Upcoming Events

Wed 10/26

Image - Tom Stienstra

Tom Stienstra: The Mighty T, from Glacier to Golden Gate

Date: Wed, October 26, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
Meet the nation's most-award winning outdoors writer

Tom Stienstra, Outdoors Writer, San Francisco Chronicle

America's best-known outdoors man and the SF Chronicle outdoors editor (lucky us), Stienstra will share dramatic photos, videos and stories from his expedition to climb the Lyell Glacier in Yosemite National Park, where he traces the melting drops of water to the Tuolumne River en route to San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. His expedition is the storyline for national PBS showing that will air in the late fall.

Stienstra is the nation's only four-time winner of the OWAA President's Award, National Outdoor Writer of the Year, and only the fourth living member inducted into the California Outdoors Hall of Fame

Image - Origami

Robert Lang: Origami — Between the Folds of Art and Technology

Date: Wed, October 26, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
Science meets art

Roberg Lang, Origami Artist; Physicist

Origami is the centuries-old Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures. Lang, a world-renowned origami artist, has taken this traditional art form one step further.

Lang is one of the pioneers of cross-disciplinary origami that combines mathematics, science, technology, engineering and design with origami. His applications have been used on medical devices, air bag designs and expandable space telescopes.

With 50 patents awarded and pending on semiconductor lasers, optics and integrated optoelectronics, Lang has more than 500 designs catalogued and diagrammed and his artwork has been shown around the world in exhibits at the MoMA in New York, Carrousel du Louvre in Paris and the Nippon Museum of Origami in Japan.

Hear more about the blending of art and technology what drives him to create such inspirational masterpieces.

Thu 10/27

Image - San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

Date: Thu, October 27, 2016
Time: 1:45 PM
Explore San Francisco's Financial District

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!

Fri 10/28

Image - Joel McHale

Joel McHale Live

Date: Fri, October 28, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
"The Soup" and "Community" star

Joel McHale, Actor; Author, Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be

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

Joel McHale is one of America’s favorite funny men, from "Community" and "The Soup" to sold-out stand-up comedy shows, and he’s ready to let INFORUM behind the scenes of the comedic life. His brand-new memoir Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be, is part memoir, part “self-help” book, and all hilarious.

Thanks for the Money covers Joel’s ascent to fame, insider celeb secrets, tongue-in-cheek tips for becoming Joel, and more, plus graphics and charts to give you a truly illustrated perspective on it all.

Whether you want to know if there’s an upcoming "Community" movie starring Joel as Jeff Winger, or are dying to know what pop culture gossip never made it on to "The Soup," get your tickets now!

Tue 11/1

A Place to Call Home

Date: Tue, November 01, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Part of the People, Power, Place series, which addresses access and equity in the Bay Area

Panelists TBA

Sponsored by the San Francisco Foundation as part of the People, Power, Place Series, which addresses access and equity in the Bay Area.

The Bay Area is in the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis. The way that we deal with this crisis will have repercussions for generations to come. Across the Bay Area, everyone is feeling the effects, but none more than the 1 million working families—predominantly people of color—living below the poverty line. Without significant coordinated intervention, the housing crisis threatens to displace more than 1.5 million people in the Bay Area and erode the diversity, cultural vitality and spirit that make the Bay Area a successful, prosperous and resilient region.

Despite the obvious challenges, there is growing awareness among elected officials, policymakers, business leaders and the general public of the magnitude of the region’s housing crisis, and we have seen significant willingness among all of these groups to take action.

In this forum, we will hear from experts in government, the housing industry, and the nonprofit community about how to ensure that all residents in the Bay Area have a safe, affordable place to call home.

The San Francisco Foundation

Image - Frances Dinkelspiel

Frances Dinkelspiel: Greed, Murder, and Arson in California's Vineyards

Date: Tue, November 01, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
Time for wine crime

Frances Dinkelspiel, Author, Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California

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

In 2005 a massive warehouse fire broke out in Vallejo, destroying 4.5 million bottles of California’s finest wine. The damage came out to be $250 million, making it the largest destruction of wine in history, and it included priceless bottles of Port and Angelica made by Dinkelspiel’s great-great grandfather. An investigation revealed that the fire was deliberately set by Mark Anderson, a skilled con man and thief. What’s even harder to believe is this wasn’t the first time wine was at the center of crime and destruction.

Dinkelspiel traces the history of California wine and unravels this story of greed, violence and obsession.

Wed 11/2

Image - David Knitter

How to Protect Against Financial Elder Abuse

Date: Wed, November 02, 2016
Time: 5:15 PM
Identifying and avoiding threats

David G. Knitter, Attorney; Member, Executive Committee for the Trusts and Estates Section, State Bar of California; Past President, Solano County Bar Association

David Knitter, the chair of the Educating Seniors Project of the State Bar of California, has deep experience with elders and their adult children, and he has trained attorneys to identify elder financial abuse and pursue remedies when abuse occurs. Learn from him how to protect yourself or elder family members from becoming the victim of financial elder abuse.

The presentation will also provide tips on how to identify who the abusers are and determine whether elder financial abuse may be occurring.

Image - Chef Jeremiah Tower

Chef Jeremiah Tower: How to Behave in the Modern World and Why Bother?

Date: Wed, November 02, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
An Elements of Style for the table

Jeremiah Tower, Chef; Author, Table Manners: How to Behave in the Modern World and Why Bother; Twitter
In conversation with Amanda Haas, Culinary Director, Williams-Sonoma

Jeremiah Tower was a founding chef in the 1970s at Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse restaurant and is widely credited as one of the creators of both New American Cuisine and California Cuisine. In 1984, Tower opened his own restaurant, Stars, in San Francisco. It was an overnight sensation and fostered the careers of numerous American chefs, including Mark Franz, Mario Batali, Tim Grable, Emily Luchetti and Jerry Traunfeld. The restaurant was among the top-grossing restaurants in the United States for close to a decade. Tower went on to win a James Beard Award as the best chef in America, hosted a PBS Series and opened restaurants in Singapore and Hong Kong. He holds a degree in architecture from Harvard.

Come hear his both witty and serious thoughts on manners in 2016—at the dinner party, the bar or in your own home. Tower has advice on everything: food allergies, RSVPs, iPhones, running late, thank-yous, restaurant etiquette, even what to do when you are served something disgusting.

Image - Ben Franklin Circles

Ben Franklin Circles

Date: Wed, November 02, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Bringing people together to discuss pressing philosophical & ethical issues

Join us monthly, every first Wednesday, for a 21st-century version of Ben Franklin’s mutual improvement club. One evening a week, for more than 40 years, the founding father discussed and debated with his friends the 13 virtues that he felt formed the basis for personal and civic improvement, a list he created when he was 20 years old. The virtues to which he aspired included justice, resolution and humility (but don't misunderstand Ben on that one—his explanation of humility was "imitate Jesus and Socrates").

Ben Franklin Circles bring people together to discuss the most pressing philosophical and ethical issues of our time with the goal of improving ourselves and our world.

Image - John A. Gunn

The Secret Sauce of Dodge & Cox's Investment Strategy

Date: Wed, November 02, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
Gunn's secrets of investment success

John A. Gunn, Chairman Emeritus, Dodge & Cox

John Gunn has been described as the Warren Buffet of the Bay Area. The extraordinarily successful firm of Dodge & Cox has had terrific investment performance, typically shuns publicity, and holds more than $270 billion in assets.

What lessons did Gunn learn managing this remarkable growth? What do we need to keep in mind? It is a rare treat that John has agreed to be in conversation with Bruce Raabe, a member of the Club’s Board of Governors and the president of Relevant Wealth Advisors.

This program includes complimentary light hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar from 7-7:40.

Thu 11/3

Image - Adam Gazzaley

The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World

Date: Thu, November 03, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Adam Gazzaley, M.D., Ph.D., Professor in Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco; Founding Director, Neuroscience Imaging Center, Neuroscape Lab and the Gazzaley Lab; Co-founder and Chief Science Advisor, Akili Interactive; Co-founder and Chief Scientist, JAZZ Venture Partners; Co-author, The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World

We are living in extraordinary times. Rapid advances in information technology continuously transform our lives in countless ways. But we are now aware that our increasingly information-saturated world, coupled with growing expectations of constant availability and immediate responsiveness, can place excessive demands on our brains. The consequences can include detrimental effects on our safety, education, workplace and relationships with family and friends. Dr. Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist and trailblazer in the study of how our brains process information, will take us on a journey into how and why we struggle with interruptions and distractions that emerge from both our inner and outer worlds.

He will present a unique evolutionary perspective that the very essence of what has evolved in our brains to make us most human—our ability to set high-level goals —collides head-first with our brain’s fundamental limitations in cognitive control. He will conclude by offering practical strategies for modifying our behavior, as well as sharing his lab's latest innovations in enhancing our brain's function, so that we can better survive and thrive in the information age.

Image - Kerrin Meis

Egon Schiele: A Feminist Artist Ahead of His Time

Date: Thu, November 03, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Kerrin Meis, Retired Lecturer, SFSU; Teacher, OLLI Berkeley and OLLI San Rafael

Egon Schiele, artistically active in Vienna during the last days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, adored women, and was influenced by the fin-de-siècle preoccupation with sex. The Viennese artist was excited by Sigmund Freud's 1905 Theories of Sexuality, Gustav Mahler’s suggestive music, and Gustav Klimt's gorgeous images of desire. Schiele was even more audacious in his nudes and his explorations of self in his self-portraits, in his landscapes of the small village where he had retreated from Vienna (and was imprisoned for his erotic art) and in his deeply perceptive portraits. His many masterpieces explore the mysteries of love and death.

Mon 11/7

Image - Leana Wen

Public Health and Physician Activism: Lessons from Baltimore

Date: Mon, November 07, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Leana Wen, MD, Emergency Physician, Commissioner of Health for Baltimore City; TED MED Speaker; Author, When Doctors Don't Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests

The Sixth Annual Lundberg Institute lecture focuses on Dr. Wen's experiences as Baltimore's commissioner of health during times of change, as our medical institutions are under pressure from all sides. She will also draw on her personal experiences as a child immigrant, who started learning English at age 8, but by 18 had already graduated summa cum laude from college. She will explain how those experiences have influenced her interest in improving patient-physician communication.

Wed 11/9

Image - Erin Byrne

Wings: Gifts of Art, Life and Travel in France

Date: Wed, November 09, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM

Erin Byrne, Author, Wings: Gifts of Art, Life, and Travel in France

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

France is steeped in refined traditions, with its rich history, exquisite art, robust culture and varied cuisine. Erin Byrne's essays draw upon her trips, from Cézanne’s studio in Aix-en-Provence to a tiny village in the Jura Mountains, from a Left Bank neighborhood bistro to a plain high above the Normandy beaches. She collects stories, characters, tastes and secrets that act as ingredients for change, and then digs deeper to uncover meaning. Henri Cartier-Bresson issues a challenge, Sainte Geneviève offers resilience, Salvador Dalí seduces, Picasso entertains, and a wrought iron sign portends the future.

Wings, which won the Paris Book Festival award for travel genre, is about the gifts that we all glean from our travels.

Image - Leland Faust

A Capitalist’s Lament: How Wall Street Is Fleecing You and Ruining America

Date: Wed, November 09, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
Are you using the system or is the system using you?

Leland Faust, Founder and Chairman, CSI Capital Management; Member, Sporting News Top 100 Most Powerful People in Sports; Author, A Capitalist’s Lament: How Wall Street Is Fleecing You and Ruining America
In conversation with Roy Eisenhardt, Former President, Oakland Athletics

Leland Faust, an outspoken financial services insider and investment advisor, believes our great free enterprise system has been hijacked by Wall Street for its own gains, and he claims “you are being fleeced and exposed to risks you know nothing about.”

Presenting a high-level insider view, Faust shares his real-world experience both from representing high-profile celebrities and managing a successful mutual fund. He warns that the financial services industry misleads us, and he delivers an upbeat message, saying "learn how to get ahead instead of getting taken."

