Humanities West Book Discussion: Count Belisarius by Robert GravesDate: Wed, March 12, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
The sixth century was not a peaceful time for the Roman empire and its capital, Constantinople. Invaders threatened on all fronts, but they grew to respect and fear the name of Belisarius, Justinian's greatest general. Robert Graves (also author of I, Claudius) again demonstrates his command of a vast historical subject, creating a startling and vivid picture of a decadent era. Discussion led by Lynn Harris.
U.C. Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks: The Utopian Past and Future of the Public UniversityDate: Wed, March 12, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Nicholas Dirks, Ph.D., Chancellor, UC Berkeley
What role should a public university play in 2014? Chancellor Dirks says that although the recent national discussion and concern about tuition costs is understandable, the commutation of education into lifetime earnings is a major threat not only to the significance of self-cultivation and understanding but also to the benefits of an undergraduate experience of the liberal arts and sciences. He believes the future of the public sphere, of civil society and of democracy itself is at serious risk as students retreat from subjects that cannot be directly tied to vocational aspirations. He argues that we need to continue to be inspired by the utopian goals of those who founded, supported, and led our public universities and to fully embrace their moral and intellectual ambitions in a collective undertaking that is more urgent than ever.
North Beach Walking TourDate: Thu, March 13, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
This program is sold out
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.
Mayor Ed Lee: What's Next For San FranciscoDate: Thu, March 13, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Mayor of San Francisco
San Francisco is a thriving, diverse, dynamic city of great neighborhoods, but also one that is a global hub for innovation and new economy industries. Mayor Lee’s focus has been on job creation, creating and sustaining a broad-based economic recovery and making the City more affordable for working families while making City government more responsive, efficient and accountable through innovation and technology. What's next for San Francisco?
Plato at the GoogleplexDate: Thu, March 13, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Rebecca Goldstein, MacArthur Fellow, Professor of Philosophy; Author, Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away
Imagine that Plato came to life in the 21st century and set out on a multi-city speaking tour. How would he handle a Fox News host who challenges him on religion and morality? How would he mediate a debate on the best way to raise a child between a Freudian psychoanalyst and a Tiger Mom? How would he answer a neuroscientist who argues that all philosophical problems can be solved by our new technologies? What would he make of the idea that knowledge can be crowdsourced rather than reasoned out? With a philosopher's depth and a novelist's imagination, Goldstein probes the deepest issues confronting us by allowing us to eavesdrop on Plato as he encounters the modern world.
Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 3/14/14Date: Fri, March 14, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Larry Gerston, Carla Marinucci & Bill Whalen
Larry Gerston, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, San Jose State University; Political Analyst, NBC Bay Area; Author, Not So Golden After All: The Rise and Fall of California; Twitter @lgerston
Carla Marinucci, Senior Political Writer, San Francisco Chronicle; Twitter @cmarinucci
Bill Whalen, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Twitter @hooverwhalen
John Zipperer, Vice President of Media & Editorial, The Commonwealth Club — Host
It's another election year, and each Week to Week political roundtable program will take a look at the issues and the people in local, state, and national politics. In its first two years, Week to Week has become a must-attend political discussion and social event. 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 stay after 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).
Learning from LeonardoDate: Tue, March 18, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Fritjof Capra, Founding Director, Center for Ecoliteracy; Author, Learning from Leonardo
Capra, a physicist and systems theorist well-known for his highly influential The Tao of Physics, presents Leonardo Da Vinci's scientific work – his fluid dynamics, geology, botany, mechanics, aerodynamics and anatomy. Most of his astonishing discoveries and achievements remain virtually unknown, as has Leonardo's focus on understanding the nature of life, because until recently the nature of life was defined only in terms of cells and molecules, to which Leonardo had no access. But the understanding of life that is emerging today, in terms of metabolic processes and their patterns of organization, are precisely the phenomena that Leonardo explored throughout his life.
Simon Schama: Story of the Jews – Finding the WordsDate: Wed, March 19, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Simon Schama, CBE, Professor of Art and Art History, Columbia University; Author, The Power of Art, Landscape and Memory and The Story of the Jews
Jonathan Curiel, Journalist, Reuters Foundation Research Fellow, Oxford – Moderator
The Commonwealth Club's Middle East Forum presents a special event with Professor Schama, renowned scholar, noted author, and PBS and BBC writer and presenter. Professor Schama will discuss his latest book, The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words, 1000 BCE to 1492 CE, which has been described as a magnificently illustrated cultural history. The book is a tie in to the PBS/BBC series, "The Story of the Jews." Professor Schama will be signing copies of his book following the presentation.
