Upcoming Events

Wed 7/22

Image - Radical Remission of Cancer: Surviving Against All Odds

Radical Remission of Cancer: Surviving Against All Odds

Date: Wed, July 22, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With author Kelly Turner.

Kelly Turner, PhD., Author, Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds

Turner, a researcher and lecturer in integrative oncology, was the first to delve deeply into studying “radical remission” from cancer – that is, when someone recovers from cancer without the help of conventional medicine, or after conventional medicine has failed. Join her as she describes the nine most common healing factors that emerged from her research and shares more from her New York Times bestseller.

Image - A Debate on Treating Mental Illness: Should We Bring Back Asylums?

A Debate on Treating Mental Illness: Should We Bring Back Asylums?

Date: Wed, July 22, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Should mentally ill people be integrated within the community?

Dominic Sisti, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics/Health Policy and Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania; Principal Author, “Improving Long-term Psychiatric Care: Bring Back the Asylum,” Journal of the American Medical Association
Renee Binder, M.D., Psychiatrist, University of California, San Francisco; Incoming President, American Psychiatric Association

Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from serious mental illness. Over the past 60 years, various social, political and economic forces have resulted in the closing of publicly funded psychiatric institutions in favor of community treatment, in which outpatient options and the ability to live independently seemed promising and in many cases less expensive than inpatient care.

Should severely mentally ill people be integrated within the community? Or should asylums be revisited? How would individuals come to be placed in such asylums? What civil rights issues come into play? How would such institutions be funded? Who would staff them and how would training and management ensure humane care? How could modern psychopharmacology and neuromedicine be applied? How could such institutions be structured to perhaps have different levels of institutionalization, from semi-independent living to more comprehensive care? How could they be made into places where people want to be, because their lives would be better than on their own?

Critics such as Dr. Dominic Sisti, principal author of a new report from The University of Pennsylvania, argue that comprehensive, accessible and fully integrated community-based mental health care continues to be an unmet promise. Dr. Sisti’s report further argues that deinstitutionalization has really been “transinstitutionalization,” resulting in a vicious cycle whereby mentally ill patients move between crisis hospitalization, homelessness and incarceration. Most disturbing, the report argues, U.S. jails and prisons have become the nation’s largest mental health-care facilities. The report cites recent studies that show that prisoners with a serious mental illness are two to three times more likely than prisoners without serious mental illness to be reincarcerated, that half of all inmates have a mental illness or substance abuse disorder, and that 15 percent of state inmates are diagnosed with a psychotic disorder.

Dr. Sisti says that new models of fully integrated, patient-centered long-term psychiatric care now exist in the United States and that such facilities are needed to provide 21st-century care to patients with chronic, serious mental illness.

Advocates for community treatment, such as Dr. Renee Binder, president of the American Psychiatric Association, argue that the answer to better treatment lies not in the fact that asylums have been closed but that they have not been replaced with adequate funding.

Join an important discussion about one of the most pressing issues impacting society at large.

Thu 7/23

Image - David Gergen with Dan Ashley: A Rational Look at Irrational Politics

David Gergen with Dan Ashley: A Rational Look at Irrational Politics

Date: Thu, July 23, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM

David Gergen, CNN Senior Political Analyst; Professor and Co-Director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government
Dan Ashley, News Anchor, ABC7; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors -Moderator

Few people have the depth and breadth of David Gergen, who, for decades, has served as both political analyst and advisor to presidents, including Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. Starting with the McNeil-Lehrer “NewsHour” in 1984, he has been a regular commentator on public affairs for some 28 years. Twice he has been a member of election coverage teams that won Peabody awards, and he has contributed to two Emmy award-winning political analysis teams.

Mr. Gergen’s work as co-director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School has enabled him to work closely with a rising generation of younger leaders, especially social entrepreneurs, military veterans and Young Global Leaders. A native of North Carolina, he is a member of the D.C. Bar, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is an honors graduate of Yale and the Harvard Law School. In an era of political gridlock and at the outset of the next presidential campaign season, hear from one of America’s most respected political observers.

Image - San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

Date: Thu, July 23, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM
A neighborhood adventure with Rick Evans
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 - Sisterhood in Sports and Life: Empowering Women to Succeed

Sisterhood of Women: Empowering Women to Succeed

Date: Thu, July 23, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With author Joan Steidinger

Joan Steidinger, Ph.D., Clinical Sports Psychologist; Author, Sisterhood in Sports: How Female Athletes Collaborate and Compete

“Why can’t you be more like men?” is a common refrain heard by women who show emotion in work and sport. Yet “Women are not small men!” says Alison Dunlap, world champion & Olympic cyclist. Dr. Joan Steidinger agrees and believes that sisterhood among women is essential for them to achieve full success in life.

How important and in what manner are relationships essential to women? What role does verbal and detailed communication play? What about a sense of community is so critical to women? Clinical sports psychologist and award-winning author Dr. Steidinger will explore these questions and more and introduce her new model of female collaborative competition.

