Upcoming Events

Wed 5/14

Image - John A. Amster: Patents in the Boardroom – The Tru
This event is Postponed

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

Date: Wed, May 14, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
CEO and Co-founder, RPX Corporation

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 John 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 - One Mama

One Mama

Date: Wed, May 14, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Siobhan Neilland, Founder, OneMama ShaBoom products

Siobhan "ShaBoom" Neilland, Founder, OneMama ShaBoom Products

How do you overcome the death of your child? Neilland found a unique way to fill this major void by traveling to Uganda and opening herself to the love of many children, which led her to found OneMama.org in her efforts to help others live. Come hear Neilland discuss how all you need is an idea, a strategy and a whole lot of tenacity to transfer your own personal, self-sustaining technique to the professional concept of business and philanthropy.

Thu 5/15

Go to Truly Heal Your Body, Your Life and the World from Cancer

Truly Heal Your Body, Your Life and the World from Cancer

Date: Thu, May 15, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Marcus Freudenmann, Founder, Truly Heal; Director and Producer, Truly Heal Your Body, Your Life and the World from Cancer; Producer, Cancer Is Curable Now 

Marcus Freudenmann is an expert in the world of alternative and integrative treatments for cancer. He will address the complexity of these treatments, as well as how to evaluate a patient effectively with a systematic approach. Through such an evaluation a practitioner and patient can create an individualized treatment plan. Freudenmann says such treatment plans can eliminate root causes of cancer, heal underlying trauma and help patients find life purpose and joy.

Image - The Purpose Economy: Passion, Community and Profits

The Purpose Economy: Passion, Community and Profits

Date: Thu, May 15, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A blueprint for a new economic era.
Aaron Hurst, Founder, Taproot Foundation; CEO, Imperative; Author, The Purpose Economy
 
We are in a new economic era that is driven by connecting people to their purpose. A new breed of startups – like Etsy, Zaarly, Elance, Tough Mudder, Kickstarter and Airbnb – are responding to our desire for purpose by finding new ways to engage with like-minded communities near and far.
 
Founder and advisor to the Taproot Foundation, where he was the lead architect in developing the $15 billion pro bono service market, Hurst presents a blueprint for a new economic era that is transforming work, organizations and markets to better serve people and the world.

Fri 5/16

Image - Jose Cuisia, Jr., Philippine Ambassador to the U.S.

Jose Cuisia, Jr., Philippine Ambassador to the U.S.

Date: Fri, May 16, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Prospects and Challenges of the Philippine Economy in 2014 and Beyond

As his country recovers from Typhoon Haiyan, a massive natural disaster with a heavy human toll and far-reaching economic effects, Ambassador Cuisia will discuss the growth and challenges facing the Philippine economy as well as his country’s crucial relationship with the United States. Cuisia was nominated by President Benigno S. Aquino III to the position of ambassador on November 30, 2010. Previously he served as central bank governor and chairman of the Monetary Board and chairman of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation Board.

Mon 5/19

Image - Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 5/19/14

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 5/19/14

Date: Mon, May 19, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
A must-attend political discussion and social event.

Larry Gerston, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, San Jose State University; Political Analyst, NBC Bay Area; Author, Not So Golden After All: The Rise and Fall of California; Twitter @lgerston 
Carla Marinucci, Senior Political Writer, San Francisco Chronicle; Twitter @cmarinucci
John Zipperer, Vice President of Media & Editorial, Commonwealth Club - Host
Additional Panelist TBA

California's electing new leaders this year, and issues like income inequality and affordability are dominating the headlines. Week to Week will take a look at the issues and the people in local, state and national politics. In its first two years, Week to Week has become a must-attend political discussion and social event. 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 stay after 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). 

Image - Middle East Discussion Group

Middle East Discussion Group

Date: Mon, May 19, 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.

Go to No Child Left Inside

No Child Left Inside

Date: Mon, May 19, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Nicole Ardoin, Assistant Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Education 
Zenobia Barlow, Executive Director and Co-Founder, The Center for Ecoliteracy 
Running Grass, Founder, Three Circles Center in Sausalito; Expert on Multicultural Approaches to Children and Environmental Education
Laurette Rogers, Co-Founder, Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed (STRAW)
Mitchell Thomashow, President Emeritus, Unity College;  Director, Presidential Fellows Programs, Second Nature  – Moderator

 

Spring heralds the beginning of the outdoors season but despite the demonstrated positive effects that nature has on kids, many children remain glued to screens or stuck inside prepping for yet another standardized exam. Will it always be "heads in tech"? Or will it also be "feet on the ground"? If children are not given opportunities to connect with the natural world, who will be the stewards of the future? Join a roundtable discussion of experts and educators hosted by Orion Magazine, publisher of the new anthology, Leave No Child Inside, to examine the merits and opportunities inherent in experiential outdoor play and learning for all children and their abilities.

