When Saeed Malik retired home to Pakistan after a 45 year career spent mostly abroad, he was disturbed by the large increase in intolerance and narrow mindedness he found.

He was especially disturbed to find that the poorer children he met were more likely to contemplate a future as jihadis than as doctors or engineers.

On a visit to his own children living in San Francisco, he saw the San Francisco Public Library’s mobile library and was struck by how few children in Pakistan had access to the civilizing influence of books. Libraries are essentially non-existent even in the immediate surroundings of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, where he lives. And few parents can afford to buy their children books, especially at an early age, when they can have the greatest impact on a child’s future literacy and outlook on life.

“I’ve always loved reading and couldn’t imagine a life without books. But these children don’t get a chance to read when they most need it. And without books, how do we expect them to develop a love of learning? Think about your own experience -- could you be who you are without the books you’ve read in your life?”

Inspired by what he saw in San Francisco, Saeed returned to Pakistan and in 2011 the Bright Star Mobile Library started operations with two aging jeeps donated by his former employer, the United Nations World Food Program. Bright Star now has five vehicles and serves 17 schools in the surroundings of Islamabad, reaching 5,000 children a week.

“Our kids are more likely to attend school on the days when our library visits. And teachers tell us that they’re also more engaged in their other classes after they’ve spent some time with the books in our libraries.”

Saeed has plans to expand Bright Star beyond this pilot phase, helping more children across Pakistan develop a love of reading and giving them a place to read safely and undisturbed.

“Despite what you read in the news, Pakistan can again be a much more tolerant and peaceful country. The lives of many children and future adults can be far, far better with a love of learning and access to books that show them other worlds. It is entirely achievable. But only if we start to invest in their minds. And brightly-colored, engaging books are such a powerful tool. How could we not do this?”

Saeed and Bright Star were covered by NPR’s correspondent in Pakistan, Jackie Northam. Story here.

About Saeed
Born in what is now Pakistan in 1941, Saeed began his career in the Pakistan Navy where as a young officer he was selected to be Aide-de-Camp to Pakistan’s President. Saeed left the Pakistan Navy in 1970 for a 12 year career in shipping, followed by 25 years in the United Nations World Food Program, organizing and delivering emergency food aid in Africa, the Balkans, Chechnya, Bangladesh, and elsewhere in Asia. Saeed’s two children, Salman and Abinta, live and work in the San Francisco area and Saeed visits them on breaks from his work with Bright Star in Pakistan.

Saeed Malik on transforming education in Pakistan with jeeps, enthusiasm, and cast-off kids books

Sheila Heen shared with us her latest thinking on feedback, based on her book with co-Author Douglas Stone, Thanks for the Feedback; The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well.

"I'll admit it: Thanks for the Feedback made me uncomfortable. And that's one reason I liked it so much."
~Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell is Human and Drive

"Thanks for the Feedback is a potentially life-changing look at one of the toughest but most important parts of life: receiving feedback."
~Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of Give and Take

Sheila Heen is a superstar - with the Harvard Negotiation Project for twenty years and teaching negotiation and difficult conversations at Harvard Law School. She is also CEO of Triad Consulting in Harvard Square, where she specializes in working with executive teams on issues where there is strong disagreement and emotions run high. Sound familiar?! She has worked with corporate clients on six continents, with the US White House and the Singapore Supreme Court and key clients.

Sheila Heen, author of Thanks for the Feedback.

Dr. Zeke Emanuel on Reinventing American Health Care

CPS Lectures welcomed Dr. Zeke Emanuel on April 30th, when he shared with us his latest book Reinventing American Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act will Improve Our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System. Dr. Emanuel will explore his point of view on the latest health care system reform, as well as discuss the six mega trends in health that will determine the market for health care to 2020 and beyond.

Dr. Emanuel is a fellow at the Center for American Progress which is a left wing public policy research and advocacy organization. He is an extremely educated man, holding degrees from Amherst College (undergraduate), University of Oxford (Master’s in Biochemistry), and both a M.D. and a Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from Harvard University. Since 2011, Emanuel has headed the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at University of Pennsylvania. You might also know his younger brother, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, of which there was an interesting video article on Zeke and Rahm Emanuel’s different takes on the need for a health-care overhaul.

