The Universal Stage: A Critique of EmpathyDate: Wed, May 31, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Theater and the expression of self
Eric Ting, Artistic Director, California Shakespeare Theater
In the theater, we concern ourselves with questions of authenticity and artifice in our search for human truth. They are questions that grow more pertinent as we consider classical theater's place in our contemporary world: whose stories are represented, whose stories are appropriated, how do we see ourselves in these stories and can we ever truly understand another person? Go in depth with Eric Ting, the artistic director of CalShakes—a San Francisco cultural treasure.
Trump's First 100 Days: Part FourDate: Wed, May 31, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Evaluating the crucial first few months of the new administration
Mina Kim, Anchor and Host, KQED—Moderator
How will President Trump’s 100-day action plan impact our domestic and foreign affairs, health care, education, environment, immigration, economic and trade policies? Who are the new people leading the country and how will they impact public policy? What role will all forms of media play as they cover the new administration? Join The Commonwealth Club and KQED for the final program of our four-part series of programs that address the first 100 days of the Trump administration and how this period will shape America over the next four years and beyond.
They Say It's Your BirthdayDate: Thu, June 01, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
The 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's
Dulais Rhys, Faculty, Amabile School of Music; Professional Musician
Celebrate the 50th birthday of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by learning about the background, creation and songs of the Beatles' revolutionary album. The album was released on June 1, 1967, right as the Summer of Love was beginning. Six months earlier, just three months after their August 29 farewell concert in San Francisco, Paul McCartney suggested he and his bandmates create a new album based on their various childhood experiences; Sgt. Pepper's was the result. Want to know why “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” didn't make the cut? Want to learn other details you may not have known before, even if you’re a major fan? Come find out what Dulais Rhys' research has revealed. Singing along is encouraged.
Golf Courses, the Environment and Water Conservation: The New RealityDate: Thu, June 08, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The future of golf courses
Don Chelemedos, PGA General Manager, Presidio Golf Course
Brian Nettz, GCSAA Superintendent, Presidio Golf Course
While some people may think of the golf industry as one of waste and excess, recent climate changes and resources have required golf course operators to rethink their strategy when it comes to golfing, natural resources and adjustments for changing golf courses and game environments. Join the operations team from the Presidio Golf Course as they discuss water conservation, sustainable environmental improvements and the model the Presidio Golf Course has created for current and future golfers, environments and the golfing industry.
Buddhist EconomicsDate: 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.
Opera for Our Time: Bringing New Works to LifeDate: 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.
Life After DiagnosisDate: 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.
There Is No Good Card for ThisDate: 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.
Finding FibonacciDate: Thu, August 10, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The lost legacy of Fibonacci
Keith Devlin, Executive Director, Stanford University's H-STAR Institute; President, BrainQuake; Senior Researcher, the Center for the Study of Language and Information; the "Math Guy," NPR; Author, Finding Fibonacci
Finding Fibonacci is Devlin's compelling quest to tell the story of the medieval mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, more popularly known as Fibonacci. Although he is most famous for the Fibonacci numbers (which he did not invent), Fibonacci's greatest contribution was as an expositor of mathematical ideas at a level ordinary people could understand. In 1202, Liber Abbaci ("The Book of Calculation") introduced the western world to modern arithmetic. Yet Fibonacci was long forgotten after his death, and it was not until the 1960s that his achievements were finally recognized. Devlin describes his quest's highs and lows, false starts and disappointments, tragedies and unexpected turns, hilarious episodes, and occasional lucky breaks, bringing together the threads of Fibonacci's astonishing (and previously vanishing) part in the revival of science, technology and commerce.
Good Health Starts in Your HomeDate: Thu, August 17, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Removing toxins to create a healthy lifestyle
Beth Greer, The Super Natural Mom®; Journalist; Author, Super Natural Home
What if you could get healthy by simply changing your home environment? Every day, we’re exposed to hundreds of untested chemicals: additives in food, endocrine disruptors in soap and shampoo, fumes in household cleaners. These chemicals comprise your “body burden” and can exacerbate allergies, asthma, fatigue, cough, headache and more serious health conditions.
Beth Greer had been living what she considered a healthy lifestyle when a medical crisis prompted her to reevaluate everything—from the food she ate to the personal-care products she used and the environment she lived in. She eliminated a sizable tumor in her chest without drugs or surgery by making small but powerful lifestyle shifts.
Greer, now one of the foremost experts on sustainable and toxin-free living, will share bite-sized wisdom she learned on her path back to health and give you a greater awareness of what goes in you, on you and surrounds you in order to radically improve your health and vitality. You will leave with simple, affordable ways to
• make safe, healthy product choices.
• understand vague and misleading food, personal care and cleaning labels.
• detect and eliminate electromagnetic radiation from cell phones, laptops and Wi-Fi.
As a consultant and speaker, Greer assists individuals and organizations in creating toxin-free, holistic homes and work environments as well as lifestyles that improve health, mood and performance. As an award-winning journalist, Greer was recently named one of the Top 50 Health and Environmental Journalists to Follow in 2016. Her best-selling book, Super Natural Home, was endorsed by Deepak Chopra and Ralph Nader.
