SAN FRANCISCO  (February 25, 2015) --- The Commonwealth Club is re-launching Marin Conversations, a monthly conversation between Marin personalities and subject matter experts on important social issues.  The first program this spring will focus on “Our Food, Our Health and our Planet.”  It will feature President and Co-Founder of the Environmental Working Group Ken Cook, and the Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, Gary Hirshberg. Cook and Hirshberg will discuss the issues about which we need to care and examine the choices we can make to maintain our health and the health of our world.  Eating healthy and sustainably can seem overly complex.  Is it possible to fill one’s grocery cart to eat well and not harm the environment?  Ken Cook, a preeminent environmentalist at the forefront of agriculture and food policy, and Gary Hirshberg, an agricultural entrepreneur who grew a seven-cow organic farming school into a successful organic yogurt company, will tell us how we can take control of our health and yet have a positive impact on the planet by eating the right foods. This program will be held Wednesday, April 1,  at 7:45 p.m. at The Outdoor Art Club, One W. Blithedale Avenue in Mill Valley.  Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be on hand from 7:00-7:45 p.m. 

On May 6, American Astronaut Ed Lu, who Chairs the B612 Foundation, will address the issue of asteroids hitting the earth.  He will discuss those dangerous collisions, which occur at least twice every year, and tell us how asteroid strikes are truly the only natural disaster for which we have means of stopping. He will share that despite our advanced solutions to preventing catastrophic impacts, we face a more basic problem: We don’t know where in our solar system most asteroids are, or, more importantly, when they will hit Earth. Astronaut Ed Lu and the B612 Foundation are committed to meeting this challenge. The Foundation’s Sentinel Mission, the first privately funded interplanetary venture, will map and catalogue near-Earth asteroids, helping to ensure that we are aware of potential asteroid strikes—giving us the time we need to deflect them. Lu will explain why the mission matters and what technological innovations will make it possible. This event will also take place at 7:45 p.m. at The Outdoor Art Club, One W. Blithedale Avenue in Mill Valley.  An hors d’oeuvres and cash bar reception will also precede this event.  Both programs are being sponsored by Relevant Wealth Advisors.

Dr. Ruth Shapiro, the Club’s first “Social Entrepreneur in Residence” and author of The Real Problem Solvers, continues to spearhead the Marin Commonwealth Club Series.  Comments Dr. Shapiro, “We are so excited about our upcoming Marin Conversations programs.  They will continue to provide the unique blend of high quality Commonwealth Club programming and social issues of importance to Marin residents.  We want to thank our partner, Relevant Wealth Advisors, for supporting our efforts to create a substantive series and offering an opportunity to meet others in Marin County who want to deepen their knowledge about important challenges and solutions taking place here, around the country and the globally.”

Tickets are limited to 100 people. TICKETS MUST ALWAYS BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE BY PHONE 415-597-6705 or online at  Marin Conversations will take place monthly at The Outdoor Art Club, which is located at One West Blithedale Avenue, Mill Valley. Cash bar and hors d'oeuvres will be served from 7 to 7:45 p.m., followed by the program from 7:45 to 9:00 p.m.

Dr. Shapiro is the Principal of Keyi, a consulting practice.  Prior to this, she created the Asia Business Council. Dr. Shapiro worked in the field of international development.  In this capacity, she held various management positions and established new program areas at the Academy for Educational Development, and the Harvard Institute of International Development and Global Outlook. 

Dr. Shapiro, a Mill Valley resident, recently relocated back to the United States after living in Hong Kong and London for the last six years.  She holds a doctorate from Stanford University and Masters Degrees from Harvard University and George Washington University.  She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan.  

Founded in 1903, The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s premier public affairs forum, with more than 22,000 members.  Based in San Francisco and San Jose, the Club hosts over 450 speeches, debates and discussions each year on issues of regional, national and international significance.  The Club sponsors public policy projects on issues including structural reform of state government and K-12 education reform.  At least one million people hear The Commonwealth Club’s weekly radio broadcasts on more than 230 stations across the country. The Club’s videos also appear on the California Channel, C-SPAN,, and YouTube, where they have been viewed millions of times. For the past century, The Club has fostered free speech and civic dialogue on wide-ranging topics, addressing key issues in society, culture, politics, the economy and more. For more information, visit