Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Mon 10/13

Image - Retired US General Wesley Clark

Retired U.S.General Wesley Clark

Date: Mon, October 13, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Wesley Clark, Ret. U.S. Army General; Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander; Author, Don’t Wait for the Next War: A Strategy for American Growth and Global Leadership

In conversation with Kori Schake, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Former Distinguished Chair in International Security Studies, The United States Military Academy at West Point

Can the U.S. have a real national strategy and move forward without the focus of war? In the 20th century, the U.S. became the "arsenal of democracy" and emerged from WWII as the greatest power in the world. After losing its adversary, the Soviet Union, critics complained that U.S. leaders failed to replace the Cold War strategic vision with something appropriate for a postwar role.

Modern global challenges, immune to military solutions, require intricate interdependence between government and the private sector. Terrorism, cybersecurity, financial system vulnerabilities, the rise of China, and accelerating climate change constitute a new class of national security challenges. Clark says that meeting these will require the U.S. to revisit hallowed mythologies and concert domestic and foreign policies in a way that has never before been achieved. Based on his experience at the highest levels in the military, politics and business, Wesley Clark offers a possible path forward.

Dryden Liddle

Emperor Augustus: A Force for Civilization

Date: Mon, October 13, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
The man who made empire from republican disarray

Dryden Liddle, Ph.D.

Monday Night Philosophy remembers Emperor Augustus, who died 2,000 years ago on August 19, 14 A.D. This gifted and successful politician seized power ruthlessly and was declared the savior of the Roman Republic even as he was abolishing it. He ruled as an autocrat but maintained the fiction that he was no more than the Republic’s First Citizen. His 40-year reign was Rome’s Golden Age, when a new imperial government inspired institutions to be established, and art, architecture and literature to flourish, creating a prosperous civilization that lasted for centuries.

Image - Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 10/13/14

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 10/13/14

Date: Mon, October 13, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM

Panelists TBA

At Week to Week, we explore the biggest, most controversial, and sometimes the oddest 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, 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 10/14

Image - From Hobby to Thriving Business: The Story of Della Fattoria

From Hobby to Thriving Business: The Story of Della Fattoria

Date: Tue, October 14, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Kathleen Weber, Owner, Della Fattoria Bakery; Author, Della Fattoria Bread

Tori Ritchie, Cookbook Author; Food Writer; Culinary Teacher

A self-taught home baker who went on to supply bread for The French Laundry, Weber is now proprietor of the much-loved Della Fattoria Bakery in Petaluma, named one of America’s 10 best bread bakeries by Bon Appétit. Long cherished for her artisan loaves, including favorites like the Meyer Lemon-Rosemary Campagne, Country Wheat and Sausage-Sage Levain, Weber shares the secrets to her breads in her first book, Della Fattoria Bread. Join Weber and Ritchie for a conversation about her bakery, her ranch, baking for some of the region’s top restaurants, and why we should all have more courage in the kitchen.

Image - John Lanchester in conversation with Michael Lewis

John Lanchester in conversation with Michael Lewis

Date: Tue, October 14, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
The language of money and how the world of finance and economics really works.

John Lanchester, Author, How to Speak Money: What the Money People Say – And What It Really Means
In Conversation with Michael Lewis, Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair; Author, MoneyballLiar’s Poker and Flash Boys

Join us for a special pairing and a witty, engaging dialogue about the language of money and how the world of finance and economics really works.

Lanchester is the author of three novels, including The Debt to Pleasure, Capital and IOU. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. He has covered a wide range of money matters, from the terms and conditions of personal checking accounts to the evasions of bankers appearing before Congress. See him in conversation with noted author Lewis, who has covered three decades of endemic global corruption since his debut, Liar’s Poker, which transformed him from a disillusioned bond salesman to the best-selling literary icon he is today.

Image - How to Work a Room and Enjoy Networking in Our Digital Age

How to Work a Room and Enjoy Networking in Our Digital Age

Date: Tue, October 14, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Become better at meeting people and deepening relationships.

Susan RoAne, Author, How to Work a Room: The Ultimate Guide to Making Lasting Connections in Person and Online and Face to Face: How to Reclaim the Personal Touch in a Digital World

How do you introduce yourself to someone? What do you say next? In a world that seems isolated behind emoticons and quick transactions, how can you create and nurture warm, engaged relationships? One way is to join us for a session with best-selling author and keynote speaker Susan RoAne.

Susan's warm and practical style can help us all become better at meeting people and deepening relationships. Accept this invitation and discover how surprisingly easy it is to become comfortable and effective at networking. You'll have a great time, and most likely you'll leave the session with three new contacts and a few new tools that really work. Your future self will thank you for coming to the Club!

