Upcoming Events

Tue 10/28

Image - Stanley B. Prusiner: Madness and Memory

Stanley B. Prusiner: Madness and Memory

Date: Tue, October 28, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Nobel laureate's odyssey to cure the toughest diseases of the brain.

Stanley B. Prusiner, MD, Director, Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases; Professor, Department of Neurology, UCSF; Winner, Nobel Prize for Medicine

In his book, Prusiner tells the remarkable story of his discovery of prions – infectious proteins that replicate and cause disease but surprisingly contain no genetic material – and reveals how superb and meticulous science is actually practiced with talented teams of researchers who persevere. He recounts the frustrations and rewards of years of research and offers fascinating portraits of his peers as they raced to discover the causes of fatal brain diseases. Prusiner's hypothesis, once considered heresy, now stands as accepted science and the basis for developing diagnoses and eventual cures. He closes with a meditation on the legacy of his discovery: What will it take to cure Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's and other devastating diseases of the brain?

Wed 10/29

Go to The Business Case for Gender Diversity

The Business Case for Gender Diversity

Date: Wed, October 29, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Joe Keefe, CEO, Pax World Funds

Joe Keefe, CEO, Pax World Funds, Pax Ellevate Management, LLC

Research suggests that when women are at the table or in leadership positions, companies perform better. Where gender diversity reaches a critical mass of three or more women on a board, governance improves and so does financial performance. Yet, despite the powerful business case for women, gender inequality stubbornly persists. Joe Keefe will be discussing the business-side of gender diversity in the workplace. Keefe has written and spoken widely on the subject of women’s empowerment.

Image - Eric Metaxas: Do you Believe in Miracles?

Eric Metaxas: Do you Believe in Miracles?

Date: Wed, October 29, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Why do some people dismiss miracles out of hand?

Eric Metaxas, Lecturer, King’s College; Author, Bonhoeffer and Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life

What are miracles and why do we believe in them? Is it for comfort, to explain the inexplicable, or do we simply long for a connection with something larger than ourselves? And why do some people dismiss them out of hand, as if they can never happen?

What Heaven Is for Real did for near-death experiences, Miracles does for the miraculous. It provides food for thought that there’s something real to be reckoned with, whatever one has thought of this topic before. It provides a wide range of compelling stories of the miraculous and will engage the reader in the serious discussion that this fascinating and rich subject deserves. Miracles is in some ways a more personal, anecdotal and updated version of C. S. Lewis’s 1947 book on the subject. Metaxas’s Miracles is an exploration and an exhortation to view miracles as not only possible but as far more widespread than most of us have ever imagined.

Image - The World We Create: A Message of Hope for a Planet in Peril

The World We Create: A Message of Hope for a Planet in Peril

Date: Wed, October 29, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Frances Beinecke, President, NRDC

Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council; Author, The World We Create
Bob Deans, Director of Editorial Content, Natural Resources Defense Council; Former President, White House Correspondents' Association

Please join us for a tour d’horizon of the emerging solutions to the central environmental challenges of our time by Beinecke, one of the preeminent environmental leaders of her generation. In a conversation with the NRDC's editorial content director, Bob Deans, Beinecke delivers her message of hope in a spirit of optimism built on a foundation of progress and change.

By naming the problem while focusing on the fix, Beinecke has led the charge in the modern environmental movement, winning the Rachel Carson Award in 2007. Beinecke and Deans will introduce her new book, The World We Create: A Message of Hope for a Planet in Peril.

Thu 10/30

Go to San Francisco’s Prop E: Pros and Cons of the Soda Tax

San Francisco’s Prop E: Pros and Cons of the Soda Tax

Date: Thu, October 30, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Panelists TBA

To tax or not to tax? That is the question posed to San Francisco residents this November as Proposition E, also known as the Soda Tax, appears on ballots.

Proposition E seeks to impose a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages with revenue directed to the city’s public health, recreation and parks departments, and the school district. Proponents of the proposition believe it could reduce the consumption of sugary drinks by 30 to 40 percent, while opponents dispute that prediction and believe it unfairly burdens low-income communities.

Come with your questions for advocates on both sides of this contentious issue.

