The Commonwealth Club

Saturdays at 1pm

The Commonwealth Club of California is the largest and oldest public affairs forum in the U.S. For over 90 years, the Club has been presenting address by individuals actively concerned with the day-to-day decisions that can affect lives and livelihoods across the nation and around the world. Recent speakers have included Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala; Former Secetary of State Henry Kissinger; 1992 Presidential Candidate Ross Perot; Feminist Author Susan Faludi; and Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates. The Club's non-partisan policy strives to bring a balanced viewpoint on all issues in its commitment to "getting the facts."

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Podcasts

  • Monday, April 21, 2014 3:41pm

    Martin G. Reynolds, Senior Editor, Community Engagement and Training, Bay Area News Group/Digital First Media; Co-founder, Voices
    Larry Gerston, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, San Jose State University; Political Analyst, NBC Bay Area; Author, Not So Golden After All: The Rise and Fall of California
    Melissa Griffin Caen, Political Analyst, "Mornings with Melissa," CBS SF; Political Writer, San Francisco Magazine; Attorney
    John Zipperer, Vice President of Media & Editorial, The Commonwealth Club — Host

    California's electing new leaders this year, and issues like income inequality and affordability are dominating the headlines. Week to Week will take a look at the issues and the people in local, state and national politics. In its first two years, Week to Week has become a must-attend political discussion and social event.


    This program was recorded at The Commonwealth Club of California on April 21, 2014

  • Friday, April 18, 2014 1:54pm

    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.


    This program was recorded at The Commonwealth Club of California on April 10, 2014

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 2:37pm

    Ron Paul, Former U.S. Congressman
    In conversation with Josh Richman, Political Reporter, Bay Area News Group

    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.


    This program was recorded at The Commonwealth Club of California on April 10, 2014

  • Monday, April 14, 2014 7:25pm

    Jeremy Rifkin, Economist; Author, The Zero Marginal Cost Society

    Paul Saffo, Technology Forecaster; Managing Director of Foresight, Discern Analytics; Professor, Stanford University – Moderator

    Economist and New York Times best-selling author Jeremy Rifkin discusses his provocative new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society, in which he describes how the emerging "Internet of Things" is transforming us into an era of nearly free goods and services and no longer subject to market forces. Rifkin, who is known globally for his work observing the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, society and the environment, theorizes that while capitalism will always be an intrinsic part of our economy, it will lose its position as the dominant economic paradigm later in the century.


    This program was recorded at The Commonwealth Club of California on April 9, 2014

  • Friday, April 11, 2014 2:10pm

    Jimmy Spithill, Oracle Team USA Skipper
    Norbert Bajurin, Commodore, Golden Gate Yacht Club
    Julian Guthrie, Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle; Author, The Billionaire and the Mechanic: How Larry Ellison and a Car Mechanic Teamed Up to Win Sailing's Greatest Race, The America's Cup, Twice
    Michael Krasny, Host, KQED’s Forum – Moderator

    In last summer’s 34th America's Cup, San Francisco’s home team, Oracle USA, was down eight-to-one when it pulled off a comeback for the ages, with eight straight wins against Emirates Team New Zealand. The victorious skipper, Jimmy Spithill, was at the helm supported by his team and the unlikely partnership of Golden Gate Yacht Club’s Commodore Norbert Bajurin and Larry Ellison, co-founder and billionaire CEO of Oracle Corporation. Listen as they talk about the danger and drama of sailing these ultra-fast, aerodynamically designed 72-foot catamarans. Guthrie is the author of The Billionaire and the Mechanic, which tells the incredible story of how a car mechanic and one of the world's richest men teamed up to win the world's greatest race – twice!

    This program was recorded at The Commonwealth Club of California on April 2, 2014