Due to rights restrictions, you can find audio only at the Commonwealth Club website.
Click here for their archive and to contact the producers.
** Commonwealth Club airs Tuesday nights at 10pm on WBEZ **
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
General Anthony Zinni, USMC (ret.); Special Envoy to the Middle East (ret.); Author, Before the First Shots Are Fired: How America Can Win or Lose off the Battlefield
In conversation with Michael Nacht, Ph.D., Professor and former Dean, Goldman School of Public Policy, U.C. Berkeley; Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, Obama Administration
The question of whether the U.S. should act as the world’s police force has been disputed for decades – should the U.S. respond to issues abroad with military force? Retired four-star General Tony Zinni examines this question and breaks down the process of how the U.S. decides to go to war in his latest book. Drawing on his extensive military career spanning several decades, General Zinni analyzes America’s history of military action, the role of government in the military process and the necessary shifts in order to make the decision to go to war a more transparent process.
(Recorded September 18, 2014)
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 10pm:
Van Jones & John Hope Bryant: How the Poor Can Save Capitalism
Van Jones, Host, “Crossfire”; Former Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, White House Council on Environmental Quality
John Hope Bryant, Founder and CEO, Operation HOPE; Author, How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class
"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.
(Recorded September 19, 2014)
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 10pm:
Marianne Cooper, Stanford Sociologist & Author, Cut Adrift
In conversation with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook and Lean In
Introduction by Jaleh Daie, Managing Partner, Aurora Equity; Former President, Association for Women in Science
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.
(Recorded September 9, 2014)
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 10pm:
Sal Khan: INFORUM's 21st Century Visionary Award
Sal Khan, Founder, Khan Academy; Author, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined
In conversation with Kishore Hari, Director, Bay Area Science Festival
"I teach the way that I wish I was taught."
– Sal Khan
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.
(Recorded September 4, 2014)
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 10pm:
Nina Teicholz: The Big Fat Surprise – Are Butter, Meat and Cheese Healthy?
Nina Teicholz, Author, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet
Ronald M. Krauss, M.D., Senior Scientist and Director, Atherosclerosis Research, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute; Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine, UCSF and Department of Nutritional Sciences, U.C. Berkeley - Moderator
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)
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 10pm:
Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor in Chief, Forbes Media; Publisher, Forbes Magazine
Forbes Media publishes Forbes magazine, with a circulation of nearly 1 million readers domestically and 5 million worldwide. Steve Forbes was a Republican candidate for president in the 1996 and 2000 primaries. Here’s a chance to hear him identify the current threats to the dollar and discuss how we can all increase our financial stability. As detailed in his new book Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy and What We Can Do About It, Forbes argues that since world governments took their currencies off the gold standard, money has gotten weaker and our wealth has been eroded. He predicts that this global devaluation of currencies could lead to a fiscal catastrophe as bad as the Great Depression or worse unless we do something about it now.
(Recorded August 20, 2014)
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 10pm:
Ralph Nader, Political Activist; Author, Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State; Twitter @RalphNader
Debra J. Saunders, Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle; “Token Conservative” Blogger, SFGate.com; Twitter @debrajsaunders — Moderator
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.
(Recorded July 31, 2014)
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 10pm:
Sen. Saxby Chambliss: No Dollars, No Time – America’s Troubling Fiscal & National Security Situation
Saxby Chambliss, U.S. Senator (R- Georgia); Vice-Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; Member, Senate Armed Services Committee; Member, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Member, Senate Rules Committee
John Diaz, Editorial Page Editor, San Francisco Chronicle - Moderator
While often treated as separate issues, America’s staggering debt continues to hinder our ability to adapt to emerging threats both here and abroad. Join Georgia's Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss as he discusses the national security issues that have arisen since 9/11, the need for bipartisan partnership in the United States Senate, and how the country cannot properly address domestic or international crises until we get our $17 trillion dollar debt under control.
