Upcoming Events

Wed 9/28

Image - Francisco Jiménez and Lalo Alcaraz

Francisco Jiménez

Date: Wed, September 28, 2016
Time: 7:30 PM
Meet this year's John Steinbeck Award winner

Francisco Jiménez, Poet; Author; and Educator
In Conversation with Lalo Alcaraz, Nationally Syndicated Artist and Cartoonist

Born in Mexico in 1943, Jiménez spent much of his childhood moving around California with no permanent home or regular schooling. Against incredible odds he went on to earn a Ph.D. and become a professor at his alma mater, Santa Clara University.

At his family's urging he began working on a book about his childhood and in 1997 published The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child. Jiménez went on to publish three more books: Breaking Through, Reaching Out, and Taking Hold, all with Spanish translations. Widely read in schools, Jiménez’s books have given voice to families like his and introduced a generation of American children to the plight of migrant laborers in our country. In vivid language, Jiménez highlights the humanity and strength that exist in the face of poverty and discrimination.

Hear more about his amazing story as he receives this year's John Steinbeck award. The John Steinbeck Award is sanctioned by the Steinbeck estate and is offered by the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University.

Thu 10/6

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Chef Ryan Pollnow and a Party to Benefit The Commonwealth Club

Date: Thu, October 06, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
Benefit for the Club

Join us at Williams-Sonoma in San Mateo for a shopping night benefiting The Commonwealth Club of California in celebration of the grand opening of their new store at the Hillsdale Shopping Center.

• 15% of the purchases made during the shopping night event will go directly to The Commonwealth Club.

Enjoy a Basque Pintxos party and Gin & Tonic Bar with Chef Ryan Pollnow of San Francisco’s Aatxe.

Mon 10/10

Image - Anthony Romero

Anthony Romero, ACLU Executive Director: Civil Liberties and Technology

Date: Mon, October 10, 2016
Time: 3:00 PM
Tech, law and liberty

Anthony Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union

Anthony Romero is the ACLU’s sixth executive director, and the first Latino and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. Born in New York City to parents who hailed from Puerto Rico, Romero was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He is a graducate of Stanford University Law School and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs. He will address the intersection of big data and social justice.

This is part of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s 2016 regional meeting. The regional meeting is an annual event hosted by SVCF that brings together diverse community members to learn the latest on important issues from expert guest speakers. The regional meeting is open to the public: nonprofits, foundations, corporate representatives, community members and leaders.

Image - Sophia Amoruso
This event is Sold Out

#Girlboss Sophia Amoruso

Date: Mon, October 10, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
San Francisco entrepreneurial success and misfit heroine

Sophia Amoruso, Author, Nasty Galaxy and New York Times best-seller #Girlboss; Founder and CEO, Nasty Gal; Founder, #Girlboss Foundation; Host, #Girlboss Radio 
Alison Pincus, Co-Founder, One Kings Lane; Co-Founder, HelloMazel—Moderator

Come get nasty with Nasty Gal’s #Girlboss Sophia Amoruso, at INFORUM!

An entrepreneur and style-setter, Sophia’s life has been one wild ride, and we know it’s just the beginning! In the 2000s, she was a security monitor at the San Francisco Academy of Art, dumpster diving for food and selling stolen books on eBay before founding Nasty Gal in 2006. Just a decade later, in 2016, Forbes named Sophia one of the youngest and richest self-made women in America—surpassing fellow #Girlboss Beyonce.

Sophia launched her company, Nasty Gal, on eBay, reselling vintage clothes she scavenged from thrift stores. Nasty Gal quickly grew, growing from a makeshift store in Sophia’s living room to a fashion powerhouse, both online and brick-and-mortar, in less than a decade. Women around the world snap up Nasty Gal’s cutting-edge fashions with a vintage touch, and Sophia’s influence is evident on magazine covers, Pinterest, the runway and beyond.

Sophia’s success isn’t just limited to fashion—she’s creating an empire. Sophia champions aspiring female entrepreneurs through her #Girlboss Foundation, and shares stories of other creative, successful women on her popular podcast #Girlboss Radio, with guests like Charlize Theron. Her first book, #Girlboss, dubbed “Lean In for misfits,” is a New York Times bestseller and is currently being turned into a Netflix original series (taping in San Francisco this fall!).

