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, September 29, 2014 7:13pm

    "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.

    This program was recorded at The Commonwealth Club of California on September 19, 2014

  • Wednesday, September 24, 2014 5:33pm

    Christian Rudder, Co-Founder, OkCupid; Author, Dataclysm

    In conversation with Dr. Kirsten Sanford, Host, "This Week In Science"

    Our personal data has been used to spy on us, hire and fire us, and sell us stuff we don’t need. OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder — writer of the popular blog OkTrends and Harvard mathematics graduate — has made a name for himself by mining big data to reveal the uncanny and surprising truths behind human behavior. In his new book Dataclysm, Christian strives to harness the infinite potential of the online to do more than predict the next election cycle or try to market a product. Instead, he aims to use big data to understand human nature, from our politics to our standards of beauty to our racism.

    Join us for our inaugural Oakland event at the very cool Impact Hub to confront our essential selves according to Facebook, Google, Twitter and the data collecting engines of the internet age.

    This program was recorded by The Commonwealth Club of California on September 17, 2014

  • Tuesday, September 23, 2014 4:26pm

    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.

    This program was recorded at The Commonwealth Club of California on September 09, 2014

  • Saturday, September 20, 2014 2:19pm

    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. Come ask your questions about this startling new report.

    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.

  • Tuesday, September 16, 2014 2:04pm

    Ralph Nader, Political Activist; Author, Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State
    Debra J. Saunders, Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle; “Token Conservative” Blogger, SFGate.com — 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.