Upcoming Events

Fri 9/26

Image - Paul Williams and Tracey Jackson: Gratitude and Trust

Paul Williams and Tracey Jackson: Gratitude and Trust

Date: Fri, September 26, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Insights on the benefits of the recovery process.

 Paul Williams, Author, Gratitude and Trust: Six Affirmations That Will Change Your Life; Twitter: @IMPaulWilliams

Tracey Jackson, Author, Gratitude and Trust: Six Affirmations That Will Change Your Life; Twitter: @traceyjackson4

Celebrating the theme "recovery is not just for addicts," Williams and Jackson discuss their insights on the benefits of the recovery process. Paul Williams is a talented Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe-winning Hall of Fame songwriter and president of the American Society of Composers, Authors and publishers (ASCAP). He is a major force in the recovery movement and a graduate of UCLA¹s Drug and Alcohol Counseling Certification Program. His recent work also includes Latino creative projects with Guillermo del Toro. Tracey Jackson is a successful screenwriter, author and blogger who wrote the films Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Guru, and The Other End of the Line, among others.

Mon 9/29

Image - Charles Blow - New York Times Visual Op-Ed Columnist

Charles Blow - New York Times Visual Op-Ed Columnist

Date: Mon, September 29, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
A powerfully redemptive memoir.

Charles Blow, Visual Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times; Author, Fire Shut Up in My Bones; Twitter @CharlesMBlow
Ian F. Haney-López, Professor, UC Berkeley Boalt School of Law; Author, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class - Moderator

Charles Blow’s columns deal head-on with the searing issues of social justice, race relations and the pitfalls of politics.  As the only African-American columnist on the New York Times Opinion Pages, he writes pieces about American culture that provide powerful insight to the daily headlines.  Blow will talk about those issues and his new memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which details the compelling poetry of the small Louisiana town where he grew up – a place where slavery's legacy feels astonishingly close.

Image - Middle East Discussion Group

Middle East Discussion Group

Date: Mon, September 29, 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. 

Image - Human Trafficking of Foreign-Born Individuals into the Bay Area: Stories

Human Trafficking of Foreign-Born Individuals into the Bay Area: Stories of Hope and Survival

Date: Mon, September 29, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Discover trends, patterns and stories about survivors.

Jadma Noronha, Former Human Trafficking Program Manager, SAGE Project
Hediana Utarti, Ph.D., Community Project Coordinator, Asian Women's Shelter

The SAGE Project and The Asian Women Shelter are two of the leading Bay Area agencies responding to human trafficking. Founded on the principles of peer (survivor) leadership, for 20 years SAGE has provided trauma-focused healing services to survivors of all forms of human trafficking. Asian Women's Shelter (AWS) was founded in 1988 to address the needs of women, children and transgender survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, especially those who are immigrants and refugees. Utarti and Noronha will focus their presentation on international citizens who have been trafficked into the Bay Area, highlighting trends, patterns and stories of overcoming violence and adversity.

Image - Necessary Wisdom

Necessary Wisdom

Date: Mon, September 29, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
An introspective discussion on spirituality and wisdom.

Jacob Needleman, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Philosophy, SFSU; Author, Necessary Wisdom
Stephanie Kriebel, Board Certified Health Coach; Educator; Chair, Personal Growth Member-Led Forum - Moderator

The Personal Growth Forum presents an introspective discussion on spirituality and wisdom with philosopher Dr. Jacob Needleman, who has studied at Harvard, Yale and the University of Freiburg. He has spoken and written about these topics for over 50 years. The discussion will cover a diverse range of subjects, including making sense of mysticism, the secrets of time and love, the meaning of money, and, of course, the great questions of life. Please join us for a fascinating and enlightening evening that is sure to leave you feeling hopeful and inspired.

Tue 9/30

Image - Andrej Kiska, President, Slovak Republic

Andrej Kiska, President, Slovak Republic

Date: Tue, September 30, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Slovakia at the Core of European Integration

Slovakia at the Core of European Integration

The European Integration is an initiative to foster the internal support of all countries of the European Union. Slovakia joined the EU 10 years ago in what was dubbed as a "big bang enlargement” to Central and Eastern European countries. Considering on-going events in the Ukraine, this integration is seen as critical in fulfilling the concept of Europe as "whole and free.”

Joint innovation initiatives, negotiation of the transatlantic trade and investment partnerships provide a great opportunity to boost both the U.S. and European economies. Join Slovakia’s newly elected president in a discussion of a unified future.

In 2012, Andrej Kiska decided to run for president as an independent candidate. He assumed the presidency of the Slovak Republic in June 2014. Previously, he held various management positions and conducted business activities for 15 years, founding several profitable companies. In 2006 he founded Good Angel, a non-profit company, to which he donated one million Euros. Good Angel helps families in financial distress due to a life-threatening illness of a child. Good Angel has become the most successful charitable organization in Slovakia today.

