Upcoming Events

Tue 10/7

Image - An Evening with Nicholas Kristof

An Evening with Nicholas Kristof

Date: Tue, October 07, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM

Nicholas Kristof, Columnist, New York Times; Co-author, A Path Appears; Two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner

Nicholas Kristof is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, awarded first in 1990 for his coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square democracy movement and later in 2006 for his reporting on genocide in Darfur. His columns unpack the hidden and often shocking side of global issues, from poverty to human trafficking. Nick’s latest book, A Path Appears, champions stories of individuals, organizations, and research breakthroughs that took small steps to make not-so-small differences in the world. A 9-year-old asked friends and family to donate to a charity:water campaign as her birthday present, raising $220 – six weeks later she tragically died, spurring $1.2 million in donations and providing clean water to 37,000 Ethiopians. Parasites in the bellies of schoolchildren account for a quarter of absenteeism in Africa—and deworming costs 2 cents at scale. Kristof reminds us that you don’t have to devote your life or give away millions to have a profound impact on the lives of the suffering.

Wed 10/8

Image - Nick Carr: An Automated World

Nick Carr: An Automated World

Date: Wed, October 08, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
What is the deep psychological impact of technology?

Nicholas Carr, Author, The Glass Cage: Automation and Us
In conversation with Andrew Leonard, Staff Writer, Salon

Google Glass lets you take a picture with the blink of an eye. Your Fitbit wristband counts your calories and tracks your sleep. Soon even our cars will drive themselves. Technology is increasingly automating our lives, but is it for better or worse? In The Glass Cage, Nicholas Carr suggests that the transition to a technologically dependent and screen-dominated world makes people disengaged and unhappy. Join us and be faced with Carr’s thesis: Silicon Valley’s fascination with wearable technology and augmented reality will only serve to narrow our horizons instead of expand them.

Nicholas Carr, the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, is the former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review. He has written for The New York Times, Wired and famously for The Atlantic with his article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Image - Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker

Date: Wed, October 08, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University; Author, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century; Twitter: @sapinker

LOL and CU L8R – is technology corrupting the English language? With our daily lives bombarded by texts and tweets, are etiquette, writing, and grammar going out of style? Noted linguist and cognitive scientist Pinker will discuss the science of language as well as the challenges of crafting clear, coherent and stylish prose.

Thu 10/9

Image - Kevin Roe: The Ultimate Robot Challenge at Fukushima

Kevin Roe: The Ultimate Robot Challenge at Fukushima

Date: Thu, October 09, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Kevin Roe, Patent Attorney 

The triple meltdowns at Fukushima could be the greatest industrial disaster in history. But the disaster is not over, it has only just begun. Without repair at the reactors, endless radionuclide contamination from Fukushima will poison the Pacific Ocean. Kevin is a patent attorney in Silicon Valley and was formerly an electrical engineer specializing in computers and integrated circuits at companies such as IBM and Xerox PARC.  He has written several patent applications for robotics and artificial intelligence for all environments, including very high radiation environments. He explains the reasons why neither humans nor conventional robots can repair the reactors, the potential consequences if cleanup efforts fail, and a possible alternative approach to conventional robot technology. 

Mon 10/13

Image - Retired US General Wesley Clark

Retired U.S.General Wesley Clark

Date: Mon, October 13, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Wesley Clark, Ret. U.S. Army General; Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander; Author, Don’t Wait for the Next War: A Strategy for American Growth and Global Leadership

Can the U.S. have a real national strategy and move forward without the focus of war? In the 20th century, the U.S. became the "arsenal of democracy" and emerged from WWII as the greatest power in the world. After losing its adversary, the Soviet Union, critics complained that U.S. leaders failed to replace the Cold War strategic vision with something appropriate for a postwar role.

Modern global challenges, immune to military solutions, require intricate interdependence between government and the private sector. Terrorism, cybersecurity, financial system vulnerabilities, the rise of China, and accelerating climate change constitute a new class of national security challenges. Clark says that meeting these will require the U.S. to revisit hallowed mythologies and concert domestic and foreign policies in a way that has never before been achieved. Based on his experience at the highest levels in the military, politics and business, Wesley Clark offers a possible path forward.

