Upcoming Events

Mon 4/24

Image - Steve Blake

Mastering Migraines: Prevention and Natural Strategies

Date: Mon, April 24, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
Natural ways to combat migraines

Steve Blake, ScD, Faculty Nutritional Biochemist, Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience; Research Scientist; Author, Mastering MigrainesParkinson’s Disease: Dietary Regulation of DopamineVitamins and Minerals DemystifiedA Nutritional Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease; Co-author, Mosby's Drug Guide for Nurses

Learn to identify and avoid your unique migraine triggers by looking at the most common triggers: food, odors, additives and deficiencies. All the information provided during this program will relate to safe treatments, which are available without the side effects that often come from taking prescription drugs. For example, you will learn about a histamine-free diet, which resulted in 68 percent of patients having half as many migraines. We will look at other natural treatments, such as: root powder, a single B vitamin, coenzyme Q10 and a medical plant. Taken together, these safe techniques have the potential to reduce migraines from three times a week to once every other month. In this program, Blake will outline some of the many safer, natural remedies for migraine headaches with the goal of helping you to become free from migraine pain.

For more information, visit: www.DrSteveBlake.com.

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Middle East Forum Discussion

Date: Mon, April 24, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM
Discussion group

Will McGarvey, Executive Director, Contra Costa Interfaith Council 

This month's topic: the Defusing Hatred project

The Middle East Forum discussion group—which primarily covers the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan— has been meeting monthly for nine years. We are not a debate group. Each month we discuss timely, cultural subjects in a civil atmosphere with respect for others and their opinions. Students are particularly welcome.

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Bonds of Union

Date: Mon, April 24, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The tensile strength of national connections

Bridget Ford, Professor of History, California State University, East Bay; Author, Bonds of Union: Religion, Race, and Politics in a Civil War Borderland

Americans today worry that social and political divisions threaten our democracy and our futures together, bound by one nation. Bridget Ford will offer valuable historical perspective from the Civil War era, this country’s greatest test of unity and moral purpose. Drawing from her recent book, Bonds of Union, Ford will show how diverse Americans worked to create a stronger, more inclusive nation that prevented the country’s permanent dissolution. Her talk will focus on the establishment of publicly funded schools for all children, and the new Republican Party’s critical involvement in that effort in the 1850s. She will argue that the United States has a longer, deeper history of imagining an inclusive society than we typically imagine, one that stretches back to the decades before the Civil War. 

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This event is Sold Out

Ben Shapiro: Rules for Debating the Left

Date: Mon, April 24, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Shapiro's views on controversial issues

Ben Shapiro, Editor-in-Chief, DailyWire.com; Host, “The Ben Shapiro Show"; New York Times Best-Selling Author; Attorney
Matt Shupe, Managing Partner, Praetorian Public Relations; Executive Director, California Young Republican Federation—Moderator

Ben Shapiro has made a name for himself as a prominent young conservative voice in our nation’s political dialogue. At 17, Shapiro became the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in America as a part of the Creators Syndicate. He was the editor-at-large for Breitbart.com; co-founder of TruthRevolt, the media watchdog website; has written several successful books and also started his own law practice. Today, he's the editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com; host of "The Ben Shapiro Show," the number one conservative podcast on iTunes; and has almost half a million Twitter followers, who engage in discussion and debate with him every day. Shapiro is a California native and is a graduate of both UCLA and Harvard Law School.

Shapiro is frequently called upon to offer his opinion on controversial political and social issues, on everything from the role of the media in our society to the rise of Black Lives Matter to Jews in the United States. He’s known for his confrontational approach and is never one to back down during a heated exchange.

Shapiro welcomes agreement and argument alike, so we hope you’ll join us for an in-depth conversation. Bring your questions!

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SFDebate

Date: Mon, April 24, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Biweekly debate

The SFDebate is an open forum for discussion on the events of our time. It is a place where you will not only be exposed to opposing points of view, but a safe place where you will be encouraged to find and speak up for yours. SFDebate is also a meeting of minds, and we follow every meeting with continued debate and conversation at a nearby bar/restaurant.

Click here to sign up for this program via Meetup. 

Tue 4/25

Image - David Dalin

Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court, from Brandeis to Kagan

Date: Tue, April 25, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Jewish justices of the high court

David Dalin, Ph.D., Author, Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court, from Brandeis to Kagan

Dr. Dalin will cover the lives, legal careers, judicial legacies, and Jewish background of the eight Jews who have served or who currently serve as justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: Louis D. Brandeis, Benjamin N. Cardozo, Felix Frankfurter, Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan, who was appointed by Barack Obama in 2010. He will also discuss how Woodrow Wilson's historic appointment of Louis D. Brandeis in 1916 began the tradition of a "Jewish Seat" on the Supreme Court, and the role that antisemitism did or did not play in these eight Justices' legal careers and Senate confirmation hearings.

Image - Texas flags and wind power

Texas Surprise

Date: Tue, April 25, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
The Lone Star State's energy leadership

Skip Averitt, Chair, Texas Clean Energy Coalition; Republican Former State Senator
Stephanie Smith, COO, Greencastle LLC
Pat Wood III, Principal, Wood3 Resources
Greg Dalton, Founder and Host, Climate One
Additional Speakers TBA

When Californians think of Texas, images of JR Ewing and pump jacks quickly come to mind. But the Lone Star State is greener than you think. It leads the country in wind power, thanks to a law signed by Governor George W. Bush. Texans also claim the state can comply with President Obama’s Clean Power Plan with technologies and policies already on hand. Ranchers and former oil men are dipping their toes into renewable energy. What else is in the clean energy pipeline?

Join a conversation with Texas energy leaders about fossil fuels and renewables in America’s most prominent energy-exporting state.

Wed 4/26

Image - Yasuyuki Sawada
This event is Canceled

The Asian Development Bank's 2017 Economic Forecast for Asia

Date: Wed, April 26, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Asia as a middle-income region

Dr. Yasuyuki Sawada, Chief Economist, the Asian Development Bank

Decades of rapid growth transformed developing Asia into a largely middle-income region, but the pace of expansion has fallen off since the 2008 global financial crisis. This has serious implications for American businesses and the global economy as a whole.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) explores this challenge in its Asian Development Outlook 2017, a comprehensive economic forecast providing country and regional analysis and growth projections for 45 economies, including the People’s Republic of China, India and Indonesia. ADB's Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada will outline the report’s findings and policy options for innovation, education and infrastructure to spur growth in middle-income economies amid uncertainties ranging from protectionist threats to changing monetary policy.

Dr. Yasuyuki Sawada holds a doctorate degree in economics and a master's degree in international development policy from Stanford University. He also holds master's degrees in international relations and economics from the University of Tokyo and Osaka University, respectively, and a bachelor's degree in economics from Keio University in Japan.

The Giving Code

Date: Wed, April 26, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Giving culture amongst Silicon Valley philanthropists

Peter Fortenbaugh, CEO, Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula
Carol Larson, President and CEO, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Daniel Lurie, CEO, Tipping Point
Heather McLeod Grant, Co-founder, Open Impact; Co-author, The Giving Code: Silicon Valley Nonprofits and Philanthropy
Tess Reynolds, CEO, New Door Ventures
Kerry Dolan, Assistant Managing Editor, Forbes—Moderator

Why are Silicon Valley's nonprofits struggling to meet demand in one of the wealthiest and most sophisticated regions in the world? In addition to national or global causes, why aren’t more Silicon Valley philanthropists directing their dollars toward local organizations and issues? And why hasn’t more entrepreneurial ingenuity been harnessed to solve local problems? 

A new report, The Giving Code: Silicon Valley Nonprofits and Philanthropy by Alexa Cortés Culwell and Heather McLeod Grant, found that despite a nearly $5 billion boom in philanthropy in Silicon Valley—driven by a 150 percent increase in individual giving from 2008 to 2013—the region's nonprofits are struggling to keep up with growing demand for their services, having less than three months’ cash on hand.

The report reveals a shocking prosperity paradox in Silicon Valley with skyrocketing wealth found alongside growing displacement of vulnerable populations and declining quality of life. Even as Silicon Valley boasts more than 76,000 millionaires and billionaires, its middle class is shrinking—nearly 30 percent of residents (roughly 800,000 people) rely on some form of public or private assistance to get by.

Our panel, comprised of prominent philanthropists and local nonprofit leaders, will take a deeper look into Silicon Valley’s giving culture.

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Week to Week Politics Roundtable and Social Hour 4/26/17

Date: Wed, April 26, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Insight into political issues, delivered with expertise and wit

Mollie Reilly, Deputy Politics Editor, Huffington Post; Twitter
C.W. Nevius, Columnist, Santa Rose Press Democrat; Former Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle; Twitter
Additional panelist TBA

It's never a dull moment in politics these days, and we'll discuss the biggest, most controversial and sometimes the surprising political issues with expert commentary by panelists who are smart, are civil, and have a good sense of humor. Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, audience discussion of the week’s events, and our live news quiz!