Image - Timothy Garton Ash

Is the USA Losing the Battle for the Internet?

Date: Tue, September 30, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies, Oxford; Columnist, The Guardian; Twitter @fromTGA

Bill Clinton said that China trying to control the internet was like trying to nail jello to the wall. But the Chinese Communist Party has been trying to prove him wrong; all over the world sovereign states are attempting to reassert their control over the internet. American private powers such as Google and Facebook are coming under sustained criticism, not least in Europe. Is the internet losing its original libertarian promise? Has the United States — and Silicon Valley — mishandled this over the last 20 years? What can still be done about it? Timothy Garton Ash is leading a major, 13-language research project in free speech at Oxford University, (which can be viewed at http://wwwfreespeechdebate.com/en). He is also writing a major book on global free speech in the age of mass migration and the internet. He will discuss one of the major challenges of our time.

Timothy Garton Ash is professor of European studies in the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St. Anthony's College, Oxford, and a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution. He is the author of nine books of political writings or "history of the present," including The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin & Prague, The File: A Personal History, In Europe's Name and, most recently, Facts are Subversive. He writes a widely syndicated column on international affairs in The Guardian and is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, among other journals. Awards he has received for his writing include the George Orwell Prize.

Here's a chance to hear him identify the current threats to free speech.

Image - Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel

Date: Tue, September 30, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Unlocking the startup philosophy for success.

Peter Thiel, Co-founder, PayPal; Author, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

Quentin Hardy,  Deputy Tech Editor, The New York Times – Moderator

Who will create the next big idea? It could be you. Thiel is a Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur who invested in hundreds of startups, including Facebook, Space X, and Spotify. Hear Thiel discuss what’s behind the Zero to One philosophy and becoming successful and unique in today’s business world.

Wed 10/1

Image - Meet the Artist Reception for Laurie Regan Chase

Meet the Artist Reception for Laurie Regan Chase

Date: Wed, October 01, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM

You are invited to meet our featured artist, Laurie Regan Chase, whose exhibition, “Coastal Reflections,” is currently on view in the Gold Room. Chase is a contemporary realist and a signature member of the American Society of Marine Artists. Her paintings capture the distinctive countryside and coastal communities of her world travels. She has personally sailed throughout the Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Seas; the Caribbean; and the coastal regions of the U.S., Mexico and South America. Chase will be available for your questions about her work during this informal gathering.

Image - Humanities West Book Discussion
This event is Rescheduled

Humanities West Book Discussion - Livy's The Dawn of the Roman Empire, Books 31-40

Date: Wed, October 01, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Rome's emergence as an imperial nation and tempestuous involvement with Greece.

The Roman commander T.Q. Flamininus proclaimed the freedom of Greece at the Isthmian games near Corinth in 196 BC. Half a century later, Greece was annexed as a province by the Romans, who burned the ancient city of Corinth to the ground. Join us to discuss Books 31 to 40 of Livy's history, which charts Rome's emergence as an imperial nation and the Romans' tempestuous involvement with Greece, Macedonia and the near East. Lynn Harris will lead the discussion.

Image - New Member Reception 10/01/2014

New Member Reception 10/01/2014

Date: Wed, October 01, 2014
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 firsthand how The Commonwealth Club has become the nation’s leading public forum. Bring a friend and explore the Club together!

Thu 10/2

Image - Chinatown Walking Tour
This event is Sold Out

Chinatown Walking Tour

Date: Thu, October 02, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Discover the history and mysteries!

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. 

Image - An Evening with Jacques Pépin
This event is Sold Out

An Evening with Jacques Pépin

Date: Thu, October 02, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A culinary genius shares his lifetime of secrets.

Jacques Pépin, Chef; Author, Essential Pépin
Emily Luchetti, Chef - Moderator

World-renowned chef Jacques Pépin is a gifted culinary artist. He has hosted 13 popular cooking series on public television and written dozens of cookbooks. Pépin was born in Bourg-en-Bresse, near Lyon. His first exposure to cooking was as a child in his parents’ restaurant, Le Pelican. From 1956 to 1958, Pépin was the personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle. After moving to the United States in 1959, Pépin served for ten years as director of research and new development for the Howard Johnson Company, a position that taught him about mass production, marketing, food chemistry and American food tastes.

Enjoy an evening with internationally renowned French chef, author, and television personality Jacques Pépin, as he discusses his upcoming 14th cooking series, “Jacques Pépin: Heart and Soul.”

After the interview, a small number of lucky guests can join us for an intimate meal with the speakers. Dinner tickets include priority seating tickets to the interview and the pre-program reception, as well as a deluxe meal with wine pairings at nearby Prospect Restaurant at 300 Spear Street, San Francisco. Tickets are limited and will sell out soon, so be sure to get your Early Bird Dinner Package quickly!

