Upcoming Events

Mon 2/9

Image - Sexual Intelligence: A New View of Sexual Function and Satisfaction

Sexual Intelligence: A New View of Sexual Function and Satisfaction

Date: Mon, February 09, 2015
Time: 5:15 PM
What do most people want from sex?

Marty Klein, Ph.D., Marriage & Family Therapist; Sex Therapist; Author, Sexual Intelligence: What We Really Want from Sex, and How to Get It

What do most people want from sex? A combination of pleasure and closeness; but during the act, that’s not always the focus. Instead, we worry about how we look, smell, sound and perform; distracted thoughts and feelings can lead to what so many people are afraid of – sexual “dysfunction” and dissatisfaction. Tying to improve "function" and friction doesn't give people what they really want from sex. After all, sex is much more than an activity; it's an idea.

Dr. Klein is an internationally recognized expert in human sexuality. He has been a marriage and family therapist and sex therapist in Palo Alto for 34 years, and he has written seven books on sexuality. Join Dr. Klein as he discusses ways in which we can improve our sex lives and connect with our partners.

Go to Book Discussion: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (MLF)

Book Discussion: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (MLF)

Date: Mon, February 09, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
The freedom of the spirit in an unfree world.

The Master and Margarita is woven around a visit by the devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union. In part, it is angled against a suffocatingly bureaucratic social order. The novel alternates between two settings. The first is 1930s Moscow, and the second setting is the Jerusalem of Pontius Pilate. Ultimately, the novel deals with the interplay of good and evil, innocence and guilt, courage and cowardice, love and sensuality, exploring such issues as the responsibility toward truth when authority would deny it, and the freedom of the spirit in an unfree world.

We’ll be discussing Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.

Tue 2/10

Image - Transforming California's State Parks: A Blueprint for a Sustainable Fut

Transforming California's State Parks: A Blueprint for a Sustainable Future

Date: Tue, February 10, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
Christine Kehoe of the California Parks Forward Commission

Christine Kehoe, Co-Chair, California Parks Forward Commission

California's magnificent 280-unit park system faces significant challenges. Declining budgets have led to scaled-back services and a long list of maintenance needs, while outdated administrative systems, technology and processes impede park staff’s ability to effectively manage and protect the parks’ natural and cultural resources. Hear about a just-released report by the Parks Forward Commission, which recommends sweeping changes to tackle these issues and ensure the sustainability of our state parks for future generations.

Kehoe is the executive director of the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative. During 25 years of public service, including 19 years in elected office, Kehoe has focused on developing policies and programs over a range of issues at the city and state level. From 2000 to 2012, Ms. Kehoe served in the California state legislature as a member of the Assembly and the state Senate, where she distinguished herself as a consensus-minded leader and an advocate for strong energy and environmental policy.

Wed 2/11

Image - Living Planet Report 2014: Global Footprint Network

Living Planet Report 2014: Global Footprint Network

Date: Wed, February 11, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Mathis Wackernagel, Ph.D., President, Global Footprint Network

Mathis Wackernagel, Ph.D., President, Global Footprint Network

Dr. Wackernagel will discuss the Living Planet Report, 2014 and the Global Footprint Network's ecological footprint. The Living Planet Report is a science-based analysis of the health of our planet and the impact of human activity. Wackernagel has worked on sustainability on six continents and lectured at more than 100 universities. Join us as he speaks about current science and the health of our planet and the serious challenges ahead to ensure healthy, safe environments worldwide at the global, national and local levels. Dr. Wackernagel is co-creator of the concept of the ecological footprint. His awards include the 2013 Prix Nature Swisscanto, the 2012 Blue Planet Award and the 2011 Zayed International Prize for the Environment.

Thu 2/12

Image - Chinatown Walking Tour

Chinatown Walking Tour

Date: Thu, February 12, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM

Enjoy a Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure. Join Rick Evans for a memorable midday walk and discover the history and mysteries of Chinatown. Explore colorful alleys and side streets. Visit a Taoist temple, an herbal store, the site of the first public school in the state, and the famous Fortune Cookie Factory.

