Tuesday, March 3, 2014 at 10pm:
Julián Castro, Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Buildings are the big kahuna when it comes to fighting climate change. Forty percent of carbon emissions in the United States comes from buildings and the electricity that goes into them. Energy and water-wise buildings are now trendy in many downtown office towers, driven mainly by market forces.
HUD Secretary Castro wants to take energy efficiency and new financing models to multifamily developments and federal housing communities. Secretary Castro will also talk about HUD’s efforts to help create greener communities and fight climate change.
Caulking windows and weatherizing doors isn’t sexy, but they are one of the simplest and most effective ways to cut power bills and clean up communities. Energy upgrades also create jobs that can’t be sent offshore.
Join a conversation about green buildings, climate change, resilience and more with a political rising star.
Tuesday, February 24, 2014 at 10pm:
Charles Blow - New York Times Visual Op-Ed Columnist
Charles Blow, Visual Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times; Author, Fire Shut Up in My Bones
Ian F. Haney-López, Professor, UC Berkeley Boalt School of Law; Author, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
Charles Blow’s columns deal head-on with the searing issues of social justice, race relations and the pitfalls of politics. As the only African-American columnist on the New York Times Opinion Pages, he writes pieces about American culture that provide powerful insight to the daily headlines. Blow will talk about those issues and his new memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which details the compelling poetry of the small Louisiana town where he grew up – a place where slavery's legacy feels astonishingly close.
(Recorded September 29, 2014)
Tuesday, February 17, 2014 at 10pm:
Cornel West: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
Cornel West, Ph.D.; Professor, Union Theological Seminary; Author, Black Prophetic Fire
In conversation with Van Jones, President and Founder, Dream Corps Unlimited
Praised by The New York Times for his “ferocious moral vision” and hailed by Newsweek as “an elegant prophet with attitude,” Dr. Cornel West bridges the gap between black and white opinion about the country’s problems. As a leading voice in societal commentary, Dr. West marched in civil rights demonstrations, taught at Yale, Harvard, and Princeton and is currently a professor at Union Theological Seminary. He draws from traditions of Christianity, the black church, Marxism, and neopragmatism. Hear his fiery oration on the past, present and future of race and injustice in the United States in conjunction with the release of his latest book, The Radical King. Join us to celebrate January 15 as Dr. Martin Luther King’s 86th birthday.
(Recorded January 15, 2015)
Tuesday, February 10, 2014 at 10pm:
Steven Brill, Journalist; Author, America’s Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Back-Room Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System; Twitter @StevenBrill
Brill was the author of Time’s March 4, 2013 special report, “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us,” for which he won the 2014 National Magazine Award for Public Service. His new book is the fly-on-the-wall story of the fight to pass and implement the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. He goes in-depth to explore what he sees as the profiteering of the healthcare industry, America’s largest industry — larger than the entire economy of France.
Brill also teaches journalism at Yale, where he founded the Yale Journalism Initiative to encourage and enable talented young people to become journalists. He has written for The New Yorker, Time, and The New York Times Magazine.
(Recorded January 13, 2015)
Tuesday, February 3, 2014 at 10pm:
Steve Forbes and Alan Auerbach: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Walter E. Hoadley Annual Economic Forecast
Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Media; Former Republican Presidential Candidate
Alan Auerbach, Professor of Economics and Law and Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance Director, University of California, Berkeley; Former Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation
With the midterm elections over and with more domestic gridlock and external dangers such as terrorism and Ebola looming large, will the economy continue to improve? Don’t miss this lively discussion with two top economic analysts from different sides of the aisle who will forecast where the U.S. and global economies are headed in 2015, as well as what should be done to keep them on track.
(Recorded January 23, 2015)
Tuesday, January 27, 2014 at 10pm:
An Evening with Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond, Professor, UCLA; Author, Guns, Germs and Steel, Collapse and The World Until Yesterday
In conversation with Kishore Hari, Director, Bay Area Science Festival
Jared Diamond is a scientist known for drawing from a variety of fields, from anthropology to evolutionary biology. He has published several popular science books, including Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs and Steel and, most recently, The World Until Yesterday. Diamond’s conclusions are critical and provocative, exploring concepts like how humans evolved to be so different from animals, despite sharing over 98 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees, and why Eurasian peoples conquered Native Americans and Africans instead of vice versa. Diamond yet again challenges the way our brains think in The World Until Yesterday as he chronicles tribal peoples and what they can teach us about the shortcomings of modern society.