Image - The Commonwealth Club of California

Technological Unemployment: Software Revolution or Job Extinction?

Date: Thu, October 02, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
An expert panel discussion.

Jim Clark, Founder and CEO, World Technology Network and World Technology Awards; Author, Manifesto for a New Civilization; Former Faculty Member, Harvard; Former Bill Clinton Presidential Campaign Director for Non-Profit Sector and National Service
Vivek Wadhwa, Research Director, Singularity University; Professor, Stanford; Author, The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent; Time Magazine 40 Most Influential Minds in Tech

Is a looming crisis of technological unemployment one of the greatest challenges facing humanity? Our newest technologies could have clear potential to eliminate many more jobs than they create. Critics fear that robotics, disintermediation, 3D printing, A.I. – to name just a few – may eliminate billions of jobs just when we need to find work for billions more people. What, if anything, can or should be done – from a “guaranteed basic income” to new strategies of job creation?

Image - Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg: How Google Works

Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg: How Google Works

Date: Thu, October 02, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman and Former CEO, Google; Co-Author, How Google Works
Jonathan Rosenberg, Google Advisor; Co-Author, How Google Works

Everyday millions of people use Google to email, work, search, network and shop. What started as a research project by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin has expanded to become a company well known for its unique philosophy, culture and innovative spirit. From wearable devices to self-driving cars, Google continues to push the boundaries of what is possible with technology. Join Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg as they reflect on the opportunities and challenges facing the company and the lessons they have learned along the way.

Fri 10/3

Image - Oil on Rails

Oil on Rails

Date: Fri, October 03, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
How will more oil transported on railcars impact the Bay Area economy and environment?

John Avalos, Member, Bay Area Air Quality Management District
Jess Dervin-Ackerman, Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter


In the next two years the number of rail cars carrying oil into the Bay Area is forecast to increase 20-fold to 200,000. Five refineries in the East Bay process heavy crude oil and some are planning to bring in Canadian tar sands oil. Refiners and oil companies are also trying to be excluded from the California’s primary climate law known as AB 32.


How will more oil transported on railcars impact the Bay Area economy and environment? Can California be a climate leader while getting more involved with tar sands and exempting transportation fuels from reductions in carbon pollution? Is it hypocritical of Bay Area residents to use fossil fuels but not want them transported or processed in their backyards? 

 

Image - China Today, China Tomorrow
This event is Postponed

China Today, China Tomorrow

Date: Fri, October 03, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
China's impact on a growing global economy.

Barbara Finamore, Senior Attorney and Asia Director, Natural Resources Defense Council, China Program Director

In 1996, following her work with the United Nations on China's first sustainability plan, Barbara Finamore undertook the challenge of establishing the Natural Resources Defense Council's first international office in Beijing. Barbara and her colleagues will discuss where China is today and what they see for China tomorrow. There are challenges ahead that must be faced – not only for China, but also for the future environmental, economic, conservation and sustainable impact that China has on the world. China’s decisions will have an effect on international health, safety and survival as we become more globally interconnected and interdependent.

Image - Cornel West

Cornel West

Date: Fri, October 03, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
On fire for justice.

Cornel West, Ph.D.; Professor, Union Theological Seminary; Author, Black Prophetic Fire

“Have we forgotten how beautiful it is to be on fire for justice?” Dr. West – activist, author and philosopher – will discuss his latest work and offer his thoughts on the intersection between leadership, faith and social justice.

Mon 10/6

Image - The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meanin

The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning

Date: Mon, October 06, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Marcelo Gleiser, Author, The Island of Knowledge; Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College

To be human is to want to know, but what we are able to observe is only a tiny portion of what’s “out there.” Brazilian theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser traces our search for answers to the most fundamental questions of our existence and reaches a provocative conclusion: science, the main tool we use to find answers, is fundamentally limited. Our tools of exploration limit the precision of our perceptions, and the nature of physical reality (the speed of light, the uncertainty principle, the impossibility of seeing beyond the cosmic horizon, the incompleteness theorem) just adds to our own limitations as an intelligent species. These limitations, though, constitute neither a deterrent to progress nor a surrender to religion. Rather, they free us to question the meaning and nature of the universe while affirming the central role of life and ourselves in it.

Image - Book Discussion: Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

Book Discussion: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Date: Mon, October 06, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM

Thought by many to be the best thriller novel of 2012, this book was a wildly successful tale and considered by culture writer Dave Itzkoff to be the biggest literary phenomenon of 2012, excluding the Fifty Shades of Grey series. A thrilling crime novel, it is also a story of the unknown that goes on behind closed doors. This book is a story filled with intrigue and suspense, painting a portrait of a marriage that delves deep into the true nature of the person on the other side of the bed. An adaptation of the novel by award-winning director David Fincher will soon be released as a major motion picture in October 2014.