Image - Status Report on Health-care Reform in California

Status Report on Health-care Reform in California

Date: Mon, May 19, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Dave Jones, Commissioner, California Department of Insurance

Following the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the challenge for California is to provide millions of citizens with an affordable option for high-quality health care while simultaneously setting an example for the rest of the United States. The goal is to include medical, mental health, long-term care and many other services to preserve and improve the physical and mental health of all Californians. Dave Jones is the commissioner of the California Department of Insurance, the largest consumer protection agency in the state. His job is to regulate the $123 billion insurance industry. He will give us an inside look into the process of health-care reform in California, his aspirations and concerns going forward.

Tue 5/20

Go to Anya17: Human Welfare and the Aesthetics of Opera
This event is Cancelled

Anya17: Human Welfare and the Aesthetics of Opera

Date: Tue, May 20, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Art in the world of social change.

This event has been cancelled

Ben Kaye, Librettist, Anya17; Poet 
Spokesperson from United Nations Women, TBA 
Celebrity Advocate Against Human Trafficking, TBA

Opera Parallèle produces operas that explore emerging aesthetics in a context of contemporary social values, including the American premiere of Anya17, a new opera by British composer Adam Gorb and librettist Ben Kaye. Anya17 addresses human trafficking, creating a poignant example of how the arts can be used to advocate social change.

Image - Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl

Date: Tue, May 20, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Ruth Reichl, Food Critic, Editor, Author
Ruth Reichl, Food Critic; Former Editor, Gourmet; Author, Delicious!; Twitter @ruthreichl
Angie Coiro, Journalist and Host, "In Deep" - Moderator
 
In her fiction debut, Reichl celebrates her love of food with a story about family ties and the special bond between sisters. Reichl is an award-winning chef and well-known food critic for The New York Times. Hear more from one of the pioneers of the Berkeley culinary revolution.
 
Image - Freakonomics with Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner

Freakonomics with Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner

Date: Tue, May 20, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
How to make smarter, harder, and better decisions.

Steven Levitt, Author, Think Like a FreakFreakonomics and SuperFreakonomics
Stephen Dubner, Author, Think Like a FreakFreakonomics and SuperFreakonomics

Now, it’s time for you to think like a “freak.” Levitt and Dubner’s newest masterpiece helps us get whacky to analyze the decisions we make, the plans we create and even the morals we chose. Get freaky – and these statistic gurus will teach you how to make smarter, harder, and better decisions. With practical insights from “The Upside of Quitting” to “How to Succeed – With No Talent,” Levitt and Dubner have again turned our brains inside out and made statistics sexy. There’s a hidden side to everything. Get the inside scope from freakonomists Dubner and Levitt.

Wed 5/21

Image - Inside College Football: Ask The Commissioners

Inside College Football: Ask the Commissioners

Date: Wed, May 21, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Opportunities and challenges facing college football.

Larry Scott, Commissioner, Pac 12; Former Chairman and CEO, Women’s Tennis Association; Former President and COO, ATP Properties
James Delany, Commissioner, Big 10
Ted Robinson, Emmy Award-winning Broadcaster; Announcer, Pac 12 Network, and San Francisco 49ers – Moderator

As the 2014 season begins to take shape, hear the heads of the two college conferences with the largest television and media footprint discuss the opportunities and challenges facing college football, including compensation for student-athletes, safety issues and the advent of playoffs, as the sport continues its unparalleled growth. Predictions are also likely, including for the Bay Area Bowl that will feature a team from each conference.

Thu 5/22

Image - North Beach Walking Tour
This event is Sold Out

North Beach Walking Tour

Date: Thu, May 22, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Find hidden gems with Rick Evans

Join another Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure! Explore vibrant North Beach with Rick Evans during a two-hour walk through this neighborhood with a colorful past, where food, culture, history and unexpected views all intersect in an Italian “urban village.” In addition to learning about Beat generation hangouts, you’ll discover authentic Italian cathedrals and coffee shops. 

