Upcoming Events

Mon 11/24

Image - Middle East Discussion Group
This event is Postponed

Middle East Discussion Group

Date: Mon, November 24, 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. 

Image - Undocumented and Uninsured

Undocumented and Uninsured

Date: Mon, November 24, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

John Gressman, President and CEO, San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium
Scott Hauge, President and Owner, CAL Insurance & Associates, Inc; Co-Founder and Vice Chairman, Clinic by the Bay
Laurel Lucia, Associate Policy Specialist, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education
Jirayut New Latthivongskorn, Co-founder, Pre-Health Dreamers
Daniel Weintraub, Editor in Chief and Project Director, The California Health Report - Moderator

While the Affordable Care Act expands health insurance to millions of Americans who were previously uninsured, many immigrants, along with some 11.7 million undocumented people, remain without coverage. What immediate effect does the ACA have on our immigrant population and their access to care? Our panelists will discuss how the Affordable Care Act will impact immigrants unable to get health insurance, what the health-care future might hold for them and how our health system would be able to eventually absorb these millions of people when they finally get coverage.

Image - LGBT MLF Roundtable Discussion

LGBT MLF Roundtable Discussion

Date: Mon, November 24, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Please join us for the regular program planning and discussion meeting of the LGBT MLF.

Tue 11/25

Image - Mark Schapiro: Carbon Shock – A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front L

Mark Schapiro: Carbon Shock – A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy

Date: Tue, November 25, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Climate change is profoundly shifting the economic ground.

Mark Schapiro, Author; Former Senior Correspondent, Center for Investigative Reporting; Adjunct Professor, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Schapiro will take us a journey to the financial frontlines of climate change, where the same chaotic forces reshaping our weather are disrupting our economy. From the agricultural fields of California to the Amazon rainforest, from the export powerhouses of China to the bizarre world of carbon traders, Schapiro tells the story of how profoundly climate change is shifting the economic ground beneath our feet. His tales have a global range to the places where climate change is altering the economic status quo. He explores how some new powers are rising and others are falling as the world struggles to contend with the fundamental economic fact of our time: the rising price of carbon.

Mon 12/1

Image - Book Discussion: Lawrence in Arabia, by Scott Anderson

Book Discussion: Lawrence in Arabia, by Scott Anderson

Date: Mon, December 01, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM

The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War I was, in the words of T.E. Lawrence, “a sideshow of a sideshow” – a conflict shaped by a small handful of adventurers far removed from the corridors of power. At the center of it all was Lawrence himself. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist excavating ruins in Syria; by 1917 he was riding into legend at the head of an Arab army while fighting a rearguard action against his own government’s imperial ambitions.

Based on four years of extensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabia definitively overturns the received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed.

Image - Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 12/1/14

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 12/1/14

Date: Mon, December 01, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
Informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news.

Bill Whalen, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Political Blogger, adayattheracesblog.com; Twitter @hooverwhalen
Carla Marinucci, Senior Political Writer, San Francisco Chronicle; Twitter @cmarinucci
Scott Shafer, Host and Reporter, “The California Report”; Senior Correspondent, KQED Newsroom; Twitter @scottshafer
Additional Panelists TBA

At Week to Week, we explore the biggest, most controversial, and sometimes the oddest 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 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).

Tue 12/2

Image - Haiti Five Years Later: Women on the Ground
This event is Postponed

Haiti Five Years Later: Women on the Ground

Date: Tue, December 02, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
A panel of powerful women discuss Haiti

Malya Villard-Appolon, Founder of KOFAVIV
Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis, Ph.D., Former Prime Minister of Haiti
Nicole Phillips, Esq., Attorney for the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
Megan Coffee, M.D., Ph.D., Founder of Ti Kay Haiti
Anne-Christine d'Adesky, Journalist & Activist – Moderator

Gason konn bouke, men pa fanm.”—in Kreyòl
“Women’s work never ends.”

On January 12, 2010, Haiti was hit by a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake, killing approximately 150,000 people and crippling the nation. The earthquake and its 52 aftershocks exacerbated longstanding challenges of housing, sanitation, health care and gender violence. Five years later, Haiti is still picking up the pieces, often with women leading the charge. Hear the incredible stories of women on the ground, from Dr. Megan Coffee who went to Haiti to treat earthquake victims and never left, establishing and running a tuberculosis clinic in Port-au-Prince, to Malya Villard, a victim of rape in Haiti who boldly founded and now runs KOFAVIV to uplift victims of sexual violence, despite threats against her life for doing so.

Wed 12/3

Image - From Bloody Thursday to Now – 80 Years of Labor History in San Francisco

From Bloody Thursday to Now: 80 Years of Labor History in San Francisco

Date: Wed, December 03, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A special look at labor history and its tie to the Club’s new headquarters.