Image - Cognitive Dimensions of Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Cognitive Dimensions of Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Date: Thu, October 30, 2014
Time: 5:15 PM

Richard T. Houston, Ed.D., Founder, People Assets and Health Alliance Partners

Learn how a significant portion of cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer's disease can be delayed or avoided completely when adults pursue active lifestyle habits throughout their adult years. Survey responses from 1,600 Bay Area residents reveal important differences in the cognitive experience of fitness buffs vs. people who are rarely active. Psychological research provides insights into specific methodologies that create opportunities for shaping new active lifestyle behaviors and improving outcomes for physical and behavioral health.

Image - Keystone and Beyond

Keystone and Beyond

Date: Thu, October 30, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A conversation on powering this country’s future.

David Baker, Energy Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle 
John Cushman, Author, Keystone & Beyond; Former Reporter, The New York Times
Additional panelist TBA

With American oil production increasing and domestic demand in decline, does it make sense to build the Keystone XL pipeline? The Keystone battle is one of the biggest political fights over energy in decades and could shape President Obama’s legacy. Supporters say it will provide reliable energy from a friendly neighbor, adding that if the oil doesn’t come here, it will go to Asia. Opponents say that building it will commit the U.S. to some of the dirtiest fuel on Earth and send a message that the country is not serious about stabilizing the climate.

Keystone is just one hunk of metal in a web of energy infrastructure. There are 2.5 million miles of pipeline that carry energy around the United States. As a recent accident in Lynchburg, Virginia, demonstrated, transporting the oil by rail is dangerous. Furthermore, other pipelines are in the works to get the oil to ports and global markets.

John Cushman’s book on Keystone tells the story of the country’s most discussed piece of pipe. He will tell that story and be joined by two other reporters for a discussion of how the U.S. can maintain its economy while getting off fossil fuels before frying the planet. Will divestment from fossil fuels have any impact on capital and energy markets? Is attacking supply an effective strategy for decarbonizing the economy? Join a conversation with leading energy journalists on powering this country’s future.

 

Image - Marissa Mayer and Marc Benioff

Marissa Mayer in conversation with Marc Benioff - A Visionary Award Event

Date: Thu, October 30, 2014
Time: 7:15 PM
Her boldness has made her a household name.

Marissa Mayer, President and CEO, Yahoo 
In conversation with Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, salesforce.com

Marissa Mayer is the CEO of Yahoo and is one of very few women to have run a Fortune 500 company. In 2013, Mayer earned the number one spot on Fortune Magazine’s 2013 “40 Under 40” list. Fifteen years before she became the tech powerhouse she is today, Mayer was hired as the 20th employee at a small tech company. This company, Google, enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence under Mayer’s tenure and launched successful and groundbreaking products such as Google Maps, Google News, Gmail and Chrome. In 2012, Mayer claimed a bigger stage with her appointment as CEO of Yahoo In two years, Mayer has reinvigorated Yahoo's brand, reimagined all of its core products including Yahoo Mail, Flickr and more, and introduced new mobile products such as Yahoo Weather and Yahoo News Digest which have both won design awards. In addition, Mayer has acquired more than 40 companies, including Tumblr. Her boldness has made her a household name, and we’re pleased to award Marissa Mayer INFORUM’s 21st Century Visionary Award.

Join INFORUM at The Castro Theatre, where Mayer will be featured in conversation with Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of salesforce.com.

Fri 10/31

Image - French Friday with Dorie Greenspan

French Friday with Dorie Greenspan

Date: Fri, October 31, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Bringing together a mix of contemporary and traditional French recipes.

Dorie Greenspan, Author, Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere and Around My French Table; James Beard Award Winner
In Conversation with Joel Riddell, Executive Producer and Host, “Dining Around,” KKSF Talk 910

With her groundbreaking bestseller Around My French Table, Greenspan changed the way people view French food. Come hear her, in conversation with Riddell, talk about her career in the culinary world, co-authoring cookbooks with Pierre Herme and Julia Child; her fan club, French Fridays with Dorie; and her newest cookbook. Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere brings together a mix of contemporary and traditional recipes drawing on seasonal ingredients, market visits and travels throughout France.

Sat 11/1

Image - Mario Batali in Conversation with Tyler Florence

Mario Batali in Conversation with Tyler Florence

Date: Sat, November 01, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Join a discussion of Batali's latest book.

