Chef Ryan Pollnow and a Party to Benefit The Commonwealth ClubDate: Thu, October 06, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
Benefit for the Club
Join us at Williams-Sonoma in San Mateo for a shopping night benefiting The Commonwealth Club of California in celebration of the grand opening of their new store at the Hillsdale Shopping Center.
• 15% of the purchases made during the shopping night event will go directly to The Commonwealth Club.
Enjoy a Basque Pintxos party and Gin & Tonic Bar with Chef Ryan Pollnow of San Francisco’s Aatxe.
China’s Economic Slowdown: Will It Hurt the U.S. and the World?Date: Thu, October 06, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
What is happening in China, and how does it affect the rest of us?
Yingyi Qian, Dean and Professor, School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, China
Nicholas Lardy, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Board Member, Asia Policy and The China Review
George Lewinski, Former Foreign Editor, "Marketplace"—Moderator
With China's growth slower than it has been in 25 years, it is undoubtable that China is experiencing an economic slowdown. The government has made changes to stabilize the situation and move the economy toward "a new normal." Our panelists will discuss the different kinds of reforms China is working on now, and how likely these reforms are to succeed.
What does it mean for Americans if these reforms succeed—or if these reforms fail? Do we need to fear a stronger China, or moreso, a weaker one?
Civility and Difficult Conversations in Political and Public DiscourseDate: Thu, October 06, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
How to have difficult conversations
Janet Flammang, Professor Emerita; Author; Table Talk: Building Democracy One Meal at a Time
In the current political climate, it is important for all of us to learn how to have difficult conversations. Flammang helps us understand why political conversations are so difficult and how table talk provides everyday opportunities to practice and teach the art of conversation.
From Arab Spring to Islamic State: A Regional PerspectiveDate: Fri, October 07, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Middle Eastern upheavals
Banafsheh Keynoush, Ph.D., Foreign Affairs Scholar; Author
Dina Ibrahim, Ph.D., Middle East Analyst, Educator
Robert Rosenthal, Executive Director, Center for Investigative Reporting—Moderator
Dr. Keynoush and Dr. Ibrahim will trace the demise of the Arab Spring and the violent rise and threat of Islamic State with Robert Rosenthal, a former managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Dr. Keynoush is an advisor to policy centers in the Middle East, translator to four Iranian presidents, and author of Saudi Arabia and Iran: Friends or Foes. Dr.Ibrahim is associate professor of broadcast and electronic communication arts at San Francisco State, associate producer of Hope and Fear: Egypt at the Tipping Point, and she has contributed to BBC, NPR, CNN and other news outlets.
End-of-Life Challenges and SolutionsDate: Fri, October 07, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Part of our special series exploring end-of-life issues
Jackie Speier, U.S. Representative (D-California 14th); Ranking Member, House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations; Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Rebecca Sudore, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, UCSF; Clinician-researcher; Geriatrician; Hospice and Palliative Care Physician; Staff Physician, San Francisco VA Medical Center
If you think your plans for serious illness are all set, think again. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, despite considerable forethought, struggled to ensure her dying loved ones were well-served. She will share her personal experiences navigating the medical system for her aging relatives. Following the congresswoman’s personal discussion, UCSF’s Dr. Rebecca Sudore will discuss how to prepare for future medical decisions and to get the care that is right for you. She will share video stories from an easy-to-use website and answer your questions about how best to ensure your wishes are honored during serious illness. Come gain a better understanding of how best to plan for future medical decision making, and explore tools to prepare for the end-of-life.
Presidential Debate Watch Party 10/9Date: Sun, October 09, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM
Watch the debate
This election cycle has already been full of unforgettable moments; you won't want to miss the opportunity to watch Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump face off live and debate the issues as they compete for your vote in November.
Bring your friends and your opinions, we'll provide the snacks and drinks!