To learn more about Dr. Emanuel, please look at the  for the New York Times, and the collection of books he has authored or co-edited on Amazon.com. For CPS Lectures fodder, follow us on Twitter!

Sheryl Sandberg on Lean In — Musings on Equality, Confidence, and Growth

CPSL was very excited to host Sheryl Sandberg in mid-February. Her first widely-awaited book, Lean In, was published to incredible attention and success. To learn more, see the Lean In Foundation's amazing website.

Esther Wojcicki - 30 years of instilling a passion for critical thinking in high schoolers

CPS Lectures welcomed Esther Wojciki on Thursday, December 19, when she discussed how her career in teaching has been more than just reading the classics of literature, but teaching her students to learn the skills of analysis and critical thinking, and how rewarding that can be for both teacher and student.

Esther has been a Journalism/English teacher at Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto, CA for over 30 years. She built the journalism program from a small group of 20 students in 1984 to one of the largest in the nation including 600 students, four additional journalism teachers, and five award-winning journalism electives: newspaper "The Campanile", magazine "Verde", online "The Paly Voice", television "InFocus", and "Viking", a sports magazine. Selected by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing as 2002 California Teacher of the Year. She also keeps busy with her roles as Vice Chair of the Creative Commons, Chair of Learning Matters, and is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post.

To learn more about Wojciki, please look at her latest article for Huffington Post: "TRICK in Education." For CPS Lectures fodder, see our website and follow us on Twitter as well!

Kim Malone Scott on Virtual Love

CPS Lectures was excited to welcome Kim Malone Scott on Saturday, November 16, when she discussed her latest book “Virtual Love.” Recently reviewed in Wired, Steven Levy writes, “...you get far more of the actual texture of a real-life company. And she doesn’t duck behind a fictional name for her firm. Virginia Libert might be an imagined character but she works for Google. Scott even puts Virginia on the same team she led in real life — AdSense.”

Kim's got an absolutely remarkable background. Originally from Tennessee, she's worked as an analyst on the Soviet Companies Fund, started a diamond cutting factory, and founded Juice Software. She also worked at the FCC and ran a pediatric clinic in Kosovo. Kim attended Princeton and then Harvard Business School. Her career since business school has taken her through Google (2004-2010), Apple (Apple University faculty) and most recently an advisor for Dropbox and Twitter. During her time at Google, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg called Scott’s credentials a “perfect Googler’s resume.”

To learn more about Scott, please read her piece on Lean In or download her three books on Amazon. For CPS Lectures fodder, follow us on Twitter as well!

Ben Davis on lighting up our San Francisco Bay.

CPS Lectures was proud to welcome Ben Davis on Friday, October 4, when he discussed the creative direction behind the Bay Bridge’s light celebration for the bridge’s 75th birthday. Likening the bridge to Cinderella in a New York Times article (compared to the more popular Golden Gate Bridge), he asks, “Wouldn’t it be nice just for a moment to put on a gown and be the belle of the ball?” If you haven’t seen the lights in action, view this Vimeo video produced by Davis’ company, Words Pictures Ideas: http://vimeo.com/25870560

A bit on Davis’ background, Ben is Founder of Words Pictures Ideas, Chair of Illuminate the Arts, and is ISHKY (behind Pi in the Sky, which was included as one of seventeen works of public art in the ZERO1 Biennial). Davis notes that the desire to merge art and urban infrastructure is not new, and that while bringing The Bay Lights project to reality, he helped edit and produce a book of poetry and photography about the new Bay Bridge.

For those that want to learn more about Davis, please read his article on the Bay Bridge featured in Wired, find his company on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter. For CPS Lectures updates, please follow us on Twitter as well!

Jen Chaiken on "Inequality for All"

We hosted a private showing of the film "Inequality For All", which is releasing in theaters on September 27th.