Wed 10/15

Image - Ace the Interview: Critical Skills for Midlife Applicants

Ace the Interview: Critical Skills for Midlife Applicants

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014
Time: 5:15 PM
Mary Eileen Williams, Career/Life Transition Counselor; Writer

Mary Eileen Williams, M.A., NCCC; Job Search Specialist; Career/Life Transition Counselor; Writer

Williams will discuss how to present yourself in the job interview, and how it can make or break your chances for success. Too many applicants miss out because they don’t understand how best to prepare for this all-important meeting. In this program, you will learn what to expect – the interviewer’s agenda and a typical interview format; the critical nonverbal messages you’ll need to send; how to anticipate and respond to questions so that you’ll highlight your skills. Williams also offers insider tips for acing event-specific questions; using examples that accentuate your strengths; and how to leave the interview on a high note.

Go to Socrates Café

Socrates Café

Date: Wed, October 15, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A 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 10/16

Image - Waterfront Walk

Waterfront Walk

Date: Thu, October 16, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Rediscover San Fancisco's historic waterfront.

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 - Leon Panetta

Leon Panetta

Date: Thu, October 16, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
Former Director, CIA; Former U.S. Secretary of Defense

Leon Panetta, Former Director, CIA; Former U.S. Secretary of Defense; Author, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace

Dr. Gloria C. Duffy, President & CEO of The Commonwealth Club – Moderator

Leon Panetta has had two distinct and consequential careers as an American public servant. His first lasted 35 years and culminated in his role as President Clinton’s budget director and White House chief of staff. He stepped back from his public life to establish the Panetta Institute with his wife, Sylvia. In 2009 he again stepped into the role of CIA director, eventually leading the campaign to kill Osama Bin Laden. Following that victory, Panetta became the U.S. secretary of defense, inheriting two troubled wars in a time of austerity and painful choices.

In his new book, Worthy Fights, Panetta is frank about the current state of affairs. Suffused with its author’s stubborn common sense, the book is an epic American success story, a great political memoir, and a revelatory view onto many of the great figures and events of our time.

Fri 10/17

Go to Middle East Hotspots: Geopolitics and Stability

Middle East Hotspots: Geopolitics and Stability

Date: Fri, October 17, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Benafsheh Keynoush, Ph.D., Middle East Scholar; Lecturer; Media Consultant

Noted Middle East scholar, media analyst, and translator for four Iranian presidents including Hassan Rouhani, Benafsheh Keynoush will present an overview of the troubled Middle East. He will focus on the role of specific states, such as Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran, against the background of overarching U.S. interests in the region.

Mon 10/20

Image - Matt Bai: When Politics Went Tabloid

Matt Bai: When Politics Went Tabloid

Date: Mon, October 20, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Author explores the history of the 24-hour news cycle.

Matt Bai, National Political Columnist, Yahoo News; Author, All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid; Twitter @mattbai

At a certain point in this country’s media history, the 24-hour news cycle was born – Bai asserts that it was with the Gary Hart scandal in 1987. As a presidential hopeful, Hart was caught in a few compromising photographs with a gorgeous and young model. The end of his presidential aspirations was the beginning of the tabloidization of news, says Bai. He’ll discuss the media’s current fixation on personal character over public legislation when it comes to politicians. A key point in Bai’s discussion will be Hart’s true political legacy, rather than the salacious fall from grace for which he’s remembered.

Go to Cult or Benign Cure-all? Life in Transcendental Meditation’s Hidden Society

Cult or Benign Cure-all? Life in Transcendental Meditation’s Hidden Society

Date: Mon, October 20, 2014
Time: 5:15 PM
A member will describe her life in the secret society.

Gina Catena, MS, CNM, NP; Contributor and Speaker, the International Cultic Studies Association

Catena will describe her life in the secret society that hides behind Transcendental Meditation. Drawing from 50 years and three generations of family influenced by TM’s founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Catena says that TM’s well-funded marketing programs hide an underbelly with mystical teachings, advanced celibate programs, a world government with golden-crowned Rajas and legal controversies. The meditation program made famous by the Beatles guru now makes inroads into public schools and the Veterans Administration through the David Lynch Foundation. Listeners can draw their own conclusions.

Tue 10/21

Go to Francis Fukuyama: Political Order and Decay

Francis Fukuyama: Political Order and Decay

Date: Tue, October 21, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Why some regions have thrived and developed more quickly than others.

Francis Fukuyama, Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow, Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Author, Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy

Fukuyama discusses the essential question of how societies develop strong, impersonal and accountable political institutions. Fukuyama follows the story from the French Revolution to the so-called Arab Spring and the deep dysfunctions of contemporary American politics. He examines the effects of corruption on governance, and why some societies have been successful at rooting it out. He  also explores the different legacies of colonialism in Latin America, Africa and Asia, and offers a clear-eyed account of why some regions have thrived and developed more quickly than others. He boldly reckons with the future of democracy in the face of a rising global middle class and entrenched political paralysis in the West.