Mario Batali, Chef; Co-Host, “The Chew”; Author, America – Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers
In conversation with Tyler Florence, Chef and Owner, Wayfare Tavern, El Paseo; Chef and Host, Food Network

Beef cheek ravioli with fresh squab livers and black truffles, bucatini all’Amatriciana with house-cured guanciale, farfalle with sun-dried tomatoes and arugula; these are just a few of Batali’s signature dishes. He’s a connoisseur of Italian cuisine who has made an indelible mark on America. Batali has traveled from Spain to London to the small northern Italian village of Borgo Capanne to master the art of Italian cooking. He now co-owns more than 25 restaurants, and has written nine cookbooks. As the star, host and resident chef of shows such as “The Chew” and previously “Iron Chef America,” Mario brings celebrities, chefs and food together to explore and delight in life through food.

INFORUM presents Batali in conversation with Tyler Florence, Bay Area resident, host of numerous Food Network shows, and chef of SF’s own Wayfare Tavern. They’ll discuss Batali’s latest book, America – Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers.

Mon 11/3

Image - Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 11/3/14

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 11/3/14

Date: Mon, November 03, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news.

Debra J. Saunders, Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle; "Token Conservative" Blogger, SFGate.com; Twitter @debrajsaunders
Additional Panelists TBA

At Week to Week, we explore the biggest, most controversial, and sometimes the oddest 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 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). 

Go to Book Discussion: Mao II by Don DeLillo

Book Discussion: Mao II by Don DeLillo

Date: Mon, November 03, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM

Don DeLillo presents a novel about words and images, novelists and terrorists, the arch-individualist and the mass mind. The novel centers on Bill Gray, a famous reclusive writer who abandons the novel he has been writing for many years and enters a world of political violence, Semtex explosives and hostages locked in basement rooms. Mao II is Don DeLillo's 10th novel. It won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1992.

Image - Dry Farming Wine Grapes in California: Making Great Wine

Dry Farming Wine Grapes in California: Making Great Wine

Date: Mon, November 03, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Join an expert panel discussion.

Will Bucklin, Winemaker, Bucklin Old Hill Ranch, Glen Ellen
Guillaume Eicholz, Vineyard Manager, Dominus Estate, Yountville
Frank Leeds, Winegrower, Frog’s Leap, Rutherford
Tegan Passalacqua, Winemaker and Vineyard Manager, Turley Wine Cellars, Amador, Paso Robles and St. Helena
Peter Granoff, Master Sommelier, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant – Moderator

Join us for a panel discussion to learn first-hand from wine growers the history of dry farming to produce quality grapes. Dry farming refers to growing wine grapes without irrigation, instead using residual moisture from the rainy season to sustain them through the dry season. It has had a long history of use, particularly in the Mediterranean region. Prior to the 1970s, dry farming was standard practice in premium wine regions in California as well, but fell out of favor with the invention of drip irrigation. Today, there are still dry-farmed vineyards across the state, and growers agree: dry farming produces quality wine. Learn how this time-tested growing method produces top-quality wines and promotes environmental and water stewardship.

Wine tasting includes a selection of dry-farmed wines from: Dominus Estate, Emeritus Vineyards, Frog’s Leap Winery, Bucklin Old Hill Ranch, Ridge Vineyards, Smith-Madrone Vineyards and Winery, Tablas Creek Vineyard, and Turley Wine Cellars; and farm-to-table bites from the CUESA-Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Image - Chef Marcus Samuelsson: Recipes to Cook at Home

Chef Marcus Samuelsson: Recipes to Cook at Home

Date: Mon, November 03, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM

Marcus Samuelsson, Chef; Author, Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home

Come reinvigorate your taste buds as award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson gives us a glimpse of what home cooking looks like to a top chef. He’s taken to long form writing to share the secrets of his multicultural dishes, blending the Ethiopian, Swedish, Mexican, Caribbean, Italian, and Southern soul. From dill-spiced salmon to peanut noodles with slaw, his latest book, Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home, walks us through his success and variety in the kitchen.

Tue 11/4

Image - Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln (MLF)

Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln

Date: Tue, November 04, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Lincoln's life as a struggle to carry on the work of the Founding Fathers.

