Upcoming Events

Mon 4/20

Image - When Cultures Collide

When Cultures Collide

Date: Mon, April 20, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
International communications experts share the advances to bridging cultural gaps.

Richard D. Lewis, Linguist; Founder, Richard Lewis Communications; Founder Berlitz Schools; Author, When Cultures Collide; Knight Commander, Order of the Lion of Finland
Michael Gates, Associate Fellow, Saïd Business School; Vice-Chairman, Richard Lewis Communications
Craig Martin, Founder, Martin Global Leaders – Moderator

Unforeseen cultural differences are frequently the source of misunderstandings between individuals, nations and businesses. Cultural predispositions that inform our sense of self and nationality have especially far-reaching implications for organizations working across the globe. Understanding these factors and predicting how differing cultures will interact and allow (or hinder) effective communication, cooperation and decision-making is a source of great advantage, particularly in today's interconnected and inflammable world. Among the leaders of this approach are Richard Lewis and Michael Gates, international communications experts who will share with us the advances brought to bridging cultural gaps through the globally respected Lewis Model.

Image - Cédric Villani: The Living Art of Mathematics

Cédric Villani: The Living Art of Mathematics

Date: Mon, April 20, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
In conversation with David Eisenbud

Cédric Villani, Mathematician; Author, Birth of a Theorem
In conversation with David Eisenbud, Director, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

In 2010, French mathematician Cédric Villani received the Fields Medal, the most coveted prize in mathematics, in recognition of a proof which he devised with his close collaborator Clément Mouhot to explain one of the most surprising theories in classical physics. Birth of a Theorem is Villani's own account of the years leading up to the award. It invites readers inside the mind of a great mathematician as he wrestles with the most important work of his career.

Join us for an insightful visit about mathematical thinking and its ability to enhance perception. In mathematics, as in any creative work, it is the thinker's whole life that propels discovery, and Cédric Villani will welcome you into his.

Tue 4/21

Image - Grover Norquist: End The IRS

Grover Norquist: End The IRS

Date: Tue, April 21, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
President, Americans for Tax Reform

Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform; Author, End the IRS Before it Ends Us; Twitter @GroverNorquist

Arianna Huffington calls Grover Norquist “the dark wizard of the Right's anti-tax cult.” Newt Gingrich says Mr. Norquist is “the most innovative, courageous leader of conservative grassroots activism in America.” Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform in 1985 to limit the size and cost of government. ATR organizes the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which asks all candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to oppose all tax increases. In the 113th Congress, 219 House members and 41 Senators took the pledge.

Mr. Norquist contends that the IRS has abused and bullied the American people and proposes to replace all federal taxes with a single retail sales tax. Bring your questions for this controversial figure, who will present an alternative future where the IRS is radically curtailed.

Image - Steve Jurvetson: From Hotshots to Moon Shots - The World of Silicon Vall

Steve Jurvetson: From Hotshots to Moon Shots - The World of Silicon Valley Innovation

Date: Tue, April 21, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM

Steve Jurvetson, Partner, Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Twitter @dfjsteve
Alison van Diggelen, Host, “Fresh Dialogues”; Contributor, BBC – Moderator

Steve Jurvetson believes in moon shots and puts his money where his mouth is, quite literally. As Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, he has invested in SpaceX and Planet Labs, and proved to have an uncanny knack for backing successful startups, including Tesla Motors, Hotmail and Skype. He will share his perspective on disruptive innovation, how he chooses which startups to fund, as well as his unique insights on the future of artificial intelligence, biotech and Silicon Valley.

Wed 4/22

Image - Big Weed: An Entrepreneur's High-Stakes Adventures in the Budding Legal

Big Weed: An Entrepreneur's High-Stakes Adventures in the Budding Legal Marijuana Business

Date: Wed, April 22, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
Christian Hageseth, Founder of Green Man Cannabis

Christian Hageseth, Founder, Green Man Cannabis

Christian Hageseth is the face of the legal marijuana revolution – an entrepreneur and father of three who worked in the white-collar professional world for 20 years before opening his first dispensary. The founder and chairman of Green Man Cannabis, the fastest-growing marijuana company in the country, he provides a guide through a wild frontier where he says police hardly know what laws to enforce and parents don’t know what to tell their kids. Hageseth will discuss how he got into the business, the big corporate interests that are eager to do the same, and the full impact he believes legal marijuana will have on American life.