Jen Chaiken, the producer of "Inequality for All", joined us at the showing to answer qs and tell us about the experience of creating this documentary! You may remember Jen showed the amazing, award-winning "My Flesh and Blood" at CPS Lectures #5 in fall, 2003.

INEQUALITY FOR ALL examines the crisis of widening income inequality in the US through the eyes and the influential work of Robert Reich. Noted economic policy expert Reich walks us through a big picture look at what makes a good society and what role the widening income gap plays in our economic and political well-being. He distills the story through the lens of widening income inequality -- now at historic highs -- and explores what effects this increasing gap has on our economy and on our democracy itself.

EQUALITY FOR ALL won the Sundance 2013 U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award and has been very widely awaited in theaters.

To watch the trailer, please go HERE. To learn how to get involved, find a listing near you + more, please go to the movie's WEBSITE.

To join on FACEBOOK, and for a listing of theaters via Facebook go HERE.

Jen also produced AFTERNOON DELIGHT (Sundance 2013 U.S. Dramatic Directing Award), MY FLESH AND BLOOD, NAKED STATES, FAMILY NAME and BIG EDEN. She was chosen for Variety’s prestigious “10 Producers to Watch” 2012 list along with producing partner Sebastian Dungan.

Stewart Oksenhorn speaks on Aspen culture: a pop-up CPS Lecture.

Stewart Oksenhorn, longtime Arts editor for the Aspen Times, came to the WC3 on Monday, August 5th at 7:00pm for an evening of conversation about Aspen Culture. We heard Mr. Oksenhorn's top picks for Aspen culture for August and the fall:

  • the best of the Aspen Music Festival
  • upcoming highlights of the Aspen Institute
  • future theatre events
  • autumn events

Click here to view photos from the event.

Ron Lieber on parenting, money, and values for today's families.

CPS Lectures was proud to welcome back Ron Lieber on Thursday, June 27, when he discussed his book in progress, called "The Opposite of Spoiled," about parenting, money and values. He'll walk us through a handful of things he's already certain about (your family should operate more like a farm; your 14 year-old should know how much money you make -- and may have already figured it out anyway), and others that he's still trying to figure out before his December 31 manuscript deadline (including the merits of forced deprivation, aka "The Four Seasons dilemma;" and how and why college admissions officers ruined the after-school job).

As many of you may know, Ron writes The New York Times column "Your Money," one of the most widely read, blogged, and forwarded columns at The Times. Both the column and the Web-only material cover anything and everything that hit you in the wallet, from grocery prices to loyalty programs to inter-generational wealth transfers.

Before coming to The Times, Ron helped develop the personal finance Web site FiLife and wrote for The Wall Street JournalFast Company and Fortune. He's the author or co-author of 3 books, including The New York Times bestseller "Taking Time Off," which encouraged young adults to take a year off between high school and college or sometime during their undergraduate years.

For those that want to learn more about Lieber, please visit his website, like him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter

Dr. Daphne Miller on FARMACOLOGY-- a family doctor discusses what innovative farming can teach us about health and healing

Practicing family physician, nutrition explorer and author of THE JUNGLE EFFECT, Daphne Miller MD took us beyond the simple concept of “food as medicine” and introduced us to the critical idea that it's the farm where that food is grown that offers us the real medicine. 

By venturing out of her clinic and spending time on seven family farms, Miller uncovered all the aspects of farming--from seed choice to soil management--that have a direct and powerful impact on our health. Bridging the traditional divide between agriculture and medicine, Miller will share lessons learned from inspiring farmers and biomedical researchers and weave their insights and discoveries, along with stories from her patients, into the talk. Miller offers us a compelling new vision for sustainable healing and a treasure trove of farm-to-body lessons that have immense value in our daily lives.

Miller is a nationally recognized leader in the Healthy Parks, Healthy People initiative, an effort spearheaded by the National Parks Service to build linkages between our medical system and our park system in order to reintegrate human, environmental, and ecological health. Her 2009 Washington Post article “Take a Hike and Call Me in the Morning” is widely credited with sparking “nature prescriptions,” a concept that is rapidly gaining traction across the United States.

