Upcoming Events

Mon 2/8

Image - Commonwealth Club

Longevity Explorers Discussion Group: Better Aging. You. Your Parents.

Date: Mon, February 08, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM

This regular discussion group explores new and emerging solutions to the challenges of growing older. Not only will we be uncovering interesting new products at the intersection of aging and technology, we also will be conducting a series of ongoing deep-dive discussions into topics such as brain health, apps for seniors, hearing and wearables for seniors. The results of our discussions will be shared with a larger community of older adults interested in improving their quality of life through our partner in this initiative, Tech-enhanced Life, PBC. The discussions will be facilitated by Dr. Richard Caro, whom many of you have heard speak at prior Grownups forum events.

Image - The Commonwealth Club of California

Morality of Warfare

Date: Mon, February 08, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Peter Dale Scott, Author, The American Deep State
George Hammond, Author, Rational Idealism
Additional panelist TBA

Monday Night Philosophy makes an assumption tonight: Warfare is an ineradicable aspect of human (and other simian) life caused by our conflicting desires. If war is here to stay, though, can we still tame it the way other social problems have been institutionalized or hemmed in by written and unwritten rules that almost everyone would be ashamed to violate? Can our daily life moral or ethical schemes be extended to restrain this most violent and destructive part of our lives?

Our panel will discuss that in the 21st century context of drone wars, non-state actors, collateral damage, heightened security and an ever more level playing field for inflicting violence due to technology.

Image - Week to Week banner

Week to Week Political Roundtable and 113th Birthday of The Commonwealth Club

Date: Mon, February 08, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Smart and lively political discussion

Carson Bruno, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Twitter
Joe Garofoli, Political Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle; Twitter
Debra J. Saunders, Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle; "Token Conservative" Blogger, SFGate.com; Twitter

As we start the fourth year of Week to Week, the Club's political roundtable. And we've got an even bigger milestone to note: The Club was founded in February 1903 here in San Francisco. Join us for a special members social (all attendees welcome) celebrating the Club's birthday prior to the program. Meet other smart and engaged Club members and guests over snacks and wine—and birthday cake.

On the national scene, the first caucuses and primaries are under way in Iowa and New Hampshire. Locally and statewide, there's much to talk about with new laws, candidates, and political events.

Join us as we explore the biggest, most controversial, and sometimes the surprising political issues with expert commentary by panelists who are smart, are civil, and have a good sense of humor. Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, audience discussion of the week’s events, and our live news quiz!

Image - Conleth Hill and Frances McDormand

An Evening with Conleth Hill and Frances McDormand

Date: Mon, February 08, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Conleth Hill, Actor; Olivier Award Winner; Tony Award Nominee; and Lord Varys in "Game of Thrones"
Frances McDormand, Actor ("Olive Kitteridge"); Tony, Academy, and Emmy Award Winner
Tony Taccone, Michael Leibert Artistic Director, The Berkeley Rep Theatre—Moderator

Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at the Berkeley Rep’s upcoming production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth! Our guests, Olivier Award winner and Tony Award nominee Conleth Hill and Tony, Academy, and Emmy Award winner Frances McDormand star as the notorious couple in Shakespeare’s murderous play about the lust for power and the fickleness of fate. Joining these two powerhouses of the stage and screen for the discussion is Berkeley Rep’s Michael Leibert Artistic Director, Tony Taccone. 

Tue 2/9

Image - Commonwealth Club logo

Open Space and Climate Resiliency

Date: Tue, February 09, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Anthony Kahil, Candlestick Point Eco Stewards
Marie Harrison, Greenaction Community Organizer
David Beaupre, Port of SF Senior Waterfront Planner
Danita Rodriguez, California State Parks District Superintendent
Jacqueline Omotalade, Director, Blue Greenway, SF Parks Alliance—Moderator

Blue Greenway's Jackie Omotalade will lead a panel discussion on climate change and the efficacy of employing open space and parks as a tool for climate resiliency at San Francisco’s southeastern waterfront. Panelists will include the city administrator’s office and other key players in the waterfront development initiative.

Image - Climate Equity

Climate Equity

Date: Tue, February 09, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Manuel Pastor, Director, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, University of Southern California; justgrowth.org
Vien Truong, National Director, Green for All
Miya Yoshitani, Executive Director, Asia Pacific Environmental Network

Will a green economy be more equitable than the brown economy? As California transitions to renewable energy, the result will be green jobs, cleaner communities and lower carbon emissions. But will underserved communities get shafted? The environmental justice community has been concerned that the state’s cap-and-trade program puts Brazilian rainforests over communities near refineries and factories. Will Sausalito and Vallejo get the same protection from rising seas and other impacts of a destabilized climate?