(Recorded August 11, 2014)Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 10pm:
The Affordable Care Act and the LGBT Community
Elizabeth Sekera, RN, Clinic Director, Lyon-Martin Health
Maddie Deutsch, MD, Clinical Lead, Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, UCSF
Anand Kalra, Program Manager, Transgender Law Center
Barry Zevin, MD, Clinical Lead, Transgender Health Services, San Francisco Department of Public Health – Moderator
Among those now able to enroll in the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, members of the LGBT community, particularly those who are transgender, are sure to see a change in both coverage and care. In addition to making it illegal for people to be denied insurance based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the Affordable Care Act also ensures that pre-existing health conditions – such as HIV/AIDS – can’t prevent people from getting covered. What kinds of changes will the ACA bring to LGBT communities? How will that impact transgender patients? Join a discussion on health reform effects on the LGBT population – with a particular focus on the transgender community.
(Recorded July 22, 2014)
Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 10pm:
GMOs: Necessary in a Hot and Crowded World?
Robert Fraley, Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto
Andrew Kimbrell, Founder and Executive Director, Center for Food Safety
Nathanael Johnson, Food Writer, Grist; Author, All Natural: A Skeptic's Quest to Discover If the Natural Approach to Diet, Childbirth, Healing, and the Environment Really Keeps Us Healthier and Happier
Jessica Lundberg, Seed Nursery Manager, Lundberg Family Farms
With global population climbing toward 10 billion, food security is a growing concern. Extreme droughts and floods have slammed agricultural exports from the United States, Australia and Russia in recent years. Future severe weather is expected to put upward pressure on crop prices. That prospect raises thorny questions. Is there a role for seeds that are genetically modified to be drought resistant? Can 10 billion people be fed without GMO crops? Can organics feed a growing and hungry world? Consumer support of full labeling of GMO products is getting the attention of food producers and retailers. Whole Foods recently said all GMO foods on its shelves must be labeled by 2018. General Mills announced that Cheerios would not include GMOs. Labeling laws are also being put before voters around the country. Join us for a discussion about the prospect and perils of tinkering with the genetics of our food supply as we brace for more climate disruption.
(Recorded July 6, 2014)
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 10pm:
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: Reinventing American Health Care
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., Former Chief Health Policy Advisor to President Obama; Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania; Author, Reinventing American Health Care and Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of an American Family
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; Associate Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco — Moderator
Emanuel has written what is being called a brilliant diagnostic explanation of why health care in America has become such a divisive social issue, how money and medicine have their own – quite distinct – American story, and why reform has bedeviled both liberal and conservative presidents for more than 100 years. He will forecast six mega trends in health that will determine the market for health care in 2020 and beyond.
(Recorded June 5, 2014)
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 10pm:
SF’s Power Women of Eventbrite, ModCloth & One Kings Lane
Julia Hartz, Co-Founder and President, Eventbrite
Susan Gregg Koger, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, ModCloth
Alison Pincus, Co-Founder, One Kings Lane; Founder, Hunters AlleyOn
Jory Des Jardins, Co-Founder and President of Strategic Alliances, BlogHer
ModCloth, One Kings Lane and Eventbrite are three ventures that have grown from revolutionary beginnings and transformed the world of commerce. Join us as we host three of San Francisco’s most innovative female entrepreneurs for a conversation on gutsily growing your business and being a woman power player.
(Recorded May 29, 2014)
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 10pm:
David Boies and Theodore Olson: The Case for Marriage Equality
David Boies, Chairman, Boies, Schiller, and Flexner LLP; Co-Author, Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality
Theodore B. Olson, Partner, Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher, Co-Author, Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality
In conversation with California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom
Introduction by Actor/Activist George Takei
Hear the riveting inside story of the Supreme Court’s landmark rulings on The Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a pair of landmark decisions, reinstating the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in California. Boies and Olson – who argued against each other all the way to the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore – joined forces to forge the unique legal argument that would carry the day. Now they discuss the story of the five-year struggle to win the right for gay couples to marry, from Proposition 8’s adoption in 2008 to its defeat before the highest court in the land in Hollingsworth v. Perry in 2013.