Harvey Schwartz, Historian, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)
Robert Cherny, History Professor Emeritus, San Francisco State University
John Castanho, Member, ILWU Local 10 and Coast Benefits Specialist
Carl Nolte, Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle
Melvin Mackay, President of ILWU Local 10 (Program Chair)
Tim Paulson, Executive Director, San Francisco Labor Council - Moderator

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the 1934 Pacific Coast maritime strike to protest miserable hiring practices and poor working conditions. The strike shut down the entire West Coast from Bellingham to San Diego. It is also the 80th anniversary of Bloody Thursday, on July 5, 1934, when a clash between San Francisco police and picketers resulted in two strike supporters being killed and hundreds wounded. In the aftermath of Bloody Thursday, 127,000 workers representing 160 unions walked off their jobs in protest. During a landmark general strike, they shut down San Francisco for three days before arbitration granted most of the longshoremen’s demands. These events helped bring about national legislation in 1935 that established collective bargaining and set up the National Labor Relations Board. The Commonwealth Club will soon occupy the building that was the Longshore workers’ union hall at the time of the 1934 strike.

This fall, San Francisco’s $100 million new cruise ship terminal, named for veteran labor leader James Herman, one-time port commissioner and head of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, opened for business. This portends a new era for economic activity and jobs on the waterfront and throughout the city. What is the legacy of 1934 and what are the lasting contributions of legendary union leaders such as Harry Bridges? This is a special look at labor history and its tie to the Club’s new headquarters.

Image - Gluten-Free: Chinese Traditional Medicine's 750-Year Perspective

Gluten-Free: Chinese Traditional Medicine's 750-Year Perspective

Date: Wed, December 03, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
John Nieters, L.Ac DAOM

John Nieters, L.Ac DAOM, Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine; President, Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences 

Gluten problems might seem like the latest fad, but 750 years ago Chinese doctors were writing about how to treat conditions resulting from too much gluten – leaky gut, IBS, autoimmune disorders, obesity and diabetes. Dr. Nieters will explain how Chinese medicine sees gluten and grains. He will also share his insights on diets to address common disorders.

 

Image - Geo for Good

Geo for Good

Date: Wed, December 03, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Rebecca Moore leads the Google Earth Outreach program

Rebecca Moore, Lead, Google Earth Outreach Program and Google Earth Engine

Mary Ellen Hannibal, Stanford University Media Fellow; Author, The Spine of the Continent – Moderator

Moore conceived of and now leads the Google Earth Outreach program. The program supports nonprofits, communities and indigenous peoples around the world in applying Google's mapping tools to the world's problems such as environmental conservation, human rights and cultural preservation. Moore also initiated the development of Google Earth Engine, a new technology platform that supports global-scale monitoring and protection of the earth’s environment. Moore will discuss the company’s latest projects to help preserve our planet.

Thu 12/4

Image - John A. Amster: Patents in the Boardroom – The Truth Behind the Headline
This event is Canceled

John A. Amster: Patents in the Boardroom – The Truth Behind the Headlines

Date: Thu, December 04, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

John A. AmsterCEO and Co-founder, RPX Corporation

Patents have been big news in recent years. Large electronics rivals have made headlines by waging high-stakes legal battles over infringement of smartphone patents. Bankrupt companies have auctioned off their patent portfolios for hundreds of millions – or even billions – of dollars. The most significant development affecting patents, however, has been the rise of non-practicing entities (NPEs), also known as “patent trolls.” NPEs acquire patents and litigate them to extract license payments or legal settlements from an allegedly infringing company. Operating companies spent nearly $11 billion dealing with NPE litigation in 2012 alone.

RPX CEO and Co-founder Amster will describe how patents have been transformed from legal protection of a novel invention into a major source of operating risk. Today, owners of patents are monetizing their value through costly and inefficient legal processes. The discussion will focus on a different perspective: how patents can and should be transacted using market mechanisms instead, and in the process, save operating companies billions of dollars every year.

Image - Ambassador Andrew Young

Andrew Young: Answering the Call for Leadership

Date: Thu, December 04, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Former Atlanta Mayor and Strategist to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Andrew Young, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Former Atlanta Mayor; Strategist to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Willie Brown, Former Mayor of San Francisco (Introducer)

Skip Rhodes, Past President, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors (Chair)

To Andrew Young, the images of young protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, facing off against police officers look awfully familiar. Fifty years ago, as a key confidant and strategist to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Young was on the front lines of the civil rights movement, when people from around the country answered Dr. King’s call. But he says there’s a big difference: young people who were galvanized by violence against peaceful civil rights marchers were ushered into a movement whose leaders had clear objectives and were grounded in a deeply thought-out philosophy of non-violent struggle. Andrew Young knows that for many of the youth marching in Ferguson, the civil rights struggles are practically ancient history. But he believes it is a history well worth revisiting, because it demonstrates the very real potential of strategic civic participation.

Young — who served as a mayor, member of Congress, and U.S. ambassador — now heads a foundation that is focused on the development of emergent leaders and social entrepreneurs. He says it is not enough for people of his generation to preach the responsibilities of citizenship. “We must make connections between generations of individuals who are committed to action, sharing hard-won knowledge and equally hard-won hope that action can result in change.”