A conversation about increasing equity while reducing carbon pollution.

Wed 2/10

Image - Candiece Milford

A Guide to Retirement Living Alternatives

Date: Wed, February 10, 2016
Time: 5:15 PM

Candiece Milford, MFA
John W. Milford, MHA, M. Div

The speakers will survey the retirement living options available in the Bay Area, from living at home to choosing a communal living option. Learn the key decision points in comparing rental, equity-based options, entry-fee communities, and assisted living. A spreadsheet answering frequently asked questions will be provided. Subsidized housing options are not included in this program.

Image - Sips and Reflections with Michaela Rodeno

Sips and Reflections with Michaela Rodeno

Date: Wed, February 10, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Michaela Rodeno, Author; Vintner

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

Join us for a book signing and wine tasting with author and vintner Michaela Rodeno as she shares reflections from her pioneering career at the forefront of the wine industry in Napa Valley.

Tracing the arc of her career development from its unlikely beginnings in early 1970s Napa, when the wine industry was in its infancy, to being part of the two-person team that launched Domaine Chandon in the U.S., to her role as St. Supéry Winery’s first CEO, Rodeno has extensive wit and wisdom to share.

In addition to co-owning and running Oakville-based Villa Ragazzi, Rodeno is the author of From Bubbles to Boardrooms: Serendipitous Stories from Inside the Wine Business, an inside look at her experiences in the wine industry, including a compilation of lessons learned from an extensive career working with many of Napa Valley's best. 

Thu 2/11

Image - Dr Jennifer Rhodes

Valentine's Day, the INFORUM Way: Science of Seduction with Dr. Jennifer Rhodes

Date: Thu, February 11, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM

Skip the fancy restaurant and expensive roses: make INFORUM your date this Valentine's Day (our annual party!) and sharpen your seduction skills!

Join INFORUM and Dr. Jennifer Rhodes, a licensed psychologist, dating coach and image consultant (and possibly your new best friend as a result), for an evening exploring what seduction really means and how it plays into all of our interactions.

Seduction's not just about sex: we'll talk science, strategy, skill building and more. Whether you're single and on the prowl, keeping your relationship hot or just flexing those flirting muscles, learn how to keep the art of seduction in your arsenal every day, not just on Valentine's Day.

After the talk, stick around for the annual INFORUM V-Day shindig, full of booze, snacks and plenty of chances to practice your new seductive tactics. 

Tue 2/16

Image - Women Leading Health-Care Innovation and Family Recovery

Women Leading Health-Care Innovation and Family Recovery

Date: Tue, February 16, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Carolyn Gammicchia, Executive Director and Co-founder, L.E.A.N. On Us; Advisor, National Center for Criminal Justice and Disability
Marcia Hinds, Author, I Know You’re in There; Educational and Behavioral Consultant
Mary Romaniec, Author, Victory over Autism; Reporter; Advocate; TACA Massachusetts Chapter
Christie Dames, CEO TechTalk/Studio; Host, Experience Medicine Channel—Moderator

There’s a new face of leadership in health, and it’s being spearheaded by engaged and informed women with chronically ill kids. Learn from the direct experiences of three moms who have successfully healed their complex-needs children—and are leading a movement to teach and empower parents to adapt the best and most useful modalities in recovering our children, and the entire family.

This event is Canceled

An Evening with Meredith Maran, Kelly Corrigan and Ayelet Waldman

Date: Tue, February 16, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Meredith Maran, Editor, Why We Write About Ourselves: Twenty Memoirists on Why They Expose Themselves (and Others) in the Name of Literature
Kelly Corrigan, Author, Glitter and Glue
Ayelet Waldman, Author, Bad Mother

This is a Good Lit event, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

For the many amateurs and professionals who write about themselves—bloggers, journal-keepers, aspiring essayists and memoirists—this book offers inspiration, encouragement and pithy, practical advice. Twenty of America’s bestselling memoirists share their innermost thoughts and hard-earned tips with veteran author Meredith Maran, revealing what drives them to tell their personal stories, and the nuts and bolts of how they do it. Speaking frankly about issues ranging from turning oneself into an authentic, compelling character to exposing hard truths, these successful authors disclose what keeps them going, what gets in their way, and what they love most—and least—about writing about themselves.