Wed 2/18

Go to Socrates Café

Socrates Café

Date: Wed, February 18, 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 - Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job

Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job

Date: Wed, February 18, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
How to get into the best shape of your life.

J.D. Griffin, MBA, Certified Nutrition Coach; Men’s Physique Competitor; Financial Markets Professional

So many nutrition and exercise plans promise great results, but their requirements suggest that becoming healthy is apparently a full-time job. What if you could lose fat, get fit, feel healthy and still keep your day job? You can!

J.D. Griffin wants to teach you how to get yourself into the best shape of your life. By breaking health and fitness down to their essentials, Griffin has developed a functional approach with three sections: nutrition, cardiovascular exercise and resistance training. He offers you a time-efficient, practical guide that he says anyone can follow and start seeing and feeling the results.

Thu 2/19

Image - San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

Date: Thu, February 19, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM

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!

Fri 2/20

Go to The Invisible People: Syrian Refugees

The Invisible People: Syrian Refugees

Date: Fri, February 20, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM

Giles Duley, Photojournalist; Humanitarian

While on foot patrol in Afghanistan, Duley, an award-winning photographer, stepped on a land mine and became a triple amputee, losing his arm and both legs. Prior to his life-changing injuries, he was noted for his portraits of the rich and famous, but now his work focuses on humanitarian issues and the stark consequences of conflicts on civilians. Duley, who has been honored by Amnesty International, will show excerpts from his latest documentary, which encompasses Syrian refugees.

Tue 2/24

Image - New Member Reception

New Member Reception

Date: Tue, February 24, 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!

Go to Lessons from the Rim Fire: What It Means

Lessons from the Rim Fire: What It Means

Date: Tue, February 24, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Stories of enormous destruction, damage, protection and renewal.

Jeanne Wade Evans, Deputy Regional Forester, Pacific Southwest Region, U.S. Forest Service
Joe Amodio, Member, Tuolumne River Trust Advisory Committee 
Michael Carlin, Deputy General Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Larry Cope, Director of Economic Development, Tuolumne Economic Development Authority
Joe Litehiser, Ph.D.; Senior Scientist, Bechtel Corp; President, Friends of Camp Mather 

With California drought conditions building, 2013 and 2014 saw some of the worst fires in Yosemite and Sierra history. The Rim Fire and subsequent fires affected incredible amounts of acreage and economies in both the U.S. national forests and California's forests and parks. The recovery efforts and lessons learned involve stories of enormous destruction, damage, protection and renewal. Learn what has happened to people's lives, homes, businesses, recreational opportunities and about the ecological and habitat impact. Learn how people, rivers, communities, organizations and businesses coped, and explore the work they are doing to protect and restore Yosemite and the Sierras.


Thu 2/26

Image -  Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered

Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered

Date: Thu, February 26, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Author Dianne Hales

Dianne Hales, Author, Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered

Why does Mona Lisa's smile still enchant us? Little is known about the world's most recognized face, most revered artist and most praised and parodied painting. Join Hales as she reveals Da Vinci’s muse, Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, and explores Giocando’s colorful family history and the neighborhoods where she lived as a girl, a wife and a mother.

Fri 2/27

Image - Restructuring Health Care: The Massive, Disruptive Integration of Care D

Restructuring Health Care: The Massive, Disruptive Integration of Care Delivery and Financing

Date: Fri, February 27, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM

Mark Zitter, CEO, Zitter Health Insights
Terry Stone, Managing Partner, Health & Life Sciences Practice, Oliver Wyman
Paul Markovich, President and CEO, Blue Shield of California.

We all want more health care and to pay less for it. Obamacare increased coverage but did little to stem rising costs. What is being done? There is a growing movement to integrate the accountability for treating and financing care. Hospital systems and large medical groups are assuming increasing financial risk for the populations they serve, while health insurers are partnering with or even purchasing provider organizations to deliver care to their members. This interactive panel will explore what’s working, what barriers remain, and what we can expect from these major changes in the U.S. health-care system.

