Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Wed 5/31

Image - Ting

The Universal Stage: A Critique of Empathy

Date: Wed, May 31, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Theater and the expression of self

Eric Ting, Artistic Director, California Shakespeare Theater

In the theater, we concern ourselves with questions of authenticity and artifice in our search for human truth. They are questions that grow more pertinent as we consider classical theater's place in our contemporary world: whose stories are represented, whose stories are appropriated, how do we see ourselves in these stories and can we ever truly understand another person? Go in depth with Eric Ting, the artistic director of CalShakes—a San Francisco cultural treasure.

Image - The White House

Trump's First 100 Days: Part Four

Date: Wed, May 31, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Evaluating the crucial first few months of the new administration

Ro Khanna, U.S. Representative (D-CA)
Carlos Watson, Co-Founder and CEO, Ozy Media
Mina Kim, Anchor and Host, KQED—Moderator
Additional Panelists TBA

How will President Trump’s 100-day action plan impact our domestic and foreign affairs, health care, education, environment, immigration, economic and trade policies? Who are the new people leading the country and how will they impact public policy? What role will all forms of media play as they cover the new administration? Join The Commonwealth Club and KQED for the final program of our four-part series of programs that address the first 100 days of the Trump administration and how this period will shape America over the next four years and beyond.

Thu 6/1

Image - Beatles

They Say It's Your Birthday

Date: Thu, June 01, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
The 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's

Dulais Rhys, Faculty, Amabile School of Music; Professional Musician

Celebrate the 50th birthday of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by learning about the background, creation and songs of the Beatles' revolutionary album. The album was released on June 1, 1967, right as the Summer of Love was beginning. Six months earlier, just three months after their August 29 farewell concert in San Francisco, Paul McCartney suggested he and his bandmates create a new album based on their various childhood experiences; Sgt. Pepper's was the result. Want to know why “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” didn't make the cut? Want to learn other details you may not have known before, even if you’re a major fan? Come find out what Dulais Rhys' research has revealed. Singing along is encouraged. 

Image - Scott Hartley

The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World

Date: Thu, June 01, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The humanities and innovation

Scott Hartley, Venture Capitalist; Author, The Fuzzy and the Techie

For years, people assumed that innovation was driven only by techies. Scott Hartley debunks that myth and reveals the counterintuitive reality that “fuzzies” (people who majored in humanities or social sciences) play key roles in developing the most creative and successful new business ideas. Fuzzies are often the ones who understand the life issues that need solving and offer the best approaches for doing so. 

Hartley looks inside some of today's most dynamic new companies and reveals fuzzy-techie collaborations in business, education and government.

Fri 6/2

Image - Israel and India

Israel and India: 25 Years of Diplomatic Relations

Date: Fri, June 02, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
Israel and India: collaboration and partnership

Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok, India's Consul General, San Francisco
Andy David, Israel's Consul General, Pacific Northwest

Consul General Andy David and Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok will speak together in celebration of Israel and India’s 25 years of diplomatic relations and their centuries-long historical and cultural connections. The two diplomats will discuss the growing partnership and collaboration between their two countries as well as shared interests and mutual goals for the future. 

Mon 6/5

Image - Week to Week

Week to Week Politics Roundtable and Social Hour 6/5/17

Date: Mon, June 05, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Insight into political issues, delivered with expertise and wit

Panelists TBA

It's summertime, so let's kick off the new season with a free-for-members special edition of our Week to Week political roundtable.

It's never a dull moment in politics these days, and we'll discuss 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!

And come 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).

Image - SFDebate

SFDebate

Date: Mon, June 05, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Biweekly debate

The SFDebate is an open forum for discussion on the events of our time. It is a place where you will not only be exposed to opposing points of view, but a safe place where you will be encouraged to find and speak up for yours. SFDebate is also a meeting of minds, and we follow every meeting with continued debate and conversation at a nearby bar/restaurant.

Click here to sign up for this program via Meetup. 

Wed 6/7

Image - Allison

Graham Allison: Are We Headed for War?

Date: Wed, June 07, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Escalating tensions between China and the U.S.

Dr. Graham Allison, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense; Director, Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Author, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap
In Conversation with Ellen Tauscher, Former Representative, California’s 10th Congressional District; Former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

Could China and the U.S. be headed towards war, or is there a way to avoid it? Graham Allison, former assistant secretary of defense, argues that if both the U.S. and China refuse to back down, a trade conflict, cyberattack or accident at sea could escalate into war.

Join us for a conversation with Graham Allison about how Thucydides’ Trap, the inevitable contention between a rising power and an established one, is still relevant today.

Thu 6/8

Image - Kasparov
This event is Sold Out

Garry Kasparov: The Future of Artificial Intelligence

Date: Thu, June 08, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
How to combine artificial intelligence with human creativity

Garry Kasparov, Chairman, Human Rights Foundation; Former World Chess Champion; Author, Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins
In Conversation with Holly Kernan, Vice President of News, KQED

In May 1997, the world watched as Garry Kasparov, the greatest chess player in the world, was defeated for the first time by the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue. Kasparov's competition symbolized man’s fight against machine, yet years after losing to Deep Blue, he has come to see how humans and machines can partner to reach results that neither can attain alone. Come join us for a conversation about what it was like to strategize against a supercomputer—and how a world increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence can potentially overcome new challenges.

