Upcoming Events

Mon 6/12

Image - Clair Brown

Buddhist Economics

Date: Mon, June 12, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Applying Buddhism to economics

Clair Brown, Professor of Economics; Director, Center for Work, Technology and Society at the University of California, Berkeley; Author, Buddhist Economics

Monday Night Philosophy travels a different path to economic wisdom. Traditional economics measures the ways we earn and spend our income, but it doesn't always consider what gives our lives meaning. In response, Clair Brown has developed a holistic model that approaches the organizational structure of an economy by using Buddhist values, emphasizing sustainability, interconnectedness, capability and happiness to promote a more compassionate society. By replacing the endless cycle of desire with collective priorities, Brown argues we will benefit both personally and globally for generations to come.

Image - California Book Awards

86th Annual California Book Awards

Date: Mon, June 12, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Annual book awards

Join us for one of the Golden State’s premier literary events—the California Book Awards! The 2017 Book Awards, now in its 86th year, recognizes the best published California writing published in 2016.

The California Book Awards have often been on the vanguard, honoring previously unknown authors who go on to garner national acclaim. Since 1931, the California Book Awards have honored the exceptional literary merit of California writers and publishers. Each year, a select jury considers hundreds of books from around the state in search of the very best in literary achievement. This year’s award ceremony will include a special tribute to Kevin Starr, a giant of California letters who died this past January. Starr’s eight-volume history of the state, collectively known as Americans and the California Dream, lays out an epic story that is still unfolding today. 

Come celebrate the state's best writers! Meet and learn more about the authors, get your books signed and visit with your fellow admirers of great California writing. Enjoy wine and a chance to win a complete set of this year's award-winning books in the Book Awards raffle. See you at the ceremony!

Tue 6/13

Image - Cathryn Jakobson Ramin

Crooked: What It Takes to Outwit the Back Pain Industry and Get on the Road to Recovery

Date: Tue, June 13, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Recovering from back pain

Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, Journalist; Investigative Reporter; Author, Carved in Sand: When Attention Fails and Memory Fades in MidlifeCrooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery

In an effort to manage her chronic back pain, investigative reporter and New York Times best-selling author Cathryn Jakobson Ramin spent years and a small fortune on a panoply of treatments. But her discomfort only intensified, leaving her feeling frustrated and perplexed. As she searched for better solutions, she exposed a much bigger problem. Costing roughly $100 billion a year, spine medicine—often ineffective and sometimes harmful—exemplified the worst aspects of the U.S. health-care system.

The result of six years of intensive investigation, her new book, Crooked, offers a startling look at the poorly identified risks of spine medicine, providing practical advice and solutions. Ramin interviewed scores of spine surgeons, pain management doctors, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, exercise physiologists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and specialized bodywork practitioners. She met with many patients whose pain and desperation led them to make life-altering decisions—and with others who triumphed over their limitations.

The result is a brilliant and comprehensive book that is not only important but essential to millions of back pain sufferers and all types of health-care professionals. Ramin shatters assumptions about surgery, chiropractic methods, physical therapy, spinal injections and painkillers while addressing evidence-based rehabilitation options—showing, in detail, how to avoid therapeutic dead ends and also save money, time and considerable anguish. With Crooked, she reveals what it takes to outwit the back pain industry and get on the road to recovery.

Image - Scott

Kim Scott: Radical Candor

Date: Tue, June 13, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Leading with “radical candor"

Kim Scott, Author, Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
Jenny Dearborn, Chief Learning Officer, SAP; Author, Data Driven: How Performance Analytics Delivers Extraordinary Sales Results—Moderator

Great bosses have strong relationships with their employees. Kim Scott has identified three simple principles for building better relationships. She will share the framework to help build, lead and inspire others to do their best. Learn more about “radical candor,” the effective management method that Scott developed from her years working at Google and Apple and from serving as a coaching executive at Twitter and Dropbox.

Wed 6/14

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Opera for Our Time: Bringing New Works to Life

Date: Wed, June 14, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Exploring opera with longtime dramaturg

Kip Cranna, Dramaturg, San Francisco Opera

San Francisco Opera’s longtime dramaturg Clifford “Kip” Cranna has managed the commissioning of more than 20 new operas, including “Harvey Milk,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Dead Man Walking,” “Doctor Atomic,” “Appomattox,” “The Bonesetter’s Daughter,” “Moby Dick,” “Dream of the Red Chamber” and the upcoming “Girls of the Golden West.” Join Cranna for an insider’s viewpoint—with video examples—as he explores the thriving world of contemporary American opera and offers behind-the-scenes tales of how new operas are born.