(Recorded January 9, 2014)
Tuesday, January 20, 2014 at 10pm:
Tavis Smiley, TV Host, Public Broadcasting Service; Radio Host, Public Radio International; Author, Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Final Year
Judge LaDoris H. Cordell (ret), Independent Police Auditor, City of San Jose - Moderator
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations in U.S. history, but little is remembered about the trials and tribulations he faced in his final year. Award-winning television and radio broadcast host Smiley (and new Dancing with the Stars contestant) chronicles the final 365 days of Dr. King’s life. Despite assaults on his character and ideology, Dr. King remained committed to ending racial inequality and segregation in our country. Hear more about his story of leadership and perseverance.
(Recorded September 24, 2014)
Tuesday, January 13, 2014 at 10pm:
Andrew Young: Answering the Call for Leadership
Andrew Young, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Former Atlanta Mayor; Strategist to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Willie Brown, Former Mayor of San Francisco (Introducer)
Skip Rhodes, Past President, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors (Chair)
Kevin Johnson, Mayor of Sacramento – Moderator
To Andrew Young, the images of young protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, facing off against police officers look awfully familiar. Fifty years ago, as a key confidant and strategist to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Young was on the front lines of the civil rights movement, when people from around the country answered Dr. King’s call. But he says there’s a big difference: young people who were galvanized by violence against peaceful civil rights marchers were ushered into a movement whose leaders had clear objectives and were grounded in a deeply thought-out philosophy of non-violent struggle. Andrew Young knows that for many of the youth marching in Ferguson, the civil rights struggles are practically ancient history. But he believes it is a history well worth revisiting, because it demonstrates the very real potential of strategic civic participation.
Young — who served as a mayor, member of Congress, and U.S. ambassador — now heads a foundation that is focused on the development of emergent leaders and social entrepreneurs. He says it is not enough for people of his generation to preach the responsibilities of citizenship. “We must make connections between generations of individuals who are committed to action, sharing hard-won knowledge and equally hard-won hope that action can result in change.”
(Recorded December 4, 2014)
Tuesday, January 6, 2014 at 10pm:
An Evening with Kathleen Turner
Kathleen Turner, Actress
Doug Sovern, Reporter, KCBS Radio
Kathleen Turner has garnered critical acclaim for her performances in films like Romancing the Stone, Peggy Sue Got Married and War of the Roses. On Broadway, Turner starred in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, for which she received a Tony nomination. She now appears at The Berkeley Rep, portraying legendary journalist Molly Ivins in Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. Meet the real Kathleen Turner and hear the stories, causes and lessons that have shaped this iconic performer.
(Recorded December 8, 2014)
Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 10pm:
John Cleese - Monty Python Actor and Comedian
John Cleese, Actor; Writer; Producer; Author, So, Anyway…
In conversation with Adam Savage, Host, “Mythbusters”
Join Cleese as he takes us on a grand tour of his ascent in the entertainment world, from his humble beginnings in a sleepy English town to the pinnacle of comedy and worldwide success.
With his signature characters – the Minister of Silly Walks and the owner (and would-be returner) of a dead parrot – Cleese's work with Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers has become legendary. His hit films Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian and A Fish Called Wanda, and his memorable roles in James Bond and Shrek have put him in a class of his own. From his hilarious tweets and new memoir, hear more from this towering comedic genius.
