Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Mon 4/11

Image - The Commonwealth Club of California

Food Justice in America

Date: Mon, April 11, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Panelists TBA

This program is underwritten by The California Wellness Foundation.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 23 million people in America live in what’s known as food deserts. These areas, mostly lower income communities in urban neighborhoods and rural towns, don’t have easy access to fresh fruit, vegetables and other nutritious foods. As a result, their populations suffer from a myriad of preventable health problems, including higher levels of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

How can we ensure food security—with fresh, local, healthy food—for all Americans? Join our panel of advocates as they discuss what is being done to change the current food system in the United States to improve the availability of healthy food, as well as what is happening in our own communities here in the Bay Area.

Wed 4/13

Image - Chinatown Walking Tour

Chinatown Walking Tour

Date: Wed, April 13, 2016
Time: 1:45 PM

Enjoy a Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure. Join Rick Evans for a memorable midday walk and discover the history and mysteries of Chinatown. Explore colorful alleys and side streets. Visit a Taoist temple, an herbal store, the site of the first public school in the state, and the famous Fortune Cookie Factory. 

Image - Shaka Senghor and Van Jones

Beyond Prisons: A Conversation About Criminal Justice Reform

Date: Wed, April 13, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Van Jones, President & Co-Founder, #cut50; CNN Political Commentator; Former White House Special Advisor
Shaka Senghor, Director of Strategy and Innovation, #cut50; Writer; Mentor; Motivational Speaker

Currently, more than 2 million Americans are in prison, close to one out of every 100 Americans. As a result, the federal government spends $80 billion each year on the incarceration industry while projects such as improving our national infrastructure and educational systems continue to be drastically underfunded.

#Cut50, a national, bipartisan initiative co-founded by Van Jones, is working to safely and smartly reduce the American prison population by 50 percent over the next 10 years. Hear from Van and Shaka Senghor, author of the memoir Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison, about why they believe that now is the perfect time to achieve meaningful criminal justice reform and how #cut50 plans to make it happen.

Join INFORUM for a timely, insightful and illuminating conversation about criminal justice reform in America. 

Image - SAP CEO Bill McDermott

Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP

Date: Wed, April 13, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Leadership and innovation

Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP; Author, Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office; Twitter

This event is underwritten by Accenture.

How do you lead with purpose? McDermott’s unique start as a young entrepreneur helped solidify his journey to lead SAP, the world’s largest business software company.

Hear his thoughts on leadership and innovation in today’s competitive global market. 

Accenture

Thu 4/14

Image - Michael Waldman

Michael Waldman: The Fight to Vote

Date: Thu, April 14, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Michael Waldman, President, Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law; Author, The Fight to Vote; Twitter

Previously, Michael Waldman traced the ongoing argument on gun rights from The Bill of Rights to the current day. Now, in The Fight to Vote, Waldman takes a succinct and comprehensive look at an even more crucial struggle: the past and present effort to define and defend government based on “the consent of the governed.” From the writing of the Constitution, and at every step along the way, as Americans sought the right, others have fought to stop them. This is the first book to trace the entire story from the Founders’ debates to today’s restrictions: gerrymandering, voter ID laws, the flood of money unleashed by the nonprofit Citizens United, making voting difficult for the elderly, the poor and the young, by restricting open polling places.

Waldman describes the precedents for these contemporary arguments. The fight, sometimes vicious, has always been at the center of American politics: from counting slaves but not permitting them to vote, to property-less males, then to free blacks, women, 18-year-olds, and the disadvantaged who were harassed by literacy tests. Now the right to vote is challenged by restrictions on open polling schedules and IDs, plus floods of money. The Fight to Vote, meticulously researched and thoroughly compelling, recounts the ongoing struggle for this right. 