Image - Uber

Take a Wild Uber Ride with Adam Lashinsky

Date: Wed, June 14, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Uber in an on-demand economy

Adam Lashinsky, Journalist, Fortune; Author, Inside AppleWild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination

Uber makes complimentary and controversial headlines every day. Since its 2009 launch, it’s been influencing the minds and phones of millions worldwide. But what do we really know about Uber, and, more importantly, what lies ahead?

In the last eight years as a leader in the on-demand economy, Uber has battled lawmakers and competitors in emerging markets, facing protests and riots in cities from Paris to Mumbai; it has hustled to build the first self-driving car while also responding to major employee allegations. CEO Travis Kalanick is known as a ruthless businessman, appearing in the news almost as often as the Silicon Valley giant he runs. With competition from the likes of Google and Lyft, the company is valued at billions—and now there’s talk of an initial public offering (IPO). Uber continues to rise in value and global impact even while questions around finances, leadership, valuation and the future continue to arise. The question remains: What else should the public know?

Join Adam Lashinsky, journalist and best-selling author of Inside Apple, for a conversation about his new book, Wild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination. Lashinsky will dive deep into the Uber universe, discussing what’s on the horizon for the company the world can’t stop talking about.

Thu 6/15

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Life After Diagnosis

Date: Thu, June 15, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Surviving serious illness

Dr. Steven Z. Pantilat, M.D., Professor of Medicine, the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); Kates-Burnard and Hellman Distinguished Professor in Palliative Care; Founding Director, the UCSF Palliative Care Program

Steven Pantilat, a renowned international expert in palliative care, will share innovative approaches for dealing with serious illness. In doing so, he will attempt to demystify the medical system, outlining the steps patients should take to deal with serious illness. Pantilat will cover the first steps after the diagnosis, finding the right caregiving and support, and planning your future so your loved ones don't have to. He will offer advice on how to tackle the most difficult treatment decisions and discussions to help us live as well and as long as possible.

Fri 6/16

Image - MTI

Mineta Transportation Summit

Date: Fri, June 16, 2017
Time: 8:15 AM

Are We There Yet? 
Bridging the Gap in California’s Transportation Funding

Underwritten by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI)

The need to invest in California’s transportation system is dire. Estimates suggest a nearly $140 billion backlog in deferred maintenance on highways, bridges, and local streets and roads. While the funding crisis is widely recognized, solutions are difficult to come by. Senate Bill 1, passed by the California State Legislature in early April, dedicates over $50 billion to transportation projects through increased fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees, yet that only partially fills the gap. This free, half-day summit looks at various strategies the state, local and regional governments as well as transportation agencies are taking to address California’s transportation needs. MTI will present the results from the eighth year of a national public opinion poll on various tax options for raising federal revenues for transportation.

Confirmed speakers
Welcome: Karen Philbrick, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute
Opening remarks: Norman Mineta, U.S. Secretary of Transportation (Ret.)
Keynote: Jim Beall, Chairman, California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee

Panelists
Asha Agrawal, Ph.D., Director, Mineta Transportation Institute’s National Transportation Finance Center; Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, San Jose State University
Nuria Fernandez, General Manager and CEO, Valley Transportation Authority
Steve Heminger, Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Mon 6/19

Image - Manal al-Sharif

Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening

Date: Mon, June 19, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Women's right to drive

Manal al-Sharif, B.S., Computer Science; Women's Rights Activist

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

Manal al-Sharif, who was named one of Times' 100 most influential people in 2012 and received the Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent, went from being a niqab-wearing conservative to one of the most eminent voices of the women's rights movement in the Middle East. Although she was the first woman to work in the information security division of Armco, she was forbidden to drive off campus. In 2011, when she learned that the driving ban for women was custom and not law, al-Sharif became the face of the Women2Drive movement. She was imprisoned after posting a video of herself driving. Al-Sharif will describe her fascinating story and provide an enlightened look at the current state of women in Saudi society.

Image - SFDebate

SFDebate

Date: Mon, June 19, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Biweekly debate

The SFDebate is an open forum for discussion on the events of our time. It is a place where you will not only be exposed to opposing points of view, but a safe place where you will be encouraged to find and speak up for yours. SFDebate is also a meeting of minds, and we follow every meeting with continued debate and conversation at a nearby bar/restaurant.

Click here to sign up for this program via Meetup. 