Image - Let's Talk about Death: How Boomers Are Transforming the Last Taboo

Let's Talk about Death: How Boomers Are Transforming the Last Taboo

Date: Wed, April 22, 2015
Time: 5:15 PM
With experts from SevenPonds

Suzette Sherman, CEO, Founder & Blogger, SevenPonds
Peter Stathis, Board of Directors member, SevenPonds

Nobody likes to talk about death, yet a cultural paradigm shift is taking place where the macabre reaper of the past is being replaced with a contemporary, progressive attitude toward end-of-life. Marin County's 97-percent cremation rate reflects this trend. Next year, a third of our population will be over the age of 50. As the Boomers face their own mortality, they've begun to transform the last taboo: death. Sherman and Stathis, principals of SevenPonds.com, will immerse the audience in a surprising spectrum of end-of-life choices that fully empower all people to die and grieve as they wish.

Image - Coal Wars

Coal Wars

Date: Wed, April 22, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
With author Richard Martin

Richard Martin, Author, Coal Wars: The Future of Energy and the Fate of the Planet
Additional Panelists TBA

Coal is taking a beating in the United States, but it is gaining market share in Asia. Coal-fired electricity is lifting people out of poverty. It is also frying the sky. Join us for a journey from the mines of Wyoming to China’s coal region.

Fri 4/24

Image - Arabian Shakespeare

Arabian Shakespeare

Date: Fri, April 24, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
With Philippa Kelly, William Brown III and Asma Dhaif

William Brown III, Actor; Founding Director, Arabian Shakespeare Festival
Asma Dhaif, Masters Student in Instructional Technologies, SFSU
Philippa Kelly, PhD; Educator; Shakespeare Expert – Moderator

In 2010 three Bay Area actors traveled to the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain to teach a small group of excited women students foundational aspects of theater, aided by Shakespeare’s tragedies, comedies, histories and sonnets. After just two weeks, their students performed their favorite scenes in both English and Arabic before an enraptured audience of nearly 400. From this outpouring of enthusiasm the Arabian Shakespeare Festival was born. The company now seeks to build bridges between the United States and the Middle East by delving into the bard’s universal themes of love and hate, life and death, and vengeance and forgiveness on both sides of the seas. Brown, ASF founder and director, and Dr. Kelly explore Shakespeare’s reach into the Middle East and tackle the ongoing enigma of the bard’s true identity.

Tue 4/28

Image - David Brooks

David Brooks

Date: Tue, April 28, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
The Road to Character

David Brooks, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times; Author, The Road to Character; Twitter: @nytdavidbrooks
Judge LaDoris H. Cordell (ret), Independent Police Auditor, City of San Jose — Moderator

How is character developed? In a society that emphasizes success and achievement, Brooks illustrates what humility, inner worth and moral depth really mean.

Brooks is a popular political commentator, and his New York Times column reaches over 800,000 readers around the world.

 
Image - The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet

The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle

Date: Tue, April 28, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
With Mitchell Gaynor, M.D.

Mitchell Gaynor, M.D.; Founder and President of Gaynor Wellness; Clinical Assistant Professor, Weill-Cornell Medical College

The 21st century is barely underway, and with it, the field of epigenetics has become the century’s first evolutionary leap into health optimization. Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, a renowned integrative oncologist, uses epigenetic modalities with his patients, and they are the focus of his latest book, The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle. His suggestions are perhaps the first concrete explanations of how factors other than one’s DNA create disease.

Gaynor’s talk shows how the use of carefully analyzed practices target the complexities of major diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and he demonstrates how certain epigenetic actions – food, nutrients, meditation, exercise, non-toxic environments – optimize health and minimize damage inside and outside the body. His talk, like his book, is really a manual for what to do now to diminish a disease that has already appeared, to prevent its spread, or to prevent its appearance in the future.

Dr. Gaynor’s gene changer therapies are the latest advance in the evolution of optimizing health. Destiny is not fixed. Destiny now includes the actions that each individual can take to repair and enhance gene expression.