Anthony Romero, ACLU Executive Director: Civil Liberties and TechnologyDate: Mon, October 10, 2016
Time: 3:00 PM
Tech, law and liberty
Anthony Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union
Anthony Romero is the ACLU’s sixth executive director, and the first Latino and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. Born in New York City to parents who hailed from Puerto Rico, Romero was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He is a graducate of Stanford University Law School and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs. He will address the intersection of big data and social justice.
This is part of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s 2016 regional meeting. The regional meeting is an annual event hosted by SVCF that brings together diverse community members to learn the latest on important issues from expert guest speakers. The regional meeting is open to the public: nonprofits, foundations, corporate representatives, community members and leaders.
The Creative ArchitectDate: Mon, October 10, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
A look inside an amazing episode of modern architecture and psychology
Pierluigi Serraino, Architect; Author, The Creative Architect: Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study
In conversation with John King, Architecture Critic, San Francisco Chronicle
Monday Night Philosophy unearths a late 1950s "source of creativity" study whose data has finally been analyzed and published. Forty eminent architects—including Eero Saarinen, Louis Kahn, Philip Johnson, George Nelson, Richard Neutra, Eliot Noyes, Pietro Belluschi, Serge Chermayeff and A. Quincy Jones—descended on UC Berkeley for three days of intensive testing in an attempt to discover the sources of their creativity. Pierluigi Serraino charts the development and implementation of this historic study, producing the first look at an amazing and matchless episode in the annals of modern architecture and psychology.
Caitlin Shetterly: The Threat of GMOsDate: Mon, October 10, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Are GMOs dangerous?
Caitlin Shetterly, Author, Modified: GMOs and the Threat to Our Food, Our Land, Our Future
GMO products are among the most-consumed and the least-understood substances in the United States today. They appear not only in the food we eat, but in everything from the interior coating of paper coffee cups and medicines to diapers and toothpaste.
Shetterly discovered the importance of GMOs the hard way. Shortly after she learned that her son had an alarming sensitivity to GMO corn, she was told that she had the same condition, and her family’s daily existence changed forever.
She takes a deeper look at how GMO products are currently infiltrating our food, our land, and how that affects our health and future.
#Girlboss Sophia AmorusoDate: Mon, October 10, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
San Francisco entrepreneurial success and misfit heroine
Sophia Amoruso, Author, Nasty Galaxy and New York Times best-seller #Girlboss; Founder and CEO, Nasty Gal; Founder, #Girlboss Foundation; Host, #Girlboss Radio
Alison Pincus, Co-Founder, One Kings Lane; Co-Founder, HelloMazel—Moderator
Come get nasty with Nasty Gal’s #Girlboss Sophia Amoruso, at INFORUM!
An entrepreneur and style-setter, Sophia’s life has been one wild ride, and we know it’s just the beginning! In the 2000s, she was a security monitor at the San Francisco Academy of Art, dumpster diving for food and selling stolen books on eBay before founding Nasty Gal in 2006. Just a decade later, in 2016, Forbes named Sophia one of the youngest and richest self-made women in America—surpassing fellow #Girlboss Beyonce.
Sophia launched her company, Nasty Gal, on eBay, reselling vintage clothes she scavenged from thrift stores. Nasty Gal quickly grew, growing from a makeshift store in Sophia’s living room to a fashion powerhouse, both online and brick-and-mortar, in less than a decade. Women around the world snap up Nasty Gal’s cutting-edge fashions with a vintage touch, and Sophia’s influence is evident on magazine covers, Pinterest, the runway and beyond.
Sophia’s success isn’t just limited to fashion—she’s creating an empire. Sophia champions aspiring female entrepreneurs through her #Girlboss Foundation, and shares stories of other creative, successful women on her popular podcast #Girlboss Radio, with guests like Charlize Theron. Her first book, #Girlboss, dubbed “Lean In for misfits,” is a New York Times bestseller and is currently being turned into a Netflix original series (taping in San Francisco this fall!).
Sophia will take INFORUM on a trip into her latest book, Nasty Galaxy, giving us the inside scoop about her unconventional approach to style, music, philosophy and advice.