For those that want to learn more about Dr. Miller, please visit her website

Jon Mooallem on what it means to live in, and bring life into, a broken world.

CPS Lectures was proud to welcome Jon Mooallem on Saturday, May 18, when he discussed his most recent research concerning animal species extinction using science and history. In addition to this lecture, he signed copies of his book "Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America."

Some background on Mr. Mooallem -- he has been a Contributing Writer to the New York Times Magazine since 2006 and is also writer at large for Pop-Up Magazine, the live magazine, performed on stage, in San Francisco. He has contributed to many magazines and radio shows including: This American Life, Harper's, Wired, The New Yorker, and Radiolab.

For those that want to learn more about Mooallem, please visit  or his Byliner page to read a selection of his articles, and you can follow him on Twitter for his latest thoughts and updates. Also you can check out a clip from when he appeared on The Colbert Report about his New York Times Magazine article "They Gay?".

Celebrating National Teacher Day with a pirate store, film clips and much, much more!

Author, blogger, and columnist Catherine Newman spoke on Monday, October 10th at the first CPS Lecture of the fall! Catherine gave CPS Lectures #12 (!) in 2005, reading from her beloved book “Waiting for Birdy” that every parent friend of ours knows and loves : > and she is now back to read again! We heard Catherine read excerpts from her new book Catastrophic Happiness: Finding Joy in Childhood’s Messy Years, in which she writes about her attempts to make “order” out of parenting, and her equally important realizations that this type of “order” may be ultimately unattainable – and even undesirable. In this memoir, she narrates the coming-of-age story of her two children, Ben and Birdy, now 16 and 13, along with all of the trials and joys that come along with parenting. “If you are a parent, this is the book you need to read,” says Cammie McGovern, author of Say What You Will and A Step Towards Falling. If you are a parent, then, this is the lecture you need to attend, and if not, we can all certainly still relate to (and learn from!) Newman’s chronicles of those impactful years of childhood that undeniably shape the rest of our lives.

Although Catastrophic Happiness is, in all respects, a book about parenting, it’s unlike any other in the current canon of child-rearing tips and tricks. Rather, as Elissa Strauss of the New York Times Book Review writes, it is much more than just practical guidance – it is a “sensitive portrayal of the blurring of self that happens after one has children.” It is, all at once, a series of essays, a memoir, a collection of personal stories that encompasses emotions ranging from joy to nostalgia, amusement to concern. It is a conglomeration of the multitude of messes and catastrophes of childhood, portrayed with full sincerity and ultimately bound into a work of happiness. Whether seeking inspiration, acknowledgment of parenting’s successes and failures, or simply a hearty laugh, Catastrophic Happiness is a book for parents everywhere. If you can’t come – we can get you your very own personalized book for just $15!

Catherine Newman is the author of the memoirs Catastrophic Happiness: Finding Joy in Childhood’s Messy Years and Waiting for Birdy, and the blog Ben and Birdy. She is also the etiquette columnist for Real Simple magazine and a regular contributor to the New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Boston Globe, and many other publications. Catherine lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her family.

Dr. Adam Grant on giving and taking …

CPS Lectures was proud to welcome Adam Grant on Tuesday, April 30, when he discussed the world of work and productivity, how you can not only relish your work but get more of it done, all while helping other people more than ever. In addition to this lecture, he will also be signing copies of his book "Give and Take" which will be launched April 9. His book has already received rave reviews, including one from our CPS Lecturer Dan Pink!

Some background on Dr. Grant -- he is the youngest-tenured and highest-rated professor at UPenn's Wharton School of Business. He was on the cover of last week’s New York Times Magazine article "Is Giving the Secret To Success?"The lengthy (and impossible to put down) piece discusses how changing your perspective from 'answering 300 emails' to 'helping 300 people through email' can make all the difference. We're very eager to hear more about this from him when he visits us ...