Tue 6/20

Image - Robert Kaplan

Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan

Date: Tue, June 20, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
The state of the economy

Current Economic Conditions and Implications for Monetary Policy

Robert Kaplan, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Former Professor and Associate Dean, Harvard Business School

Here’s a rare chance to hear from an officer of the Federal Reserve on the state of the economy and where it’s headed.

Having served as the 30th president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas since September 8, 2015, Robert Steven Kaplan represents the 11th Federal Reserve District on the Federal Open Market Committee in the formulation of U.S. monetary policy. He oversees the 1,200 employees of the Dallas Federal Reserve.

Before his work at the Federal Reserve, Kaplan served as the Martin Marshall professor of management practice and a senior associate dean at Harvard Business School. Prior to this, Kaplan was the vice chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., where he was given global responsibility for the firm's investment banking and investment management divisions. During his 23-year career at Goldman Sachs, Kaplan served in various other capacities. He was the global co-head of the investment banking division. He was also a member of the firm’s management committee and served as co-chairman of the firm’s partnership committee and as chairman of the Goldman Sachs Pine Street leadership program.

Kaplan serves as co-chairman of Project ALS and as co-chairman of the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a global venture philanthropy firm that invests in developing nonprofit enterprises dedicated to addressing social issues. He is also a board member of Harvard Medical School. Born and raised in Kansas, Kaplan holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Kansas and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Wed 6/21

Image - Gloria Dunn-Violin

How to Revive and Revitalize Your Life After Retirement

Date: Wed, June 21, 2017
Time: 5:15 PM
Aging with grace

Gloria Dunn-Violin, Author, Workshop Leader, Motivational Speaker

Learn how to transform retirement into "revivement" and revitalize your later years. We will cover: how leading-edge scientific research can inform you in making your brain smarter and younger, how to influence your genes, and how to increase your longevity. Also learn how to plan the rest of your life—and about the beauty of age as well as the nine pillars to having a life of meaning and fulfillment. Is there something you always wanted to do? Areas you wanted to explore? Ideas you wanted to create? Accomplishments you wanted to achieve? Now is the time! Learn how to make your next years your best years.

Image - Brynjolfsson and McAfee

Creating Our Digital World with Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

Date: Wed, June 21, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
MIT's Initiative on the Digital Economy

Erik Brynjolfsson, Director, MIT Center for Digital Business; Co-Author, Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future
Andrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist, MIT Center for Digital Business; Co-Author, Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future

We live in a time where machines outplay humans at strategy games, new companies such as Apple and Google destroy industry stalwarts, and ideas from the crowd are repeatedly more innovative than corporate research labs. Come hear Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, co-founders of MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy, talk about the new dynamics between minds and machines, products and platforms, and the core and the crowd. Join us for an intriguing conversation on what the effects of the digital revolution are and how society is changing because of it.

Thu 6/22

Image - Unger

The Gay Bar in American History

Date: Thu, June 22, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The history of the gay bar

Nancy Unger, Professor of History, Santa Clara University

For more than 100 years, gay clubs and bars have served as havens and sanctuaries as well as party spots and hookup sites. They've been the centers of solidarity, community and education. They've also been the sites of violence and persecution that ultimately led to great advancements in pride, rights and freedoms. Unger's richly illustrated talk highlights the history of a long and colorful American tradition central to the LGBTQ community: the gay bar—from jook joints to the Stonewall Inn to Orlando's Pulse and beyond.

Tue 6/27

Image - There Is No Good Card for This

There Is No Good Card for This

Date: Tue, June 27, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
How to master empathy

Dr. Kelsey Crowe, Author; Speaker; Founder, Help Each Other Out
Dr. B.J. Miller Jr., Hospice and Palliative Care Specialist, UCSF Medical Center

When someone you know is hurting, you want to let her know you care. But many people don’t know the exact words to use—or are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. This thoughtful, instructive guide, from empathy expert Kelsey Crowe, blends well-researched, actionable advice with the no-nonsense humor and immensely popular empathy cards to help you feel confident in connecting with anyone experiencing grief, loss, illness or any other difficult situation.

Whether it’s a co-worker whose mother has died, a neighbor whose husband has been in a car accident or a friend who is seriously ill, Crowe advises you how to be the best friend you can be to someone in need.

Crowe is the founder of Help Each Other Out, which offers empathy bootcamp workshops to give people tools for building relationships when it really counts. She earned her Ph.D. in social work at the University of California, Berkeley and is a faculty member at the School of Social Work at California State University.