(Recorded November 17, 2014)
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 10pm:
An Evening with Jacques Pépin
Jacques Pépin, Chef; Author, Essential Pépin
Emily Luchetti, Chef - Moderator
World-renowned chef Jacques Pépin is a gifted culinary artist. He has hosted 13 popular cooking series on public television and written dozens of cookbooks. Pépin was born in Bourg-en-Bresse, near Lyon. His first exposure to cooking was as a child in his parents’ restaurant, Le Pelican. From 1956 to 1958, Pépin was the personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle. After moving to the United States in 1959, Pépin served for ten years as director of research and new development for the Howard Johnson Company, a position that taught him about mass production, marketing, food chemistry and American food tastes.
Enjoy an evening with internationally renowned French chef, author, and television personality Jacques Pépin, as he discusses his upcoming 14th cooking series, “Jacques Pépin: Heart and Soul.”
(Recorded October 2, 2014)
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 10pm:
Up the Ladder: Women Pursuing Careers in Science and Technology
Hilary K. Seligman, M.D., MAS, Associate Professor in Residence, Departments of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF
Diane Wara, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, UCSF
Eva Cole, Student, Holy Names High School, Oakland; Alumna, Girls Who Code
Sara Seims, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Population and Reproductive Health Program, Packard Foundation – Moderator
How and why do women decide to pursue careers in science and technology? What is the reaction of their family, friends, teachers and others? This panel of three women at three different points in their careers – early, middle and advanced – will discuss the experiences that have supported and challenged their career pursuits. Come learn from their stories and hear ideas about how to attract more women to areas of science where they are still greatly under-represented, such as engineering and mathematics.
(Recorded November 17, 2014)
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 10pm:
Abbas Milani: The Rise of ISIS and the Changing Landscape of the Middle East
Abbas Milani, Director of Iranian Studies, Stanford University
Milani is one of the founding co-directors of the Iran Democracy Project and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. Until 1986, he taught at Tehran University’s Faculty of Law and Political Science, where he was also a member of the board of directors of the university’s Center for International Relations. For eight years, he was a visiting research fellow in University of California, Berkeley’s Middle East Center. Come hear one of the world’s top Middle East experts give his take on how ISIS will ultimately impact the region and the U.S.
(Recorded November 6, 2014)
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 10pm:
Marissa Mayer in Conversation with Marc Benioff - A Visionary Award Event
Marissa Mayer, President and CEO, Yahoo
In conversation with Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, salesforce.com
Marissa Mayer is the CEO of Yahoo and is one of very few women to have run a Fortune 500 company. In 2013, Mayer earned the number one spot on Fortune Magazine’s 2013 “40 Under 40” list. Fifteen years before she became the tech powerhouse she is today, Mayer was hired as the 20th employee at a small tech company. This company, Google, enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence under Mayer’s tenure and launched successful and groundbreaking products such as Google Maps, Google News, Gmail and Chrome. In 2012, Mayer claimed a bigger stage with her appointment as CEO of Yahoo In two years, Mayer has reinvigorated Yahoo's brand, reimagined all of its core products including Yahoo Mail, Flickr and more, and introduced new mobile products such as Yahoo Weather and Yahoo News Digest which have both won design awards. In addition, Mayer has acquired more than 40 companies, including Tumblr. Her boldness has made her a household name, and we’re pleased to award Marissa Mayer INFORUM’s 21st Century Visionary Award.
(Recorded October 30, 2014)
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 10pm:
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz
Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy
Love it or hate it, fracking is changing the way America powers its economy. Thanks to fracking, the United States is now the world's largest petroleum producer, something unthinkable a few years ago. Coal is down, but not out. Nuclear's knees are buckling due to low natural gas prices and the fallout from Fukushima. Researchers and investors are looking for big breakthroughs in storage technology and sucking carbon out of smokestacks.
In Silicon Valley the buzz is about the Internet of Things and merging information technology with energy. Previous attempts to marry those two didn't end well. Is this time different? What are the promising areas for innovation and creating new jobs and economic growth? What role should the U.S. government play in discovering new fuels and getting them to market?