For those that want to learn more about Grant, please visit his bio at http://www.management.wharton.upenn.edu/grant/ to read a selection of his articles, or you can follow him on Twitter for his latest thoughts and updates. 

Todd Wanerman on creativity in education: What are we talking about and what do we mean?

CPS Lectures was proud to welcome Todd Wanerman on Saturday, March 23 when discussed early childhood education and the importance of art-based projects in their development. Parents and educators alike place have placed high value on creativity and its importance in education in recent years. But what is creativity? How does it connect with play, friendships and learning? What does creativity in the classroom look like? How can teachers and families foster children's unique ways of exploring while still promoting academic skills?

Todd Wanerman brought these questions to life with stories, images and reflections from 25 years of presenting creative preschool curriculum, which he has collected in his book, From Handprints to Hypotheses: Using the Project Approach with Toddlers and Two's. Come learn why sinking your hands into paint at age two has everything to do with academic success at age 15.

Some background on Mr. Wanerman -- he has been an early childhood educator for over twenty-five years. Since 1990, he has been a head teacher and administrator at The Little School, a renowned inclusion program in San Francisco. The school's philosophy of strong, positive relationships are the keys to a successful learning community are very much the core of Wanerman's own teaching philosophy.

For those that want to learn more about Todd, he received his MA in Early Childhood Education from SF State. During his career, he has taught at the Santa Cruz Toddler Care Center, and has worked with the Welfare Parents Support Group in Santa Cruz. Besides teaching at Little School, Todd is a lecturer at SF State, co-authored with Leslie Roffman the book "Including One Including All: A Guide to Relationship-based Early Childhood Inclusion."

Dr. Robert Lustig on "Darwin, Diet, Disease, and Dollars."

CPS Lectures was proud to welcome Dr. Robert Lustig on Saturday, February 9, when he discussed one of the topics he is most passionate about: how sugar can be damaging not only for your diet, but also your wallet due to the multitude of side effects that come with obesity. This topic has sparked quite the debate in not only the medical field, but also for friends and family who may have an overweight or obese family member. In addition to this lecture, he signed copies of his book "Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease."

Some background on Dr. Lustig -- he is a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics. He came to public attention in May 2009 when he delivered a lecture titled "Sugar: The Bitter Truth." The video of this lecture is posted on YouTube, and while it is nearly an hour and a half long, just reading through the comments you can see how captivating his lecture was (not to mention the nearly 3.2 million views it has received). 

For those that want to learn more about Dr. Lustig, please visit his profile on the UCSF website, which also includes a selection of his research and publications.

Jill Sheeley on "The Importance of Writing for Youth"

CPS Lectures was proud to host Jill Sheeley on Friday, February 8, when she discussed the importance of teaching young writers the value and art of writing. For Sheeley, her writing has been influenced and contributed to by her family: her first three books were illustrated by her mother, Ruth Stern, and it was after reading her daughter Courtney hundreds of books that she decided to write an adventure book for children. Courtney became the character in her Fraser Chidlren's Book series, and her dogs are also characters in the series -- they are some lucky dogs!

Some background on Sheeley -- she has lived in Aspen for over 41 years fulfilling a lifelong dream of writing and publishing books. She lives high in the mountains in a log house with her husband Don, her daughter Courtney and her three yellow Labrador Retrievers, Fraser, Maggie, and their latest addition Ranger. Besides writing her own books, she also visits schools around the world to teach writing workshops, sponsors an annual writing contest, and volunteering at the Aspen Valley Hospital.

For those that want to learn more about Jill Sheeley, please visit her website, like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter

Wanda M. Holland Greene on "As Necessary As Bread: Poetry as Substance and Sustenance."

CPS Lectures was proud to welcome Wanda M. Holland Greene on Saturday, January 26, when she shared her passion for poetry and how it can and will enrich our lives when it is included as a part of our daily lives.