Thu 11/10

image - Chinatown gate

Chinatown Walking Tour

Date: Thu, November 10, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM
A neighborhood adventure

Enjoy a Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure. Join Rick Evans for a memorable midday walk and discover the history and mysteries of Chinatown. Explore colorful alleys and side streets. Visit a Taoist temple, an herbal store, the site of the first public school in the state, and the famous Fortune Cookie Factory.

Image - Rick Hanson

A Courageous Brain: Not Manipulated by Needless Fear

Date: Thu, November 10, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
Fear not

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., Psychologist; Author, New York Times bestselling Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence

Our ancestors evolved a frightened brain for survival in harsh conditions. Today, unnecessary and unwarranted fear can make it harder to speak from the heart, dream big dreams and stand up to the manipulations of advertisers and demagogues. Dr. Hanson will explore the practical neuroscience of courage in ourselves, our homes, offices and politics.

Mon 11/14

Raising America’s Porn Literacy—and Managing America’s Porn Panic

Date: Mon, November 14, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
Marty Klein explains the impact of sexually explicit materials

Marty Klein, Ph.D., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist; Sex Therapist; Policy Analyst; Author, His Porn, Her Pain and the DVD Enhancing Porn Literacy in Young People

Less than 20 years ago, one of the most disruptive technologies in human history came to America—broadband Internet. Like most technical advances, it was immediately adapted for sexual purposes. When it brought free, high-quality pornography into 100 million American homes, the country was simply not prepared for it.

Dr. Marty Klein says we still aren’t. He says that as a result, the United States is in the midst of what he calls a "porn panic," marked by high levels of fear, outrage, misinformation, blame and demands for action.

This is the background of the conflict many couples face about porn, of the anxieties of parents, and of the self-destructive uses of porn. In this talk, one of America’s experts on pornography discusses the context of our difficulties, with thought-provoking suggestions on how to respond. Using material from his new book His Porn, Her Pain, Dr. Klein will discuss building "porn literacy" in children, in couples and in porn consumers—while discussing the scientific evidence about how sexually explicit material actually affects consumers, their relationships and society.

The subject of pornography sits at the intersection of politics, culture and our personal lives—and our audience last year found Dr. Klein so entertaining and provocative discussing "Sexual Intelligence" that we’ve invited him back again.

Image - Saul Friedländer

Historian Saul Friedländer: The Holocaust and Its Importance in 2016

Date: Mon, November 14, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
A renowned historian looks at history's meaning for today

Saul Friedländer, Historian; Professor, UCLA, Author, When Memory Comes and Where Memory Leads: My Life
In conversation with Stephen Pearce, Ph.D., Senior Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco

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

Saul Friedländer is widely regarded as one of the quintessential experts on the Holocaust. Forty years after his Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945, Friedländer returns with When Memory Comes: The Later Years, bridging the gap between the ordeals of his childhood and his present-day towering reputation in the field of Holocaust studies. After abandoning his youthful conversion to Catholicism, he rediscovered his Jewish roots as a teenager and built a new life in Israeli politics and a lifelong fascination with Jewish life and history. Friedländer went on to spend his adulthood shuttling between Israel, Europe and the United States, armed with his talent for language and an expansive intellect.

Join us for a rare conversation with this renowned historian, who will share his personal story and his insights on the relevance of the Holocaust to the world of 2016.

Tue 11/15

Image - Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola: The Program You Can’t Refuse

Date: Tue, November 15, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
A cinema legend opens up

Francis Ford Coppola, Director, The Godfather; Author, The Godfather Notebook

Part of the Club’s Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather is universally praised as one of the greatest films ever made. The 1972 epic won best picture and best screenplay Oscars and was subsequently followed by two successful sequels. Join us for a rare conversation with Francis Coppola, who will take us behind the scenes of these legendary films, as spelled out in his just-published book, The Godfather Notebook. Here’s a chance to learn about Brando, Pacino, the casting and the filmmaking, along with the personal and professional qualities that turned director Francis Coppola into an American icon. An offer you truly can’t refuse.