(Recorded October 23, 2014)
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 10pm:
Dr. Atul Gawande
Atul Gawande, Author, The Checklist Manifesto and Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End; Staff Writer, The New Yorker; Professor, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health
Alice Huan-mei Chen, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Integration Officer, Director of the Center for Innovation in Access and Quality, and Director of the eReferral Program, San Francisco General Hospital; Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco — Moderator
Gawande tackles the question of how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Modern medicine, dedicated to prolonging life, inevitably runs counter to the natural condition of aging and death. Nursing homes, hospitals and doctors, in the process of provide the aging and dying with the best care, continue to pin patients to railed beds and carry out devastating procedures that ultimately extend suffering.
A practicing surgeon and MacArthur fellow, Gawande addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified. Gawande asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.
(Recorded October 22, 2014)
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 10pm:
An Evening with Nicholas Kristof
Nicholas Kristof, Columnist, New York Times; Co-author, A Path Appears; Two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner
In conversation with Jessica Jackley, Co-Founder of Kiva
Kristof is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, awarded first in 1990 for his coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square democracy movement and later in 2006 for his reporting on genocide in Darfur. His columns unpack the hidden and often shocking side of global issues, from poverty to human trafficking. Nick’s latest book, A Path Appears, champions stories of individuals, organizations, and research breakthroughs that took small steps to make not-so-small differences in the world. A 9-year-old asked friends and family to donate to a charity: water campaign as her birthday present, raising $220 – six weeks later she tragically died, spurring $1.2 million in donations and providing clean water to 37,000 Ethiopians. Parasites in the bellies of schoolchildren account for a quarter of absenteeism in Africa—and deworming costs 2 cents at scale. Kristof reminds us that you don’t have to devote your life or give away millions to have a profound impact on the lives of the suffering.
(Recorded October 7, 2014)
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 10pm:
Leon Panetta, Former Director, CIA; Former U.S. Secretary of Defense; Author, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace
Dr. Gloria C. Duffy, President & CEO of The Commonwealth Club – Moderator
Leon Panetta has had two distinct and consequential careers as an American public servant. His first lasted 35 years and culminated in his role as President Clinton’s budget director and White House chief of staff. He stepped back from his public life to establish the Panetta Institute with his wife, Sylvia. In 2009 he again stepped into the role of CIA director, eventually leading the campaign to kill Osama Bin Laden. Following that victory, Panetta became the U.S. secretary of defense, inheriting two troubled wars in a time of austerity and painful choices.
In his new book, Worthy Fights, Panetta is frank about the current state of affairs. Suffused with its author’s stubborn common sense, the book is an epic American success story, a great political memoir, and a revelatory view onto many of the great figures and events of our time.
(Recorded October 16, 2014)
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 10pm:
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator; Author, Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World
The senator recounts her personal journey in public service and aims to galvanize women to reach beyond their busy lives and make a meaningful difference in the world around them. If women were fully represented in politics, Gillibrand says, national priorities would shift to issues that directly impact them: affordable daycare, paid family medical leave, and equal pay. Pulling back the curtain on Beltway politics, she speaks candidly about her legislative successes (securing federally funded medical care for 9/11 first responders, repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) and her crushing disappointments (failing by five votes to pass a bill protecting survivors of sexual assault in the military). Gillibrand also shares stories of growing up the daughter and granddaughter of two trailblazing feminists in a politically active family in Albany, New York, and retraces her nonlinear path to public office.
(Recorded September 13, 2014)
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 10pm:
Cornel West, Ph.D.; Professor, Union Theological Seminary; Author, Black Prophetic Fire
Julie Chang, Associate Chair and Associate Professor of English, Santa Clara University – Moderator
“Have we forgotten how beautiful it is to be on fire for justice?” Dr. West – activist, author and philosopher – will discuss his latest work and offer his thoughts on the intersection between leadership, faith and social justice.
(Recorded October 3, 2014)
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 10pm:
Joe Zee: What’s In, What’s Out, What’s You
Joe Zee, Editor in Chief and Executive Creative Officer, Yahoo Style; Former Creative Director, Elle
Carolyne Zinko, Style Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle
Here’s a chance to improve your own sense of style in a world where the clothes you put on each morning send a message. As San Francisco Fashion Week begins, noted fashion expert Joe Zee will provide a rare inside look at the trends that dominate the fashion industry. He’ll also bring behind-the-scenes stories about designers and the celebrities who wear them. Having previously held fashion editorial positions at W, Details, Vanity Fair and House & Garden, Zee will also discuss his latest role at Yahoo.