Image - Leonard Susskind & Art Friedman: Quantum Mechanics -

Leonard Susskind & Art Friedman: Quantum Mechanics - The Theoretical Minimum

Date: Thu, May 22, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A lively and accessible introduction to a famously difficult field

Leonard Susskind, Felix Bloch Professor of Theoretical Physics, Stanford University; Co-author, Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

Art Friedman, Data Engineer; Co-author, Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

Come hear physicist Susskind and data engineer Friedman present a lively and accessible introduction to a famously difficult field, the theory and associated mathematics of quantum mechanics, which attempts to understand the behavior of sub-atomic objects through mathematical abstractions. Susskind and Friedman offer crystal-clear explanations of the principles of quantum states, uncertainty and time dependence, entanglement and particle and wave states, among other topics. They provide a tool kit for amateur scientists to learn physics at their own pace.

Image - When I'm 164: The New Science of Radical Life Extension

When I'm 164: The New Science of Radical Life Extension

Date: Thu, May 22, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM

David Ewing Duncan, Author, When I'm 164: The New Science of Radical Life Extension, and What Happens if It Succeeds and Experimental Man; Columnist, Newsweek; Chief Correspondent, NPR Talk’s Biotech Nation

The average life expectancy of Americans is approximately 78 years, but how long do you really want to live? Today, scientists at universities and research institutions across the globe are discussing and working on anti-aging treatments that could possibly extend the average life span of humans by decades. In his book, When I’m 164, David Ewing Duncan explores the science of radical life extension and the new technologies that may alter the limits of human life. Join Duncan for a discussion on these advances in biotechnology and the impact and implications of being able to live to age 164 or beyond.

Image - The Economist's John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge Talk Smart Gover

The Economist's John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge Talk Smart Government

Date: Thu, May 22, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM

John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief, The Economist; Co-author, The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State
Adrian Wooldridge, Management Editor and Schumpeter Columnist, The Economist; Co-author, The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State

From its unsustainable debt load to a gridlocked Washington, the American government is failing. John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge are asking the tough questions. Are China and India pulling ahead? Will the West be left behind? Will democracy and liberty triumph in the 21st century? Believing that world growth is being inhibited by dysfunctional government, Micklethwait and Wooldridge are calling out the big bad nation-state. Join us for a discussion with the gurus who make global economics provocative.

Tue 5/27

Image - Getting to 50/50

Getting to 50/50

Date: Tue, May 27, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Sharon Meers, Head of Magento Enterprise Strategy, eBay; Former Managing Director, Goldman Sachs; Co-author, Getting to 50/50
Joanna Strober, Founder and CEO, KurboHealth; Co-author, Getting to 50/50

Is it possible to excel at your job and be home for dinner? Getting to 50/50 will offer you helpful ideas to successfully navigate the challenges of sharing work and family responsibilities. Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober share personal stories, compelling social science and a practical roadmap to help both women and men stay engaged with their kids without sacrificing their careers. Meers and Strober are a source of hope and confidence to any parent who has ever questioned their choices regarding career and family.  

Thu 5/29

Image - Timothy Geithner - Former US Secretary of Treasury

Timothy Geithner - Former US Secretary of Treasury

Date: Thu, May 29, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
On tough decisions required to save the U.S. economy.

Timothy Geithner, Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; Author, Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises

Bethany McLean,  Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair – Moderator

Geithner served as the 75th U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under President Obama from 2009 to 2013. In Stress Test, he reveals some of the most challenging and controversial moments he faced in the wake of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression. Geithner shares his personal and professional recollections of President Obama, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson and others, and candidly explains the tough decisions required to save the U.S. economy from collapse. He also examines the tensions between policy and politics that have come to dominate discussions of the U.S. economy.

Image - The Faraway Nearby

The Faraway Nearby

Date: Thu, May 29, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Rebecca Solnit, Author, The Faraway Nearby

Award-winning San Francisco author Solnit reaches beyond her own life to the stories she heard and read that helped her navigate the difficult journey through her mother's illness, disintegrating memory and eventual death. Exploring the essential elements of empathy for dealing with irreparable loss, Solnit has created a marvelous Russian doll of a book with a narrative as rich as the fairy tales she recreates.