Image - Golf Courses

Golf Courses, the Environment and Water Conservation: The New Reality

Date: Thu, June 08, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The future of golf courses

Don Chelemedos, PGA General Manager, Presidio Golf Course
Brian Nettz, GCSAA Superintendent, Presidio Golf Course

While some people may think of the golf industry as one of waste and excess, recent climate changes and resources have required golf course operators to rethink their strategy when it comes to golfing, natural resources and adjustments for changing golf courses and game environments. Join the operations team from the Presidio Golf Course as they discuss water conservation, sustainable environmental improvements and the model the Presidio Golf Course has created for current and future golfers, environments and the golfing industry.

Fri 6/9

Image - Uniting Through Dance

Uniting Us Through Dance

Date: Fri, June 09, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
The 39th San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival

Clara Rodriguez, AguaClara Flamenco 
Eric Solano, Parangal Filipino Dance Company 
2017 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival Participants

For decades, the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival has served as the embodiment of the Bay Area’s cultural diversity and as a beacon for sustaining and celebrating world culture. Two local dance groups, showcasing two different dance forms, will give a lecture and demonstration, providing participants with an intimate look at the festival’s performance series, which will be performed at the San Francisco Opera House for the first time.

Clara Rodriguez, director of AguaClara Flamenco, has trained and worked professionally in the flamenco world for 25 years. She has been a featured soloist in productions throughout the United States, Spain, Portugal and India and has also performed at Oakland’s Disco Volante.

Parangal Dance Company is led by Eric Solano. The company’s hopes to honor Filipino heritage, presenting richly varied ethnic attire, music and inspired dances from different regions.

Mon 6/12

Image - Clair Brown

Buddhist Economics

Date: Mon, June 12, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Applying Buddhism to economics

Clair Brown, Professor of Economics; Director, Center for Work, Technology and Society at the University of California, Berkeley; Author, Buddhist Economics

Monday Night Philosophy travels a different path to economic wisdom. Traditional economics measures the ways we earn and spend our income, but it doesn't always consider what gives our lives meaning. In response, Clair Brown has developed a holistic model that approaches the organizational structure of an economy by using Buddhist values, emphasizing sustainability, interconnectedness, capability and happiness to promote a more compassionate society. By replacing the endless cycle of desire with collective priorities, Brown argues we will benefit both personally and globally for generations to come.

Image - California Book Awards

86th Annual California Book Awards

Date: Mon, June 12, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Annual book awards

Join us for one of the Golden State’s premier literary events—the California Book Awards! The 2017 Book Awards, now in its 86th year, recognizes the best published California writing published in 2016.

The California Book Awards have often been on the vanguard, honoring previously unknown authors who go on to garner national acclaim. Since 1931, the California Book Awards have honored the exceptional literary merit of California writers and publishers. Each year, a select jury considers hundreds of books from around the state in search of the very best in literary achievement. This year’s award ceremony will include a special tribute to Kevin Starr, a giant of California letters who died this past January. Starr’s eight-volume history of the state, collectively known as Americans and the California Dream, lays out an epic story that is still unfolding today. 

Come celebrate the state's best writers! Meet and learn more about the authors, get your books signed and visit with your fellow admirers of great California writing. Enjoy wine and a chance to win a complete set of this year's award-winning books in the Book Awards raffle. See you at the ceremony!

Tue 6/13

Image - Cathryn Jakobson Ramin

Crooked: What It Takes to Outwit the Back Pain Industry and Get on the Road to Recovery

Date: Tue, June 13, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Recovering from back pain

Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, Journalist; Investigative Reporter; Author, Carved in Sand: When Attention Fails and Memory Fades in MidlifeCrooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery

In an effort to manage her chronic back pain, investigative reporter and New York Times best-selling author Cathryn Jakobson Ramin spent years and a small fortune on a panoply of treatments. But her discomfort only intensified, leaving her feeling frustrated and perplexed. As she searched for better solutions, she exposed a much bigger problem. Costing roughly $100 billion a year, spine medicine—often ineffective and sometimes harmful—exemplified the worst aspects of the U.S. health-care system.

The result of six years of intensive investigation, her new book, Crooked, offers a startling look at the poorly identified risks of spine medicine, providing practical advice and solutions. Ramin interviewed scores of spine surgeons, pain management doctors, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, exercise physiologists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and specialized bodywork practitioners. She met with many patients whose pain and desperation led them to make life-altering decisions—and with others who triumphed over their limitations.

The result is a brilliant and comprehensive book that is not only important but essential to millions of back pain sufferers and all types of health-care professionals. Ramin shatters assumptions about surgery, chiropractic methods, physical therapy, spinal injections and painkillers while addressing evidence-based rehabilitation options—showing, in detail, how to avoid therapeutic dead ends and also save money, time and considerable anguish. With Crooked, she reveals what it takes to outwit the back pain industry and get on the road to recovery.