Tue 3/3

Image - Nob Hill Walking Tour

Nob Hill Walking Tour

Date: Tue, March 03, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM

Explore one of San Francisco’s 44 hills, and one of its original “Seven Hills”. Because of great views and its central position, Nob Hill became an exclusive enclave of the rich and famous on the west coast who built large mansions in the neighborhood. This included prominent tycoons such as Leland Stanford, and other members of the Big Four. Highlights include the history of four landmark hotels: The Fairmont, Mark Hopkins, Stanford Court, and Huntington Hotel. Visit the city’s largest house of worship, Grace Cathedral, and discover architectural tidbits and anecdotes about the railroad barons and silver kings. A true San Francisco experience of elegance, urbanity, scandals and fabulous views.

Wed 3/4

Go to Humanities West Book Discussion: The Song of Roland

Humanities West Book Discussion: The Song of Roland

Date: Wed, March 04, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
A classical epic that glorifies the heroism of Charlemagne.

Join us to discuss The Song of Roland, the anonymous classical epic that glorifies the heroism of Charlemagne in the 778 battle between the Franks and the Moors. Lynn Harris will lead the discussion.

Image - Who is Putin?

Who is Putin?

Date: Wed, March 04, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Ilya Ponomarev, Former Member of the Russian State Duma

Ilya Ponomarev, Former Opposition Member, Russian State Duma; Former Chair, Innovations Subcommittee of Duma; Technology Entrepreneur

Who is Vladimir Putin: powerful tyrant or cornered ex-KGB officer who became Russian President? What is the end game for him? How should the White House handle the crisis between Russia and the West? Join our discussion with a leader of the Russian opposition. Hon. Illya Ponomarev was the only State Duma member to vote against the accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation. In August he learned that the Kremlin had banned him from returning to Russia.

Thu 3/5

Go to Explore the World from The Commonwealth Club Planning Meeting

Explore the World from The Commonwealth Club Planning Meeting

Date: Thu, March 05, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Discuss international issues and plan programs.

All interested Club members are welcome to attend our bimonthly, one-hour planning meetings of the International Relations Member-Led Forum. We focus on Europe, Latin America, Africa and worldwide topics. Join us to discuss current international issues and plan programs for 2015.

Mon 3/9

Image - Minimizing Fear

Minimizing Fear

Date: Mon, March 09, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

George Hammond, Author, Rational Idealism and Conversations With Socrates

Monday Night Philosophy understands that we have explained life to ourselves in ways that have scared us silly for so long that it has become an engrained habit. Ironically, it's a habit we rather enjoy because fear often keeps us more alert than we'd otherwise be. But there are other ways to remain intellectually alert to the nuances of life that are not so debilitating. So tonight we'll sort through those fears with the goal of understanding how unlikely it is that these fears are justified, eliminating those that are highly irrational, and minimizing those that are merely ridiculous.

Tue 3/10

Image - International Careers: Explore the World As You Work

International Careers: Explore the World As You Work

Date: Tue, March 10, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
A panel of worldly experts.

Terry Vogt, Managing Director, Terra Global Capital
Lisa Reinsberg, Executive Director, International Justice Resource Center
Vaido Vald, Superintendent, Skanska – Global Project Development and Construction Group
Nikki Sayres, Senior Director of Field Representation and Operations, The Asia Foundation

Have you ever thought of taking your sharply honed professional skill set overseas? Perhaps to use your management expertise to help shape the next green building complex in Denmark? Or your legal and human rights knowledge to push for the fair treatment of migrant workers in China? Our panel of international specialists from private industry and the nonprofit sphere will discuss opportunities for international work in various disciplines. Learn about the rewards and possible pitfalls of working abroad. Following the program you will have the opportunity to talk directly with the speakers.

Mon 3/16

Image - The Amazons

The Amazons

Date: Mon, March 16, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Were these ancient warrior women fact or fiction?

Adrienne Mayor, Research Scholar, Classics and History and Philosophy of Science, Stanford University

Amazons – fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world – were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles dueled Amazon queens, and Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great and Pompey each tangled with them. But who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback? Were Amazons real? Mayor's is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across the ancient world, including new archaeological discoveries of battle-scarred female skeletons buried with their weapons. Mayor argues that a timeless search for a balance between the sexes explains the allure of the Amazons and reminds us that there were as many Amazon love stories as there were war stories.