(Recorded September 22, 2014)
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 10pm:General Anthony Zinni: Before the First Shots Are Fired
"There is a difference between being broke and being poor; being broke is a temporary economic situation, but being poor is a disabling frame of mind.” —John Hope Bryant
Van Jones will talk with Bryant about his work as founder of Operation HOPE. Bryant plans to revive the American economy by building financial dignity and empowerment for the “teetering class” to rise out of poverty, while reigniting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s "Poor People’s Campaign” for economic justice.
Van Jones is the president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy. He has also written two New York Times best sellers about the green economy and progressive politics.
John Hope Bryant was raised in Compton and South Central Los Angeles and has tirelessly promoted the virtues of hope, self-esteem, empowerment and opportunity for all. He has received more than 500 awards and citations for his work to empower low-wealth communities and has been an advisor to the last three sitting U.S. presidents. Bryant’s new book is How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class.
In an increasingly insecure economy, it’s easy to get bogged down with statistics and lose sight of the human costs of the recession. Stanford sociologist and lead researcher for the book Lean In, Marianne Cooper wants to change that. In her new book, Cut Adrift, Cooper weaves together deep data analysis of our frightening economic condition with real-world stories of families struggling to adjust. Hearing from everyone from suburban soccer moms to those struggling to feed their children, we’re given an intimate look at the challenges facing modern families, and how financial anxiety penetrates the daily lives of those at every socioeconomic level. Whether it’s the wealthy seeking even stronger security or the poor trying to avoid further instability, Cut Adrift gives us a glimpse of changing gender dynamics and how families are coping in a go-it-alone economy. Hear Cooper in conversation with LeanIn.org Founder Sheryl Sandberg, as they unpack the worries all American families face and brainstorm what can be done about it.
When Sal Khan started helping his teenage cousin with algebra from across the country, he didn’t set out to change the world. Starting only with an office in his Bay Area apartment, he now has over 4,000 video lessons in his online library, ranging from chemistry to history to finance. Khan is truly an educational pioneer, reaching millions of students, teachers and individuals. Khan Academy’s mission to give a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere has breached the educational divide between poor and privileged and pioneered a transformation at the intersection of learning and technology. INFORUM will award this educational innovator with our 21st Century Visionary Award.
Investigative journalist Nina Teicholz spent nine years deeply researching the effect that fats have on our bodies. She found the unthinkable: everything we thought we knew about dietary fats is wrong. For decades, we have been told that the best possible diet involves cutting back on fat, especially saturated fat, and that if we are not getting healthier or thinner it must be because we are not trying hard enough. What if those exact foods we’ve been denying ourselves — the creamy cheeses, the sizzling steaks — are themselves the key to reversing the epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease? Teicholz will discuss how the misinformation about saturated fats took hold in the scientific community as well as the public imagination, and how recent findings dispute those beliefs.
Nina Teicholz was a regular contributor to Gourmet magazine and has written on food for New York Magazine and Time Out New York. She has also contributed, on a variety of topics, to The New Yorker, The Economist, The Washington Post, The New York Times and Salon, among other publications. She was an on-air reporter for NPR for five years and was the associate director for the Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development at Columbia University, a think tank directed by the economist Jeff Sachs.
(Recorded August 7, 2014)
Ralph Nader has fought for decades on behalf of American citizens against what he sees as the pervasive influence of corporations on our society. Large majorities tell pollsters that big corporations have too much political power, and Nader believes that the ever-tightening influence of big business on the mainstream media, elections and our government have caused many Americans to believe they have no political voice.
Nader draws on a half century of his own experience working with the grassroots and Congress and tells of many surprising victories that have united progressive and conservative forces. Far from espousing compromises that meet halfway, Nader argues that citizens of different political labels must join in the struggle against the corporate state, because if left unchecked, that corporate state will ruin the republic, shred the Constitution, and stampede over the rights of the American people.