Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Wed 1/28

Image - Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death
This event is Postponed

Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death

Date: Wed, January 28, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Katy Butler, Author

Katy Butler, Author, Knocking on Heaven's Door

When does death cease to be a curse and start to become a blessing? Where is the line between saving a life and prolonging a dying? When is the right time to say to a doctor, “Let my loved one go”? Science writer and essayist Katy Butler explores these questions through a blend of investigative reporting and memoir. When doctors refused to disable her aged, very ill father’s pacemaker, sentencing him to a protracted and agonizing death, Butler set out to understand why. Her quest had barely begun when her mother faced her own illness, refused open-heart surgery, and instead met death head-on. This story is the fruit of her family’s journey.

 
Image - 7 Reasons You Can’t Miss This Event with BuzzFeed’s CEO
This event is Sold Out

7 Reasons You Can’t Miss This Event with BuzzFeed’s CEO

Date: Wed, January 28, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Jonah Peretti, Founder & CEO of Buzzfeed

Jonah Peretti, Founder & CEO of Buzzfeed
In conversation with Chris Dixon, Investor

  1. The site is said to be the fastest-growing on the internet, with more than 150 million people a month viewing viral hits such as “50 puppies to help you get through work today” and “The 45 Most Powerful Images of 2011.”
  2. Learn why Jonah Peretti once said of BuzzFeed, “We’re all teenage girls a little bit.”
  3. Don’t know what regression analysis is, or the importance of a click-through? Well, you should. Find out from the pros.
  4. Answer the age-old question: Can investigative journalism and memes coexist?
  5. Hear the secret sauce on the theory of virality and ask yourself, is it evil for media to let human data crunching dictate content strategy?
  6. Trying to learn how to raise money? BuzzFeed is valued at $850 million – LOL win omg cute.
  7. Get the Inside Scoop on 3 Things BuzzFeed Will Do Next…. Did this list just get meta?

Thu 1/29

Image - Julian Castro

Julián Castro

Date: Thu, January 29, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM

Julián Castro, Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Buildings are the big kahuna when it comes to fighting climate change. Forty percent of carbon emissions in the United States comes from buildings and the electricity that goes into them. Energy and water-wise buildings are now trendy in many downtown office towers, driven mainly by market forces.

HUD Secretary Castro wants to take energy efficiency and new financing models to multifamily developments and federal housing communities. Secretary Castro will also talk about HUD’s efforts to help create greener communities and fight climate change.

Caulking windows and weatherizing doors isn’t sexy, but they are one of the simplest and most effective ways to cut power bills and clean up communities. Energy upgrades also create jobs that can’t be sent offshore.

Join a conversation about green buildings, climate change, resilience and more with a political rising star.

Image - San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour
This event is Sold Out

San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

Date: Thu, January 29, 2015
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 - NASA’s Kepler Mission: A Bounty of Planets Orbiting Distant Stars

NASA’s Kepler Mission: A Bounty of Planets Orbiting Distant Stars

Date: Thu, January 29, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Jack J. Lissauer, American Research Scientist

Jack J. Lissauer, American Research Scientist, NASA's Ames Research Center; Co-Investigator, Kepler Mission

Astronomers first detected planets around other stars – known as exoplanets – in the 1990s, but initially they were only able to discover giant planets that are hotter than a pizza oven. As time progressed, smaller and cooler exoplanets have been found. NASA launched the Kepler spacecraft in 2009 to search for more Earth-like worlds. Kepler has found more than 4,000 planet candidates, 1,000 of which have been verified as true exoplanets.  Most are clearly inhospitable for life as we know it, but two are only slightly larger Earth and also may be as temperate.

Lissauer holds a doctorate in applied mathematics granted by the University of California, Berkeley, in 1982. His thesis is entitled "Dynamics of Saturn's Rings." He also has a degree in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

Image - Down and Dirty

Down and Dirty

Date: Thu, January 29, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Can cow dung save humanity?

Diana Donlon, Director, Cool Foods Program, Center for Food Safety
Nicolette Hahn Niman, Author, Defending Beef
Whendee Silver, Professor of Ecology, UC Berkeley

Can cow dung save humanity? Many people concerned about climate disruption have shunned dairy and red meat because of the methane gas emitted by both ends of cows.

But some ranchers and researchers are saying rotational cattle grazing patterns and composting on grasslands can increase soil fertility, retain water and store carbon. Cows, they say, should get a fresh look and dirt should get more respect as a potent tool in the fight to reduce carbon pollution. Restoring soil is a hot topic right now in food and farming circles.

Should Californians reconsider the image of cows as climate killers? Could the golden state maintain its pastoral landscape and also pull carbon pollution out of the air? Or is this a slick move by ranchers to position a problem as a solution? Join us for a conversation about ranching, healthy diets and a whole lot more. 

Mon 2/2

Image - New Member Reception
This event is Postponed

New Member Reception

Date: Mon, February 02, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Come take a peek!

Are you new to the Club? Just want to explore and check it out? Come take a peek, meet other members and staff and learn about all The Commonwealth Club offers. Experience first-hand how The Commonwealth Club has become the nation’s leading public forum. Bring a friend and explore the Club together!