Image - Reimagining America's Infrastructure

Reimagining America's Infrastructure

Date: Tue, April 28, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Ginger Strand, Environmental Journalist; Historian; Author, Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power and Lies
Benjamin Grant, Urban Design Policy Director, SPUR
H. Emerson Black, Editor-in-Chief, Orion Magazine; Executive Director, The Orion Society

Once a point of national pride, America's infrastructure is showing its age. Yet even in their heyday, the big infrastructure projects of the past were not always mindful of the communities in which they were built, nor did their designs appropriately reflect the varying regional needs of our broad nation. Over the past two years, Orion, an influential environmentalist magazine with stewardship at its core, has run a revealing series about responses to America’s looming infrastructure crisis. Its journalists have documented how communities are responding to new and old challenges, from protecting cities against super-powered hurricanes to renovating antiquated transportation systems. Take part as our panelists discuss how regions such as the San Francisco Bay Area can advance innovative, creative infrastructure solutions with a global reach.

Wed 4/29

Image - What’s the Value of a College Education?

What’s the Value of a College Education?

Date: Wed, April 29, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM

Nicholas Dirks, Chancellor, University of California Berkeley
Mohammad Qayoumi, President, California State University San Jose
Mary Marcy, President, Dominican University of California
Alecia DeCoudreaux, President, Mills College
Richard Ekman, President, Council of Independent Colleges
Monica R. Martinez, Ph.D., Deeper Learning Senior Fellow, Hewlett Foundation; Commissioner, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics - Moderator

For the United States to remain competitive in the global economy, our citizens need to be innovative, versatile and well-educated. To provide for these qualifications, does our model of higher education need a wholesale renovation? What would an education that is tailored to the needs of the 21st century – and affordable to all – even look like?

Join this distinguished panel of public and private college educators to tackle the difficult challenges ahead: What is the value of a liberal arts college education versus a pre-professional vocational skill-building model? Why does college cost so much? How can we close the gap between attendance and graduation rates? Can we design blended in-person and online courses that are both instructive and cost-efficient? And finally, how can we get our state and federal governments to continue to support higher education and to take the financial burden off of students?

Image - Jospeh Stiglitz: The Great Divide

Joseph Stiglitz: The Great Divide

Date: Wed, April 29, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Former Senior Vice President of the World Bank

Joseph Stiglitz, Professor, Columbia University; Author, The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them; Twitter @JosephEStiglitz
Michael Moritz, Managing Member, Sequoia Capital — Moderator

We are living in an era defined by economic uncertainty and bitter politics: The gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow, an emboldened Wall Street has shrugged off attempts at regulation, and important political policies have become the playthings of financial interests. Still, economist Joseph Stiglitz believes that a healthy economy and a fair democracy are within our grasp. By taking what he sees as practical political steps, such as making those at the top pay their fair share, spending more in areas that we all value – education, health, and infrastructure – and eliminating the corrosive advantages built into our markets, Stiglitz argues that we can once again create the opportunities that have for so long defined America, and get the country back on track.

Stiglitz is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Thu 4/30

Image - Waterfront Walk

Waterfront Walk

Date: Thu, April 30, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM
Join Rick Evans on a waterfront tour

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.

Fri 5/1

Image - Out of Sight: LA Art in the '60s

Out of Sight: LA Art in the '60s

Date: Fri, May 01, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
With William Hackman and Patricia Albers

William Hackman, Journalist; Former Managing Editor, J. Paul Getty Trust; Author, Out of Sight: The Los Angeles Art Scene of the Sixties
In conversation with Patricia Albers, Journalist, Author, Joan Mitchell: Lady Painter and Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti

Art, perhaps more than any other medium, has a way of serving as a roadmap for a society’s political, social and aesthetic shifts. In the 1950s and ’60s, it was the Los Angeles art scene – more than that of New York City – that revealed the sort of country America was, and the sort of place it was rapidly becoming. Vital to LA’s vibrant arts’ landscape was curator Walter Hopps and the artists who surrounded him, such as Marcel Duchamp, Judy Chicago, John Baldessari, Bruce Nauman and Ed Kienholz. Hackman, a longtime arts journalist, reveals how their works interact with the city’s geography, burgeoning right-wing activism and the conflict between bohemia, masculinity and sexuality, presenting a vivid picture of mid-century Los Angeles.

