Friday, July 30, 2010

Photos: Commonwealth Club's Annual Dinner Gathered Bay Area Leaders

The Commonwealth Club's 107th Anniversary and 22nd Annual Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner brought out the local stars on April 29, 2010. Gathering at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, attendees ranged from former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to California First Lady Maria Shriver. Honorees included Jack O'Neill, Dr. Bill Rutter, The Honorable George P. Shultz, Charlotte Mailliard Shultz, and Brad Bird.

Here's a photographic overview of the evening:

For more on the dinner, visit the Commonwealth Club's Annual Dinner home.

Rosalynn Carter and the Mental Health Crisis

In mid-August, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter will speak at a special Commonwealth Club event, where she will talk about the "mental health crisis." A long-time advocate of reforming treatment and policy on mental illness in this country, Carter recently took her message to The Daily Show, where she was lauded by host Jon Stewart for her good work.

Mental health treatment has gotten considerable coverage in the news lately, as people have examined the recently passed health-care reform bill and found enhanced coverage of mental health issues.

You'll be able to see Carter for yourself August 13 in San Francisco. Until then, here's a taste of her story:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rosalynn Carter
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Rosalynn Carter's program is a part of The Commonwealth Club's month-long special series, The Ascent of Woman.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Condoleeza Rice and Aretha Franklin on Stage Together

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and legendary singer Aretha Franklin performed on stage together in Philadelphia. Rice, a classically trained pianist, accompanied Franklin on two of her songs. The event was in support of a charity for helping urban children and raising awareness of the arts.

The two unlikely musicians met at a White House party, according to the BBC. Despite their different political allegiances, Franklin, who had heard of Rice's skills on the piano, suggested they play together some time.

Dr. Rice is a member of The Commonwealth Club's Board of Governors. The prospect of a Rice-Franklin team-up was reported in the July/August 2009 issue of The Commonwealth magazine.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shai Agassi: A Better Model?

Shai Agassi (left in video) talks with Greg Dalton, Climate One director and vice president of The Commonwealth Club, about making electric cars a reality.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dr. Carol Fleming to Talk "The Ascent of Woman" in the News

Dr. Carol Fleming, a member of The Commonwealth Club's Board of Governors and chair of its Member-Led Forums of volunteer-run programming, will be visible in many media outlets in the next few weeks as she discusses The Ascent of Woman. This series of nearly 30 MLF programs will run throughout the month of August at The Commonwealth Club, and will focus on the evolving status of women in the world today.

  • Sunday, July 25, 8 am – channel 12, Bay Area Focus
  • Sunday, August 1, radio between 6 and 7 am:
  • Sunday Magazine with Liz Saint John on Alice@97.3
  • Community Connection with Liz Saint John on Live 105
  • Street Talk with Liz Saint John on Movin’ 99.7
  • Street Talk with Liz Saint John on KFRC-AM 1550.

Find out more about the programs in Ascent of Woman on The Club's web site.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

California Book Award Gold Medal Winner Yiyun Li to be at Sonoma County Book Festival

There are many great reasons to visit Sonoma County, but for Bay Area book lovers, the Sonoma County Book Festival on September 25th is a really great reason. This year, Commonwealth Club members and friends will be pleased to see author Yiyun Li at the event. Li won a gold medal in this year's California Book Awards for her novel The Vagrants.

Learn more about the book festival, which is free to the public.

Photo: Author Yiyun Li speaks at The Commonwealth Club's California Book Awards ceremony on June 3, 2010. Photo by Beth Byrne.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Exploring the Ascent of Woman

By Allison Vale

Recently The New York Times featured an article, “Aging Gracefully, The French Way,” striking that chord in every American woman who envies that je ne sais qua. I cheekily wrote “How to outlive men gracefully” as the tagline for our August 2nd program on Population Aging as a Feminist Issue, but Ms. Hayutin will be discussing issues far more serious than wrinkles that will affect women all over the globe – especially the French.

The Commonwealth Club's Ascent of Women series, which runs all through August, brings together diverse perspectives on the status of women today, both how far we’ve come and how far we’ve got to go. Asha Hagi’s inspiring stories of courageous Somali women drive home how great we have it here in the land of the free and the importance of promoting women’s issues throughout the world. It seems women have broken glass ceilings in just about every profession, but the playing field is by no means level here. Luckily, women are planners, and by the looks of the impressive line-up of speakers and panelists, it seems women are also dedicated to furthering the success of other women. Female scientists, activists, and businesswomen will all share their experiences, and more importantly, just how women can best utilize our distinctive gifts to close the remaining gendered gaps in society.

But we won’t forget to look back on those who came before us and built the ground upon which we now stand – or pose, in the case of Yves Sant Laurent. Women may outnumber men in America’s universities, but stop by on Monday, August 2nd to learn where women’s education all began.

Look at the complete lineup here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Paul Saffo: Bay Area Should Flex Its Economic Muscles in the Political Arena

The Bay Area would benefit from thinking more like a city-state and less like a region within a dysfunctional state, futurist Paul Saffo writes in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle.

Noting that the Bay Area's economy would be the 25th largest in the world if it were an independent country (which would put it ahead of Austria, Denmark, and even Taiwan), Saffo writes that local-based pragmatism would result in better economic management than the state currently provides. He argues that "a sudden outbreak of city-state pragmatism might shock Sacramento out of its ideological deadlock and into a serious exploration of how to effect essential but unpopular solutions – from service cuts and tax increases to a rewriting of our state Constitution."

You can read his entire essay here.

The ever-provocative Saffo will be on a high-powered panel at The Commonwealth Club tomorrow night (July 13) that includes Laura Tyson (an economic advisor to President Obama), DBL Investors Managing Partner Nancy Pfund, Robert Klein (governing board chair of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine), former Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg – all moderated by KPIX-TV anchor Sydnie Kohara. The event is part of the Chevron California Innovation Series at The Commonwealth Club.

For details and to order tickets, visit The Commonwealth Club's web site.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

San Francisco Public Press Hits the Newsstands – And The Club Is There

The newspaper is dead. Long live the newspaper.

Print critics have been predicting the burial of print newspapers for many years now; in fact, the chairman of Tribune Company, Sam Zell, said this week that home delivery of newspapers will soon become a thing of the past, with papers being replaced by "PDFs."

One could be forgiven for questioning whether he knows what a PDF is, but it is true that the print news business has undergone traumatic downsizings, bankruptcies, layoffs, rising prices, audience losses, and hemorrhaging advertising revenue, and that it's been a tough haul for many if not most newspaper companies. They might be showing some success at reinventing themselves; a number of these large papers, including San Francisco's own Chronicle, are surprising people by reporting that they're back in the black, even as the larger economy continues to struggle. Still, it's probably a safe bet that papers will continue innovating and experimenting, until they come up with a stable new business model.