Her book won the sports category in the Beverly Hills Book Awards and is a finalist in the women's category of Foreword Reviews INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards.

Mon 7/27

Middle East Discussion Group

Date: Mon, July 27, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Weigh in on events shaping the face of the Middle East

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 - Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 7/27/15

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 7/27/15

Date: Mon, July 27, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Expert commentary that is smart, civil and humorous

Debra J. Saunders, Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle; “Token Conservative” Blogger, SFGate.com; Twitter @debrajsaunders
Daniel Borenstein, Columnist and Editorial Writer, Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune; Twitter @borensteindan
Josh Richman, State and National Politics Reporter, Bay Area News Group; Political Blogger, ibabuzz.com/politics; Twitter @Josh_Richman

Join us as we 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).

Tue 7/28

Ashlee Vance on Elon Musk, Tesla, Space-X and the Future

Date: Tue, July 28, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Ashlee Vance, Technology Writer, Bloomberg Businessweek; Author, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future; Twitter @valleyhack

Can the nation of inventors and creators, which led the modern world for a century, still compete in an age of fierce global competition? Vance argues that Elon Musk is a contemporary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes and Steve Jobs. Vance is one of the most prominent writers on technology today. After spending several years reporting on Silicon Valley and technology for The New York Times, Vance went to Bloomberg Businessweek, where he has written dozens of cover and feature stories on topics ranging from cyber espionage to DNA sequencing and space exploration.

Image - Gary Hart: The Republic of Conscience

Gary Hart: The Republic of Conscience

Date: Tue, July 28, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Author and former U.S. Senator

Gary Hart, U.S. Special Envoy for Northern Ireland; Former U.S. Senator; Author, The Republic of Conscience

Former Senator Gary Hart will discuss the growing gap between the founding principles of the United States Constitution and our current political landscape. Going back as early as 400 BC, the idea of a true republic has been threatened by narrow, special interests taking precedence over the commonwealth. The United States Constitution was drafted to protect against such corruption, but Hart says America is nowhere near the republic it set out to be. He tackles major American institutions – the military, the CIA, Congress – and outlines how these establishments may have led the country away from its founding principles, not closer to them.

Wed 7/29

Image - My New Physician Is a D.O.: What Is Osteopathic Medicine?

My New Physician Is a D.O.: What Is Osteopathic Medicine?

Date: Wed, July 29, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Local osteopathic physician educators on what the field can offer.

Michael B. Clearfield, DO; FACOI, FACP, Dean, Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine; Chair of the Board of Deans, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
R. Mitchell Hiserote, DO; Chair, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Department, Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine; Member, American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation
Patricia Rehfield, DO; MPH, Associate Professor and Chair of the Primary Care Department, Touro University of California; Former Foreign Service Officer, Rover Medical Officer for the U.S. State Department; Member, Board of Directors of the Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California
Shelley Berkley, JD; CEO and Senior Provost, Touro University California; Former Member, Committee on Ways and Means, Health Care Subcommittee, United States House of Representatives - Moderator

There are two degrees that physicians in the U.S. earn, the M.D. (allopathic medicine) or D.O. (osteopathic medicine) degree. While doctors with the two degrees carry the same rights and privileges compared to one degree, there are differences in their education and training, considering that one in five students currently enrolled in medical school is in an osteopathic program. Join three local osteopathic physician educators on what the field can offer, a comparison of allopathic versus osteopathic medicine, and what to expect in relation to the Affordable Care Act.

Thu 7/30

Big Science and the Launch of the Military Industrial Complex

Date: Thu, July 30, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With journalist Michael Hiltzik.

Michael Hiltzik, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist, Los Angeles Times

The birth of Big Science can be traced to Berkeley, California, nearly nine decades ago, when a resourceful young scientist pondered his new invention and declared, “I’m going to be famous!” Ernest Orlando Lawrence’s cyclotron would change our understanding of the basic building blocks of nature. Its influence would be felt in academia and international politics. It was the beginning of Big Science.

Since the 1930s, the scale of scientific endeavors has grown exponentially. The first particle accelerator cost less than $100 and could be held in its creator’s palm, while its descendant, the Large Hadron Collider, cost $10 billion and is 17 miles in circumference. Scientists have invented nuclear weapons, put a man on the moon, and examined nature at the subatomic scale – all through Big Science, the industrial-scale research paid for by governments and corporations that have driven the great scientific projects of our time. Join the discussion about the incredible story of how one invention changed the world and of the man principally responsible for it all.

Fri 7/31

Unity of Sacred Symbols and Words

Date: Fri, July 31, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
With artist Salma Arastu

Salma Arastu, Artist
Reverend Will McGarvey, Executive Director, Contra Costa County Interfaith Council - Moderator

Salma Arastu will give a visual presentation of her latest works, which are an artistic endeavor to help people understand the threads of commonalities across cultural, national and religious lines. Her beautiful paintings reflect the interconnectedness of belief in our collective cultural memories.

