Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Mon 3/6

Image - Dr Jessica Zitter

A New Kind of Heroism: Extreme Measures at the End of Life

Date: Mon, March 06, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Partnerships instead of lone heroics

Jessica Zitter, MD, MPH, ICU and Palliative Care, Highland Hospital; Author, Extreme Measures; Contributor, The New York TimesThe Atlantic, Huffington Post, the Journal of the American Medical Association

Dr. Zitter entered the field of critical care medicine to be a hero. She wanted to rescue people from the brink of death like a fireman rescues fire victims—calmly, swiftly and without stopping to ask questions. But one day, as she was aggressively treating a dying patient in the ICU, a nurse challenged her on why she was putting the patient through the pointless ordeal. The remark smarted, and Dr. Zitter began asking herself the same question about many of her patients. She came to realize that while the standard no-holds-barred medical approach achieves some dramatic victories, it often causes more suffering than benefit for patients with life-limiting illness.

In this program, Dr. Zitter will describe a new kind of heroism. Her current practice is influenced by the Palliative Care movement, which has the potential to transform medicine in the ICU and beyond. This new model is patient-centered and participatory. Doctors pursue direct and honest communication, however difficult, over false hope and avoidance. And the central actor is no longer a lone warrior-doctor in the trenches of medical warfare, but rather a diverse team of health-care providers acting in partnership with patients and family members.

Wed 3/8

Image - Photo of panelists

Impact Investing: Invest and Improve the World with Your Portfolio, Endowments and Foundations

Date: Wed, March 08, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
How institutional investors seek to better the world

Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D., President, Becker College
Ardyth Neill, President, Heifer Foundation
Jase Wilson, CEO, Neighborly.com
R. Paul Herman, CEO, HIP Investor Ratings + Portfolios

Is your college investing its endowment to change the world? How about the recipients of your charitable giving, are their endowments aligned with their mission and making positive impact? How can you invest in your city's schools, hospitals and roads to build a better world? Learn how these leaders of colleges, foundations and investment platforms are enabling your money to improve society, the environment and our everyday lives.

Thu 3/9

Image - Russian Hill

Russian Hill Walking Tour

Date: Thu, March 09, 2017
Time: 1:45 PM
Walking tour

Join a more active Commonwealth Club neighborhood adventure! Russian Hill is a magical area with secret gardens and amazing views. Join Rick Evans for a "cardio hike" up hills and staircases and learn about the history of this neighborhood. See where great artists and architects lived and worked, and walk down residential streets where some of the most historically significant houses in the Bay Area are located. 

Image - Webb McKinney and Philip Meza

Hewlett Packard: Why Strategic Leadership Matters

Date: Thu, March 09, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The HP leadership story

Webb McKinney, Co-author, Becoming Hewlett Packard: Why Strategic Leadership Matters
Philip Meza, Co-author, Becoming Hewlett Packard: Why Strategic Leadership Matters

Hewlett Packard has been instrumental in the explosive and world-changing growth in Silicon Valley. Webb McKinney and Philip Meza will share with us their insights on the strategic thinking and leadership that was key to HP's contributions that helped create the technologically innovative world in which we live today.

Webb McKinney began his career at HP when David Packard and Bill Hewlett ran the company. McKinney held numerous engineering management and executive positions at HP, running HP's entry into consumer PCs and going on to lead its entire PC business. McKinney later led worldwide sales, marketing and supply chains for all of HP's commercial customers. Before retiring from HP in 2003, McKinney was the executive vice president responsible for HP's integration of Compaq. McKinney is currently a consultant in merger integration and leadership development. 

Philip E. Meza is a strategy consultant and researcher. Much of his consulting work focuses on technology strategy and business development. His books and numerous case studies are used at business schools and universities around the world. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Meza is the author of Coming Attractions: Hollywood, High Tech and the Future of Entertainment (2007) and co-author of Strategic Dynamics: Concepts and Cases (2006). 

Mon 3/13

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

Date: Mon, March 13, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM
Discussion group

Dr. Richard G. Caro, Facilitator

This regular discussion group explores new and emerging solutions to the challenges of growing older. Not only do we uncover interesting new products at the intersection of aging and technology, we also conduct a series of ongoing deep-dive discussions into topics such as 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 are facilitated by Dr. Richard Caro, whom many of you have heard speak at prior Grownups forum events.

Image - Mark Twain and George Hammond

Mark Twain's Funny Fight for Free Will

Date: Mon, March 13, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Twain's twilight struggle

George Hammond, Author, Mark Twain's Visit to Heaven

Monday Night Philosophy finds the fun in Mark Twain's almighty fight for free will. Taking issue with analysts who believe that Mark Twain became a pessimist in old age due to his many personal tragedies, and finding the cracks of freedom in Mark Twain's own deterministic conclusions about the "damned human race" in "What is Man?", George will focus on the consistent, and consistently humorous, though sometimes painful and angry, philosophical fight Mark Twain waged from his youth to his dying breath against the stultifying fears and clearly false ideas about life that keep our otherwise free wills chained to "petrified opinion," preventing us from dreaming "other dreams, and better." 

