Upcoming Events

Wed 8/26

Image - The Crossroads of Food and Rock 'n' Roll

The Crossroads of Food and Rock 'n' Roll

Date: Wed, August 26, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Our city’s food and music scenes

John Paluska, Owner, Comal, The Advocate
Ken Friedman, Co-Owner, Tosca Café, The Spotted Pig, The Breslin Bar & Dining Room, The John Dory Oyster Bar, Salvation Taco
Dave McLean, Founder & Brewmaster, Magnolia Brewing Company
Dan Stone, Founder & Editor in Chief, Radio Silence – Moderator

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

In recent years, the confluence of food and music has become more apparent with festivals like Outside Lands and restaurants that double as concert venues. Both industries seem to overlap and intertwine as longtime music industry vets are leaving their careers to open restaurants, and people who are passionate about food and music are finding ways to incorporate the two. In this panel discussion, moderated by Dan Stone, you’ll hear perspectives from several Bay Area luminaries who’ve helped shape our city’s food and music scenes.

Thu 8/27

Image - Changing Times and Indian Classical Music

Changing Times and Indian Classical Music

Date: Thu, August 27, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Mahesh Kale, Indian Classical Music Performer and Theoretician

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

Since the time of its evolution, a few thousand years ago, Indian classical music has undergone several changes in its form. Every time there was a social impact on Indian civilization, its classical music morphed beautifully, lending itself to the changing times. Kale's talk will touch upon how the music adapted itself to major social impacts right up to the recent times of globalization, which poses a new challenge to the music and its followers, yet continues to demonstrate how much music matters.

Music Matters

Image - The Gift of Music: Building Sanctuaries of Learning and Hope

The Gift of Music: Building Sanctuaries of Learning and Hope

Date: Thu, August 27, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
With SF Conservatory President David Stull

Owsley Brown III, Producer; Director
Sandy Tolan, Journalist; Author
Eugene Rodriguez, Executive Director, Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy
David Stull, President, San Francisco Conservatory of Music – Moderator

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

Each member of this inspiring panel employs music to grapple with pressing social issues. Stull explores how music can rebuild and uplift communities through hardship and conflict. As an award-winning film director, Brown's third feature film, Kè Kontan / Joyful Heart, follows the Holy Trinity Music School in Haiti as it navigates poverty, crime, and natural disaster. Tolan’s recently published book Children of the Stone tells the journey of a young Palestinian man as he builds a music conservatory under military occupation. Rodriguez (SF Conservatory of Music alumnus ‘87) founded Los Cenzontles in crime-ridden Richmond, California, creating an enduring arts space in a strip mall. Join us as we hear how Brown, Tolan, Rodriguez and Stull use their work to positively influence the community. Music Matters

Image - Music from the Inside Out: Film and Q&A
This event is Canceled

Music from the Inside Out: Film and Q&A

Date: Thu, August 27, 2015
Time: 6:45 PM
Special insight into musicians’ creative energies.

Cyrus Ginwala, Music Director, San Francisco State University

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation

Late filmmaker Daniel Anker won an Oscar nomination and Emmy for the 2001 film Scottsboro: An American Tragedy. Anker’s most personal film is his engaging documentary, Music from the Inside Out, released in 2004, about the Philadelphia Orchestra. Because Anker was a lifelong musician himself, his film offers special insight into musicians’ lives and their creative energies and illuminates further why music matters. The San Francisco Chronicle termed it, “Unforgettable! Beautiful and utterly entrancing!” and the Raleigh Observer found it “lifts the veil that separates musicians from their audiences.”

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see it on the big screen at Oakland’s New Parkway Theater, followed by a Q&A led by Cyrus Ginwala, music director at San Francisco State University, and including local orchestra musicians.

Fri 8/28

Image - Death With Interruptions

Death With Interruptions

Date: Fri, August 28, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
An opera about when death sends victims a week’s notice

Thomas Laqueur, Librettist; Helen Fawcett History Professor, UC Berkeley
Nikki Einfeld, Soprano
Leighton Fong, Cellist

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

"Death with Interruptions" is an opera about what happens when death, after taking a break, agrees to come back to work on the condition that she gets to send victims a week’s notice. One letter inexplicably keeps being returned. She becomes human to investigate and discovers that the would-be recipient is a cellist. His music beguiles her and she falls in love. Thomas Laqueur will introduce the program and speak about Nobel Prize winner Jose Sarramago’s novel Death with Interruptions on which the opera is based. Opera excerpts are by Left Coast Chamber Ensemble.

Music Matters

Mon 8/31

Middle East Discussion Group

Date: Mon, August 31, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Make your voice heard!

Make your voice heard in an enriching, provocative and fun discussion with Club members as you weigh in on events shaping the face of the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan. 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.