This program is generously supported by
Larry Brilliant: Sometimes BrilliantDate: Mon, October 10, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
The inspiring life and journey of a local hero.
Larry Brilliant, Chairman, Skoll Global Threats; Former Executive Director, Google.org; Author, Sometimes Brilliant: The Impossible Adventure of a Spiritual Seeker and Visionary Physician Who Helped Conquer the Worst Disease in History; Twitter: @larrybrilliant
This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.
Brilliant’s life has taken him across continents and countercultural movements. He is responsible for some of the most significant medical, spiritual and social achievements of the past century, working with leaders and icons including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, Wavy Gravy, the Dalai Lama, and President Barack Obama.
Brilliant was the executive director of Google.org and chaired the Presidential Advisory Committee on Bio-Surveillance. He lived in India for more than 10 years working as a United Nations medical officer, where he played a key role in the World Health Organization smallpox eradication program in South Asia. He also co-founded The Seva Foundation, an international NGO whose programs and grantees have given back sight to more than 3.5 million blind people in more than 20 countries.
Learn more about Brilliant’s inspiring life and journey.
Parkinson’s Disease: Nutritional TherapyDate: Tue, October 11, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Can diet affect Parkinson's disease?
Steve Blake, Sc.D., Faculty Nutritional Biochemist, Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience; Author, Vitamins and Minerals Demystified and Parkinson’s Disease: Dietary Regulation of Dopamine
Parkinson’s disease involves a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Symptoms can include tremor, rigidity and slow movements. In this program, you will learn about changes in dietary protein that have been found to reduce these symptoms by half.
Neurodegeneration is the loss of function and death of our brain cells. Why do our brain cells lose function and die? Learn about specific pollutants in certain foods that can damage our ability to make dopamine, and which foods harbor these persistent organic pollutants and how to avoid them. In contrast, certain foods and nutrients can help protect brain cells and slow degeneration. Since Parkinson’s disease symptoms do not often show up before half of the dopamine-producing brain cells are gone, all of us can benefit from proactive risk reduction.
Steve Blake is faculty nutritional biochemist at Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience. He is a research scientist who has just finished a clinical study successfully using nutrients to combat neurodegeneration. Among his publications, he authored the Diet Doctor software to analyze dietary nutrients.
From Moldova to Mountain View: Technovation Challenges Girls to Code Solutions to Social ProblemsDate: Tue, October 11, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
The Technovation Challenge
Madhavi Bhasin, Global Partnerships Director, Technovation
Allie Holmes, Events & Engagement Director, Technovation
Technovation, a flagship program of non-profit Iridescent, is the world’s largest global tech entrepreneurship competition for girls. The program offers girls around the world the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to emerge as tech entrepreneurs and leaders. Every year, Technovation challenges 10- to 18-year-old girls to build a business plan and mobile app that will address a community problem. Since 2009, more than 10,000 girls have participated from more than 87 countries.
The international reach of the competition has escalated in the last three years. The winner of the 2014 competition was from Moldova, and the 2015 winner was a Nigerian team. Bhasin and Holmes will give an overview of the competition, its sponsors (Google, Facebook, and others), outreach efforts, and partners (such as UN Women, Peace Corps, and more).
Paradise BurningDate: Tue, October 11, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
What is driving our state's "hellfires"?
J. Keith Gilless, Dean of the College of Natural Resources; Chair, California State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
California wildfires used to be a seasonal challenge in rather remote parts of the state. Now they are burning nearly year-round and spreading from the urban-rural interface to more of the state’s urban and coastal population. What is driving California’s "hellfires"? How are they hitting the state treasury, environment and public health?
A conversation about the California dream lived in a hot and smoky world.
