The Commonwealth Club | Impartial Political Discussion Forum for May

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The Commonwealth Club lecture series presents a new episode every week on MCAET!

The mission of the Commonwealth Club of California is to be the leading national forum open to all for the impartial discussion of public issues important to the membership, community and nation. MCAET is proud to present lectures from The Commonwealth Club, featuring a lineup of nationally renowned speakers from chefs to authors, from mayors to Presidents.

Watch Commonwealth Club on MCAET.ORG/LIVE on the following days and times (May 2017 Schedule):


Monday, May 1st at 1:30 PM, 7:30 PM & 10:00 PM
Tuesday, May 2nd at 1:30 AM, 7:30 AM & 10:00 AM
Saturday, May 6th at 4:30 PM & 10:30 PM
Sunday, May 7th at 4:30 AM

An Evening with Madeleine Albright and Katie Albright

Recorded on International Women’s Day 2017, a special conversation with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her daughter, Katie Albright, attorney and Executive Director of the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center. In the divided America of 2017, with issues of immigration, civil rights, gender equality, the role of government domestically and the place of the U.S. in the world at stake, come hear a wide ranging dialogue with two prominent Americans on the greatest challenges facing all of us and their possible solutions.


Monday, May 8th at 1:30 PM, 7:30 PM & 10:00 PM
Tuesday, May 9th at 1:30 AM, 7:30 AM & 10:00 AM
Saturday, May 13th at 4:30 PM & 10:30 PM
Sunday, May 14th at 4:30 AM & 10:30 AM

The Inside Story of Levi Strauss and His Mark on America

Blue jeans are globally beloved and quintessentially American. They symbolize everything from the Old West to the hippie counter-culture; everyone from car mechanics to high-fashion models wears jeans. And no name is more associated with blue jeans than Levi Strauss & Co., the creator of this classic American garment. Despite creating an American icon, Levi Strauss is a mystery. Little is known about the man, and the widely circulated “facts” about his life are steeped in mythology. In this first full-length biography, Lynn Downey sets the record straight about this brilliant businessman. Hear how Strauss’s life was the classic American success story, filled with lessons about craft and integrity, leadership, and innovation. Dare we say, his story is riveting.


Monday, May 15th at 1:30 PM, 7:30 PM & 10:00 PM
Tuesday, May 16th at 1:30 AM, 7:30 AM & 10:00 AM
Saturday, May 20th at 4:30 PM & 10:30 PM
Sunday, May 21st at 4:30 AM & 10:30 AM

Journalist Stephen Kinzer: History’s Lessons for American Foreign Policy in 2017

Now that President Trump has taken office, how should the United States act in the world? Drawing on his latest book, Stephen Kinzer will transport us back to the early 20th century, when the United States first found itself with the chance to dominate faraway lands. That prospect thrilled some Americans. It horrified others. Their debate gripped the nation. The country’s best-known political and intellectual leaders took sides. Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and William Randolph Hearst pushed for imperial expansion; Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and Andrew Carnegie preached restraint. Only once before—in the period when the United States was founded—have so many brilliant Americans so eloquently debated a question so fraught with meaning for all humanity. Join Kinzer as he discusses these impassioned arguments and their great relevance to the world of 2017.  Stephen Kinzer is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has covered more than 50 countries on five continents. Kinzer spent more than 20 years working for The New York Times, where his foreign postings placed him at the center of historic events and, at times, in the line of fire. While covering world events, he has been shot at, jailed, beaten by police, tear-gassed and bombed from the air.

Monday, May 22nd at 1:30 PM, 7:30 PM & 10:00 PM
Tuesday, May 23rd at 1:30 AM, 7:30 AM & 10:00 AM
Saturday, May 27th at 4:30 PM & 10:30 PM
Sunday, May 28th at 4:30 AM & 10:30 AM

Designing Your Life with Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Are you ready to design the life you’ve always envisioned in your head? Let Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show you the way! The Stanford professors and New York Times #1 best-selling authors of Designing Your Life have spent years teaching life design to Stanford students, and are excited to share their experience with INFORUM. Design-thinking principles aren’t just for products and space! Bill and Dave will discuss the “many versions of ‘you’ that exist,” teach us all how to think like designers, and help us prototype our way to a more joyful life. Their approach is applicable and fun, much like great design. Be ready to reframe and revamp your creative thinking.


Monday, May 29th at 1:30 PM & 10:00 PM
Tuesday, May 30th at 1:30 AM, 7:30 AM & 10:00 AM
Saturday, June 3rd at 4:30 PM & 10:30 PM
Sunday, June 4th at 4:30 AM & 10:30 AM

A New Kind of Heroism: Extreme Measures at the End of Life

Dr. Zitter entered the field of critical care medicine to be a hero. She wanted to rescue people from the brink of death like a fireman rescues fire victims—calmly, swiftly and without stopping to ask questions. But one day, as she was aggressively treating a dying patient in the ICU, a nurse challenged her on why she was putting the patient through the pointless ordeal. The remark smarted, and Dr. Zitter began asking herself the same question about many of her patients. She came to realize that while the standard no-holds-barred medical approach achieves some dramatic victories, it often causes more suffering than benefit for patients with life-limiting illness.  In this program, Dr. Zitter will describe a new kind of heroism. Her current practice is influenced by the Palliative Care movement, which has the potential to transform medicine in the ICU and beyond. This new model is patient-centered and participatory. Doctors pursue direct and honest communication, however difficult, over false hope and avoidance. And the central actor is no longer a lone warrior-doctor in the trenches of medical warfare, but rather a diverse team of health-care providers acting in partnership with patients and family members.


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