Image - Body Music: An Interactive Lecture and Demonstration by Keith Terry

Body Music: An Interactive Lecture and Demonstration by Keith Terry

Date: Mon, August 31, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Keith Terry, Percussionist; Rhythm Dancer; Educator

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

The oldest musical instrument in the world is the human body, on which any surface can be used for rhythmic possibilities. Terry has mastered the art of using just his body to create a variety of sounds and rhythms. Clapping his hands, stamping his feet, slapping his chest and popping his cheeks are just a few ways Terry plays his body as an instrument and creates “body music.”

Body music, also known as body percussion and body drumming, is the oldest type of music on this planet. Traditional body music around the world ranges from African-American hambone and Flamenco Palmas from Spain, to Sumatran Saman and Ethiopian Armpit music. However, since 1978, Terry has developed a contemporary style of body music based on his training as a jazz drummer, as well as his years of intensive study and collaboration with world rhythmic systems.

Experience Terry’s electric performance, which is both music and dance, that inspires audiences of all ages to join in on the fun. Music Matters

Tue 9/1

Image - Human Need not Apply: The Age of Artificial Intelligence

Human Need not Apply: The Age of Artificial Intelligence

Date: Tue, September 01, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With author Jerry Kaplan

Jerry Kaplan, Entrepreneur; Technical Innovator; Author; Futurist

Computers with artificial intelligence, or AI, date back to the 1950s, and since then, the technology has advanced to all sorts of new levels. It seems that the average American now depends on AI several times throughout the day. Computers aren’t just computers anymore. They are becoming much more than that, and the advancement of this technology has many people discussing the dangers of “synthetic intellects.”

Jerry Kaplan, serial entrepreneur, technical innovator, best-selling author and futurist, is one of the many who questions the impact of AIs in our society. Join us as Kaplan informs us of the several eye-opening possibilities, such as robots transcending the factory floor, working alongside human laborers of all kinds, and how the law is likely to recognize AIs as “artificial persons” for many purposes.

Image - Bill McDermott: CEO of SAP

Bill McDermott: CEO of SAP

Date: Tue, September 01, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM

Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP; Twitter @BillRMCDermott

This program is underwritten by Accenture.

SAP is the world’s market leader in business software, with more than 291,000 customers in 190 different countries. Bill McDermott, as the CEO, leads millions in executing SAP’s vision and strategy to make the world run better and improve people’s lives. Learn helpful tips from McDermott about leading with purpose as he discusses his unique start as a young entrepreneur. Also, hear his thoughts on leadership and innovation in today’s competitive global market. Accenture Logo

Wed 9/2

Image - SCOBLE on Startups 2015: Context, Cloud and Bleeding Edge Tech

SCOBLE on Startups 2015: Context, Cloud and Bleeding Edge Tech

Date: Wed, September 02, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Tech evangelist and author

Robert Scoble, Chief Startup Liaison, Rackspace; Author, Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy
In conversation with Kevin O’Malley, President TechTalk / Studio

Top tech evangelist Robert Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology. He's interviewed thousands of executives and innovators, and continues to report on what he learns in books like The Age of Context and through social media, where he has a huge following. Join Scoble to learn about the latest and greatest startups, trends and devices he’s uncovering for 2015 and beyond.

Thu 9/3

Image - North Beach Walking Tour

North Beach Walking Tour

Date: Thu, September 03, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM
A neighborhood adventure with Rick Evans
Join another Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure! Explore vibrant North Beach with Rick Evans during a two-hour walk through this neighborhood with a colorful past, where food, culture, history and unexpected views all intersect in an Italian “urban village.” In addition to learning about Beat generation hangouts, you’ll discover authentic Italian cathedrals and coffee shops.

Tue 9/8

Book Discussion: The Pope & Mussolini

Date: Tue, September 08, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM

Pius XI, who was pope during Mussolini’s rise to power in the 1920s, arranged to accept Il Duce’s political dominance in return for assurances of rights and privileges for the church. Over time, Pius XI became conflicted about fascism and Italy’s alliance with Nazi Germany. He prepared a statement condemning the Nazis as he was dying in 1938, but others in the Vatican prevented the original draft from being distributed. Kertzer explores ecclesiastical skullduggery and intrigue, including information revealed in recently opened Vatican archives.

Thu 9/10

Image - Analyzing Police Encounters with the Public: Some Methods for Reducing t

Analyzing Police Encounters with the Public: Some Methods for Reducing the Use of Force

Date: Thu, September 10, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Examining research into techniques to diffuse explosive situations

Geoffrey Raymond, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Sociology, UC Santa Barbara
Nikki Jones, Professor of African American Studies, UC Berkeley

Police encounters with suspects and protesters ripped straight from the headlines of 2015 give the impression of an unavoidable descent into violence and chaos. However, the timely research of Professors Raymond and Jones show a way forward. Their results make it clear that various methods have been developed and successfully implemented that both reduce police overreaction during dangerous situations and diminish the tendency for such situations to get out of hand to begin with.

Image - Pope Francis: Climate Changer?

Pope Francis: Climate Changer?

Date: Thu, September 10, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
A discussion of stewardship across faiths.

Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, President and Founder, Interfaith Power and Light
Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J., President, University of San Francisco

When Pope Francis entered the fray on climate change he sent shock waves across the political and religious worlds. The Catholic leader’s bold encyclical linking hard science and biblical passages has prompted a discussion of stewardship across faiths. It has also emboldened critics on the fringe who dare to challenge the basic tenets of capitalism. How is Pope Francis changing the politics of climate in the United States? What can cities and congregations to address the climate challenge and opportunity? A conversation about the popular pope and creation care in the runup to the UN climate negotiations later this year.

Mon 9/14

Image - Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

Date: Mon, September 14, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With author and former SFPD and FBI agent John Mindermann

John Mindermann, Author, In Pursuit

Monday Night Philosophy arrests your attention with John Mindermann’s insights from his book In Pursuit (co-authored with Brian Solon). Gathered from nearly a decade on the SFPD and his career as an FBI agent, the book details his riveting experiences, including June 17, 1972, when Mindermann just happened to be called in to investigate a burglary at the Watergate complex. You cannot get any closer to history than this.

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

Date: Mon, September 14, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM

This regular discussion group will be exploring 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 will also be conducting a series of ongoing deep dive discussions into topics like 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.

Tue 9/15

Image - Jeh Johnson: Security Challenges Confronting The Homeland

Jeh Johnson: Security Challenges Confronting the Homeland

Date: Tue, September 15, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security

Hon. Jeh Johnson, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
Dr. Gloria Duffy, President and CEO, The Commonwealth Club — Moderator

Jeh Charles Johnson was sworn in on December 23, 2013, as the fourth secretary of homeland security. Prior to joining DHS, Secretary Johnson was chief judge of the New York courts. Secretary Johnson also served as general counsel for the Department of Defense, where he led the more than 10,000 military and civilian lawyers across the department.

As general counsel of the Defense Department, Johnson oversaw the development of the legal aspects of many of our nation’s counterterrorism policies and spearheaded reforms to the military commissions system at Guantanamo Bay in 2009. Johnson was general counsel of the Department of the Air Force from 1998 to 2001 and served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York from 1989 to 1991. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1979 and received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1982.

Secretary Johnson was the first African-American to be elected to partnership at the prestigious New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, and has been an advocate for civil rights, including co-authoring the 250-page report that paved the way for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010. He was an early political supporter of President Barak Obama.

Secretary Johnson is in the thick of controversial issues ranging from sanctuary cities and immigration to combatting ISIS and homegrown terrorism. He has warned against over-militarizing the U.S. domestic approach to counter-terrorism. Please join us with Secretary Johnson to discuss the latest challenges and strategies for protecting Americans in the context of civil rights and other societal priorities.

Image - Science and Practice of Mindfulness Meditation in Sports, Work and Life

Science and Practice of Mindfulness Meditation in Sports, Work and Life

Date: Tue, September 15, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With an opportunity to try it!

JoAnn Dahlkoetter, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist; Olympic Coach; Author, Your Performing Edge
Philippe Goldin, Ph.D., Psychology, Neuroscience; Assistant Professor, UC-Davis; Researcher, Stanford

Meditation is embraced by world-class athletes, Fortune 500 corporations and by public figures such as Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, Clint Eastwood and Rupert Murdoch. This ancient practice is often used to improve mindfulness, spirituality and to reduce stress, but is it something worth including in your day to day or just another spiritual/religious paradigm? Our panelists will discuss the underlying science of meditation and answer your questions about improving your happiness as well as your physical, mental and emotional performance. At the end, we’ll all have an opportunity to try it.

Image - Erica Jong

Novelist Erica Jong: From Fear of Flying to Fear of Dying

Date: Tue, September 15, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
A game-changing author discusses life, love and sex

Erica Jong, Novelist; Author, Fear of Flying and Fear of Dying

This program is part of the Club’s Good Lit Series, sponsored by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Before there was Fifty Shades of Grey, there was Erica Jong. In 1973, Jong blew conventional thinking about women, marriage and sexuality out of the water with her first and most famous novel Fear of Flying. The book went on to sell 27 million copies and has been translated into 40 languages. In Isadora Wing, her fictional doppelganger, Erica created everywoman – not as she existed in public life in the '70s, but inside a woman’s own mind. Ms. Jong has written over 20 books since then — including her new novel, Fear of Dying — that articulate what many women think but may never voice, from sex to the broader issues facing American women today.

Join Erica Jong in a dialogue about life, love, sex and the power of women to change the world.

Image - Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social Silicon Valley

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social Silicon Valley

Date: Tue, September 15, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM

Larry Gerston, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, San Jose State University; Political Analyst, NBC Bay Area; Author, Reviving Civic Engagement; Twitter @lgerston
John Zipperer, Vice President of Media & Editorial, The Commonwealth Club – Host
Additional panelists TBA

Week to Week is headed back to Silicon Valley! Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, audience discussion of the week’s events, and our news quiz!

Join us early before the program to meet other smart and engaged individuals, and discuss the news over snacks and wine at our member social (open to all attendees). Bring a friend — or come and make new ones.