Grgich Hills Estate: A Toast to Mike GrgichDate: Wed, October 12, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
The legacy of California wines
Violet Grgich, Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Grgich Hills Estate
In conversation with Sasha Paulsen, Features Editor, Napa Valley Register
In the 40 years that have passed since he crafted the iconic Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that beat its French counterpart in the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris wine tasting competition, Miljenko "Mike" Grgich has garnered wide acclaim as an industry pioneer while his wines have been served at White House state dinners.
Having grown up alongside her father in the winery, trying her hand at everything from the bottling line to the tasting room, Violet Ggrich will share her personal recollections on publishing her father’s newly released memoir, A Glass Full of Miracles, as well as the family's plans for the future.
An Evening with Luvvie AjayiDate: Wed, October 12, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Luvvie Ajayi, Comedian; Blogger; Author
Luvvie Ajayi, blogger and comedian extraordinaire, is that friend who brings up all the “touchy” topics you’re not supposed to talk about at dinner, like love, sex, money and politics.
In her new book I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual, Luvvie deftly dissects everything from feminism to friendship to social media to sex tapes, all the while encouraging readers to take a hard look at why they think and act the way they do in today’s crazy-connected, digital world.
Luvvie can and does school her readers on everything from proper Facebook etiquette to race relations: she tells you to “do better,” and people will want to listen.
Recently named a member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100, Luvvie’s award-winning blog AwesomelyLuvvie reaches more than 500,000 readers. She’s a highly coveted speaker all over the world, and she’s the executive director of the Red Pump Project, a national HIV/AIDS non-profit.
Luvvie’s bringing the awesome to the INFORUM stage, and we can’t wait!
New Member Reception October 13thDate: Thu, October 13, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM
Learn about and join the Club
Are you new to the Club? Just want to explore and check it out?
Come take a peek, meet other members and staff and learn about all The Commonwealth Club offers. Experience firsthand how The Commonwealth Club has become the nation’s leading public forum. Bring a friend and explore the Club together!
Nancy Cohen: Is the U.S. Ready to Elect a Woman President?Date: Fri, October 14, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Gender politics in the nation's highest office
Nancy L. Cohen, Historian; Author, Breakthrough: The Making of America’s First Woman President
In conversation with Dan Ashley, ABC 7 News Anchor; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors
With election day just a few weeks away, Nancy Cohen, a frequent writer and commentator on women's political leadership, will draw on some 125 interviews with elected officials and strategists of both parties to assess the history of women's experience in politics, the changing political climate, and the current prospects for Hillary Clinton to win the country's highest elective office.
Dr. Cohen is author of four books, including the widely acclaimed Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America and The Reconstruction of American Liberalism. Her writing on American politics has appeared in the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and Rolling Stone. She has taught politics and history at Occidental College, UCLA and Cal State Long Beach, and holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University.
Nob Hill Walking TourDate: Fri, October 14, 2016
Time: 1:45 PM
Explore one of San Francisco's original "Seven Hills"
Explore one of San Francisco’s 44 hills, and one of its original “Seven Hills.” Because of great views and its central position, Nob Hill became an exclusive enclave of the rich and famous on the West Coast who built large mansions in the neighborhood. This included prominent tycoons such as Leland Stanford, and other members of the Big Four.
Highlights include the history of four landmark hotels: The Fairmont, Mark Hopkins, Stanford Court, and Huntington Hotel. Visit the city’s largest house of worship, Grace Cathedral, and discover architectural tidbits and anecdotes about the railroad barons and silver kings. A true San Francisco experience of elegance, urbanity, scandals and fabulous views.
Why Russia and Ukraine FightDate: Mon, October 17, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
The current and historic reasons for the conflict
Herman Pirchner, Jr., President, The American Foreign Policy Council
Pirchner will examine the imperialist and nationalist ideology that drives Russia's interference in the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Additionally, he will discuss how the centuries-long repression of Ukrainian culture by Russia and the USSR—especially in the 1930s—have motivated Ukraine's spirited defense of its territory. Pirchner will conclude with an analysis of current events affecting this war, which has killed more than 10,000 people and created 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees.