Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Wed 6/22

Image - Larry Jacobson

Sail into Retirement

Date: Wed, June 22, 2016
Time: 5:15 PM

Larry Jacobson, Author; Speaker; Retirement Transition Coach

Larry Jacobson will describe how to make a meaningful and fulfilling transition from career to retirement. Jacobson is a non-financial retirement transition coach whose coaching program, "Sail into Retirement," is specifically designed to answer the question "What am I going to do with my time in retirement?" Not accepting that retirement is a time to stop growing, he will describe how he coaches clients to discover untapped passions beyond their previous careers, and combines these passions with the knowledge from their vocations to build a plan of action for a retirement of fulfillment and purpose.

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). 

Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War

Date: Thu, June 23, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
What the War on Terror has wrought.

Mark Danner, Author, Former Staff Writer, The New Yorker; Chancellor’s Professor of Journalism and English, UC Berkeley

In his latest book, Spiral, Danner describes a nation altered in fundamental ways by 9/11. Fourteen years of armed conflict makes the War on Terror the longest war in U.S. history, even though only a tiny percentage of our citizens fight in actual combat. Now Al Qaeda has been replaced by multiple jihadist and terror organizations, including the most notorious: ISIS.

Guantanamo, indefinite detention, drone warfare, enhanced interrogation, torture and warrantless wiretapping are all words that have become familiar and tolerated in the name of security. By defining the War on Terror as boundless, apocalyptic and unceasing, we have, Danner concludes, “let it define us as ideological crusaders caught in an endless war.”

Mon 6/27

Middle East Forum Discussion

Date: Mon, June 27, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM

The Middle East Forum discussion group that primarily covers the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan has been meeting for more than eight years. We do not debate. We exchange ideas and opinions. The discussion is considered a perk of membership but those interested, especially students, are welcome to attend.

Public Health, Public Spaces

Date: Mon, June 27, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Lisa Chen, Planner, Citywide Division, San Francisco
Richard J. Jackson, M.D, Professor and Former Chair, Environmental Health Sciences, Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA
Fran Weld, Vice President of Strategy and Development, San Francisco Giants
Bill Worthen, Executive Director, Urban Fabrick

This program is underwritten by The California Wellness Foundation.

In recent years, there has been growing scientific evidence indicating a connection between public health and how places—particularly our cities and suburbs—are designed and built. From higher car use in suburban sprawl to urban neighborhoods lacking green space and walkways, every aspect of the built environment surrounding us impacts our health. What is being done to rethink the structure of our towns and cities? How can we improve the health of our communities through design? Come for a discussion on our cities, our health, and what we can do to increase the number of healthy spaces in our growing communities.

Thu 6/30

Image - David Burkus

The End of Business As Usual

Date: Thu, June 30, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

David Burkus, Professor, Oral Roberts University; Founder and Host, "Radio Free Leader"; Author, Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business As Usual

Should employees know each others’ salaries? Can companies win by putting their employees’ welfare first, and their clients second? Are annual performance reviews necessary? Burkus challenges the traditional and widely accepted principles of business management—proving that they're outdated, outmoded and simply don’t work—and presents winning strategies using case studies and in-depth research. You'll learn how the nature of work is changing—and what that means for business, society and your own career.

Image - Fearless tech women

Fearless Women Founders on Succeeding in Tech World

Date: Thu, June 30, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Amanda Kahlow, Founder & CEO, 6sense
Mada Seghete, Co-Founder, Branch Metrics
Promise Phelon, CEO, TapInfluence

According to a 2015 North American study by McKinsey & Company, women are almost four times more likely than men to think they have fewer opportunities to advance because of their gender. How can we change this? During this candid discussion, you'll join three leading women in tech as they share their experiences of being a woman in the technology industry, what challenges they've faced along the way, how they overcame them and ways to encourage more women to pursue careers in tech.

Tue 7/12

Images - Mary Elizabeth Williams

A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles

Date: Tue, July 12, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Mary Elizabeth Williams, Journalist; Author, A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles: A True Story of Love, Science, and Cancer
In conversation with Peggy Orenstein, Author

Journalist Mary Elizabeth Williams was one of the first people in the world to get a new form of treatment for her stage 4 cancer diagnosis that’s revolutionizing cancer care: immunotherapy. In October of 2015, her treatment protocol became the first immunotherapy combination approved by the FDA; it's the same treatment that former President Jimmy Carter underwent.

In her witty, wry, and deeply moving new memoir, A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles: A True Story of Love, Science, and Cancer, Williams shares her personal journey with malignant melanoma in her early forties and how—thanks to cutting-edge science—she was restored back to health with no signs of disease.

Wed 7/13

The Brazen Age

Date: Wed, July 13, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

David Reid, Author, The Brazen Age

The Brazen Age is a sweeping look at the rich culture and turbulent politics of New York City between 1945 and 1950. But David Reid also reaches back to the early 1900s to explore the city’s progressive politics, radical artistic experimentation and burgeoning bohemian culture, to the quickly growing media, movie and radio businesses in the 1920s, and to the influx of talented Europeans in the 1930s, vastly enriching the sciences and the arts. Reid also delves into the city's influence on the Dewey-Truman election, as he captures a complex and powerful moment in the post-war history of New York City.

Thu 7/14

Off the Grid: The Disruptive, Japan-inspired Food Truck Revolution

Date: Thu, July 14, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Matt Cohen, Founder of Off the Grid Services, LLC

Off the Grid, curator of gatherings of street food and other amenities at Fort Mason Center, the Presidio, and 38 other locations, began in San Francisco six years ago and is a uniquely Bay Area re-creation of Asia’s vibrant night markets. Founder Matt Cohen developed the concept from his time living in Japan, and he added modern elements to build community spaces through temporary events in underused urban spaces using social media and partnerships with small businesses. Cohen will discuss how his experience living in Japan inspired and continues to influence the evolution of Off the Grid’s various businesses.

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. 

Image - Kevin Kelly

Wired's Kevin Kelly: The Future of Tech

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

Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick, Wired; Author, The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces that Will Shape Our Future; Twitter

Much of what will happen in the next 30 years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. In his provocative new book, Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives—from virtual reality in the home to an on-demand economy to artificial intelligence embedded in everything we manufacture—can be understood as the result of a few long-term, accelerating forces.

Kelly describes these deep trends—flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking and questioning—and demonstrates how they overlap and are codependent on one another. He says that these larger forces will revolutionize the way people buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other. By understanding and embracing them, says Kelly, it will be easier to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits.

Kelly engages people who seek guidance on where their business, industry, or life is heading—what to invent, where to work, in what to invest, how to better reach customers, and what to begin to put into place—as this new world emerges.

Tue 7/19

Redefining National Parks and Family Farms in a Changing Climate

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

Jordan Fisher Smith, Author, Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight over Controlling Nature
John Hart, Author, Farming on the Edge: Saving Family Farms in Marin County and An Island in Time: 50 Years as Point Reyes National Seashore

How will national parks adapt to volatile climate? Jordan Fisher Smith, a former park and wilderness ranger in the American West, writes about the futile, sometimes fatal, attempts to remake wilderness in the name of preserving it. Tracing a course from the founding of the national parks through the tangled 20th-century growth of the conservationist movement, Smith gives the lie to the portrayal of national parks as Edenic wonderlands unspoiled until the arrival of Europeans, and shows how virtually every attempt to manage nature in the parks has only created cascading effects that require even more management. Now climate change is presenting a new set of challenges to America’s best idea.

Family farms face a comparable and different challenge as they struggle to cope with a changing climate. Can farmers, ranchers and environmentalists come together to protect the environment and food supply as species migrate and weather changes? Join a conversation with two writers about how farms and parks are adapting to their new reality.

Wed 7/20

Image - The Commonwealth Club of California

OMG: I Forgot to Plan for a Good Death!

Date: Wed, July 20, 2016
Time: 5:15 PM

Regina Sneed, Advocate, The California End of Life Option Act

The California End of Life Option Act will be effective on June 9, 2016. The speaker will discuss the options people have for dying based on their choices, including the new option of medical aid in dying. People will also have time to discuss what each of us can do to ensure our wishes can be fulfilled for a death with dignity. The audience will be provided with helpful supplemental material and afforded the opportunity to better understand the choices and protections inherent in this important legislation.