Mon 8/3

Image - A Beacon for Jazz

A Beacon for Jazz

Date: Mon, August 03, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
With broadcaster and musician Sonny Buxton

Sonny Buxton, Broadcaster; Musician; Impresario; Educator

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

A beacon for jazz since the 1960s, KCSM Jazz 91’s Sonny Buxton has been a spokesperson for how and why music matters throughout his career as a musician, nightclub impresario, talk show host, jazz historian, archivist and advocate.

Renowned as a master storyteller, Sonny will share highlights of the jazz experience (his own and others) that led to his 2013 award as a "Jazz Hero" by the National Jazz Journalists Association. 

Image - Why Do People Reject Good Science?

Why Do People Reject Good Science?

Date: Mon, August 03, 2015
Time: 5:15 PM
With Dr. Eugenie Scott, Physical Anthropologist

Dr. Eugenie Scott, Physical Anthropologist; Former Executive Director, National Center for Science Education; Author, Evolution vs. Creationism; Co-editor, Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools

Scientists are often puzzled when members of the public reject what they consider to be well-founded explanations. They can’t understand why the presentation of scientific data and theory doesn’t suffice to convince others of the validity of “controversial” topics like evolution and climate change. Recent research highlights the importance of ideology in shaping what scientific conclusions are considered reliable and acceptable. This research is quite relevant to the evolution wars and public opposition to climate change, and to other questions of the rejection of empirical evidence. Scott has received national recognition for her NCSE activities, including awards from scientific societies, educational societies, skeptics groups and humanist groups.

Book Discussion: Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim

Date: Mon, August 03, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
A serious study of this American genre.

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

This book is not a collection of backstage gossip but a serious study of this American genre that treats its musical scores as structures worthy of analysis. The nature of the genre involves various stagings of the major works considered and the participants who left their marks on them. “Anything Goes,” “Porgy and Bess,” “On Your Toes,” “Pal Joey,” “The Cradle Will Rock,” “Lady in the Dark,” “One Touch of Venus,” “Carousel,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “Guys and Dolls,” “My Fair Lady” and “West Side Story” receive thoughtful attention.

Tue 8/4

Image - The Neuroscience of Love

The Neuroscience of Love

Date: Tue, August 04, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
With Dr. Thomas Lewis from UCSF

Thomas Lewis, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCSF; Co-Author, A General Theory of Love

Love is defined as an intense feeling of deep affection for someone or something, but why does it mean so much more to us? Why does who we are and who we become depend on whom we love? Lewis will answer this and many other questions as he explores our human development, the nature of togetherness and the multifaceted bonds that connect us. Join us as we learn how the human race evolved from solitary predators into the intensely social creatures we are today.

Wed 8/5

Who's Afraid of Opera? Exploring the Wonderful World of Music’s Grandest Art

Date: Wed, August 05, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With dramaturg with the SF Opera, Clifford Cranna

Clifford Cranna, Dramaturg, San Francisco Opera

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

It’s glorious. It’s grand. It’s larger than life. It’s opera. San Francisco Opera’s longtime staff member Kip Cranna, a noted Bay Area music-appreciation speaker, offers an insider’s look at the world of opera and a whirlwind tour through opera’s 400-year long history, using video examples (with subtitles) to illustrate the evolution of this multi-faceted, fascinating and continuingly vital art.


Thu 8/6

Image - Russian Hill Walking Tour

Russian Hill Walking Tour

Date: Thu, August 06, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM
An active neighborhood adventure!

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 two-hour 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.

Image - Sunset Youth Services Music Program for High-Risk Kids

Sunset Youth Services Music Program for High-Risk Kids

Date: Thu, August 06, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With Co-founder and Executive Director Dawn Stueckle

Dawn Stueckle, Co-founder and Executive Director, Sunset Youth Services

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

Stueckle has discovered that music plays a vital role when working with high-risk youth and families. At Sunset Youth Services, Stueckle and her team aim to create programs that cater to youths' desire for change while acknowledging the barriers they face. This line of thinking has led to innovative services such as a youth-run record label and mobile recording studios that meet the young people where they are in life. This approach allows staff to work toward earning the right to journey with and support young people as they make positive changes. Come discuss the use of digital arts and music as a tool for health and wholeness. 

Fri 8/7

Image - Cracking the Music Ceiling: Why Women Matter

Cracking the Music Ceiling: Why Women Matter

Date: Fri, August 07, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
With composer and choirmaster Lisa Bielawa

Lisa Bielawa, Music Composer; Vocalist, Philip Glass Ensemble; Artistic Director, SF Girls Chorus

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

Rome Prize-winning music composer Lisa Bielawa is a passionate and articulate advocate for women’s experiences in music careers. A San Francisco native, Bielawa was born into a musical family, sang in the New York Philharmonic’s professional chorus, has held residencies worldwide and has been an artistic collaborator with Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson and Paul Simon. Her groundbreaking composer-led projects include the spatialized symphony airfield broadcasts at Crissy Field in 2013 and the opera Verio, performed in 2015 via broadcast and online media release.