Upcoming Events

Thu 1/15

Image - Cornel West: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cornel West: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Date: Thu, January 15, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s 84th birthday!

Cornel West, Ph.D.; Professor, Union Theological Seminary; Author, Black Prophetic Fire

Praised by The New York Times for his “ferocious moral vision” and hailed by Newsweek as “an elegant prophet with attitude,” Dr. Cornel West bridges the gap between black and white opinion about the country’s problems. As a leading voice in societal commentary, Dr. West marched in civil rights demonstrations, taught at Yale, Harvard, and Princeton and is currently a professor at Union Theological Seminary. He draws from traditions of Christianity, the black church, Marxism, and neopragmatism. Hear his fiery oration on the past, present and future of race and injustice in the United States today in conjunction with the release of his latest book, The Radical King. Join us to celebrate January 15 as Dr. Martin Luther King’s 86th birthday.

Fri 1/16

Image - Roads of Arabia

Roads of Arabia

Date: Fri, January 16, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM

Dany Chan, Assistant Curator for Exhibition Projects, Asian Art Museum
Philippa Kelly, Educator, Author, Dramaturg

Chan will give a presentation about the fascinating exhibit, “Roads of Arabia: Archeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, which is at the Asian Art Museum until January 18th. The SF Chronicle described the exhibit as a "Mesmerizing and astonishing journey to the Arabian Peninsula." Some of the more ancient objects were discovered as recently as 40 years ago.

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

Image - Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Walter E.

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

Image - 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.

Image - Down and Dirty

Down and Dirty

Date: Thu, January 29, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Can cow dung save humanity?

Diana Donlon, Director, Cool Foods Program, Center for Food Safety
Nicolette Hahn Niman, Author, Defending Beef
Whendee Silver, Professor of Ecology, UC Berkeley

Can cow dung save humanity? Many people concerned about climate disruption have shunned dairy and red meat because of the methane gas emitted by both ends of cows.

But some ranchers and researchers are saying rotational cattle grazing patterns and composting on grasslands can increase soil fertility, retain water and store carbon. Cows, they say, should get a fresh look and dirt should get more respect as a potent tool in the fight to reduce carbon pollution. Restoring soil is a hot topic right now in food and farming circles.

Should Californians reconsider the image of cows as climate killers? Could the golden state maintain its pastoral landscape and also pull carbon pollution out of the air? Or is this a slick move by ranchers to position a problem as a solution? Join us for a conversation about ranching, healthy diets and a whole lot more. 

Image - Asif Mandvi

Aasif Mandvi in Conversation with Adam Savage

Date: Thu, January 29, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM

Aasif Mandvi, Actor, Writer, Correspondent on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"; Author, No Land’s Man; Twitter @aasif
In Conversation with Adam Savage, Host of "Mythbusters"; Twitter @donttrythis

As a self-described “Indo-Muslim-British-American actor,” Mandvi gained notoriety as a regular correspondent on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." He is famous for his satirical segments about religion, politics and foreign policy.

“No Land’s Man” is a humorous mix of stories exploring who Mandvi is and where he came from. He addresses everything from his family, identity, and the cultural stereotypes he faced growing up in England and the United States.

Mandvi is an award-winning writer and actor and is one of the stars of HBO’s upcoming series “The Brink” with Jack Black and Tim Robbins.

Mon 2/2

Image - New Member Reception
This event is Postponed

New Member Reception

Date: Mon, February 02, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Come take a peek!

Are you new to the Club? Just want to explore and check it out? Come take a peek, meet other members and staff and learn about all The Commonwealth Club offers. Experience first-hand how The Commonwealth Club has become the nation’s leading public forum. Bring a friend and explore the Club together!

Tue 2/3

Image - Healthy Aging: Lowering the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

Healthy Aging: Lowering the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

Date: Tue, February 03, 2015
Time: 5:15 PM
Patricia Renaut Spilman, M.S., Senior Scientist, Buck Institute

Patricia Renaut Spilman, M.S., Senior Scientist, Buck Institute

As a growing portion of the American population ages into its golden years, there will inevitably be a greater number of those suffering from Alzheimer's, a degenerative disease for which there is currently no effective reversing treatment. At the forefront of the effort to find a breakthrough cure is the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, CA, a facility dedicated to confronting Alzheimer’s and other chronic age-related illnesses. While researchers continue to press for a reversing process, all of us can make health and lifestyle changes that greatly reduce the chance of developing this devastating disease. Spilman, a senior scientist at the Buck Institute, will share with us proactive "healthstyle" choices that encourage a healthy mind and body far into one’s later years.

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

Image - San Francisco Giants’ Bruce Bochy and Larry Baer

San Francisco Giants’ Bruce Bochy and Larry Baer

Date: Wed, February 04, 2015
Time: 4:30 PM
Celebrate and relive the Giants’ amazing World Series!

Bruce Bochy, Manager, San Francisco Giants
Larry Baer, President and CEO, San Francisco Giants; Key Strategist, Giants’ Baseball and Business Transactions
In conversation with Roy Eisenhardt, Former President, Oakland Athletics

Larry Baer has stated that hiring three-time World Series champion and two-time National League manager of the year Bruce Bochy was "probably the best move [Giants management] ever made.” Here’s a chance to celebrate and relive the Giants’ amazing 2014 World Series victory. Go behind the scenes and into the dugout with Manager Bochy and Team President Baer to find out who's in, who's out and what strategies will keep the Giants at the peak of their game.