Image - speaker photo plus detail from his book cover

Silicon Valley

David Brooks: How to Know a Person

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“There is one skill that lies at the heart of any healthy person, family, school, community organization, or society: the ability to see someone else deeply and make them feel seen—to accurately know another person, to let them feel valued, heard, and understood.” 
—David Brooks

Really knowing another person is not something people seem to do well. All around us are people who feel invisible, unseen, misunderstood. David Brooks set out to help people do better, posing questions that are essential: If you want to know a person, what kind of attention should you cast on them? What kind of conversations should you have? What parts of a person’s story should you pay attention to?

Brooks draws from the fields of psychology and neuroscience and from the worlds of theater, philosophy, history, and education to present a welcoming, hopeful, integrated approach to human connection. He brings that message to The Commonwealth Club, to help people become more understanding and considerate toward others, and to find the joy that comes from being seen. Along the way he offers a possible remedy for a society that is riven by fragmentation, hostility and misperception.

How can we look somebody in the eye and see something large in them, and in turn, see something larger in ourselves? To find out, join us in Silicon Valley as David Brooks explains. 


This program is in-person only.

If you have symptoms of illness (coughing, fever, etc.), we ask that you either stay home or wear a mask. Our front desk has complimentary masks for members and guests who would like one.

The Commonwealth Club of California is a nonprofit public forum; we welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our programming.

Photo by Howard Schatz and Beverly Ornstein.

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

Thu, Nov 16 / 12:00 PM PST

Cubberley Community Center Theatre
4120 Middlefield Road
(near Montrose & Middlefield)
Palo Alto, CA 94306
United States

Image - David Brooks

David Brooks

Op Ed Columnist, The New York Times; Author, How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen; Twitter @nytdavidbrooks

Image - Ray Suarez

In Conversation with Ray Suarez

Host, KQED’s “On Shifting Ground”; Author, We are Home: Becoming in American in the 21st Century (forthcoming); Twitter @RaySuarezNews


11:15 a.m. doors open & check-in
12–1 p.m. program
1 p.m. book signing
(all times PST)


In-person (all tickets include a book):
General seating:
$40 members
$50 nonmembers 
Premium seating (includes a book and reserved seating in the front):
$60 members
$70 nonmembers