Upcoming Events: All
The Next Africa: Business, Entrepreneurs, Technology and TurnaroundDate: Wed, June 15, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
Jake Bright, Writer; Author; Strategic Advisor
Join us for a discussion of business, investment, technology and turnaround in Africa with Jake Bright, co-author of The Next Africa: An Emerging Continent Becomes a Global Powerhouse. The book won an Axiom Best Business Book award and was recently featured at TEDx. Bright, who also contributes on Africa for TechCrunch, will focus in particular on Sub-Saharan Africa’s emerging technology sector and its growing ties to Silicon Valley. MallforAfrica.com CEO Chris Folayan will join Jake for discussion and Q&A.
Time to ChooseDate: Wed, June 15, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Screening and filmmaker discussion.
Charles Ferguson, Oscar-Winning Director, Inside Job
This documentary from Academy Award winner Charles Ferguson examines the power of climate solutions already available. Through interviews with world-renowned entrepreneurs, innovators and brave individuals living on the front lines of climate change, Ferguson takes an In-depth look at the remarkable people working to save our economy and planet.
Post-screening conversation with Charles Ferguson and Climate One’s Greg Dalton.
Week to Week Political Roundtable and Social Hour 6/15/16Date: Wed, June 15, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Timely and lively political commentary, plus a social hour
Joe Garofoli, Senior Political Writer, San Francisco Chronicle; Twitter @joegarofoli
Barbara Marshman, Editorial Page Editor, The Mercury News; Twitter @barbmarshman
Debra J. Saunders, Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle; "Token Conservative" Blogger, sfgate.com; Twitter @debrajsaunders
Join us for a rare Wednesday-night Week to Week!
We'll explore 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).
Dr. Lucy Kalanithi: When Breath Becomes AirDate: Thu, June 16, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Lucy Kalanithi, M.D., Faculty, Stanford School of Medicine; Widow of Dr. Paul Kalanithi, Author of When Breath Becomes Air
In conversation with Mark Zitter, Co-founder and Former Chairman, Vital Decisions
This program is supported by the Moore Foundation and is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation..
Stanford neurosurgery resident Paul Kalanithi was 36 years old when he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. A gifted writer, he spent the last two years of his life giving birth to both a baby and a book. When Breath Becomes Air describes his experience as a doctor facing a terminal illness. The book became an instant hit, reaching number one on The New York Times best-seller list. Paul Kalanithi’s widow, Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, shepherded the book through publication and wrote a moving epilogue. She will be interviewed by Mark Zitter as part of the Commonwealth Club’s ongoing series on end-of-life issues. The session will include readings from the book.
An internist on faculty at the Stanford School of Medicine, Dr. Kalanithi completed her medical degree at Yale, where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society. She did her residency at the University of California San Francisco and postdoctoral fellowship training in health-care delivery innovation at Stanford’s Clinical Excellence Research Center. At the cross-section of her career as a medical professional and her personal experience standing alongside her husband during his life, diagnosis, treatment and death, Dr. Kalanithi has special interests in health-care value, meaning in medicine, patient-centered care and end-of-life care. She has appeared on "PBS NewsHour," "NPR Morning Edition," and "Yahoo News with Katie Couric," and has been interviewed by People and The New York Times. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her daughter, Elizabeth Acadia.
7th Annual Mineta National Transportation Finance Summit: Superior Infrastructure = Economic SuccessDate: Fri, June 17, 2016
Time: 8:15 AM
Brian Kelly, Secretary, California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA)—Keynote
Norman Y. Mineta, Secretary (ret.), U.S. Department of Transportation
Asha Agrawal, Ph.D., Director, Mineta Institute’s National Transportation Finance Center
Grace Crunican, General Manager, Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART)
Steve Heminger, Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Division
Tim Rainey, Executive Director, California Workforce Development Board
Karen Philbrick, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute
Congress says that Americans won’t pay more taxes and fees for mobility. Is that true? What exactly are the funding challenges and how are transportation leaders addressing them?
At this summit, MTI will present the results of year seven of a national public opinion poll asking more than 1,500 Americans if they would support various tax options for raising federal transportation revenues, including a special focus on understanding support for increasing revenues for public transit. The event will begin with a keynote address by California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly, followed by a presentation of survey results by Dr. Asha Agrawal, director of the Mineta Transportation Institute's National Transportation Finance. A panel of experts will then discuss their viewpoints.
A Rare Book Day in JuneDate: Fri, June 17, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Catherine Williamson, Ph.D., Vice President, Director of Fine Books & Manuscripts/Entertainment Memorabilia, Bonhams, Los Angeles
Dr. Catherine Williamson, who frequently appears as an appraiser for PBS' "Antiques Roadshow," is vice president and director of fine books and manuscripts/entertainment memorabilia at Bonhams in Los Angeles. She will talk about the challenges and issues facing appraisers and collectors today, and share stories of some great discoveries on the "Roadshow"—and elsewhere.