Image - The Episodic Career

The Episodic Career: How to Thrive at Work in the Age of Disruption

Date: Tue, February 16, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Kimberly Bryant, Founder, Black Girls Code
Ben Casnocha, Entrepreneur; Executive; Co-author, The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age and The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career
Justin Dangel, Entrepreneur; Founder, Chairman of the Board and Former CEO, GOJI
Steven C. Pitts, Associate Chair,UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education
Farai Chideya, Political Journalist; Cultural Analyst; Educator; Author, The Episodic Career: How to Thrive at Work in the Age of Disruption—Moderator

When it comes to the world of work, there is “disruptive innovation” and then there are those who find their jobs or careers disrupted. Join our panel of experts for a provocative and holistic look at how work in America has changed in the past decade; what lies ahead; and how cities like San Francisco are dealing with the wide disparities in work and wealth. 

Wed 2/17

Image - Dominic Casserley

Dominic Casserley: Digital Risks and Solutions Beyond More Technology

Date: Wed, February 17, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

Dominic Casserley, President and Deputy CEO, Willis Towers Watson; Former Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company
Richard Waters, West Coast Editor, Financial Times—Moderator

As the president and deputy CEO of Willis Towers Watson, the world’s oldest insurance broker (dating back to 1828), Dominic Casserley is in a position to understand risk and how to minimize it, particularly in the digital world. Technology and digitization is syncing up the fabric of communities, connecting the people who live in them and the devices they use every day, thereby enabling the personalization of every aspect of human life. No doubt these advancements can drive productivity, innovation and societal progress.

This connectivity, however, inevitably creates significant risks for businesses, threaten individual privacy, global economy and security. With these advances, cyber terrorism and warfare will find new targets in critical infrastructures, business intangible assets will become channels for economic espionage, human capital will be challenged, and a failure to maintain confidence in digital security privacy could cause a rejection of technology—all of which have the potential to retard economic growth.

Beyond the technological innovations aimed at preventing or disrupting hackers, the responsibility to address these challenges lie with various stakeholders, including government, risk advisors, security experts and human capital experts and the insurance industry that have long helped companies identify, quantify and mitigate business risks. Join us as Casserley discusses how digitization creates risks and opportunities for individuals and businesses, and how together people can mitigate the risks to preserve growth.

Before joining Willis Towers Watson in 2013, Casserley had a nearly 30-year career at McKinsey & Company, the leading global management consulting firm. During his three decades at McKinsey, he was based in the United States, Asia and, most recently, in London where he served as managing partner, responsible for the firm’s offices in London and Dublin. He has consulted with the world’s leading financial institutions to address their strategic and operational issues and deal with the opportunities and challenges of deregulation, globalization and new technology. At the time of his departure, he led the firm’s corporate and investment banking practice globally. Casserley has authored two books on financial services, advised business leaders on the former UK prime minister’s business council and also worked on the U.S. Presidential Task Force on Market Mechanisms during the administration of Ronald Reagan.

Image - Chris Jennings, by Terri Loewenthal

Paradise Now

Date: Wed, February 17, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Chris Jennings, Author, Paradise Now

Many wonder what the future will look like. A few visionaries try to recreate it. Jennings explores the golden age of American utopianism through the lens of five bold and eccentric dreamers who, in the wake of the Enlightenment and the onset of industrialism, confronted the messiness and injustice of a rapidly changing world.

Jennings reveals the worlds of the Shaker prophet Mother Ann Lee, the Welsh industrialist Robert Owen, the French visionary Charles Fourier, the French communist radical Étienne Cabet, and John Humphrey Noyes, the Vermonter who created New York’s Oneida Community. Each utopian movement fell apart, but their galvanizing ideas still influence our culture and inspire imitators.

Thu 2/18

Image - The 49ers Champion Levi’s® Stadium

The 49ers Champion Levi’s® Stadium: The First LEED Gold New Stadium and Venue

Date: Thu, February 18, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Jim Mercurio, Vice President of Stadium Management and General Manager of Levi's® Stadium
Pat Rogan, Director of Engineering Operations, 49ers Stadium Management Company

Achieving the LEED gold certification for the 49ers new home field is the first such championship achievement for a new stadium. Its builders hope it will serve as a model for sports leadership in environmental design and construction worldwide. Join us to learn about the sustainable management, design, function and construction of the Levi's Stadium—home to the 49ers and host of Super Bowl 50 in February 2016. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold rating is determined by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Image - China flag

The UK Sees China As a Friend — Why Don't We?

Date: Thu, February 18, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
China's different receptions in the U.S. and UK

Martin Jacques, Journalist; Author, When China Rules the World: the End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order
Susan Shirk, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; Chair, 21st Century China Program, University of California San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
Additional Panelists TBA

As Great Britain enters what some are calling the “Golden Era” of relations with China, the United States continues with its tenuous and tense relationship with the Middle Kingdom. Given the historic closeness and cultural similarities between the U.S. and the UK, what explains this tremendous difference in relations?

Understanding this question is relevant to the future of world peace and stability, and we have invited two speakers eminently qualified to shed light on this issue. They will describe the stark difference in reception of President Xi in both the United States and China, why the UK is going its own way with Chinese relations, and the takeaways and implications arising from this issue.

Image - Cigarettes & Tailpipes: Tales of Two Industries

Cigarettes & Tailpipes: Tales of Two Industries

Date: Thu, February 18, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Do these legal longshots have a chance?

Lowell Bergman, Investigative Journalist
Stanton Glantz, Director, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California San Francisco
Kenneth Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists
Bill Reilly, Former Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Senior Advisor, TPG Capital

Oil companies have long used a page from tobacco companies' playbook by vigorously denying evidence that using their product as directed causes societal harm. Now the tobacco and oil narratives are getting closer following news that ExxonMobil executives for decades suppressed internal reports about the negative impacts of burning fossil fuels.

A former U.S. Department of Justice lawyer who won a huge racketeering case against tobacco companies says the federal government should investigate whether oil companies colluded to bury evidence of human-caused climate disruption. It’s easy to blame energy suppliers and that may be the right thing to do. But don’t individuals also share responsibility for driving and flying around knowing that we are emitting climate-killing gases? Aren’t we also culpable? A conversation on how oil might be the new tobacco.

A conversation on how oil might be the new tobacco.

Fri 2/19

Image - Senator Cory Booker

Senator Cory Booker: United

Date: Fri, February 19, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM

Cory Booker, U.S. Senator from New Jersey
In Conversation with California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom

This is a Good Lit event, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Cory Booker, the junior U.S. senator from New Jersey, has built his career in public service by fighting for his belief that we as a nation must come together and rise above that which divides us in order to protect the principles and ideals that unite us.

Senator Booker's first book, United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good, details the people who inspired him to seek public office, the moments that influenced his civic vision once he was elected and the issues that drive his political agenda, such as social, economic and environmental justice.

In United, Senator Booker also calls for the American people to refocus our attention and especially our politics on the principals of compassion and solidarity to steer our nation toward a brighter future.

Join us in welcoming Senator Booker to the INFORUM stage for an uplifting and insightful conversation.

Tue 2/23

Image - William Ryan

Lessons from a Silicon Valley Pioneer

Date: Tue, February 23, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

William Ryan, Co-founder/Chairman, Niehaus/Ryan/Wong; Chairman Emeritus, Craigslist Foundation

From software architectures to the Internet itself, the legendary Niehaus/Ryan/Wong PR firm helped shape and evangelize many of the stories that drove technology trends, market landscapes and demand for over a decade. In his first public conversation, NRW chairman Bill Ryan will share lessons learned from his pioneering work with clients such as Apple, Yahoo!, Xerox and others. Lessons that continue to impact his approach to brand development today. 

Image - Sally Osberg and Roger Martin

Sally Osberg and Roger Martin: Bold Ideas to Make the World a Fairer, Better Place

Date: Tue, February 23, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM

Sally Osberg, President and CEO, Skoll Foundation; Author, Getting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works 
Roger L. Martin, Former Dean, University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management; Co-author, Getting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works
Tim Brown, CEO, IDEO—Moderator

Sally Osberg has been an entrepreneurial leader and catalyst for social change throughout her career. She propels those around her with her life philosophy and mantra, captured in one word: "Onward!" As president and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, she partners with Founder and Chairman Jeff Skoll and guides the organization in its search and support of innovators pioneering scalable solutions to pressing global problems. Under Osberg’s leadership, the foundation has invested in more than 100 ventures led by social entrepreneurs worldwide; established the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the Saïd Business School of Oxford University; created the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship; and brokered cutting-edge partnerships with organizations such as the Sundance Institute and the Social Progress Imperative. Osberg has been recognized as one of Silicon Valley’s Millennium 100 by the San Jose Mercury News and among the social sector’s 50 most influential leaders by The NonProfit Times.

Roger Martin is well-known as a thinker who crosses over between the world of ideas and the world of practice. His books have made numerous top-10 business book lists and won prizes, including 800-CEO-READ's top business book and the Thinkers50 book award for Playing to Win. He has also written more than a dozen Harvard Business Review articles and numerous articles in leading newspapers and magazines. Roger has been internationally recognized for his work as a professor and former dean of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. He has served on the Skoll Foundation’s board of directors since its formation in 1999.

They will discuss how meaningful change actually happens in the world and provide concrete lessons and a practical model for businesses, policymakers, civil society organizations, and individuals who seek to transform our world for good.