The Book of ForgivingDate: Thu, March 20, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Reverend Mpho A. Tutu, Episcopal Priest, Founder and Executive Director, the Tutu Institute for Prayer & Pilgrimage; Co-author, The Book of Forgiving
Reverend Mpho Tutu offers insights into the art of forgiveness gleaned from South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was headed by her father, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Not many believed that a society riven by apartheid's history of violence and hatred could ever heal and transform itself. Tutu explains that the four keys to South Africa's successful avoidance of the endless and unyielding cycle of pain and retribution are: admitting the harm done, telling the story and seeing the anguish caused, asking for forgiveness and granting forgiveness, and renewing or releasing the relationship.
Arthur M. Shapiro: Ecological Communities and the March of TimeDate: Mon, March 24, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Arthur M. Shapiro, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Department of Evolution and Ecology, College of Biological Sciences, UC Davis
Ecological communities as we know them are similar to freeze-frames from a long movie. Associations among species are very dynamic on millennial scales, as demonstrated by the evidence since deglaciation 15,000 years ago. Coevolution of species occurs locally in geographic mosaics and can be extremely dynamic as well. Frederic Clements, the father of American community ecology, had a holistic vision. He saw communities as super-organisms. He was wrong.
This program is part of “The Science of Conservation and Biodiversity in the 21st Century”: This series of lectures will present a new way of looking at public policy issues in conservation. The things we’ve assumed as facts often are not. Traditional approaches are losing ground as science illuminates new pathways for framing and achieving conservation goals.
Cons, Scams and Undue InfluenceDate: Mon, March 24, 2014
Time: 5:15 PM
Patrick O’Reilly, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist; Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCSF; Co-author, Undue Influence: Cons, Scams and Mind Control
Internet scams, Ponzi schemes, real estate rip-offs, weird cults, fortune-telling cons – it’s hard to read the news without finding another successful con artist at work. As the number of scams and victims grows, the term “undue influence” is gaining widespread use. Dr. O’Reilly will explain the vulnerabilities that these scammers look for and techniques they use to steal from us.
Beyond the Green Bin: A Panel Discussion on Reducing Food WasteDate: Mon, March 24, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Dana Gunders, Staff Scientist in Food and Agriculture, Natural Resources Defense Council
Nick Papadopoulos, General Manager, Bloomfield Organics; CEO and Co-founder, CropMobster
Dana Frasz, Founder and Director, Food Shift
Staffan Terje, Chef and Owner, Perbacco
Julie Cummins, Director of Education, CUESA - Moderator
A staggering 40 percent of the food produced in this country never gets eaten. Innovators are now finding ways to utilize, intercept and redistribute food that would have otherwise gone to the compost bin. Chefs are exploring nose-to-tail, root-to-stalk cooking. Nonprofits are sourcing from abandoned orchards and school cafeterias and delivering food to soup kitchens and food pantries. Consumers are learning that misleading expiration dates cause unnecessary waste. And technology-based solutions are emerging to match unwanted food with eager eaters. Join the conversation with researchers and visionaries on how to turn food waste into food resources.
White House StoryDate: Wed, March 26, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Melinda Bates, Author, White House Story: A Democratic Memoir
The ultimate White House insider, Bates met Bill Clinton when they were freshmen at Georgetown University, and their friendship has survived the Clintonian vicissitudes of the decades since. After working on Clinton's 1992 campaign, Bates ran the Visitors Office for all eight years of his presidency. Now, she pulls back the White House curtains to reveal the celebrities, power brokers and political partiers who were the prime movers during Bill's and Hillary's 1993-2001 lease. Her insights remain relevant, especially since the Clintons' 2017-2025 lease is currently being offered up as a possibility.
Russian Hill Walking TourDate: Thu, March 27, 2014
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.