Image - Week to Week Political Roundtable and Social Hour 3/13/17

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Social Hour 3/13/17

Date: Mon, March 13, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Insight into political issues, delivered with expertise and wit

Panelists TBA

It's an important year for all things political, so join us as we explore 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). 

Tue 3/14

From Moldova to Mountain View: Creating Innovative Solutions for Real Life Problems

Date: Tue, March 14, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Inside Technovation

Madhavi Bhasin, Senior Director, Technovation and Curiosity Machine, Iridescent 
Additional Panelist TBA

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. Our speakers 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).

Image - Lynn Downey

The Inside Story of Levi Strauss and His Mark on America

Date: Tue, March 14, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
The man who gave America Jeans

Lynn Downey, Independent Scholar, Former Historian, Levi Strauss and Company; Author, Levi Strauss: The Man Who Gave Blue Jeans to the World

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

Blue jeans are globally beloved and quintessentially American. They symbolize everything from the Old West to the hippie counter-culture; everyone from car mechanics to high-fashion models wears jeans. And no name is more associated with blue jeans than Levi Strauss & Co., the creator of this classic American garment. Despite creating an American icon, Levi Strauss is a mystery. Little is known about the man, and the widely circulated "facts" about his life are steeped in mythology. In this first full-length biography, Lynn Downey sets the record straight about this brilliant businessman. Hear how Strauss's life was the classic American success story, filled with lessons about craft and integrity, leadership, and innovation. Dare we say, his story is riveting.

Wed 3/15

Image - Esther Koch

What You Need to Know Before You’re 65: A Medicare Primer

Date: Wed, March 15, 2017
Time: 5:15 PM
Information for people nearing Medicare eligibility

Esther Koch, Founder of Encore Management; Medicare Aging Network Partner with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

If you are approaching the Medicare qualifying age of 65 and Medicare seems like one big alphabetical maze to you, you are not alone. For most, a true understanding of how Medicare works, what options are best for you, and when or how to sign-up is not clear at all. Learn the ABC and Ds of Medicare, plus the realities of what to expect … and what not to expect. Here’s what every Boomer needs to know before they turn 65.

Image - detail from The Prose Edda book cover

Humanities West Book Discussion: The Prose Edda, by Jesse Byock

Date: Wed, March 15, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Gods and giants and dwarves and elves — what's not to like?

Join us to discuss The Prose Edda, the most renowned work of Scandinavian literature and our most extensive source for Norse mythology. The Edda was written in Iceland a century after the close of the Viking Age, and tells in clear prose, interspersed with powerful verse, the ancient Norse creation epic and stories of the battles that follow as gods, giants, dwarves and elves struggle for survival. Discussion led by Lynn Harris.

Image - design
This event is Sold Out

Designing Your Life with Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Date: Wed, March 15, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Try out "life design"

Bill Burnett, Executive Director, Design Program, Stanford University; Co-author, Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
Dave Evans, Adjunct Lecturer, Product Design Program, Stanford University; Management Consultant; Co-founder, Electronic Arts; Co-author, Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
Suzanne Gibbs Howard, Partner, IDEO; Founder and Dean, IDEO U—Moderator

Are you ready to design the life you’ve always envisioned in your head? Let Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show you the way! The Stanford professors and New York Times #1 best-selling authors of Designing Your Life have spent years teaching life design to Stanford students, and are excited to share their experience with INFORUM. Design-thinking principles aren’t just for products and space! Bill and Dave will discuss the "many versions of 'you' that exist," teach us all how to think like designers, and help us prototype our way to a more joyful life. Their approach is applicable and fun, much like great design. Be ready to reframe and revamp your creative thinking.

VIP Opportunity! Prior to the conversation, from 5:45-6:45 pm, Bill and Dave will lead an intimate VIP experience: the Life Design Energy Workshop. The workshop will include an energy exercise and mini-Designing Your Life workshop focused on energy, for those who want the opportunity to try out some of Bill and Dave’s techniques for life design firsthand. Tickets are first-come, first-served, very limited and are non-refundable. To join the waiting list if we are able to release additional seats, please sign up here. We recommend buying a ticket to the general program, as we expect to sell out.

Thu 3/16

Image - Green Film Festival logo

San Francisco Green Film Festival: Film Stories From Your Dinner Plate

Date: Thu, March 16, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Celebration of food, film and the arts

Rachel Caplan, CEO, San Francisco Green Film Festival
Mischa Hedges, Director, Of the Sea
Additional Speakers TBA

Filmmakers are delving into our complex food system with farmers, chefs, food-lovers and campaigners who are challenging the status-quo. Join the San Francisco Green Film Festival and Bay Area filmmakers for a visual feast of films and conversation about the stories that are shaping our eating and healthy sustainable food choices. And a plus! Enjoy a sneak preview of the San Francisco Green Film Festival, Spring 2017, with a celebration of the interaction of food, film and the arts!