And come early before 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). 

Thu 4/27

Image - Chris Whipple

Journalist Chris Whipple: Secrets of the White House Gatekeepers

Date: Thu, April 27, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
The power of the gatekeeper

Chris Whipple, Documentary Filmmaker; Author, The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency
Joe Garofoli, Senior Political Writer, San Francisco Chronicle; Twitter —Moderator

Can Donald Trump, the ultimate outsider, learn how to be an effective president? According to author and documentarian Chris Whipple, Trump cannot be effective unless he empowers a strong chief of staff to take charge of his White House and execute his agenda.

Drawing on his extensive interviews with two former presidents and 17 living chiefs of staff, Whipple says this is one of many lessons learned by such diverse figures as Dick Cheney, Rahm Emanuel, Donald Rumsfeld and Leon Panettta. Whipple says chiefs of staff, often referred to as "the gatekeepers," can make or break an administration. Whipple will offer new insight into our understanding of presidential history—from how James Baker’s expert managing of the White House, the press and Capitol Hill paved the way for the Reagan Revolution to how Watergate, the Iraq War and even the bungled Obamacare rollout might, conversely, have been prevented by a more effective chief. Come hear a fascinating look at this unique fraternity and the inner workings of the White House.

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Cody Cassidy and Paul Doherty: 1,000 Wild Ways to Die

Date: Thu, April 27, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Exploring outlandish ways of dying

Cody Cassidy, Co-author, And Then You’re Dead: What Really Happens If You Get Swallowed by a Whale, Are Shot from a Cannon, or Go Barreling Over Niagara 
Paul Doherty, Co-director and Senior Staff Scientist, Exploratorium; Co-author, And Then You’re Dead: What Really Happens If You Get Swallowed by a Whale, Are Shot from a Cannon, or Go Barreling Over Niagara
In conversation with Kishore Hari, Director, Bay Area Science Festival

How far could you get digging a hole to China? How long could you last if you stood on the surface of the sun? Did you ever want insights into the physics, anatomy and astronomy behind some of the weirdest deaths you can think of? Paul Doherty, a senior scientist at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, and co-author Cody Cassidy answer these questions and more. Join us for an interesting conversation about some of the most cartoonish, outlandish and impossible deaths and how these fantastical scenarios relate to real science.

Fri 4/28

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Trump and the Middle East

Date: Fri, April 28, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
Trump policies in the Middle East

Alon Sachar, Middle East Peace Advisor; Co-author, A Path to Peace
Eddy Simonian, Master's in International Studies
Maher Kalaji, Ph.D. in Chemistry
Banafsheh Keynoush, Ph.D., Middle East Scholar; Author, Saudi Arabia and Iran: Friends or Foes—Moderator

A distinguished panel will discuss their perspectives on Donald Trump's presidency as well as policies and actions which may lead to peace or further conflict in the region. Alon Sachar has worked to advance Middle East peace under two U.S. administrations and cowrote A Path to Peace (with Senator George Mitchell). Maher Kalaji is a frequent contributor to our Middle East forum, and Eddy Simonian, an Assyrian Christian, wrote his master's thesis on Lebanon's sectarian conflict. Along with moderator Banafsheh Keynoush, the three panelists will present their perspectives on the potential effects of Trump’s words and actions in the Middle East.

Sat 4/29

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The New Political Climate

Date: Sat, April 29, 2017
Time: 4:30 PM
March on climate change

May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org
Debbie Dooley, President, Conservatives for Energy Freedom; Co-Founder, Tea Party Movement 
Greg Dalton, Founder and Host, Climate One
Additional Speakers TBA

The 2014 Climate March in New York and other cities helped solidify public support in the run-up to the Paris climate accord the next year. But these days climate advocates are playing defense and trying to keep the Paris Agreement together. Will the Washington march have any impact on the politics related to climate change in the United States? Where can clean energy advance in the current political context?

Join Climate One as we go on the road for the People’s Climate Movement in Washington, D.C.

Mon 5/1

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Achieve More, Stress Less: Have Fun Getting Better Results from Fewer Resources

Date: Mon, May 01, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Using innovation to solve problems

Scott Sonenshein, Ph.D., Chaired Professor, School of Business at Rice University; Author, Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less—and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined

Would you like to achieve more with less—at work and at home—and be happier and more creative at the same time? Scott Sonenshein, author of Stretch, will teach us how to do it!

In a constantly changing world, fewer and fewer corporate and personal situations can be handled using practiced routines. Instead, we need to be resilient and use the resources we already have; we need to stretch beyond our normal set of solutions, colleagues and friends.