Some background on Wanda - her professional life has been focused on enriching the lives of children, but in her personal life she has deep personal interests in vocal performance (jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel), poetry, reading, and international travel. We're very eager to hear more about how these two sides of her life have come together to form her thesis for the night's lecture.

Her background! Wanda M. Holland Greene has been the head of The Hamlin School (San Francisco, CA) since July 2008. She is a former trustee of Concord Academy (Concord, MA) and The Chapin School (New York, NY) and a current trustee of Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco and the National Association of Independent Schools.

A native New Yorker, Ms. Holland Greene graduated from The Chapin School in 1985 and earned her bachelors degree from Columbia College (New York, NY) in 1989, majoring in English Literature with a minor in Psychology. She earned her masters degree in curriculum design from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1991. She returned to The Chapin School in 1990 to teach third grade and later became the school’s first Dean of Students. In 1997, Ms. Holland Greene moved to Boston, MA to assume the role of Middle School division head at The Park School in Brookline. She worked at Park for 11 years, also serving as Acting Head of School for six months and Assistant Head of School during her final four years. Ms. Holland Greene is married to Robert L. Greene, an independent school administrator at Marin Country Day School, and she is also the proud mother of two sons, David (8 yrs. old) and Jonathan (5 yrs. old).

For those that want to learn more about Wanda, You can check out her personal blog for The Hamlin School here.

Dan Pink on The Surprising Truth about Moving Others

CPS Lectures was proud to welcome Dan Pink on Sunday, January 13, when he discussed his book To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others. Many of you heard Dan speak in 2010 at CPS Lectures and we're thrilled he is returning. For those new to his work, Dan is the author of three other provocative books about the changing world of work — including the long-running New York Timesbestseller, A Whole New Mind, and the #1 New York Times bestseller, Drive.

Some background on Dan - using a combination of behavioral science, economic trends, statistics and his own research, Dan digs deeper into the fact that “one in nine Americans works in sales” (according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). He argues that actually, every single American is working at selling something even if “sales” isn’t in their job description.

For those that want to learn more about Pinkhis website is a gold mine! We listen to "Office Hours" religiously at Close Concerns and urge you to tune in ... you can also listen to a TED talk he gave a couple of years ago here. For the latest updates on Dan Pink, go to Facebook and Twitter ... for CPS Lectures updates, please follow us on Twitter as well!

More history! From 1995 to 1997, Daniel worked as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore and as an aide to US Labor Secretary Robert Reich. He graduated from Northwestern University with honors, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa, and went on to receive his JD from Yale Law School. He now lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and three children.

Lehane Unplugged

A longtime political and economic strategist, Chris has provided strategic advice and tactical execution to corporate, entertainment, political and professional sports clients facing complex financial, communications, government affairs, electoral and legal challenges. In the 1990s, Lehane served in various positions in the Clinton-Gore Administration. From 1998-2000, he was the Press Secretary for former Vice President Al Gore. From 1995 through 1997, Lehane was Special Assistant Counsel to President Bill Clinton, providing legal, communications and political counsel to the President and First Lady. In 1997, Lehane was Counselor to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo where he was involved with various economic and community development projects. Lehane graduated from Harvard Law School in 1994 and from Amherst College in 1990. Lehane serves on numerous advisory boards, including the Board of Trustees of Amherst College, Common Sense Media, Think BIG Sacramento and San Francisco’s ChinaSF Committee. The co-author of a book on crisis management entitled The Masters Of Disaster: The Ten Commandments of Damage Control, which is being released by Palgrave Macmillan in December of 2012, he is currently serving as a Lecturer in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Lehane is also the co-writer and co-producer of the film Knife Fight, a political thriller that stars Rob Lowe as a fixer dealing with a series of "October surprises." He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Andrea, and two sons, Dominic and Quincy.

Kara Swisher on All Things D(igital)

CPS Lectures was very proud to host Kara Swisher at CPS Lectures. Ms. Swisher currently co-produces and co-hosts The Wall Street Journal’s “D: All Things Digital,” with Walt Mossberg. This major annual high-tech conference is a highly sought-after, invitation-only gathering with interviewees such as Bill Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, and many other leading players in the tech and media industries. The gathering (http://www.allthingsd.com/d) is considered the leading conference focused on the convergence of tech and media.