Wed 6/14

Image - Cranna

Opera for Our Time: Bringing New Works to Life

Date: Wed, June 14, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Exploring opera with longtime dramaturg

Kip Cranna, Dramaturg, San Francisco Opera

San Francisco Opera’s longtime dramaturg Clifford “Kip” Cranna has managed the commissioning of more than 20 new operas, including “Harvey Milk,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Dead Man Walking,” “Doctor Atomic,” “Appomattox,” “The Bonesetter’s Daughter,” “Moby Dick,” “Dream of the Red Chamber” and the upcoming “Girls of the Golden West.” Join Cranna for an insider’s viewpoint—with video examples—as he explores the thriving world of contemporary American opera and offers behind-the-scenes tales of how new operas are born.

Image - Uber

Take a Wild Uber Ride with Adam Lashinsky

Date: Wed, June 14, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Uber in an on-demand economy

Adam Lashinsky, Journalist, Fortune; Author, Inside AppleWild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination

Uber makes complimentary and controversial headlines every day. Since its 2009 launch, it’s been influencing the minds and phones of millions worldwide. But what do we really know about Uber, and, more importantly, what lies ahead?

In the last eight years as a leader in the on-demand economy, Uber has battled lawmakers and competitors in emerging markets, facing protests and riots in cities from Paris to Mumbai; it has hustled to build the first self-driving car while also responding to major employee allegations. CEO Travis Kalanick is known as a ruthless businessman, appearing in the news almost as often as the Silicon Valley giant he runs. With competition from the likes of Google and Lyft, the company is valued at billions—and now there’s talk of an initial public offering (IPO). Uber continues to rise in value and global impact even while questions around finances, leadership, valuation and the future continue to arise. The question remains: What else should the public know?

Join Adam Lashinsky, journalist and best-selling author of Inside Apple, for a conversation about his new book, Wild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination. Lashinsky will dive deep into the Uber universe, discussing what’s on the horizon for the company the world can’t stop talking about.

Thu 6/15

Image - After Diagnosis

Life After Diagnosis

Date: Thu, June 15, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Surviving serious illness

Dr. Steven Z. Pantilat, M.D., Professor of Medicine, the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); Kates-Burnard and Hellman Distinguished Professor in Palliative Care; Founding Director, the UCSF Palliative Care Program

Steven Pantilat, a renowned international expert in palliative care, will share innovative approaches for dealing with serious illness. In doing so, he will attempt to demystify the medical system, outlining the steps patients should take to deal with serious illness. Pantilat will cover the first steps after the diagnosis, finding the right caregiving and support, and planning your future so your loved ones don't have to. He will offer advice on how to tackle the most difficult treatment decisions and discussions to help us live as well and as long as possible.

Fri 6/16

Image - MTI

Mineta Transportation Summit

Date: Fri, June 16, 2017
Time: 8:15 AM

Are We There Yet? 
Bridging the Gap in California’s Transportation Funding

Underwritten by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI)

The need to invest in California’s transportation system is dire. Estimates suggest a nearly $140 billion backlog in deferred maintenance on highways, bridges, and local streets and roads. While the funding crisis is widely recognized, solutions are difficult to come by. Senate Bill 1, passed by the California State Legislature in early April, dedicates over $50 billion to transportation projects through increased fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees, yet that only partially fills the gap. This free, half-day summit looks at various strategies the state, local and regional governments as well as transportation agencies are taking to address California’s transportation needs. MTI will present the results from the eighth year of a national public opinion poll on various tax options for raising federal revenues for transportation.

Confirmed speakers
Welcome: Karen Philbrick, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute
Opening remarks: Norman Mineta, U.S. Secretary of Transportation (Ret.)
Keynote: Jim Beall, Chairman, California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee

Panelists
Asha Agrawal, Ph.D., Director, Mineta Transportation Institute’s National Transportation Finance Center; Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, San Jose State University
Nuria Fernandez, General Manager and CEO, Valley Transportation Authority
Steve Heminger, Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Mon 6/19

Image - Manal al-Sharif

Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening

Date: Mon, June 19, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Women's right to drive

Manal al-Sharif, B.S., Computer Science; Women's Rights Activist

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

Manal al-Sharif, who was named one of Times' 100 most influential people in 2012 and received the Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent, went from being a niqab-wearing conservative to one of the most eminent voices of the women's rights movement in the Middle East. Although she was the first woman to work in the information security division of Armco, she was forbidden to drive off campus. In 2011, when she learned that the driving ban for women was custom and not law, al-Sharif became the face of the Women2Drive movement. She was imprisoned after posting a video of herself driving. Al-Sharif will describe her fascinating story and provide an enlightened look at the current state of women in Saudi society.

Image - SFDebate

SFDebate

Date: Mon, June 19, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Biweekly debate

The SFDebate is an open forum for discussion on the events of our time. It is a place where you will not only be exposed to opposing points of view, but a safe place where you will be encouraged to find and speak up for yours. SFDebate is also a meeting of minds, and we follow every meeting with continued debate and conversation at a nearby bar/restaurant.

Click here to sign up for this program via Meetup.