Sophia will take INFORUM on a trip into her latest book, Nasty Galaxy, giving us the inside scoop about her unconventional approach to style, music, philosophy and advice.

This program is generously supported by 
Wells Fargo

Tue 10/11

Image - Steve Blake

Parkinson’s Disease: Nutritional Therapy

Date: Tue, October 11, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Can diet affect Parkinson's disease?

Steve Blake, Sc.D., Faculty Nutritional Biochemist, Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience; Author, Vitamins and Minerals Demystified and Parkinson’s Disease: Dietary Regulation of Dopamine

Parkinson’s disease involves a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Symptoms can include tremor, rigidity and slow movements. In this program, you will learn about changes in dietary protein that have been found to reduce these symptoms by half.

Neurodegeneration is the loss of function and death of our brain cells. Why do our brain cells lose function and die? Learn about specific pollutants in certain foods that can damage our ability to make dopamine, and which foods harbor these persistent organic pollutants and how to avoid them. In contrast, certain foods and nutrients can help protect brain cells and slow degeneration. Since Parkinson’s disease symptoms do not often show up before half of the dopamine-producing brain cells are gone, all of us can benefit from proactive risk reduction.

Steve Blake is faculty nutritional biochemist at Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience. He is a research scientist who has just finished a clinical study successfully using nutrients to combat neurodegeneration. Among his publications, he authored the Diet Doctor software to analyze dietary nutrients.

Go to From Moldova to Mountain View: Technovation Challenges Girls to Code Solutions to Social Problems

From Moldova to Mountain View: Technovation Challenges Girls to Code Solutions to Social Problems

Date: Tue, October 11, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
The Technovation Challenge

Madhavi Bhasin, Global Partnerships Director, Technovation
Allie Holmes, Events & Engagement Director, Technovation

Technovation, a flagship program of non-profit Iridescent, is the world’s largest global tech entrepreneurship competition for girls. The program offers girls around the world the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to emerge as tech entrepreneurs and leaders. Every year, Technovation challenges 10- to 18-year-old girls to build a business plan and mobile app that will address a community problem. Since 2009, more than 10,000 girls have participated from more than 87 countries.

The international reach of the competition has escalated in the last three years. The winner of the 2014 competition was from Moldova, and the 2015 winner was a Nigerian team. Bhasin and Holmes will give an overview of the competition, its sponsors (Google, Facebook, and others), outreach efforts, and partners (such as UN Women, Peace Corps, and more).

Image - California wildfire

Paradise Burning

Date: Tue, October 11, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
What is driving our state's "hellfires"?

J. Keith Gilless, Dean of the College of Natural Resources; Chair, California State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection

California wildfires used to be a seasonal challenge in rather remote parts of the state. Now they are burning nearly year-round and spreading from the urban-rural interface to more of the state’s urban and coastal population. What is driving California’s "hellfires"? How are they hitting the state treasury, environment and public health?

A conversation about the California dream lived in a hot and smoky world.

Wed 10/12

Image - Grgich

Grgich Hills Estate: A Toast to Mike Grgich

Date: Wed, October 12, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
The legacy of California wines

Violet Grgich, Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Grgich Hills Estate
In conversation with Sasha Paulsen, Features Editor, Napa Valley Register

In the 40 years that have passed since he crafted the iconic Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that beat its French counterpart in the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris wine tasting competition, Miljenko "Mike" Grgich has garnered wide acclaim as an industry pioneer while his wines have been served at White House state dinners.

Having grown up alongside her father in the winery, trying her hand at everything from the bottling line to the tasting room, Violet Ggrich will share her personal recollections on publishing her father’s newly released memoir, A Glass Full of Miracles, as well as the family's plans for the future.

Image - Luvvie Ajayi

An Evening with Luvvie Ajayi

Date: Wed, October 12, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
De better

Luvvie Ajayi, Comedian; Blogger; Author

Luvvie Ajayi, blogger and comedian extraordinaire, is that friend who brings up all the “touchy” topics you’re not supposed to talk about at dinner, like love, sex, money and politics.

In her new book I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual, Luvvie deftly dissects everything from feminism to friendship to social media to sex tapes, all the while encouraging readers to take a hard look at why they think and act the way they do in today’s crazy-connected, digital world.

Luvvie can and does school her readers on everything from proper Facebook etiquette to race relations: she tells you to “do better,” and people will want to listen.

Recently named a member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100, Luvvie’s award-winning blog AwesomelyLuvvie reaches more than 500,000 readers. She’s a highly coveted speaker all over the world, and she’s the executive director of the Red Pump Project, a national HIV/AIDS non-profit.

Luvvie’s bringing the awesome to the INFORUM stage, and we can’t wait!

Thu 10/13

Go to New Member Reception October 13th

New Member Reception October 13th

Date: Thu, October 13, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM
Learn about and join the Club

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 firsthand how The Commonwealth Club has become the nation’s leading public forum. Bring a friend and explore the Club together!

Fri 10/14

Image - Nancy Cohen

Nancy Cohen: Is the U.S. Ready to Elect a Woman President?

Date: Fri, October 14, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Gender politics in the nation's highest office

Nancy L. Cohen, Historian; Author, Breakthrough: The Making of America’s First Woman President
In conversation with Dan Ashley, ABC 7 News Anchor; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

With election day just a few weeks away, Nancy Cohen, a frequent writer and commentator on women's political leadership, will draw on some 125 interviews with elected officials and strategists of both parties to assess the history of women's experience in politics, the changing political climate, and the current prospects for Hillary Clinton to win the country's highest elective office.

Dr. Cohen is author of four books, including the widely acclaimed Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America and The Reconstruction of American Liberalism. Her writing on American politics has appeared in the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and Rolling Stone. She has taught politics and history at Occidental College, UCLA and Cal State Long Beach, and holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Mon 10/17

Go to Why Russia and Ukraine Fight

Why Russia and Ukraine Fight

Date: Mon, October 17, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
The current and historic reasons for the conflict

Herman Pirchner, Jr., President, The American Foreign Policy Council

Pirchner will examine the imperialist and nationalist ideology that drives Russia's interference in the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Additionally, he will discuss how the centuries-long repression of Ukrainian culture by Russia and the USSR—especially in the 1930s—have motivated Ukraine's spirited defense of its territory. Pirchner will conclude with an analysis of current events affecting this war, which has killed more than 10,000 people and created 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees.

Go to Longevity Explorers Discussion Group: Better Aging. You. Your Parents.

Longevity Explorers Discussion Group: Better Aging. You. Your Parents.

Date: Mon, October 17, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM
Discussion group

Dr. Richard G. Caro, Facilitator

This regular discussion group explores new and emerging solutions to the challenges of growing older. Not only do we uncover interesting new products at the intersection of aging and technology, we also conduct a series of ongoing deep-dive discussions into topics such as brain health, apps for seniors, hearing and wearables for seniors. The results of our discussions will be shared with a larger community of older adults interested in improving their quality of life through our partner in this initiative, Tech-enhanced Life, PBC.

The discussions are facilitated by Dr. Richard Caro, whom many of you have heard speak at prior Grownups forum events

Image - Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Social Hour 10/17/16

Date: Mon, October 17, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Are you prepared for the November election? We'll help

Joe Garofoli, Senior Political Writer, San Francisco Chronicle; Twitter
Carla Marinucci, Senior Writer, Politico California Playbook; Twitter  
Additional Panelist TBA

Election Day is almost here. Some of you will have already voted, and are now biting your nails for the final outcome.

Join us then 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 10/18

Image - Wine

Bread, Wine and Chocolate in a Warming World

Date: Tue, October 18, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
A matter of good taste

Jonathan Foley, Executive Director, California Academy of Sciences
Simran Sethi, Author, Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love

The industrialization of food has caused much of the food we eat to taste the same, whether you are nibbling at a farmer’s market in San Francisco, a Midwestern barbecue or a fast food joint in China. Ninety-five percent of the world’s calories now come from only 30 species, and Simran Sethi says a closer look at America’s cornucopia of grocery store options shows that our foods are primarily made up of only corn, wheat, rice, palm oil and soybeans. Sethi traveled to six continents in search of delicious and endangered tastes and how we can save the foods we love.