Mon 5/4

Image - Capturing Grace: Documentary Screening and Q&A with Filmmaker Dave Ivers

Capturing Grace: Documentary Screening and Q&A with Filmmaker Dave Iverson

Date: Mon, May 04, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
A story about a unique dance performance with Parkinson's patients.

Dave Iverson, Filmmaker

Capturing Grace is an award-winning documentary that tells the unlikely story of what happens when New York's legendary Mark Morris Dance Group joins forces with people with Parkinson's disease to stage a unique performance. Filmed over the course of a year, it's a story about the power of art and the enduring strength of the human spirit. Capturing Grace has screened to sold-out audiences at film festivals around the country and is the winner of Mill Valley Film Festival's Audience Favorite Award and the Starz Denver Film Festival's People's Choice Award.

Filmmaker Dave Iverson is an independent film producer and broadcast journalist. He was also the writer, correspondent and co-producer/director of the 2009 PBS “Frontline” documentary, “My Father, My Brother and Me,” which explored his family’s battle with Parkinson’s as well as the scientific, ethical and political issues raised by this condition. Iverson now serves as contributing editor for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, where he produces reports on Parkinson’s research and moderates panel discussions with researchers and Parkinson’s patients around the country.

Join us for an inspirational one-hour documentary and a chance to hear from the filmmaker.

Tue 5/5

Image - Psychological Pseudoscience

Psychological Pseudoscience

Date: Tue, May 05, 2015
Time: 5:15 PM
With Sheldon W. Helms, Associate Professor of Psychology

Sheldon W. Helms, Associate Professor of Psychology, Ohlone College; Board of Directors Member, Bay Area Skeptics; Founder, Ohlone Psychology Club Speaker Series

As medical doctors battle homeopathy and anti-vaccine myths, anthropologists counter creationist claims, and dietitians deal with the battle against gluten and GMOs, much of the skeptical community is oddly silent on dubious claims from fringe psychology. In this talk, psychology professor Sheldon W. Helms will discuss unsupported and sometimes dangerously pseudo-scientific claims from the field of psychology, giving a brief history and explanation of each practice or theory, and demonstrating how a simple application of the scientific method reveals its flaws.

Wed 5/6

Image - Humanities West Book Discussion: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Humanities West Book Discussion: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Date: Wed, May 06, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
The classic novel about World War I.

Join us to discuss the classic novel about World War I, All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque. The discussion will be led by Lynn Harris.

Image - Lights, Camera, Take Action; Storytelling for Change

Lights, Camera, Take Action; Storytelling for Change: The San Francisco Green Film Festival

Date: Wed, May 06, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Hear from tenacious, award-winning activist filmmakers.

Mark Decena, Founder, Kontent Films; Writer and Director, Watershed: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West
Leah Mahan, Producer and Director, Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek
Kevin White, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Filmmaker's Collaborative San Francisco
Rachel Caplan, Founder and CEO, San Francisco Green Film Festival – Moderator

Environmental action stories often struggle for coverage on major broadcast networks dominated by larger corporate interests. But if not on television, where are we supposed to find the stories that will inspire a new generation of activists? Documentary films are increasingly a powerful way to cut through the noise, connect with people, and build momentum for action on environmental causes.

The evocative documentary film has a purpose that compels its director to grapple with the essence of the art form. What is the magic of its storytelling? How do we reach a wide audience through the medium? Most critically, how can we use this kind of storytelling to change opinions and to effect new policies?

Hear from tenacious, award-winning activist filmmakers who are using this impactful medium to bring us the stories that motivate environmental progress. Panelists will share clips from their films, uncovering their approaches and successes in bringing their difference-making stories to the screen. Plus, get a sneak peek of the upcoming San Francisco Green Film Festival, running from May 28 through June 4.

Image - Willie Brown: Annual Commonwealth Club Lecture

Willie Brown: Annual Commonwealth Club Lecture

Date: Wed, May 06, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Former San Francisco Mayor

Willie Brown, Former Mayor, San Francisco; Former Speaker, California State Assembly

Former San Francisco Mayor Brown will give his annual lecture on national and regional political trends. A two-term mayor of San Francisco, legendary speaker of the California State Assembly and widely regarded as one of the most influential African-American politicians of the late 20th century, Brown has been at the center of California politics, government and civic life for an astonishing four decades.