Unintended Consequences: Is Too Much Information, Too Fast, Too Much of a Good Thing?Date: Thu, March 27, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
Nicholas Carr, Author, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
Zack Lynch, Founder and Executive Director, Neurotechnology Industry Organization; Author, The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science is Changing Our World
Marilyn Walker, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Professor of Computer Studies and Head of the Natural Language and Dialogue Systems Lab in the Baskin School of Engineering, UC Santa Cruz
Barbara Marshman, Editorial Page Editor, San Jose Mercury News - Moderator
What are the intellectual and cultural consequences of getting information too fast? Are we losing our capacity for concentration and reflection as we become more adept to scanning and skimming information? Panelists will address these important issues and discuss the advantages and dangers of the digital information revolution.
Arianna Huffington with Sheryl Sandberg: Redefining SuccessDate: Thu, March 27, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post Media Group; Author, Thrive
In conversation with Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook; Author, Lean In
What if success was not defined by money and power alone? As president and editor-in-chief of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Huffington Post and one of Forbes' Most Influential Women In Media, Arianna Huffington is no stranger to success, and she now seeks to redefine it. Huffington is leading a groundbreaking movement to make success equally inclusive of personal health, well-being and giving back. Tackling what she has coined “The Third Metric,” this business tycoon reminds us all to pursue a life with purpose and meaning. In an interview conducted by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, these two powerhouses challenge us to re-envision "conquest" as we know it.
International Green Industry Hall of Fame ConferenceDate: Fri, March 28, 2014
Time: 8:00 AM
4th Annual International Green Industry Hall of Fame Conference
Help honor the pioneers, leaders and visionaries contributing to the green industry and helping to preserve our fragile exosystems for future generations.
2014 Award Nominees: Amory Lovins, Arbor Teas, BioBag, Build It Green, Donald Simon, Google, Green Team San Joaquin, Honda USA, Interface Inc., Ira Ehrenpreis, Kebony International, Marc Richmond, Mirimichi Golf Course, Moon Valley Organics, Roz Savage, San Francisco Giants Baseball Club, Seventh Generation, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Stem Inc., Synergy International, 10,000 Villages, Terra Pass Inc., Terra Cycle Inc., and Toyota Motor Corporation
Location: San Jose State University Student Center, San Jose
Time: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $50 (includes breakfast and lunch), $25 student/senior
Also know: Co-sponsored by The Commonwealth Club of California's Climate One program, Mineta Transportation Institute, San Jose State University, Baker Peterson Franklin LLP, BCT Consulting, Geil Enterprises, REC Solar
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER OR CALL 559-217-5219
Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Joshua Fattal: Imprisoned in IranDate: Fri, March 28, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal
Co-authors, A Sliver of Light
In the summer of 2009, Bauer, Fattal and Shourd made international headlines when they were hiking and unknowingly crossed into Iran. The three Americans were captured by border patrol, accused of espionage and ultimately imprisoned for two years in Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison. Together they share their harrowing story of hope and survival.
Middle East Discussion GroupDate: Mon, March 31, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Make your voice heard in an enriching, provocative and fun discussion with fellow Club members as you weigh in on events shaping the face of the Middle East. Each month, the Middle East Member-Led Forum hosts an informal roundtable discussion on a topic frequently suggested by recent headlines. After a brief introduction, the floor will be open for discussion. All interested members are encouraged to attend. There will also be a brief planning session.
The Fracking BoomDate: Tue, April 01, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Russell Gold, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal; Author, The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World
Trevor Houser, Partner, Rhodium Group; Co-author, Fueling Up: The Economic Implications of America’s Oil and Gas Boom
Fracking for oil and natural gas is transforming the way the United States powers its economy. A flood of low-priced natural gas has undercut new nuclear plants and nudged utilities to pull the plug on old ones. Cheap gas has also stolen market share from coal and has also hit renewable sources of power, such as wind and solar. Now the fracking bonanza is spreading to China and beyond. With the U.S. poised to become the world’s largest petroleum producer in a few years, the world’s new energy equation could undermine OPEC and profoundly alter the geopolitical balance of power.
Russell Gold’s new book The Boom illustrates Texas oilmen and Oklahoma wildcatters who developed and perfected hydraulic fracturing technology that ushered in a new era of American industry. Trevor Houser’s new book Fueling Up examines the economics of fracking. Join us for a conversation about the most powerful force in today’s energy economy.