(Recorded June 26, 2014)
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 10pm:
An Evening of Botany & Booze with the Drunken Botanist
Amy Stewart, Author, The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks; Blogger, GardenRant
In conversation with Thad Vogler, Owner, Bar Agricole and Trou Normand
Wondering how to enhance your garden and become a better bartender? Enter Amy Stewart, New York Times best-selling author of Wicked Bugs, Wicked Plants and, most recently, The Drunken Botanist, a guide to the most interesting, unusual and delicious herbs, flowers, trees, fruits and fungi that have helped create the world’s most intoxicating spirits. Join Amy as she blends together one part science, one part history and just a splash of mixology to explore the fascinating world of botany and booze – with a few gardening tips and drink recipes along the way.
(Recorded June 19, 2014)
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 10pm:
Freakonomics with Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner
Steven Levitt, Author, Think Like a Freak, Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics
Stephen Dubner, Author, Think Like a Freak, Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics
In conversation with Kishore Hari, Director, Bay Area Science Festival
Now, it’s time for you to think like a “freak.” Levitt and Dubner’s newest masterpiece helps us get wacky to analyze the decisions we make, the plans we create and even the morals we chose. Get freaky – and these statistic gurus will teach you how to make smarter, harder and better decisions. With practical insights from “The Upside of Quitting” to “How to Succeed – With No Talent,” Levitt and Dubner have again turned our brains inside out and made statistics sexy. There’s a hidden side to everything. Get the inside scope from freakonomists Dubner and Levitt.
(Recorded May 20, 2014)
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 10pm:
Texas Governor Rick Perry: Energy Independence In America
Rick Perry, Governor, Texas
Greg Dalton, Founder and Host, Climate One, The Commonwealth Club — Moderator
Texas Governor Rick Perry believes his state is leading the way for America in creating energy independence by producing crude oil and electricity in many forms, including natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, bio-fuel and hydroelectric generation. In a recent letter to President Obama, Governor Perry wrote that the current federal policies will “incapacitate – and possibly eliminate – critical sources of energy while stifling job creation and threatening American energy policy.” Governor Perry has been in public office for over two decades, including 14 years as governor. He served in the US. Air Force and is a graduate of Texas A&M University. He will discuss energy and his ideas on other political issues of the day, including his experiences as a Republican candidate on the 2012 presidential campaign trail and his view of the road ahead.
(Recorded June 11, 2014)
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 10pm:
Timothy Geithner - Former US Secretary of Treasury
Timothy Geithner, Author, Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises
Bethany McLean, Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair – Moderator
Geithner served as the 75th U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under President Obama from 2009 to 2013. In Stress Test, he reveals some of the most challenging and controversial moments he faced in the wake of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression. Geithner shares his personal and professional recollections of President Obama, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson and others, and candidly explains the tough decisions required to save the U.S. economy from collapse. He also examines the tensions between policy and politics that have come to dominate discussions of the U.S. economy.
(Recorded May 29, 2014)
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 10pm:
Michael McFaul: Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia
Michael McFaul, Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia
Dr. Gloria Duffy, President & CEO, The Commonwealth Club – Moderator
Michael McFaul left his position as U.S. ambassador to Russia in February of this year, just after the Sochi Olympics and immediately preceding the current crisis in Ukraine. Against the backdrop of the Ukraine presidential election scheduled for May 25, the threat of Russian military force and a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis in question, here is a rare chance to get an inside look at U.S.-Russian relations and insight into current and future actions by President Vladimir Putin.
(Recorded May 27, 2014)
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 10pm:
Inside College Football: Ask the Commissioners
Larry Scott, Commissioner, Pac 12; Former Chairman and CEO, Women’s Tennis Association; Former President and COO, ATP Properties
James Delany, Commissioner, Big 10
Ted Robinson, Emmy Award-winning Broadcaster; Announcer, Pac 12 Network, and San Francisco 49ers – Moderator
As the 2014 season begins to take shape, hear the heads of the two college conferences with the largest television and media footprint discuss the opportunities and challenges facing college football, including compensation for student-athletes, safety issues and the advent of playoffs, as the sport continues its unparalleled growth. Predictions are also likely, including for the Bay Area Bowl that will feature a team from each conference.
(Recorded May 21, 2014)
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 10pm:
Ian Haney-Lopez: Race and Politics in America
Ian Haney-Lopez, UC Berkeley Professor of Law; Author, Dog Whistle Politics
Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell - Moderator
Haney-Lopez explains that a silent "dog-whistle" language in politics sends one message to the electorate while sending a coded message to a targeted political base. He analyzes how that coded language has contributed to increasing inequality in America since the 1960s. For example, when campaigning for president in 1980, Ronald Reagan never mentioned race when he told stories of Cadillac-driving "welfare queens" and "strapping young bucks" buying T-bone steaks with food stamps. But Haney-Lopez contends that Reagan's "dog whistle" message was about racial minorities — inaudible on one level, but clearly heard on another. In doing so, he says Reagan tapped into a long political tradition used strategically by both liberal and conservative politicians, and this language has remained relevant in the age of the Tea Party and President Obama.
(Recorded March 18, 2014)
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 10pm:
It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
Danah Boyd, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research; Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University; Fellow, Harvard's Berkman Center; Author, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
In conversation with Laura Sydell, Correspondent, National Public Radio
Youth culture and technology expert danah boyd will discuss her ground-breaking research regarding the major myths about how teens use social media and, in turn, the truths about identity, privacy, safety, danger and bullying. Ultimately, boyd argues that society fails young people when paternalism and protectionism hinder teenagers’ ability to become informed, thoughtful and engaged citizens through their online interactions. Yet despite an environment of rampant fear mongering, boyd finds that teens often find ways to engage and to develop a sense of identity.
(Recorded April 17, 2014)
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 10pm:Dr. Ed Lu: Protecting Earth from Asteroids - Why We May Not See Them Coming
Ed Lu, Ph.D., Former NASA Astronaut; CEO and Co-founder, B612 Foundation
Brian Hackney, Meteorologist and Reporter, KPIX 5 Television, San Francisco - Moderator
In a recent “60 Minutes” interview, Lu pointed out that more than a million “near-Earth asteroids” are larger than the asteroid that struck Tunguska, Siberia, in 1908 – and about 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The 1908 asteroid was only about 40 meters across, yet it destroyed an area roughly the size of the San Francisco Bay Area. Nature magazine has just reported that “the risk of similar objects hitting our planet may be ten times larger than previously thought. What can be done, if anything, to identify and combat threats? Dr. Lu flew three space missions, including six months on the International Space Station. He will discuss his mission to detect and track the million asteroids with the potential to destroy any major city on Earth and how his B612 Foundation plans to build, launch and operate a deep space telescope with an infrared lens – the first private-sector deep space mission in history.
(Recorded January 14, 2014)
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 10pm:
Matt Taibbi: A Scathing Portrait of American Injustice
Matt Taibbi, Former Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone; Author, The Divide
In conversation with Clara Jeffrey, Co-Editor, Mother Jones
Taibbi is perhaps best known for memorably christening Goldman Sachs “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.” He has written extensively urging us to think critically about the key institutions and events that shape our country’s collective brain. From Griftopia’s intense debunking of vested interests and "vampire squid” investment banks to The Great Derangement’s thorough examination of the post-9/11 era, Taibbi writes with passion and urgency. In his new book, The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap, he continues to passionately decry systemic corruption. This time, however, he turns his focus to examining what he calls “the divide” – the line where troubling trends of mass incarceration and mass inequality meet. He examines the side-by-side existence of criminalized poverty and what he calls the unpunished crimes of the rich.
(Recorded April 10, 2014)
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 10pm:
The Goldman Prize at 25
Douglas Goldman, Vice President, Goldman Environmental Foundation
John Goldman, President, Goldman Environmental Foundation
Maria Gunnoe, Community Organizer and Media Spokesperson, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition; 2009 Goldman Prize Winner
Kimberly Wasserman, Coordinator, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization; 2013 Goldman Prize Winner
In Conversation with Greg Dalton, Founder, Climate One
The Goldman Environmental Prize has honored more than 160 heroes who are fighting on the front lines to deliver clean water, clean air and preserve ecosystems. As the prize celebrates its 25th anniversary, we will look at the award’s accomplishments with two members of the founding family and two award winners.
(Recorded March 6, 2014)
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 10pm:
Ron Paul: Liberty Defined
Former U.S. Congressman
The term “liberty" is so commonly used in our country that you might say it has become a mere cliché. But do we know what it means? What it promises? How it factors into our daily lives? And most important, can we recognize tyranny when it is sold to us disguised as a form of liberty? Paul posits that to believe in liberty is not to believe in any particular social and economic outcome. It is to trust in the spontaneous order that emerges when the state does not intervene in human volition and human cooperation. It permits people to work out their problems for themselves, build lives for themselves, take risks and accept responsibility for the results, and make their own decisions. In fact, Paul calls liberty the seed of America.
(Recorded April 10, 2014)
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 10pm:
Arianna Huffington with Sheryl Sandberg: Redefining Success
Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post Media Group; Author, Thrive
In conversation with Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook; Author, Lean In
What if success was not defined by money and power alone? As president and editor-in-chief of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Huffington Post and one of Forbes' Most Influential Women In Media, Arianna Huffington is no stranger to success, and she now seeks to redefine it. Huffington is leading a groundbreaking movement to make success equally inclusive of personal health, well-being and giving back. Tackling what she has coined “The Third Metric,” this business tycoon reminds us all to pursue a life with purpose and meaning. In an interview conducted by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, these two powerhouses challenge us to re-envision "conquest" as we know it.
(Recorded March 27, 2014)
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 10pm:
The Business of Innovation: Today and Tomorrow
Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Cisco
Marina Gorbis, Executive Director, Institute for the Future - Moderator
Today’s innovation and success landscape is much different than just 10 years ago. Major technology trends are converging and shaping how we live, how we work, how we learn and how we play. In turn, there are business imperatives that result and Warrior says that only those who can encourage and ride this wave of ongoing innovation will thrive.
(Recorded March 5, 2014)
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 10 pm:
Change.org: Tech for Good
Ben Rattray, Founder, Change.org
In Conversation with Matt Mullenweg, CEO, Automattic; Lead Developer, Wordpress
Injustice has come face to face with technology's modern-day picket sign. Change.org is a website with 60 million users which allows individuals and organizations to create and sign online petitions for anything from human rights to sustainable food. Notable successful petitions include the South African parliament launching a national task team to end “corrective” rape and the overturn of the Boy Scouts of America’s refusal to acknowledge high schooler Ryan Andresen as an Eagle Scout after he came out as gay in 2011. Ben Rattray was named to 2012 Time 100 List of the World’s Most Influential People and was listed as one of Fortune’s 40 Under 40 Rising young business leaders of 2012. Join us as we award him with INFORUM’s 21st Century Visionary Award, and hear more about his mission to leverage technology to change the world.
(Recorded February 26, 2014)
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 10 pm:
Orville Schell: The Rise of China
Arthur Ross, Director, Center on U.S.-China Relations, Asia Society; Former Dean and Professor, UC Berkeley; Co-author, Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-First Century
Modern China is shaped by many figures, including political leaders, writers and activists. Orville Schell observes that the rapidly transforming country has shifted from “imperial doormat to global economic powerhouse.” Schell, drawing on his career of scholarly work, will discuss China’s future.