Thu 7/28

Image - Dr Denise Davis

Race and Relationships in Health Care: Basic Psychology I Didn't Learn in Med School (But Wish I Had)

Date: Thu, July 28, 2016
Time: 5:15 PM

Denise L. Davis, M.D., Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California San Francisco; Fellow, American Academy on Communication in Healthcare

In 2014, health professions students around the country staged White Coats for Black Lives protests, which focused the attention of UCSF and other medical schools on issues of race, power and health. Dr. Davis will discuss the art and science of improving doctor-patient communication that could change the culture of medicine, helping doctors to move beyond "White Coat Silence" on race and power.

Fri 7/29

Image - UC

The University of California's Role in Confronting Climate Change and Leading the World on a Sustainable Environmental Path

Date: Fri, July 29, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Teenie Matlock, McClatchy Chair of Communications and Associate Professor of Cognitive Science, University of California, Merced
Daniel Kammen, The Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy, University of California, Berkeley; Parallel Appointments in the Energy and Resources Group, The Goldman School of Public Policy, and the Department of Nuclear Engineering
Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego
Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group Inc.; Producer, GreenBiz.com; Lead Author, The Annual State of Green Business Report—Moderator

California and the University of California are leaders in confronting one of the world's most complex and daunting issues: climate change. Three distinguished UC professors from across the University system will discuss how the UC and the state of California lead and plan to continue leading the world on a path to a sustainable environmental future.

Tue 8/2

Image - Paulette Brown

Paulette Brown, President, American Bar Association: Making the Justice System Just

Date: Tue, August 02, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Paulette Brown, President, American Bar Association; Partner/co-chair, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Locke Lord LLP

Paulette Brown is the first woman of color to become president of the ABA and has been recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the “50 most influential minority lawyers in America.” She has been a municipal court judge, in addition to focusing on all facets of labor and employment litigation. Brown has devoted her presidency to “rebuilding the nation’s confidence in our justice system” by “working to eliminate bias and enhance diversity and inclusion” and offer “tangible, sustainable solutions that will have a positive impact on the perception of our justice system.”

Join an important discussion of what’s being done to ensure that the legal system can better represent the under-represented across the United States.

Wed 8/10

Image - Lorraine Bannai

Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice

Date: Wed, August 10, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Lorraine Bannai, Professor of Lawyering Skills and Director, Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, Seattle University School of Law; Author, Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice

The vulnerability of minority communities has always been a big problem, but it is particularly so when fear exacerbates ignorance. Not long ago, it was Japanese Americans; now it is Muslims. Professor Bannai illuminates this theme through the story of Fred Korematsu, a 22-year-old Oakland welder who refused to comply with orders that led to the incarceration of more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry during World War II. In Korematsu v. United States­, the wartime Supreme Court rejected his challenge to the government in one of its most infamous cases. More than 40 years later, Professor Bannai was part of the legal team that successfully challenged Korematsu's conviction based on proof that the government had falsified the record.

For Korematsu’s courage and for his work warning of the dangers of prejudice, President Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.

Mon 8/15

Image - Bobby Kennedy

Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon

Date: Mon, August 15, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

Larry Tye, Author, Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon

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

Nobody was better, half a century ago, at thinking about the biggest solutions for the problems of his age than Bobby, whether that be race riots roiling in cities across America, and especially in California; the war raging in Vietnam; or the general issue of inequality that was dividing people along lines of class, race, gender and generation.

Those issues, of course, are a mirror of those facing the country today, when RFK's message is more resonant than ever. He predicted we'd have a black president almost to the day, when no white politician dreamed of it. He talked about how our problems made us ripe for demagogues, though he'd never met Donald P. Trump but did know George Wallace better than anyone. And he offered ways out of all of that, in compelling enough terms to win the California primary and seem poised for the presidency.

Tue 8/23

Image - Sun Power

Can California Get to 100-percent Clean Power?

Date: Tue, August 23, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Mark Ferron, Member, California Independent System Operator
Mark Jacobson, Professor, Stanford
Geisha J. Williams, President, PG&E

Mark Jacobson leads a team that says California and other states can get to 100-percent renewable power by 2050. Celebrity activists Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio are backing him.

But critics say the theoretical plan doesn’t consider the hard realities of the power grid and that renewables are sometimes oversold. California recently passed a law requiring half of the state’s power be renewable by 2030.

Should the state be more ambitious to battle climate disruption? What does PG&E think about going all-in on renewable power?