In addition to experiencing firsthand the powerful benefits of holistic, toxin-free living, Greer found powerful holistic approaches that helped her teenage daughter overcome ADHD and addiction to drugs and alcohol. Greer is the host of “Kids in Crisis” radio show, where she interviews leading medical experts and treatment professionals. She is also the former president of the Learning Annex. Some of her clients include: Google, LinkedIn, NBC, NPR, Rodale Wellness, Martha Stewart Living, Health, Prevention and CNN. Learn more at BethGreer.com.
Fake Silk: The Hidden Story of a Workplace TragedyDate: Wed, August 30, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The dark story of toxic silk
Dr. Paul D. Blanc, M.D., MSPH, Professor of Medicine and Endowed Chair in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the University of California, San Francisco; Author, How Everyday Products Make People Sick, Fake Silk: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon; Blogger, Household Hazards (hosted by Psychology Today)
In a comprehensive and disturbing history of viscose rayon, or “fake silk,” Paul Blanc sheds light on the environmental and public health hazards of producing this ubiquitous textile. In Fake Silk: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon, Blanc asks a fundamental question: When a new technology makes people ill, how high does the body count have to be before protective steps are taken? This is a dark story of hazardous manufacturing, poisonous materials, environmental abuses, political machinations and economics trumping safety concerns. Blanc explores the century-long history of fake silk, which is used to produce products such as rayon textiles and tires, cellophane, and everyday kitchen sponges. He uncovers the grim history of a product that crippled and even served a death sentence to many industry workers while at the same time environmentally releasing carbon disulfide, the critical toxic component of viscose.
Blanc received his bachelor's degree from Goddard College, where he first became interested in health and the environment. He later trained at the Harvard School of Public Health (in industrial hygiene), the Albert Einstein School of Medicine and Cook County Hospital. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco and a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He was a resident scholar at the Rockefeller Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy and at the American Academy in Rome. More recently, he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.
The Younger Protocol: Three Breakthrough Strategies to Reverse "Inflammaging," Reset Gene Expression, and Lengthen HealthspanDate: Thu, September 14, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Lengthening one's healthspan
Dr. Sara Gottfried, M.D., Health Expert; Author, Younger
The younger protocol will show you how to recognize the warning signs of aging and inflammation (“inflammaging”)—worsening vision, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, thinner skin and faulty memory—and turn them around with evidence-based functional medicine. Recent data shows that 90 percent of disease is caused not by genes but by the environment surrounding your genes, much of which can be modified with lifestyle choices. Applying the science of epigenetics—the interaction of genes with the environment, which leads to heritable changes in the way DNA is expressed in your body—you will learn three key strategies that modulate the genes of aging. These strategies are taken from Gottfried’s seven-week protocol, which is the basis of her new book, Younger. The goal is lengthen one's healthspan—the period of time when you feel young, healthy, and in your prime—relatively free of disease.
Gottfried is a world-renowned health expert and a New York Times best-selling author. She practices functional medicine and evidence-based integration in her online courses. After graduating from Harvard Medical School and MIT, Gottfried completed her residency at the University of California, San Francisco. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and daughters. Visit her online at www.SaraGottfriedMD.com.
The Hacking of the American MindDate: Thu, September 28, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The conflation of pleasure and happiness
Dr. Robert H. Lustig, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, University of California, San Francisco; Director, UCSF Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health (WATCH) Program
What is the difference between pleasure and happiness? These two positive emotions are often confused with each other, yet they couldn’t be more different. Pleasure is short-lived, visceral, usually experience alone, achievable with substances. Happiness, by contrast, is often the opposite—long-lived, ethereal, often experienced in social groups and cannot be achieved through substances. Pleasure is taking while happiness is giving. Pleasure relies on dopamine while happiness relies on serotonin. These too emotions involve two different neurotransmitters, regulatory systems and pathways in the brain.
But why should we care? Dopamine downregulates its own receptor: You get a hit, a rush—and then the receptors go down. Next time, you need more and more. Anything that generates pleasure can lead to addiction. Conversely, serotonin does not downregulate its own receptor, so you cannot overdose on too much happiness. There is one thing that does downregulate serotonin though: dopamine. The more pleasure we seek, the less happy we become.
In the last 45 years—in order to sell us their junk—Wall Street, Madison Avenue, Las Vegas and Silicon Valley have conflated pleasure with happiness so that we don’t know the difference anymore. Congress and the Supreme Court have codified corporate behavior, leaving us addicted and depressed. In the process, society has become fat, sick, stupid and broke. The only way to reverse this is by understanding the science of these two ostensibly “positive” emotions—how they interact and how to modulate them. Otherwise, those who abdicate happiness for pleasure will end up with neither.
Lustig is a neuroendocrinologist with basic and clinical training relative to hypothalamic development, anatomy and function. Prior to coming to San Francisco, he worked at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. A native of Brooklyn, Lustig graduated from MIT and received his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College. He has been a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Tennessee, Memphis. More information can be found here.