She and Mossberg are also the co-executive editors of a tech and media Web site, AllThingsD.com (www.allthingsd.com), where her online-only version of the “BoomTown” column appears.

Additionally, Vanity Fair recently persuaded Ms. Swisher to join its masthead; the engagement was widely hailed as a victory for editor-in-chief Graydon Carter and Swisher’s first piece is eagerly awaited by tech-watchers and a broader public.

Kara Swisher worked in The Wall Street Journal’s San Francisco bureau for many years, where she wrote the column, “BoomTown,” which appeared on the front page of the Marketplace section and also on The Wall Street Journal Online at WSJ.com. Previously, Ms. Swisher covered breaking news about the Web’s major players and Internet policy issues and also wrote feature articles on technology for the paper. She has also written a weekly column for the Personal Journal on home issues called “Home Economics.”

Previously, Ms. Swisher worked as a reporter at the Washington Post and as an editor at the City Paper of Washington, D.C. She received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and her graduate degree at Columbia University’s School of Journalism.

She is also the author of “aol.com: How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads and Made Millions in the War for the Web,” published by Times Business Books in 1998. The sequel, “There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner Debacle and the Quest for a Digital Future,” was published in 2003 by Crown Business Books.

One June 23, 2012, CPS Lectures had the honor to host Sebastian Ruth. He is a musician at heart, but that belies his achievements as the founder of Community MusicWorks, which The New Yorker recently characterized as a revolutionary organization “in which the distinction between performing and teaching disappears.” This group, based in West Providence, Rhode Island, provides music lessons and concerts to countless young people in multiple high-risk areas of Providence, giving the community a sense of purpose and pride as well as appreciation of music itself.

Mr. Ruth explained that his primary aims were to emphasize music’s inherent richness and accessibility, and to harness it in a way that makes it vital to the community in which it exists. It is hard to look at his work in West Providence and think he has not succeeded in these aims. Sebastian Ruth is special because he knows it is not enough to simply care for and master a particular field. To make the greatest difference, one has to pass on that knowledge and love. He seeks to help others by doing what he loves, and for that he made a very special guest for CPS Lectures. It was a joy and an honor to have him, as was evidenced by the very packed room and the questions that Mr. Ruth generously answered well into the night. For more information on Community MusicWorks, see http://www.communitymusicworks.org/.


Pam Allyn: On the Write Track

Remember what it was like to learn how to read? Wherever the learning process may have taken place, however it took form, it’s one of the most important and worthwhile journeys we ever take. Literacy, or even the ability to love and appreciate storytelling, is a true wonder for all who possess it.

Few understand this as well as Pam Allyn, whom CPS Lectures was proud to host on June 14. Ms. Allyn, a graduate of Amherst College and Columbia University, is the head of LitWorld, a group that fights for “children’s rights as readers, writers and learners.” She has authored such acclaimed books as What To Read When: The Books and Stories To Read With Your Child - And All The Best Times to Read Them (Penguin).

Her work has been featured in a number of national media outlets, including The New York Times, Good Morning America, and Oprah Radio. Ms. Allyn believes that for children, literacy means dignity, power, and above all the ability to change the world. Ms. Allyn will speak to CPS about the power and importance of the right to read.

Ms. Allyn is the Executive Director and founder of LitWorld, a global organization advocating for children's rights as readers, writers and learners. She is also the Executive Director and founder of LitLife, a national organization dedicated to school improvement. Her other books include Pam Allyn's Best Books for Boys: How To Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives (Scholastic), and her most recent publication, Your Child's Writing Life: How to Inspire Confidence, Creativity, and Skill at Every Age(Avery Trade). Pam is also an ambassador for Scholastic’s global literacy campaign, Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life., that encourages everyone to support a child’s right to read.

