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."



  • 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

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 3:40pm

    Biz Stone, Co-founder, Twitter; Author, Things a Little Bird Told Me
    In conversation with Kara Swisher, Co-Executive Editor,

    “My first startup had failed. But my next startup was Twitter.” – Biz Stone, in a 2013 Wired article

    In 2002, Isaac “Biz” Stone was in debt and attached to several struggling net projects. Today, we know him as a co-founder of Twitter, a successful blogger and author, and an all-around innovator and creative mind. What explains his huge success – his rapid rise, his stint with Google, how he so quickly became the face of Twitter? Biz’s latest book, Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind, promises to explore just that. It is a collection of pivotal personal stories and lessons about the infinite value of creativity and non-linear thinking.

    This program was recorded at The Commonwealth Club of California on April 7, 2014

  • Friday, April 4, 2014 3:22pm

    Tammy Frisby, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Hoover Institution; Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Stanford University
    Melissa Griffin Caen, Contributor, KPIX-TV and San Francisco Magazine; Attorney
    Josh Richman, State and National Politics Reporter, Bay Area News Group
    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. Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, audience discussion of the week’s events and our news quiz!

    This program was recorded at The Commonwealth Club of California on April 1, 2014