEO, Eno Center for Transportation

Overcoming Transit Fragmentation
Ratna Amin, Transportation Policy Director, SPUR

Transit Villages: The Missing Key to Transit Success
Rod Diridon, Emeritus Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute

Transit Systems: Promoting Integration
Nuria Fernandez, CEO, Valley Transportation Authority (invited)