Senator Barbara Boxer: The Art of ToughDate: Mon, June 20, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senator (D-California); Author, The Art of Tough: Fearlessly Facing Politics and Life; Twitter @SenatorBoxer
Mary Marcy, President, Dominican University of California—Moderator
This event is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.
"One goal of this memoir is to inspire people to fight for change. It takes what I call the 'art of tough,' and I've had to do it all my life." —Senator Barbara Boxer
Barbara Boxer has made her mark, combining compassionate advocacy with outspokenness in a political career spanning more than three decades. Now, retiring from the U.S. Senate, she continues the work to which she's dedicated 30 years in Congress. She will share her provocative and touching recollections of service, and her commitment to the fight for women, families, quality, environmental protection—all in a peaceful world.
Sometimes lauded, sometimes vilified, but always standing tough, Boxer fought for her values even when her personal convictions conflicted with her party or the majority rule.
The Sake Revolution: Sequoia SakeDate: Mon, June 20, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
Listen, learn and taste
Jake Myrick, Co-Founder, Sequoia Sake
Sequoia Sake, which produces the first artisan sake (pronounced sa-KEH) in San Francisco, is leading the next revolution in beverages. Sequoia blends the traditional art of making sake learned from Japan, where it has been brewed for more than 2,000 years, with the enterprising spirit and unique qualities of San Francisco. Sequoia produces small batches of hand-crafted, premium sake with full rich flavors. It is part of the new American “micro-sake” revolution. Myrick will help us understand how sake is made and how to enjoy its complex flavors and varieties. Come hear and taste!
Socrates CaféDate: Mon, June 20, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
On one Monday evening of every month the Humanities Forum sponsors Socrates Café at The Commonwealth Club. Each meeting is devoted to the discussion of a philosophical topic chosen at that meeting. The group's facilitator, John Nyquist, invites participants to suggest topics, which are then voted on. The person who proposed the most popular topic is asked to briefly explain why she or he considers that topic interesting and important. An open discussion follows, and the meeting ends with a summary of the various perspectives participants expressed. Everyone is welcome to attend.
End Childhood Hunger: What You Can Do to HelpDate: Tue, June 21, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Debbie Shore, Co-Founder, Share our Strength
Childhood hunger is a problem that threatens an entire generation of future leaders, innovators and problem-solvers. Share Our Strength's primary mission is "to end hunger and poverty in the United States and abroad by mobilizing industries and individuals, and creating community wealth to promote lasting change.
Educators, parents, and anyone involved with kids and interested in eliminating hunger can attend and come away with ideas and direction about what to do to help end childhood hunger.
William Kristol: Where Is the Republican Party Headed?Date: Tue, June 21, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard; Political Commentator and Columnist
Kori Schake, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution—Moderator
William Kristol has been called “the godfather of neoconservativism.” Most recently, he has been outspoken in his concern over a Donald Trump presidency, having said, “Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination makes Hillary Clinton president for the next four years, probably.” He has also written, “Donald Trump has brought to light the rot of an ideological movement that many of us had thought was alive and reasonably well. He has revealed, to some degree, the degradation of a public for whom many of us had higher hopes and expectations.”
Kristol is the editor of The Weekly Standard, a regular on ABC’s "This Week" and on ABC’s special events and election coverage, and appears frequently on other leading political commentary shows. Before starting The Weekly Standard in 1995, he led the Project for the Republican Future, where he helped shape the strategy that produced the 1994 Republican congressional victory. Prior to that, Kristol served as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle during the first Bush Administration and to Education Secretary William Bennett under President Reagan. Before coming to Washington in 1985, Mr. Kristol was on the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania.
Here’s chance to hear from one of the major voices of the Republican establishment on where the party and the country are headed.
An Evening with Emma Cline, Author of “The Girls”Date: Tue, June 21, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Emma Cline, Author, The Girls
Claire Bidwell Smith, Grief Therapist; Mother; Author, The Rules of Inheritance and After This: When Life is Over, Where Do We Go?—Moderator
This is a Good Lit event, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.
The Girls, the forthcoming, highly anticipated debut novel by Emma Cline, tells the story of Evie, a young woman who gets drawn into the mysterious world of a gang of girls and quickly finds herself immersed in their world and in over her head.
Emma’s writing has been praised by everyone from Lena Dunham to Mark Haddon for her deeply insightful observations about girls and the women they become. Emma rose to prominence when she signed a three book deal in 2014, at the age of 25.