Tue 2/3

Image - Healthy Aging: Lowering the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

Healthy Aging: Lowering the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

Date: Tue, February 03, 2015
Time: 5:15 PM
Patricia Renaut Spilman, M.S., Senior Scientist, Buck Institute 

Patricia Renaut Spilman, M.S., Senior Scientist, Buck Institute

As a growing portion of the American population ages into its golden years, there will inevitably be a greater number of those suffering from Alzheimer's, a degenerative disease for which there is currently no effective reversing treatment. At the forefront of the effort to find a breakthrough cure is the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, CA, a facility dedicated to confronting Alzheimer’s and other chronic age-related illnesses. While researchers continue to press for a reversing process, all of us can make health and lifestyle changes that greatly reduce the chance of developing this devastating disease. Spilman, a senior scientist at the Buck Institute, will share with us proactive "healthstyle" choices that encourage a healthy mind and body far into one’s later years.

Image - William Ury: Getting to Yes with Yourself

William Ury: Getting to Yes with Yourself

Date: Tue, February 03, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Co-founder of Harvard University’s Program on Negotiation 

William Ury, Co-founder of Harvard University’s Program on Negotiation; Author, Getting to Yes with Yourself and Other Worthy Opponents

William Ury, coauthor of the international bestseller Getting to Yes, returns with another groundbreaking book, this time asking, How can we expect to get to yes with others if we haven’t first gotten to yes with ourselves? Ury has taught tens of thousands of people from all walks of life how to become better negotiators. Over the years, Ury has discovered that the greatest obstacle to successful agreements and satisfying relationships is actually our own selves and the natural tendency to react in ways that do not serve our true interests. But this obstacle can also become our biggest opportunity, Ury argues. Join this discussion about learning to understand and influence our own selves first.

Wed 2/4

Image - San Francisco Giants’ Bruce Bochy and Larry Baer
This event is Sold Out

San Francisco Giants’ Bruce Bochy and Larry Baer

Date: Wed, February 04, 2015
Time: 4:30 PM
Celebrate and relive the Giants’ amazing World Series!

This program is sold out

Bruce Bochy, Manager, San Francisco Giants
Larry Baer, President and CEO, San Francisco Giants; Key Strategist, Giants’ Baseball and Business Transactions
In conversation with Roy Eisenhardt, Former President, Oakland Athletics

Larry Baer has stated that hiring three-time World Series champion and two-time National League manager of the year Bruce Bochy was "probably the best move [Giants management] ever made.” Here’s a chance to celebrate and relive the Giants’ amazing 2014 World Series victory. Go behind the scenes and into the dugout with Manager Bochy and Team President Baer to find out who's in, who's out and what strategies will keep the Giants at the peak of their game.

Image - Humanities West Book Discussion: Two Lives of Charlemagne

Humanities West Book Discussion: Two Lives of Charlemagne, by Einhard and the Monk of St. Gall

Date: Wed, February 04, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
The Holy Roman emperor and “father of Europe.” 

Join us to discuss the life of Charlemagne, the Holy Roman emperor and “father of Europe.” One biography we’ll look at is by Einhard, who joined the royal court in 791 to serve as an epic poet, mathematician and architect. His work is believed to be the most accurate portrayal of Charlemagne and the finest biography of its time. This edition also contains the highly anecdotal "life" of Charlemagne, penned by the Monk of Saint Gall, whose accuracy is scorned but whose witty tales keep popping up in modern biographies. Lynn Harris will lead the discussion.

Image - Dodging Extinction: Power, Food, Money, and the Future of Life on Earth

Dodging Extinction: Power, Food, Money and the Future of Life on Earth

Date: Wed, February 04, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
A practical, hopeful plan for avoiding yet another mass extinction. 

Anthony D. Barnosky, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley; Cox Visiting Professor, Department of Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University

Paleobiologist Barnosky weaves together evidence from the deep past and the present to offer a practical, hopeful plan for avoiding yet another mass extinction. His compelling evidence suggests that unless we rethink how we generate power, where we get our food, and how we make our money, we will trigger the sixth great extinction on Earth. Optimistic that we can change this ominous forecast, Barnosky provides clear-cut strategies to guide the planet away from global catastrophe using existing technology and know-how.

Thu 2/5

Image - Waterfront Walk

Waterfront Walk

Date: Thu, February 05, 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 - Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death

Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death

Date: Thu, February 05, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Katy Butler, Author, Knocking on Heaven's Door

When does death cease to be a curse and start to become a blessing? Where is the line between saving a life and prolonging a dying? When is the right time to say to a doctor, “Let my loved one go”? Science writer and essayist Katy Butler explores these questions through a blend of investigative reporting and memoir. When doctors refused to disable her aged, very ill father’s pacemaker, sentencing him to a protracted and agonizing death, Butler set out to understand why. Her quest had barely begun when her mother faced her own illness, refused open-heart surgery, and instead met death head-on. This story is the fruit of her family’s journey.