Miller is a hospice and palliative care specialist who treats hospitalized patients with terminal or life-altering illnesses at UCSF Medical Center. He also sees patients in a palliative care clinic and at the cancer symptom management service at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Image - Wilensky and Slavitt

Former Medicare/Medicaid Chiefs Square Off: The Future of U.S. Health Care

Date: Tue, June 27, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Two health-care officials square off

Dr. Gail Wilensky, Senior Fellow, Project HOPE; Former Administrator Under President George H.W. Bush, Health Care Financing Administration 
Andy Slavitt, Senior Advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center; Former Acting Administrator President Barack Obama, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Mark Zitter, Chair, the Zetema Project—Moderator

Despite the failure of Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health care reform remains a live issue. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has proposed turning Medicare into a voucher program and funding Medicaid through block grants to states. Discussions continue on eliminating the individual mandate and providing more flexibility about which benefits insurers must offer. Conservatives claim these changes would provide greater choice to consumers and more value to the federal budget, while progressives argue that they would reduce access to care and worsen health outcomes.

We’ll hear from two former senior officials on the ongoing efforts to repeal or repair the ACA. Andy Slavitt recently stepped down as acting administrator for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama. Gail Wilensky held the same post under President George H.W. Bush. Both experts continue to speak out from differing perspectives on Medicare and Medicaid as well as broader reform issues. Join us for a spirited discussion on the problems and prospects of U.S. health care.

Fri 6/30

Image - Brighter Day

A Brighter Day

Date: Fri, June 30, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
Helping teenagers who are suffering from depression

Elliot Kallen, Financial Accountant; Wealth Manager; Founder, A Brighter Day
Patrick O'Reilly, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist; Assistant Clinical Professor, UC San Francisco; Chair, Member-Led Psychology Forum—Moderator

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among teens in the U.S. In this program, Elliot Kallen, who founded A Brighter Day in honor of his late son, Jake, and Dr. Patrick O'Reilly, who is a clinical psychologist specializing in anxiety disorders, will discuss depression and teen suicide. A Brighter Day reaches out to teens suffering from depression and other related issues while allowing them to maintain their dignity. The charity connects teens to the resources they need, showcasing local bands in a way that helps teens learn about depression and its risk factors.

Mon 7/10

Image - Lefty O'Doul

Lefty O'Doul: Baseball's Forgotten Ambassador

Date: Mon, July 10, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Baseball and Japanese–U.S. relations

Dennis Snelling, Author, Lefty O'Doul: Baseball's Forgotten Ambassador

Monday Night Philosophy goes beyond ping-pong diplomacy and delves deep into the foreign policy role baseball played in US–Japan relations before and after World War II. Dennis Snelling reviews the roles played by Horace Wilson, Mike Fisher and Lefty O'Doul in making baseball popular in Japan. Horace Wilson, a Civil War veteran who had settled in San Francisco, taught English (and baseball) in Japan in the 1870s. Mike Fisher, a San Francisco entrepreneur, organized the first tour of Japan by professional ballplayers in 1908. Lefty O'Doul, a San Francisco native, played in Japan in 1931 and then brought Babe Ruth and others with him in 1934, where he helped found the Tokyo Giants. After the war, General MacArthur arranged for O'Doul to bring a baseball team over to help repair relations, which he successfully did in many ways on and off the field.

Image - SFDebate

SFDebate

Date: Mon, July 10, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Biweekly debate

The SFDebate is an open forum for discussion on the events of our time. It is a place where you will not only be exposed to opposing points of view, but a safe place where you will be encouraged to find and speak up for yours. SFDebate is also a meeting of minds, and we follow every meeting with continued debate and conversation at a nearby bar/restaurant.

Click here to sign up for this program via Meetup. 

Tue 7/11

Image - Schwartz

The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty: The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of Actor M.B. Curtis

Date: Tue, July 11, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The Jewish Jackie Robinson of the stage

Richard Schwartz, Historian; Author, The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty: The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of Actor M.B. Curtis

Richard Schwartz captures the life of M.B. Curtis, an incredibly influential immigrant actor of the late 19th century. It is a story of immigration, assimilation, the theater and the invisible wings of comedy. It is about how one play became the way a nation examined its feelings and attitudes towards immigrants and gave audiences a chance to walk in shoes they would never have worn. Curtis was the Jewish Jackie Robinson of the stage—the first Jewish male actor who was allowed to portray a Jewish male on stage in America. His talent, creativity, fame, suffering, perseverance, dreaming and overnight rise to stardom linked him intimately with the Statue of Liberty, Mark Twain, New York, San Francisco, murder and the greatest African-American entertainment troupe of its time.