(Recorded February 3, 2014)
Tuesday March 18, 2014 at 10 pm:
Author, A Short Guide to a Happy Life and Still Life with Bread Crumbs
Best known for her award winning New York Times and Newsweek opinion columns, Quindlen offers up a highly anticipated new novel, sharing a deeply moving and funny story about unexpected love and a woman’s journey of self-discovery.
(Recorded February 22, 2014)
Tuesday March 11, 2014 at 10 pm:
Tom Perkins: The War on the 1%
Tom Perkins, Co-founder, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
In conversation with Adam Lashinsky, Senior Editor at Large, Fortune
Tom Perkins is the co-founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of Silicon Valley’s first Venture Capital firms on the legendary Sand Hill Road. He is an alumnus of Harvard and MIT, a renowned businessman and outspoken capitalist. In January of this year Tom Perkins wrote a letter published by The Wall Street Journal to “call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its 'one percent,' namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the 'rich.'” The letter was widely criticized (in The Atlantic, The Independent among bloggers, Twitter users, and even "his own colleagues in Silicon Valley"). Perkins later apologized for making comparisons with Nazi Germany, but otherwise stood by the message of his letter.
(Recorded February 13, 2014)
Tuesday March 4, 2014 at 10 pm:
R&D, Innovation Labs and Channeling Your Inner Startup
Will Young, Director, Zappos Labs
Brian Luerssen, GM, OKCupid Labs
Mark Randall, Chief Strategist and VP of Creativity, Adobe
James Temple, Senior Editor, Re/code
With constantly evolving technology and the challenge to think outside the box, the trend of separate innovation “labs” has spread amongst big name businesses. Companies that have shed their “startup” classification are keeping their crews nimble by designating teams to experiment – try and fail and try, try again – in an effort to go toe-to-toe with each new startup. You wouldn’t immediately connect nimble, tech-savvy creators with big standalone brands; yet these companies are able to give creative minds what they need most – the opportunity to fail without long-term damage. So how do these teams fit within the larger corporate structure? What’s the difference between an R&D team and an innovations lab? How do these teams keep a startup mentality working for established brands and products? And how do they use technology and new ideas to reach the perfect consumer for their brand? Our panelists will discuss the importance of innovation within large companies and how corporate teams are thinking like startups and projects that have both succeeded and failed in the labs.
(Recorded January 21, 2014)
Tuesday February 25, 2014 at 10 pm:
Amy Chua: Tale of a Tiger Mother
Amy Chua, Author, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother; John M. Duff Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Anna W.M. Mok, Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP; Vice Chair, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors – Moderator
Parenting in public is a gutsy move, and no one knows that better than Chua. The Yale Law School professor’s 2011 memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, took an honest and often provocative look at the rewards – and the costs – of raising her children the strict “Chinese” way. Join us as best-selling author Chua talks about the parenting cultural divide, her struggles and aspirations as a parent, and what it really means to be a tiger mother.
(Recorded February 14, 2014)
Tuesday February 18, 2014 at 10pm:
Linda Ronstadt, Grammy Award-winning Musician; Author, Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir
Barbara Marshman, Editorial Pages Editor, San Jose Mercury News
Linda Ronstadt was the first female artist to release four consecutive platinum albums and has collaborated with everyone from Neil Young to Frank Sinatra to Dolly Parton. Her music represents all facets of rock, pop, country, jazz and Latin, and she has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. Join us as Ronstadt traces the roots of her musical journey starting with her childhood in Arizona, her introduction to the Los Angeles music scene, and coping with success as one of the most iconic singers of our time. Learn more about her fascinating life, political activism and ongoing commitment to arts education.
(Recorded January 24, 2014)
Tuesday February 11, 2014 at 10pm:
Walter E. Hoadley Annual Economic Forecast
Keith Hennessey, Faculty Member, Stanford Graduate School of Business; Director, National Economic Council Under President George W. Bush; Member, Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
Christina Romer, Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley; Immediate Past Chair, President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers
Jonathan Weber, West Coast Bureau Chief, Reuters News - Moderator
With budget and debt ceiling fights again looming in Washington, will the economy continue its modest improvement? Don’t miss this lively discussion with two former top presidential economic advisors on where the U.S. and global economies are headed in 2014 and what should be done to keep them on track.