Mon 2/9

Image - Sexual Intelligence: A New View of Sexual Function and Satisfaction

Sexual Intelligence: A New View of Sexual Function and Satisfaction

Date: Mon, February 09, 2015
Time: 5:15 PM
What do most people want from sex? 

Marty Klein, Ph.D., Marriage & Family Therapist; Sex Therapist; Author, Sexual Intelligence: What We Really Want from Sex, and How to Get It

What do most people want from sex? A combination of pleasure and closeness; but during the act, that’s not always the focus. Instead, we worry about how we look, smell, sound and perform; distracted thoughts and feelings can lead to what so many people are afraid of – sexual “dysfunction” and dissatisfaction. Trying to improve "function" and friction doesn't give people what they really want from sex. After all, sex is much more than an activity; it's an idea.

Dr. Klein is an internationally recognized expert in human sexuality. He has been a marriage and family therapist and sex therapist in Palo Alto for 34 years, and he has written seven books on sexuality. Join Dr. Klein as he discusses ways in which we can improve our sex lives and connect with our partners.

Image - Book Discussion: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (MLF)

Book Discussion: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (MLF)

Date: Mon, February 09, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
The freedom of the spirit in an unfree world.

The Master and Margarita is woven around a visit by the devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union. In part, it is angled against a suffocatingly bureaucratic social order. The novel alternates between two settings. The first is 1930s Moscow, and the second setting is the Jerusalem of Pontius Pilate. Ultimately, the novel deals with the interplay of good and evil, innocence and guilt, courage and cowardice, love and sensuality, exploring such issues as the responsibility toward truth when authority would deny it, and the freedom of the spirit in an unfree world.

We’ll be discussing Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.

Tue 2/10

Image - Transforming California's State Parks: A Blueprint for a Sustainable Fut

Transforming California's State Parks: A Blueprint for a Sustainable Future

Date: Tue, February 10, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
Christine Kehoe of the California Parks Forward Commission 

Christine Kehoe, Co-Chair, California Parks Forward Commission

California's magnificent 280-unit park system faces significant challenges. Declining budgets have led to scaled-back services and a long list of maintenance needs, while outdated administrative systems, technology and processes impede park staff’s ability to effectively manage and protect the parks’ natural and cultural resources. Hear about a just-released report by the Parks Forward Commission, which recommends sweeping changes to tackle these issues and ensure the sustainability of our state parks for future generations.

Kehoe is the executive director of the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative. During 25 years of public service, including 19 years in elected office, Kehoe has focused on developing policies and programs over a range of issues at the city and state level. From 2000 to 2012, Ms. Kehoe served in the California state legislature as a member of the Assembly and the state Senate, where she distinguished herself as a consensus-minded leader and an advocate for strong energy and environmental policy.

Image - Half the Sky: China's Women Prisoners

Half the Sky: China's Women Prisoners

Date: Tue, February 10, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
John Kamm, Executive Director of the Dui Hua Foundation 

John Kamm, Founder and Executive Director, Dui Hua Foundation

Ever since 1997, the number of women in China’s prisons has risen at a rate far outstripping the increase in its general population. This recent surge in the prison population has necessitated a critical look at issues ranging from why it is happening (women’s helplessness in cases of domestic violence plays a large role) to how to better manage and care for the incarcerated. The Chinese government itself has begun addressing the problem and is considering adopting United Nations-mandated protocols for women prisoners. Kamm, of San Francisco’s humanitarian Dui Hau Foundation, lends us his considerable understanding and experience in exploring this burgeoning human rights issue.

Wed 2/11

Image - Scoble on Startups 2015: Context, Cloud and Bleeding-Edge Tech

Scoble on Startups 2015: Context, Cloud and Bleeding Edge Tech

Date: Wed, February 11, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Robert Scoble, Author and Chief Startup Liaison at Rackspace 

Robert Scoble, Chief Startup Liaison, Rackspace; Author, Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy
In conversation with Kevin O’Malley, President TechTalk / Studio

Top tech evangelist Robert Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology. He's interviewed thousands of executives and innovators, and continues to report on what he learns in books like The Age of Context and through social media, where he has a huge following. Join Scoble to learn about the latest and greatest startups, trends and devices he’s uncovering for 2015 and beyond.

Image - Living Planet Report 2014: Global Footprint Network

Living Planet Report 2014: Global Footprint Network

Date: Wed, February 11, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Mathis Wackernagel, Ph.D., President, Global Footprint Network 

Mathis Wackernagel, Ph.D., President, Global Footprint Network

Dr. Wackernagel will discuss the Living Planet Report, 2014 and the Global Footprint Network's ecological footprint. The Living Planet Report is a science-based analysis of the health of our planet and the impact of human activity. Wackernagel has worked on sustainability on six continents and lectured at more than 100 universities. Join us as he speaks about current science and the health of our planet and the serious challenges ahead to ensure healthy, safe environments worldwide at the global, national and local levels. Dr. Wackernagel is co-creator of the concept of the ecological footprint. His awards include the 2013 Prix Nature Swisscanto, the 2012 Blue Planet Award and the 2011 Zayed International Prize for the Environment.