Image - Latino/a Culture, Heritage and Conservation for the Environment

Latino/a Culture, Heritage and Conservation for the Environment

Date: Tue, October 21, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Explore this community's history of conservation.

Adrianna Quintero, Senior Attorney; Director, Latino Outreach, Natural Resources Defense Council
Gary Segura, Professor of American Politics and Chair of Chicano/a Studies, Stanford University
Anita Martinez, Retired College Educator; Environmentalist; Community Health and Safety Activist

Most people don't automatically label Latinos and Latinas as environmentalists. A deeper look at family, home and community values reveals a long-standing generational commitment to conservation and the wise use of everyday resources in daily life. California's changing demographics all point to a tremendous potential for local, national and worldwide political environmental progress as we listen and learn about the conservation practices of our Latino and Latina families and communities.

Wed 10/22

Image - Dr. Atul Gawande

Dr. Atul Gawande

Date: Wed, October 22, 2014
Time: 12:30 PM
Author, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Atul Gawande, Author, The Checklist Manifesto and Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End; Staff Writer, The New Yorker; Professor, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health

Alice Huan-mei Chen, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Integration Officer, Director of the Center for Innovation in Access and Quality, and Director of the eReferral Program, San Francisco General Hospital; Associate Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco — Moderator

Gawande tackles the question of how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Modern medicine, dedicated to prolonging life, inevitably runs counter to the natural condition of aging and death. Nursing homes, hospitals and doctors, in the process of provide the aging and dying with the best care, continue to pin patients to railed beds and carry out devastating procedures that ultimately extend suffering.

A practicing surgeon and MacArthur fellow, Gawande addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified. Gawande asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

Image - Tech meets Neuroscience: A Vision of the Future of Medicine and Educatio

Tech meets Neuroscience: A Vision of the Future of Medicine and Education

Date: Wed, October 22, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Adam Gazzaley, M.D.; Ph.D; Founding Director, Neuroscience Imaging Center, Associate Professor in Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry, UC San Francisco

A fundamental challenge of modern society is the development of effective approaches to enhance brain function in both healthy and impaired individuals, and some people have serious concerns about the ability of either our current education or health-care system to meet this challenge. Gazzaley will share a vision of the future in which video games integrated with technological innovations in software and hardware are used as an engine to harness brain plasticity and enhance our cognitive abilities, thus reducing our reliance on non-specific drugs to treat neurological and psychiatric conditions and allowing us to better target and personalize our educational efforts.

Thu 10/23

Image - San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

Date: Thu, October 23, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Hidden gems you can only find on foot!

Explore San Francisco’s Financial District with historian Rick Evans and learn the history and stories behind some of our city’s remarkable structures, streets, and public squares. Hear about the famous architects that influenced the building of San Francisco after the 1906 Earthquake. Discover hard-to-find rooftop gardens, Art Deco lobbies, unique open spaces, and historic landmarks. This is a tour for locals, with hidden gems you can only find on foot!

Image - The Return of George Washington

The Return of George Washington

Date: Thu, October 23, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Edward Larson, Author, The Return of George Washington; Professor of History, Pepperdine University

Did George Washington retire to Mount Vernon after winning the Revolutionary War? Did he stay out of politics until he was drafted to become the first president? Edward Larson argues that, during his so-called "lost period," George Washington remained the indispensable person behind the movement toward a stronger union based on a constitution. Come hear how this founding father quietly worked behind the scenes to lay a secure foundation for our long-lived democracy.

Image - Linda Rottenberg in Conversation with Reid Hoffman: Think Big

Linda Rottenberg in Conversation with Reid Hoffman: Think Big

Date: Thu, October 23, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
“If people aren’t calling you crazy, you aren’t thinking big enough.”

Linda Rottenberg, CEO and Cofounder, Endeavor; Author, Crazy Is a Compliment
In conversation with Reid Hoffman, Founder, LinkedIn

“If people aren’t calling you crazy, you aren’t thinking big enough.” – Linda Rottenberg

Linda Rottenberg has spent her career helping innovators think big. Nowadays, no matter the industry, the startup mindset is king: take risks, adapt, do it quickly. Having cofounded the leading organization devoted to mentoring fast-growing businesses, Endeavor, Rottenberg has seen this movement take shape and is chronicling the steps to success in her latest book, Crazy Is a Compliment. Endeavor entrepreneurs generated $6 billion in revenue and provided 225,000 jobs in a single year. Join us for a blend of inspiring stories and practical tools for getting started and doing it big.

Rottenberg will be joined in conversation by Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn. Join us to learn how to “derisk” your risk.