(Recorded January 31, 2014)
Tuesday February 3, 2014 at 10pm:
Lord Nicholas Stern
Former World Bank Chief Economist; Professor of Economics, London School of Economics
In conversation with Greg Dalton, Founder and Host of Climate One
Few people have impacted the discussion of economics of carbon pollution more than English economist Nicholas Stern. Lord Stern authored the highly influential 2006 “Stern Review,” which concluded that the problem was one of risk management on an immense and unprecedented scale. The costs of inaction were far greater than the costs of action. He has more recently emphasized the great opportunities in the transition to the low-carbon economy. He now leads a think tank at Imperial College London created by Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of one of the largest money managers in the world, GMO.
(Recorded December 11, 2014)
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 10pm:
James Carville and Mary Matalin
James Carville, Co-author, Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home
Mary Matalin, Co-author, Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home
Terry Christensen, Professor Emeritus, San Jose State University - Moderator
Carville and Matalin are one of the country’s most intriguing, intense and ideologically mismatched political couples. Carville, a Democrat, has worked for Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Matalin, a Republican, has worked for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. After 20 years together, Carville and Matalin offer a candid look into the heart of Washington politics. They also share why they decided to relocate their family to New Orleans and their continued efforts to rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina.
(Recorded January 16, 2014)
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 10pm:
Treating Trauma with....Ecstasy?
Richard Rockefeller, M.D., Former Board Member, Rockefeller University; Former Chair, U.S. Advisory Board, Doctors Without Borders
In conversation with Larry Brilliant, M.D., MPH, President, Skoll Global Threats Fund; Co-founder, Seva Foundation
Could ecstasy effectively treat – maybe even cure – post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD)? Dr. Rockefeller says yes – or at least a very strong maybe. He says studies involving a small number of people with moderate to severe treatment-resistant PTSD found most subjects were improved after three treatments with medical-quality ecstasy. He's cautiously optimistic about the prospect of psychedelic medicine, which he believes could heal the trauma in millions from Darfur to the former Yugoslavia. FDA-approved trials of therapy with ecstasy began in 2004, and Dr. Rockefeller believes the U.S. government will eventually approve using the drug for serious medical treatment if research on larger numbers bears out these early findings. What are the possible downsides to this research and what safeguards should be in place to govern it? Is this too good to be true? Join a conversation about the frontiers of brain science and potential for soothing the human condition.
(Recorded December 9, 2013)
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 10pm:
The Age of Amazon and Twitter
Brad Stone, Senior Writer, Bloomberg Businessweek; Author, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
Nick Bilton, Columnist, The New York Times; Author, Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal
In conversation with Sir Michael Moritz, Chairman, Sequoia Capital
Stone and Bilton have delved deep to get the inside stories of Amazon and Twitter. Industry leaders today, these two behemoths once faced the common struggles of many startups. Learn from their founders’ stories, and hear how they overcame interpersonal power struggles and engineered new markets to create successful mega companies. Join us as Stone and Bilton share corporate profiles and recount the beginnings, the drama and the glory of Amazon and Twitter. (Recorded December 3, 2013)
Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 10pm:
Ag & Trade
Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Michael Froman, U.S. Trade Representative
In conversation with Greg Dalton, Founder and Host of Climate One
The droughts and superstorms of 2012 were followed in 2013 by ravenous fires and heat waves. Do those extreme weather events have human fingerprints? The IPCC has forwarded further scientific evidence of human-caused climate disruption. This discussion will focus on where the science is firm (precipitation events, surface temperature, sea level) and where it is less clear (hurricanes). It also will touch on what kind of severe weather Americans can expect in coming years and how the scientific “debate” plays out in public. (Recorded November 18, 2013)