Mon 12/8

Image - Middle East Discussion Group

Middle East Discussion Group

Date: Mon, December 08, 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 Ten Best Ethical Destinations Awards: Voting with Our Wings

Date: Mon, December 08, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A discussion with Jeff Greenwald and Malia Everette

Jeff Greenwald, Executive Director, Ethical Traveler
Malia Everette, Founder, Altruvistas

One of the best things mindful travelers can do is spend their tourist dollars in countries that uphold core values like human rights, civil society and environmental protection. Every December, Bay Area-based Ethical Traveler (a project of the Earth Island Institute) lists “The World’s Best Ethical Destinations.” The independent non-profit honors 10 countries – all in the developing world – that are protecting their environments and promoting a socially just, sustainable tourism economy. Join the architects of this list, and representatives from the award-winning countries, for a discussion about which countries made the 2015 list and why.

Image - Grapes of Wrath at 75: Retracing the Joads’ Journey

Grapes of Wrath at 75: Retracing the Joads’ Journey

Date: Mon, December 08, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Exploring the central themes of struggle and hope.

P.J. Palmer, Filmmaker; Videographer
Octavio Solis, Playwright; Director
Patricia Wakida, Writer; Linoleum Block-Print Artist

Monday Night Philosophy celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the publication of John Steinbeck’s seminal novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Its central themes of struggle and hope are still relevant today.

Hear the three artists who were commissioned by The National Steinbeck Center in Salinas to retrace the Joad family’s journey from Oklahoma to California, and to gather stories from people they met along their route. Together they created a living portrait of everyday Americans facing the same challenges as the Joads – poverty, joblessness, environmental change – and responding with strength and resilience.

Image - An Evening with Kathleen Turner

An Evening with Kathleen Turner

Date: Mon, December 08, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM

Kathleen Turner, Actress

Kathleen Turner has garnered critical acclaim for her performances in films like Romancing the Stone, Peggy Sue Got Married and War of the Roses. On Broadway, Turner starred in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, for which she received a Tony nomination. She now appears at The Berkeley Rep, portraying legendary journalist Molly Ivins in Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. Meet the real Kathleen Turner and hear the stories, causes and lessons that have shaped this iconic performer.

Tue 12/9

Image - An Evening with Jared Diamond

An Evening with Jared Diamond

Date: Tue, December 09, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
Join a discussion with one of the world's most celebrated polymaths.

Jared Diamond, Professor, UCLA; Author, Guns, Germs and Steel, Collapse and The World Until Yesterday

In conversation with Kishore Hari, Director, Bay Area Science Festival

Jared Diamond is a scientist known for drawing from a variety of fields, from anthropology to evolutionary biology. He has published several popular science books, including Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs and Steel and, most recently, The World Until Yesterday. Diamond’s conclusions are critical and provocative, exploring concepts like how humans evolved to be so different from animals, despite sharing over 98 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees, and why Eurasian peoples conquered Native Americans and Africans instead of vice versa. Diamond yet again challenges the way our brains think in The World Until Yesterday as he chronicles tribal peoples and what they can teach us about the shortcomings of modern society. Join us for a night of intellectual stimulation with one of the world’s most celebrated polymaths.

Image - Tasting the New California Wines with Jon Bonné

Tasting the New California Wines with Jon Bonné

Date: Tue, December 09, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
Young winemakers are changing the face of California viticulture.

Jon Bonné, Wine Editor, San Francisco Chronicle; Author, The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste

In The New California Wine, James Beard Award-winning wine editor Jon Bonné brings us the untold story of the innovative producers who are rewriting the rules of contemporary winemaking and transforming the California wine industry. Uncovering vintners’ quest to express the uniqueness of California terroir and revealing the continuing battle to move the state away from the overly technocratic, reactionary practices of the recent past, Bonné takes us to the front lines of the California wine revolution. Join us as he shares the fascinating stories, philosophies and techniques of the iconoclastic young winemakers who are changing the face of California viticulture.

After the interview, enjoy wine tastings from several of California’s top wineries (and Bay Area favorites!) featured in Jon’s book, including Broc Cellars, Dashe Cellars, Donkey and Goat Winery and Waits-Mast Family Cellars.

Wed 12/10

Image - A Spirited Evening with Adam Rogers

A Spirited Evening with Adam Rogers

Date: Wed, December 10, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
Author and Articles Editor at Wired

Adam Rogers, Articles Editor, Wired; Author, Proof: The Science of Booze

In a spirited tour across continents and cultures, Rogers puts our alcoholic history under the microscope. From our ancestors’ accidental discovery of fermented drinks to the cutting-edge laboratory research, Rogers offers a unique glimpse inside the barrels, stills, tanks and casks that produce some of our most iconic beverages. He uncovers alcohol’s deepest mysteries and the subtle mixture of psychology and neurobiology that fuels our taste for such drinks.

If you’ve ever wondered how your drink of choice arrived in your glass, or exactly what happens once you empty it, Rogers reveals the answers.

Thu 12/11

Image - Waterfront Walk

Waterfront Walk

Date: Thu, December 11, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Explore the neighborhood surrounding the Club's future home.

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.