Upcoming Events

Wed 1/21

Image - Socrates Café

Socrates Café

Date: Wed, January 21, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
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.

Image - Dr. Sylvia Earle and David de Rothschild: Two Generations, One Big Ocean

Dr. Sylvia Earle and David de Rothschild: Two Generations, One Big Ocean

Date: Wed, January 21, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
This program is rescheduled from January 15, 2015

Sylvia Earle, Ph.D., Ocean Explorer; National Geographic Explorer in Residence; Founder, Mission Blue and SEAlliance

David de Rothschild, National Geographic Explorer; Environmentalist

Greg Dalton, Founder, Climate One – Moderator

Dr. Sylvia Earle – fondly dubbed “Her Deepness” by the New York Times – holds the women’s record for the deepest ocean dive and has led more than 100 undersea expeditions, logging more than 7,000 hours underwater. Formerly chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dr. Earle has garnered countless international honors and played a leading role as researcher and educator capable of crossing any barrier – whether it be linguistic, geographic or a seemingly impassible ocean depth. In the same vein, David de Rothschild is an adventurer and activist who utilizes voyages to the world's remote reaches to bring attention to global environmental issues – his recent exploits include a 2010 crossing of the Pacific Ocean in The Plastiki, a catamaran constructed out of 12,500 recycled plastic bottles. De Rothschild, who was designated as a Climate Hero and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, has also demonstrated his ability to cut across mediums as the founder of MYOO, an online community dedicated to giving nature a voice. We hope you can join us for an intergenerational conversation between these two adventurers devoted to saving the oceans.

Image - The Un-Quantified Self: A New Era in Business and Tech

The Un-Quantified Self: A New Era in Business and Tech

Date: Wed, January 21, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
A case for the intrinsic connection between romance and business.

Tim Leberecht, Chief Marketing Officer, NBBJ; Former CMO, Frog Design; Author, The Business Romantic

In an age in which hyper-connectivity, big data and quantification increasingly define everyday life, many people would agree that their business lives are divorced from the sensitive side of their humanity. Tim Leberecht, former CMO of Frog Design and a current WEF advisor, argues that it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, Leberecht makes a big-hearted case for the intrinsic connection between romance and business, all the while urging us to search for more intuition, inconsistency and mystery at our workplaces and in our customer interactions.

Image - The Business Solution to Poverty

The Business Solution to Poverty

Date: Wed, January 21, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Mal Warwick, Author

Mal Warwick, Co-author, The Business Solution to Poverty: Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers

More than 60 years after the rich nations of the world began acting to end poverty, and after the expenditure of more than $2.5 trillion, more people today are living on $2 a day or less than the total population of the planet in 1950. Despite continuing optimism from the World Bank and the United Nations that they’re on track to eradicate poverty, Mal Warwick argues that traditional methods have failed and that only the private sector possesses the resources and the incentives to do the job. This lively presentation will explain how entrepreneurs and existing businesses can design, produce and market income-generating products that will enable 2.7 billion $2-a-day customers to lift themselves out of poverty.

Thu 1/22

Image - The Power of Nature to Restore the Human Spirit: Stop! Breathe! Relax! Listen! (MLF)

The Power of Nature to Restore the Human Spirit: Stop! Breathe! Relax! Listen! (MLF)

Date: Thu, January 22, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Daniel Fox, Explorer; Wildlife Photographer

Daniel Fox, Explorer; Wildlife Photographer

Storyteller, explorer and photographer Daniel Fox brings you along on his journey into the wild. From grizzly bears in Alaska to crocodile-like caimans in Argentina, the images of his journeys bring the contours of the wilderness into stark relief and make clear the inherent connection between humans and the natural world. Join us as his stories of the depths of wildlife provide an opportunity for all of us to come feel the power of nature through the eyes of Daniel Fox!

Fri 1/23

Go to Steve Forbes and Alan Auerbach: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Walter E. Hoadley Annual Economic Forecast

Steve Forbes and Alan Auerbach: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Walter E. Hoadley Annual Economic Forecast

Date: Fri, January 23, 2015
Time: 11:45 AM

Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Media; Former Republican Presidential Candidate
Alan Auerbach, Professor of Economics and Law and Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance Director, University of California, Berkeley; Former Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Joint Committee

With the midterm elections over and with more domestic gridlock and external dangers such as terrorism and Ebola looming large, will the economy continue to improve? Don’t miss this lively discussion with two top economic analysts from different sides of the aisle who will forecast where the U.S. and global economies are headed in 2015, as well as what should be done to keep them on track.

Mon 1/26

Go to Middle East Discussion Group

Middle East Discussion Group

Date: Mon, January 26, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Enriching, provocative and fun discussion!

Make your voice heard in an enriching, provocative and fun discussion with Club members as you weigh in on events shaping the face of the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan. 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.

Image - Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

Date: Mon, January 26, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Join the filmmakers to discuss their new murder mystery movie.

Dayna Goldfine, Emmy-award winning filmmaker; Co-creator, Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden
Dan Geller, Emmy-award winning filmmaker; Co-creator, Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

“The most irresistible film of 2014,” is what the San Francisco Chronicle calls Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden. The documentary presents a cache of home movies made by settlers who go off to live on a remote Galapagos Island in search of Eden. Their search for paradise turns dark when one of their own is killed. Come hear how Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller became interested in producing this engaging, Hitchcock-meets-Darwin mystery.

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

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 - San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

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.

Tue 2/3

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

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

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 - 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. Tying 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.

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.

Wed 2/18

Go to Socrates Café

Socrates Café

Date: Wed, February 18, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
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.

Go to Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job

Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job

Date: Wed, February 18, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
How to get into the best shape of your life.

J.D. Griffin, MBA, Certified Nutrition Coach; Men’s Physique Competitor; Financial Markets Professional

So many nutrition and exercise plans promise great results, but their requirements suggest that becoming healthy is apparently a full-time job. What if you could lose fat, get fit, feel healthy and still keep your day job? You can!

J.D. Griffin wants to teach you how to get yourself into the best shape of your life. By breaking health and fitness down to their essentials, Griffin has developed a functional approach with three sections: nutrition, cardiovascular exercise and resistance training. He offers you a time-efficient, practical guide that he says anyone can follow and start seeing and feeling the results.