Sonenshein has rigorously researched techniques that produce results in a fluid environment. Teams learn to improvise quickly and pull in ideas from other disciplines. They play improvisational jazz instead of classical music, and they have fun doing it! We can use the same tools to improve our personal lives and relationships.

So come stretch out of your usual routine! Learn how to improve both your organization and yourself.

Sonenshein holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He also has degrees from the University of Cambridge and the University of Virginia. He teaches organizational behavior, change and leadership.

Image - John Mackey

John Mackey, Co-Founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, in Conversation with Dr. Dean Ornish

Date: Mon, May 01, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Healthy eating for a disease-free life

John Mackey, Co-founder and CEO, Whole Foods Market; Co-author, The Whole Foods Diet: The Lifesaving Plan for Health and Longevity
In conversation with Dr. Dean Ornish, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco; Founder and President, the Preventive Medicine Research Institute

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

Mackey makes the case for why a whole food, plant-based diet is optimum for a long, healthy, disease-free life. As one of the leaders of this plant-based movement, Mackey shares his vision and discusses the science behind changing the way we eat. He will also address food, politics and health as well as the ethical and environmental impact of our dietary habits.

Tue 5/2

Image - John Kamm

Reengaging China on Human Rights

Date: Tue, May 02, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Changing China–U.S. relations

John Kamm, Founder and Executive Director, The Dui Hua Foundation 

In 2016, there was no bilateral human rights dialogue between China and the United States, nor was there any dialogue on rule of law. The decision to disengage was mutual. Now Beijing and Washington, D.C. are considering how (and if) to reengage on two of the most sensitive topics in their relationship: human rights and rule of law.

Although President Trump has discussed many issues related to U.S.–China relations, he has remained largely silent on human rights. John Kamm’s Dui Hua Foundation has been conducting an unofficial dialogue with the Chinese government and judiciary for many years. This dialogue focuses on treatment of prisoners, juvenile justice, women in prison and the death penalty—all topics that could be covered if official dialogue is revitalized. Kamm, having just returned from Beijing, will provide a briefing on where things stand in both the official and unofficial dialogue between China and the U.S. 

Wed 5/3

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Ben Franklin Circles

Date: Wed, May 03, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Ongoing Ben Franklin forum

Join us monthly, every first Wednesday, for a 21st-century version of Ben Franklin’s mutual improvement club. One evening a week, for more than 40 years, the founding father discussed and debated with his friends the 13 virtues that he felt formed the basis for personal and civic improvement, a list he created when he was 20 years old. The virtues to which he aspired included justice, resolution and humility (but don't misunderstand Ben on that one—his explanation of humility was "imitate Jesus and Socrates").

Ben Franklin Circles bring people together to discuss the most pressing philosophical and ethical issues of our time with the goal of improving ourselves and our world. 

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An Evening with Caitlyn Jenner

Date: Wed, May 03, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Challenges facing the transgender community

Caitlyn Jenner, Author of The Secrets of My Life; Twitter 
Buzz Bissinger, Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair; Co-author, The Secrets of My Life; Author, Friday Night Lights
In Conversation with Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell (Ret.), Chair, Santa Clara County Jail Commission

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

Join us for a rare conversation with one of the world’s most prominent transgender women. As former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn over the past few years, her personal journey has been public, painful and inspiring. What has her path of discovery taught her about truth, and what has it revealed about the challenges facing the transgender community? Bring your questions, and get ready to hear how a story of pain and deception can ultimately become one of embracing a person’s true identity.

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The Creatures Within Us

Date: Wed, May 03, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Surrounded by microorganisms

Heinrich Jasper, Ph.D., Professor, Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Brian Kennedy, Ph.D., Professor, Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Will Ludington, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Ludington Lab at the University of California, Berkeley

This program is sponsored by Relevant Wealth Advisors and by an anonymous donor.

The human body is a complex ecosystem for trillions of organisms—bacteria, fungi, viruses—that live on or in our bodies. The sheer number of these microorganisms exceeds even the number of cells in a human body. Scientists are only beginning to unravel the complex interactions between these microorganisms and their human host. While many of these creatures live in our mouths, lungs and other parts of our bodies, most are concentrated in the human gut. And while we influence what lives in our gut by what we eat and how we live, our gut microbial flora influences us—modulating hunger, food preferences and overall health.

Interestingly, a new therapeutic approach to battling chronic disease and aging may be to change your gut flora. Brian Kennedy will lead a discussion with two local experts in microbiome research, Heinrich Jasper and Will Ludington.