Mon 3/20

Image - Rhodessa Jones

Rhodessa Jones and Cultural Odyssey's Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women and HIV Circle

Date: Mon, March 20, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
What art and performance can teach about women and HIV

Rhodessa Jones, Co-Artistic Director, Cultural Odyssey; Actress; Teacher; Writer; Director, Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women and HIV Circle; Former Visiting Artist in Residence, University of California, Berkeley Black Theater Workshop; Visiting Professor at St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California; Spring 2014 Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence, College of Letters and Science and the School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison 

In 1989, on the basis of material developed while conducting classes at the San Francisco County Jail, Rhodessa Jones created “Big Butt Girls, Hard Headed Women,” a performance piece based on the lives of the incarcerated women she encountered. Based on this observation, Jones founded The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women to explore whether an arts-based approach could help reduce the numbers of women returning to jail.

In 2008, The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women joined forces with UCSF’s Women’s HIV Clinic to create theater that explores what it means to be living with the virus in the 21st century. For the past seven years, The Medea Project: HIV Circle has performed shows all around the United States, sharing the truth and the stories of what it means to be female and infected or affected.

Life After Hate

Date: Mon, March 20, 2017
Time: 5:15 PM
Lessons from a former extremist

Antony McAleer, Executive Director, Life After Hate

A former organizer for the White Aryan Resistance (WAR), Tony McAleer served as a skinhead recruiter, proprietor of Canadian Liberty Net (a computer-operated voice messaging center used to disseminate messages of hatred), and manager of the racist rock band, Odin’s Law. It was love for his children that finally led Tony on a spiritual journey of personal transformation. Today he is the executive director of Life After Hate and shares his practice of compassion as an inspirational speaker.

Image - Howard French, George Koo and George Lewinski

The U.S. and China in 2017

Date: Mon, March 20, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
China chooses its path forward

Howard French, Former New York Times Asia Correspondent; Author, Everything Under the Heavens: Empire, Tribute and the Future of Chinese Power
George Koo, Ph.D., Special Advisor, Deloitte China Services Group; Member, Committee of 100
George Lewinski, Former Foreign Editor, "Marketplace"—Moderator

For many years after its reform and opening in 1978, China maintained an attitude of false modesty about its ambitions. That role has been set aside, asserts panelist Howard French, who says China has revealed plans for pan-Asian dominance by building its navy, increasing territorial claims to areas like the South China Sea, and diplomatically bullying smaller players. Hear from French and China analyst George Koo, who says that whatever China’s plans, following a western template to become a global hegemon is not a likely outcome, nor will “false modesty” necessarily find any validity. Come for a fascinating discussion about the historical context of China’s actions and what the future holds for the U.S. relationship with China under the Trump administration.

Socrates Café

Date: Mon, March 20, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM
Discussion group

On one Monday evening of every month the Humanities Forum sponsors Socrates Café at The Commonwealth Club. Each meeting is devoted to the discussion of a philosophical topic chosen at that meeting. The group's facilitator, John Nyquist, invites participants to suggest topics, which are then voted on. The person who proposed the most popular topic is asked to briefly explain why she or he considers that topic interesting and important. An open discussion follows, and the meeting ends with a summary of the various perspectives participants expressed. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Tue 3/21

Beethoven in China

Date: Tue, March 21, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
How Beethoven became a cultural icon in China

Jindong Cai, Associate Professor of Music (performance), Stanford University; Orchestra Conductor; and Co-Author, Beethoven in China: How the Great Composer Became an Icon in the People's Republic

Sheila Melvin, Co-Author, Beethoven in China: How the Great Composer Became an Icon in the People's Republic

Beethoven in China demonstrates that there is no parallel to the depth and breadth of Beethoven's integration into the culture, politics and private passions of China. Schoolchildren routinely read Beethoven, My Great Model and busts of Beethoven are a common sight. Cai's and Melvin's research reveals that the process by which Beethoven became a Chinese icon was tumultuous, starting with a 1906 article by Li Shutong, who referred to him as The Sage of Music, and held him up as a moral exemplar for a struggling nation trying to prevent a slide into chaos. His stoicism in the face of paternal mistreatment and increasing deafness resonated with a culture focused on working hard, on "eating bitterness," in order to achieve greatness. That stoicism proved crucial when Mao had musicians arrested and executed during the Cultural Revolution. But at Tiananmen Square students accompanied their protests with his "Ode to Joy" anyway.

Thu 3/23

Image - San Francisco Ferry Building

Waterfront Walking Tour

Date: Thu, March 23, 2017
Time: 1:45 PM
Walking tour

Join Rick Evans for his new walking tour exploring the historic sites of the waterfront neighborhood that surrounds the location of the future Commonwealth Club headquarters. Hear the dynamic stories of the entrepreneurs, controversial artists and labor organizers who created this recently revitalized neighborhood. This tour will give you a lively overview of the historic significance of this neighborhood and a close look at the ongoing development.

Mon 3/27

Middle East Forum Discussion

Date: Mon, March 27, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM
Discussion group

The Middle East Forum discussion group, which primarily covers the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan, has been meeting monthly for about nine years. We are not a debate group.