Dryden Liddle

Emperor Augustus: A Force for Civilization

Date: Mon, October 13, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
The man who made empire from republican disarray

Dryden Liddle, Ph.D.

Monday Night Philosophy remembers Emperor Augustus, who died 2,000 years ago on August 19, 14 A.D. This gifted and successful politician seized power ruthlessly and was declared the savior of the Roman Republic even as he was abolishing it. He ruled as an autocrat but maintained the fiction that he was no more than the Republic’s First Citizen. His 40-year reign was Rome’s Golden Age, when a new imperial government inspired institutions to be established, and art, architecture and literature to flourish, creating a prosperous civilization that lasted for centuries.

Tue 10/14

Go to How to Work a Room and Enjoy Networking in Our Digital Age

How to Work a Room and Enjoy Networking in Our Digital Age

Date: Tue, October 14, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Become better at meeting people and deepening relationships.

Susan RoAne, Author, How to Work a Room: A Guide to Successfully Managing the Mingling and Face to Face: How to Reclaim the Personal Touch in a Digital World

How do you introduce yourself to someone? What do you say next? In a world that seems isolated behind emoticons and quick transactions, how can you create and nurture warm, engaged relationships? One way is to join us for a session with best-selling author Susan RoAne.

Susan's warm and practical style can help us all become better at meeting people and deepening relationships. Accept this invitation and discover how surprisingly easy it is to become comfortable and effective at networking. You'll have a great time, and most likely you'll leave the session with three new contacts and a few new tools that really work. Your future self will thank you for coming to the Club!

Thu 10/16

Image - Waterfront Walk

Waterfront Walk

Date: Thu, October 16, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Rediscover San Fancisco's historic waterfront.

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 10/17

Image - Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno

Date: Fri, October 17, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Actress, singer, author and Hollywood survivor

Rita Moreno, Actress; Singer; Author, Rita Moreno: A Memoir
In conversation with Jan Yanehiro, Director, School of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University

An extraordinarily talented star of stage and screen, Moreno is a force of nature. The Puerto Rican-born entertainer is one of the few artists to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony as well as the National Medal of Honor.

Now, Moreno shares her story. From her Oscar-winning turn as Anita in West Side Story to her challenging role as a prostitute in Carnal Knowledge; from her stint on the children’s television classic “Electric Company” to her late-career triumph in HBO’s controversial series “Oz,” she will share tales of being a Hollywood survivor.
Learn about her tumultuous childhood, her career rise from “utility ethnic” to award-winning star, her explosive romance with Marlon Brando (and less-than-explosive romance with Elvis Presley), the ups and downs of her relationships and career, and finally finding peace with her choices and her life.

Mon 10/20

Image - Matt Bai: When Politics Went Tabloid

Matt Bai: When Politics Went Tabloid

Date: Mon, October 20, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Author explores the history of the 24-hour news cycle.

Matt Bai, National Political Columnist, Yahoo News; Author, All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid; Twitter @mattbai

At a certain point in this country’s media history, the 24-hour news cycle was born – Bai asserts that it was with the Gary Hart scandal in 1987. As a presidential hopeful, Hart was caught in a few compromising photographs with a gorgeous and young model. The end of his presidential aspirations was the beginning of the tabloidization of news, says Bai. He’ll discuss the media’s current fixation on personal character over public legislation when it comes to politicians. A key point in Bai’s discussion will be Hart’s true political legacy, rather than the salacious fall from grace for which he’s remembered.

Go to Cult or Benign Cure-all? Life in Transcendental Meditation’s Hidden Society

Cult or Benign Cure-all? Life in Transcendental Meditation’s Hidden Society

Date: Mon, October 20, 2014
Time: 5:15 PM
A member will describe her life in the secret society.

Gina Catena, MS, CNM, NP; Contributor and Speaker, the International Cultic Studies Association

Catena will describe her life in the secret society that hides behind Transcendental Meditation. Drawing from 50 years and three generations of family influenced by TM’s founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Catena says that TM’s well-funded marketing programs hide an underbelly with mystical teachings, advanced celibate programs, a world government with golden-crowned Rajas and legal controversies. The meditation program made famous by the Beatles guru now makes inroads into public schools and the Veterans Administration through the David Lynch Foundation. Listeners can draw their own conclusions.