Jonathan Foley is an expert on the environmental and human health benefits of a diversified food system and the perils of industrial monoculture. In an influential National Geographic article, he outlined a vision for feeding 9 billion people. He says the answer doesn’t need to be factory farms versus small organic ones; there’s another way, and researchers at the California Academy of Sciences are busy working on ways to feed the people without destroying their home.

Wed 10/19

Image - Dr Gary Gottlieb

Better Health for the World’s Poorest Will Strengthen Global Security

Date: Wed, October 19, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Global health and global peace

Dr. Gary Gottlieb, CEO, Partners In Health

While the developed world enjoys economic and social advancement enabled by health-care improvements, millions of people around the world continue to die from 18th and 19th century illnesses. The world’s poorest people deserve access to the modern health care that people in wealthier countries take for granted. We not only can deliver modern health services, we must do so. Global health is a key to global order.

Dr. Gottlieb is the CEO of Partners In Health. From 2010 until February of 2015, he served as president and CEO of Partners HealthCare, the parent of the Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals, operating the largest health-care delivery organization in New England and among the nation’s largest nonprofit biomedical research and training enterprises. Dr. Gottlieb is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

Co-founded by visionary humanitarians Dr. Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl, current World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and others, Partners In Health today reaches 7 million people around the world and employs 18,000 people, including 15,000 local community health workers.

Image - Presidential Debate Watch Party
This event is Sold Out

Presidential Debate Watch Party 10/19

Date: Wed, October 19, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM
Watch the debates

Join INFORUM, Brigade and KQED at the swanky Hotel Zetta to watch all three 2016 presidential debates!

This election cycle has already been full of unforgettable moments; you won't want to miss the opportunity to watch Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump face off live and debate the issues as they compete for your vote in November.

Bring your friends and your opinions, we'll provide the snacks and drinks!

Image - Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson in Conversation with Chris Cosentino

Date: Wed, October 19, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Kitchen adventures from Ethiopia to Sweden to Harlem

Marcus Samuelsson, Chef; Author, The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem; Twitter:
In conversation with Chef Chris Cosentino

This program is part of our Food Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

When Chef Samuelsson opened Red Rooster in Harlem, he envisioned more than just a restaurant. He wanted to create a melting pot that would highlight Harlem’s vibrant multicultural history with food, art and music.

A James Beard award-winner, Samuelsson reflects on his journey from Ethiopia to Sweden to Harlem, and all the kitchen adventures he has encountered along the way.

Thu 10/20

Image - Eric Swalwell

Election Education: An Evening with Rep. Eric Swalwell

Date: Thu, October 20, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Eric Swalwell, U.S. Representative (D, CA-15)
Nellie Bowles, Silicon Valley Correspondent, HBO'S "Vice News Tonight"—Moderator

Congressman Eric Swalwell has quickly made a name for himself as the voice of the millennial generation in Congress. The first person in his family to go to college, Rep. Swalwell is fighting for student loan reform and advocating for affordable housing and paid family leave.

An avid user of social media platforms like Snapchat and Twitter, Swalwell has even inspired the popular hashtag #Swalwelling. He’s also believed to be the first member of Congress to Vine on the House floor and he has used Facebook Live to stream from the House chamber.

Last year Swalwell created the bipartisan Sharing Economy Caucus with Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, which focuses on the opportunities and challenges related to the rise of companies like Uber and Airbnb. Rep. Swalwell is also a member of the United Solutions Caucus, created in 2012 by a group of incoming freshman lawmakers who are working across political party lines to address important policy matters.

Join INFORUM to hear more from this political up-and-comer and to share your thoughts with him about the issues that matter most to you as we look toward the 2016 elections.

Fri 10/21

Image - Barbara Rose Brooker

Dispelling Ageism: The Journey of the Age March

Date: Fri, October 21, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Finding and enjoying love at any age

Barbara Rose Brooker, Author, The Viagra Diaries and There's Something Wrong with All of Them

Years of age is a poor metric for quality of life. The true measure is functional ability and one's capacity to enjoy life. Come join Barbara Rose Brooker, San Francisco native author and founder of the first Age March in history. She will talk about the journey of the Age March and her dream that ageism will dissolve and numbers won’t matter.

“Anything is possible at any age,” Brooker says. She will then read from her new book, There’s Something Wrong with All of Them, stories about finding love after 60, love and ageism.