Tue 4/19

Image - The Commonwealth Club of California

San Francisco International Airport: A Leader in Environment and Sustainability

Date: Tue, April 19, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

John Martin, Airport Director, San Francisco International Airport

San Francisco International Airport is a leader in mitigating the environmental impact of airport operations and in adopting sustainability facilities and practices. From reducing greenhouse gas emissions to building LEED-certified terminals to providing habitats for endangered species, the San Francisco International Airport has long set the standards for sustainability for large and small public and private agencies and organizations. 

Image - Juan Williams photo

Juan Williams

Date: Tue, April 19, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Juan Williams, Political Analyst, Fox News Channel; Author, We the People: The Modern-Day Figures Who Have Reshaped and Affirmed the Founding Fathers’ Vision of America; Twitter

What would the Founding Fathers think about America today? Over 200 years ago the Founders broke away from the British Empire to build a nation based on the principles of freedom, equal rights and opportunity for all. But life in the United States today is vastly different from anything the original Founders could have imagined in the late 1700s. The notion of an African-American president of the United States, or a woman such as Condoleezza Rice or Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, would have been unimaginable to the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence or who ratified the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Among the modern-day pioneers Williams explores are the passionate conservative President Reagan; the determined fighters for equal rights Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr.; the profound imprint of Rev. Billy Graham’s evangelism on national politics; the focus on global human rights advocated by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; the cultural impact of the gay community that led the Stonewall riot and brought gay life into America’s public square; and the re-imagined role of women in contemporary life as shaped by Betty Friedan.

Williams reveals how each of these modern-day founders has extended the Founding Fathers' original vision and changed fundamental aspects of our country, from immigration to the role of American labor in the economy, from modern police strategies to the importance of religion in today’s political discourse.

Mon 4/25

Image - The Commonwealth Club of California

Humanities West Book Discussion: How the Irish Saved Civilization

Date: Mon, April 25, 2016
Time: 5:00 PM

Join us to discuss Thomas Cahill's book How the Irish Saved Civilization. In his entertaining and compelling narrative, Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era and argues that, without the help of Irish monks and Irish culture, that transition could not have taken place. Discussion led by Lynn Harris. 

Socrates Café

Date: Mon, April 25, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

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. 

Image - Lesley Stahl

Spend 60 Minutes with Lesley Stahl

Date: Mon, April 25, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Lesley Stahl, Correspondent, "60 Minutes"; Author, Being Grandma: The Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting; Twitter:

This event is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

After four decades as a reporter, Lesley Stahl says the most vivid and transforming experience of her life was not covering the White House, interviewing heads of state, or any other of her stories at "60 Minutes." It was becoming a grandmother. She was hit with a jolt of joy so intense and unexpected, she wanted to “investigate” it—as though it was a news flash! She explores how grandmothering changes a woman’s life, interviewing her friends like Whoopi Goldberg, colleagues like Diane Sawyer, and the proverbial woman next door.

On top of these personal accounts, she interviews scientists and doctors about physiological changes in women when they have grandchildren, anthropologists about why there are grandmothers in evolutionary terms, and psychiatrists about the therapeutic effects of grandchildren on grandparents.

In an era when Baby Boomers are becoming grandparents in droves, when young parents need all the help they can get raising their children—and with a grandmother in the running to be our next U.S. president—Stahl’s book is a timely and affecting read that redefines a cherished relationship.

Thu 4/28

Image - North Beach Walking Tour

North Beach Walking Tour

Date: Thu, April 28, 2016
Time: 1:45 PM

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.

Wed 5/4

Image - DJ Patil

United States Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil: Big Data and You

Date: Wed, May 04, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

DJ Patil, United States Chief Data Scientist

Big data’s role in our lives is increasing, whether we realize it or not. From influencing our health-care decisions to helping to make our streets safer, big data has changed the way that our government and the private sector are tackling some of today’s most complicated social and economic issues.

Join us in welcoming U.S. Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil to the INFORUM stage for a conversation about the benefits and controversies surrounding human-centered big data and how it affects us in our everyday lives. 