Tue 10/21

Image - Latino/a Culture, Heritage and Conservation for the Environment

Latino/a Culture, Heritage and Conservation for the Environment

Date: Tue, October 21, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Explore this community's history of conservation.

Adrianna Quintero, Senior Attorney; Director, Latino Outreach, Natural Resources Defense Council
Gary Segura, Professor of American Politics and Chair of Chicano/a Studies, Stanford University
Anita Martinez, Retired College Educator; Environmentalist; Community Health and Safety Activist

Most people don't automatically label Latinos and Latinas as environmentalists. A deeper look at family, home and community values reveals a long-standing generational commitment to conservation and the wise use of everyday resources in daily life. California's changing demographics all point to a tremendous potential for local, national and worldwide political environmental progress as we listen and learn about the conservation practices of our Latino and Latina families and communities.

Image - Eating for Life: The Longevity Kitchen

Eating for Life: The Longevity Kitchen

Date: Tue, October 21, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM

Rebecca Katz, Chef; Educator; Author, The Longevity Kitchen and The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen

Wondering how you can eat your way to a longer life? Nationally recognized culinary translator and nutrition expert Rebecca Katz has put together more than 100 recipes that highlight the top super foods proven to fight the most chronic conditions in her latest cookbook, The Longevity Kitchen. Author of the award-winning cookbook The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, Katz is the founder and director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal, which focuses on educating individuals on the healing power of the kitchen and creating healthy connections with food. Join Katz for a discussion on how to increase your longevity through tasty recipes, such as roasted asparagus salad with arugula and hazelnuts or yogurt berry brûlée with almond brittle.

Wed 10/22

Go to Tech meets Neuroscience: A Vision of the Future of Medicine and Education

Tech meets Neuroscience: A Vision of the Future of Medicine and Education

Date: Wed, October 22, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Adam Gazzaley, M.D.; Ph.D; Founding Director, Neuroscience Imaging Center, Associate Professor in Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry, UC San Francisco

A fundamental challenge of modern society is the development of effective approaches to enhance brain function in both healthy and impaired individuals, and some people have serious concerns about the ability of either our current education or health-care system to meet this challenge. Gazzaley will share a vision of the future in which video games integrated with technological innovations in software and hardware are used as an engine to harness brain plasticity and enhance our cognitive abilities, thus reducing our reliance on non-specific drugs to treat neurological and psychiatric conditions and allowing us to better target and personalize our educational efforts.

Thu 10/23

Image - San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

Date: Thu, October 23, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Hidden gems you can only find on foot!

Explore San Francisco’s Financial District with historian Rick Evans and learn the history and stories behind some of our city’s remarkable structures, streets, and public squares. Hear about the famous architects that influenced the building of San Francisco after the 1906 Earthquake. Discover hard-to-find rooftop gardens, Art Deco lobbies, unique open spaces, and historic landmarks. This is a tour for locals, with hidden gems you can only find on foot!

Image - The Return of George Washington

The Return of George Washington

Date: Thu, October 23, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Edward Larson, Author, The Return of George Washington; Professor of History, Pepperdine University

Did George Washington retire to Mount Vernon after winning the Revolutionary War? Did he stay out of politics until he was drafted to become the first president? Edward Larson argues that, during his so-called "lost period," George Washington remained the indispensable person behind the movement toward a stronger union based on a constitution. Come hear how this founding father quietly worked behind the scenes to lay a secure foundation for our long-lived democracy.

Mon 10/27

Image - Middle East Discussion Group

Middle East Discussion Group

Date: Mon, October 27, 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. There will also be a brief planning session.

Go to TechWomen: Advancing Women’s Leadership in Africa and the Middle East

TechWomen: Advancing Women’s Leadership in Africa and the Middle East

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A panel discussion with leaders in STEM fields.

Speakers TBA

Join us for a panel discussion with four emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields from Africa and the Middle East who are in the Bay Area as participants of TechWomen. TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, launched under the leadership of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2010. TechWomen empowers, connects and supports the next generation of women leaders in STEM from Africa and the Middle East by providing them the access and opportunity needed to advance their careers, pursue their dreams and inspire women and girls in their communities. This is achieved through a five-week professional mentorship and exchange program for 78 participants hosted at leading companies in the Bay Area. This panel will share their experiences on the program and their goals and dreams for their returns to their home countries.

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

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.