Richard Brookhiser, Historian

Abraham Lincoln turned to Washington, Paine and Jefferson for knowledge, guidance, inspiration and purpose. He brought their vision to bear on the Civil War and the question of slavery. In Founders' Son, celebrated historian Richard Brookhiser presents Lincoln's life as a struggle to carry on the work of the Founding Fathers. From Lincoln’s humble origins in Kentucky to his assassination in D.C., Brookhiser shows us every side of the man: laborer, lawyer, congressman, president; storyteller, wit, lover of ribald jokes; depressive, poet, friend and visionary.

Image - Adam Michnik, Polish Activist and Journalist

Adam Michnik, Polish Activist and Journalist

Date: Tue, November 04, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
The Trouble with Democracy After Communism

Adam Michnik, Polish Activist; Editor-in-Chief, Gazeta Wyborcza, Author, The Trouble with History: Morality, Revolution, and Counterrevolution

The Trouble with Democracy After Communism

Adam Michnik was a leader of the anti-Communist opposition in Poland in the 1970s and 1980s. He is the editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, a daily newspaper often referred to as “The New York Times of Eastern Europe.” He is among Poland’s most prominent public figures, with a distinctive voice dedicated to dialogue, tolerance and freedom.

Michnik was a leading figure in the 1968 student movement in Warsaw, a co-founder of KOR (Committee for the Defense of Workers) in 1976, and a prominent Solidarity activist in the 1980s. In 1989, he participated in the Round Table Talks, which resulted in Poland’s nonviolent transition to democracy, and he served as a deputy in Poland’s first non-communist parliament. He is the author of several books and countless essays, analyses and interviews. Today, he regularly travels throughout the world, giving lectures on democracy, totalitarianism and the paradoxes and dilemmas of contemporary politics.

Wed 11/5

Image - Waterfront Walk

Waterfront Walk

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Explore the neighborhood near the Club's future home.

Join Rick Evans for his new walking tour exploring the historic sites of the waterfront neighborhood that surrounds the location of the future Commonwealth Club headquarters. Hear the dynamic stories of the entrepreneurs, controversial artists and labor organizers who created this recently revitalized neighborhood. This two-hour tour will give you a lively overview of the historic significance of this neighborhood and a close look at the ongoing development.

Go to Humanities West Book Discussion - A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus's Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich

Humanities West Book Discussion - A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus's Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
A lucid account of the abuse of history.

Join us to discuss Harvard classics professor Christopher Krebs' lucid account of the abuse of history. Germania, written in 98 C.E. by the Roman official Tacitus, was lost for centuries but resurfaced around 1500. It launched a primitivist myth of ancient Germans as freedom-loving warriors, uncultured but honorable, in contrast with decadent Romans. In fact, Tacitus probably never visited Germany. He wrote for a Roman audience that shared his romantic view of northern barbarians. But enthusiastic German readers from Luther to Himmler ignored Tacitus's disparaging comments and misread passages to confirm their prejudices. Krebs warns against this irresistible human yearning to find written proof of one's ideology. Lynn Harris will lead the discussion.

Image - New Food Revolution

New Food Revolution

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Feeding 9 billion people is a daunting challenge.

Karen Ross, California Secretary of Food and Agriculture; Former Deputy U.S. Secretary of Agriculture 
Jonathan Foley, Executive Director, California Academy of Sciences 
Walter Robb, Co-CEO, Whole Foods 

Feeding 9 billion people on a hot planet is a daunting challenge. California can play a leading role, but its searing drought is stressing its ability to be the world’s fruit basket and salad bowl.

Does the solution involve organic food, industrial monoculture, GMOs or all of the above? What can Americans do to make food choices that support change in the food system? 

A recent cover story in National Geographic outlined Jonathan Foley’s five-step plan to feed a hot and crowded world. We’ll discuss that plan for food security with Dr. Foley and two food leaders from the top levels of government and business.

Image - A History of the World According to Beer

A History of the World According to Beer

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
William Bostwick, Beer Critic, Author

William Bostwick, Beer Critic; Author, The Brewer’s Tale: A History of the World According to Beer

Ever wonder when the first beer was brewed? Or, better yet, how it tasted? In his latest book, The Brewer’s Tale, home-brewer and beer critic William Bostwick uncovers the stories of brewers past – the unknown recipes, the odd ingredients, and the long-lost flavors – telling a history of the world through the eyes of brewers throughout the centuries. Join Bostwick as he celebrates the beers of ages past and raise a glass to the fermented magic we all know and love.