Join INFORUM at The Commonwealth Club of California for a riveting evening with Emma.
Mary Roach: The Curious Science of Humans at WarDate: Tue, June 21, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
Mary Roach, Author, Bonk, Stiff, Packing for Mars, and Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War; Twitter @mary_roach
Millions of people serve in our armed forces, but what does it take get them prepared and keep them alive? Roach tackles the science behind some of a soldier’s most challenging adversaries – panic, exhaustion, heat and noise. She shares some of her bizarre experiences dodging hostile fire as part of a training exercise with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team and staying up all night with the crew manning missiles on the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee.
Take a tour of duty with Roach and you’ll never think about our nation’s defenders the same way again.
Wellness in the SchoolsDate: Wed, June 22, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Nancy E. Easton, Co-Founder/Executive Director, Wellness in the Schools
Wellness in the Schools inspires healthy eating, environmental awareness and fitness as a way of life for kids in public schools. Through meaningful public/private partnerships with school leadership, teachers, chefs, coaches, parents and kids, WITS develops and implements programs that provide healthy foods, healthy environments and opportunities for regular play to help kids learn and grow. Today WITS programs serve approximately 30,000 public school children across New York City, Kentucky, and Florida.
In an effort to combat childhood obesity and create healthier learning environments, Wellness in the Schools (WITS) developed Cook for Kids and Coach for Kids, hands-on food and fitness programs that are poised for replication nationwide. Cook for Kids has even received national accolades from First Lady Michelle Obama, and the WITS model served as inspiration for the Chefs Move to Schools Initiative.
Sail into RetirementDate: Wed, June 22, 2016
Time: 5:15 PM
Larry Jacobson, Author; Speaker; Retirement Transition Coach
Larry Jacobson will describe how to make a meaningful and fulfilling transition from career to retirement. Jacobson is a non-financial retirement transition coach whose coaching program, "Sail into Retirement," is specifically designed to answer the question "What am I going to do with my time in retirement?" Not accepting that retirement is a time to stop growing, he will describe how he coaches clients to discover untapped passions beyond their previous careers, and combines these passions with the knowledge from their vocations to build a plan of action for a retirement of fulfillment and purpose.
Janna Levin: Black Hole BluesDate: Wed, June 22, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
Janna Levin, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Barnard College; Author, Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space
If black holes collide in outer space and no one can see it, does it make a sound?
A black hole collision is an event more powerful than any since the origin of the universe. But when black holes collide, they will do so unilluminated—emanating only gravitational waves. The only evidence would be the sound of spacetime ringing.
Levin shares the obsessions, the aspirations, and the trials of the scientists who embarked on an arduous, 50-year endeavor to capture these elusive waves and record the soundtrack of the universe.
How to Have a Holistic, Healthy, Happy Home: Solutions for Parents of Kids with ChallengesDate: Thu, June 23, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Beth Greer, Award-winning Journalist; Environmental Health Advocate; Holistic Lifestyle Educator; Author, Super Natural Home: Improve Your Health, Home and Planet … One Room at a Time
Beth Greer, known as the Super Natural Mom, bestselling author, holistic health coach and one of the foremost experts on sustainable and toxin-free living will give a talk on things you need to know to help kids who have challenges. She will offer powerful information on the toxins in everyday products that can have triggering reactions in a child’s nervous system; five things in the home to avoid to create a safe, healthy, toxin-free home; practical and convenient solutions that give dramatic results; and symptoms to look for in kids that indicate they’re being impacted by toxins in their home environment.
She’ll also discuss a non-psychological approach to behavioral changes in kids. Don’t miss this talk to help you enhance your child’s well-being as well as your own (caregiving can be stressful).
Russian Hill Walking TourDate: Thu, June 23, 2016
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 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.
Spiral: Trapped in the Forever WarDate: Thu, June 23, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
What the War on Terror has wrought.
Mark Danner, Author, Former Staff Writer, The New Yorker; Chancellor’s Professor of Journalism and English, UC Berkeley
In his latest book, Spiral, Danner describes a nation altered in fundamental ways by 9/11. Fourteen years of armed conflict makes the War on Terror the longest war in U.S. history, even though only a tiny percentage of our citizens fight in actual combat. Now Al Qaeda has been replaced by multiple jihadist and terror organizations, including the most notorious: ISIS.
Guantanamo, indefinite detention, drone warfare, enhanced interrogation, torture and warrantless wiretapping are all words that have become familiar and tolerated in the name of security. By defining the War on Terror as boundless, apocalyptic and unceasing, we have, Danner concludes, “let it define us as ideological crusaders caught in an endless war.”