Mon 5/9

Image - Robert Lustig

Food Addiction 2.0

Date: Mon, May 09, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

Michael Prager, Author, Fat Boy Thin Man
Nicole Avena, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Florida
Robert H. Lustig, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, UCSF
Eric Stice, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Oregon Research Institute
Vera Ingrid Tarman, MD., MSc., FCEP, CASAM, Medical Director, Renascent
Elissa Epel, Ph.D., Associate Professor, UCSF Department of Psychiatry
Ashley Gearhardt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan

This program is an update from our previous Food Addiction program; all panelists will offer updated information.
Addiction is about brains, not just about behaviors. We all have the brain reward circuitry that makes food rewarding; it’s a survival mechanism. In a healthy brain, these rewards have feedback mechanisms for satiety or "enough." For some, the circuitry becomes dysfunctional such that the message becomes "more." Michael Prager, author of Fat Boy Thin Man, will begin the discussion telling his very personal story of recognizing and then seeking treatment for his food addiction. Leading researchers and clinicians will discuss many aspects of this important topic. 

Mon 5/23

Socrates Café

Date: Mon, May 23, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

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.

Mon 6/20

Socrates Café

Date: Mon, June 20, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

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 6/21

Image - Debbie Shore

End Childhood Hunger: What You Can Do to Help

Date: Tue, June 21, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

Debbie Shore, Co-Founder, Share our Strength

Childhood hunger is a problem that threatens an entire generation of future leaders, innovators and problem-solvers. Share Our Strength's primary mission is "to end hunger and poverty in the United States and abroad by mobilizing industries and individuals, and creating community wealth to promote lasting change.

Educators, parents, and anyone involved with kids and interested in eliminating hunger can attend and come away with ideas and direction about what to do to help end childhood hunger.

Wed 6/22

Image - Nancy Easton

Wellness in the Schools

Date: Wed, June 22, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

Nancy E. Easton, Co-Founder/Executive Director, Wellness in the Schools

Wellness in the Schools inspires healthy eating, environmental awareness and fitness as a way of life for kids in public schools. Through meaningful public/private partnerships with school leadership, teachers, chefs, coaches, parents and kids, WITS develops and implements programs that provide healthy foods, healthy environments and opportunities for regular play to help kids learn and grow. Today WITS programs serve approximately 30,000 public school children across New York City, Kentucky, and Florida.

In an effort to combat childhood obesity and create healthier learning environments, Wellness in the Schools (WITS) developed Cook for Kids and Coach for Kids, hands-on food and fitness programs that are poised for replication nationwide. Cook for Kids has even received national accolades from First Lady Michelle Obama, and the WITS model served as inspiration for the Chefs Move to Schools Initiative.

Thu 6/23

Image - Beth Greer

How to Have a Holistic, Healthy, Happy Home: Solutions for Parents of Kids with Challenges

Date: Thu, June 23, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

Beth Greer, Award-winning Journalist; Environmental Health Advocate; Holistic Lifestyle Educator; Author, Super Natural Home: Improve Your Health, Home and Planet … One Room at a Time

Beth Greer, known as the Super Natural Mom, bestselling author, holistic health coach and one of the foremost experts on sustainable and toxin-free living will give a talk on things you need to know to help kids who have challenges. She will offer powerful information on the toxins in everyday products that can have triggering reactions in a child’s nervous system; five things in the home to avoid to create a safe, healthy, toxin-free home; practical and convenient solutions that give dramatic results; and symptoms to look for in kids that indicate they’re being impacted by toxins in their home environment.

She’ll also discuss a non-psychological approach to behavioral changes in kids. Don’t miss this talk to help you enhance your child’s well-being as well as your own (caregiving can be stressful). 

Mon 7/18

Socrates Café

Date: Mon, July 18, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

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. 

Mon 8/29

Socrates Café

Date: Mon, August 29, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

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.