Dr. Tina Seelig on her new book inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity

In today's world, innovation and creative problem solving are more important than ever. For many, however, this process is a mystery. Whether we are attempting to generate fresh ideas or struggling with problems with no solutions in sight, the innovative spark is out of reach. inGenius (released on April 17) offers a fascinating new model, the Innovation Engine, which explains how creativity is generated on the inside and how it is influenced by the outside world. Describing the variables that work together to catalyze or inhibit our creative abilities, Dr. Seelig provides a set of tools we can each use right away to radically enhance our own ingenuity as well as that of our colleagues, teams, organizations, and communities.

Dr. Tina Seelig is an expert on innovation and creativity. She is the Executive Director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, the entrepreneurship center at Stanford University's School of Engineering, which won the NASDAQ Entrepreneurship Center of the Year award in 2004. Dr. Seelig received the Gordon Prize from the national Academy of Engineering in 2009, the National Olympus Innovation Award in 2008, and the Stanford Tau Beta Pi Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2004. Seelig is truly an innovator, and she will shares her knowledge with her students in the Management Science and Engineering department where she teaches courses on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Ken Jennings, Author of The Greater Goal

Have you ever wondered what it takes to stay motivated? Where does that gusto come from? Ken Jennings's new book, co-authered with Heather Hyde, lets the rest of us in on the little secret that the most motivated people already know. The answer lies in "aligning every person and every function around an inspiring purpose." As Jennings explains in The Greater Goal: Connecting Purpose and Performance, "purpose gives everyone the feeling of working for a cause, not just a company. But simply having a greater goal is not enough. Leaders must also make this greater goal the foundation of their overall strategy and execute that strategy while staying true to the larger purpose."

Ken Jennings, Ph.D. has a long and decorated history in the management and consulting world. He is a senior partner at VentureWorks, as well as a managing partner at Third River Partners. Formerly, he served as co-director for the Global Leadership Program at the University of Michigan Business School. We're so excited to have Ken speak for us this February. We really love his book and hope you can join us! Copies of The Greater Goal will be available for purchase at the lecture.

Elizabeth Weil on "No Cheating, No Dying" - A Discussion about Modern Marriage

Celebrated New York Times Magazine Contributing Writer Elizabeth Weil's book "No Cheating, No Dying: I Had A Good Marriage. Then I Tried to Make It Better" made waves around San Francisco and across the country! This is a thoroughly fascinating look at modern marriage today. Says Oprah: “Weil has a voice that charms, full of wit, intelligence and compassion.” Says Meredith Maran in the SF Chronicle: “Quite wonderful . . . an astonishingly intimate, hilariously self-deprecating, vibrant and thoroughly modern memoir.” Says A. J. Jacobs, author of The Know-It-All and A Year of Living Biblically: “Marriage is complicated and Elizabeth Weil's is no exception: Loving, overall happy, but complicated. But her openness about this and pledge to improve the relationship makes for a wonderfully compelling and inspiring memoir. The book will provide many insights to anyone who is married, considering marriage -- or hellbent on avoiding it." Last, says Kelly Corrigan (who spoke at CPS Lectures #47) "Ever wish you had a really articulate, thoughtful friend who had the guts to tell you every important and ridiculous thing about her marriage? Allow me to introduce you to the wise and generous Elizabeth Weil. You'll love her."

Liz has written for the New York Times since 2000 (she is the author of a range of very widely read issues you can see here) and also contributed to Vogue, Real Simple, Outside, and many others. She attended Yale and lives in San Francisco with her two elementary school aged children and her husband. 

Jodi Kantor on "The Obamas"

We were thrilled to welcome Jodi Kantor to CPS Lectures, where she spoke and signed copies of her new book on President and First Lady Obama "The Obamas", which debuted in January at #6 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

Jodi Kantor began her journalism career by dropping out of Harvard Law School to join Slate.com in 1998. Four years later she became the Arts & Leisure editor of the New York Times, the youngest person in memory to edit a section of the newspaper. She has been covering the Obamas since 2007, writing about their faithfriendsmarriageroots, and family, among other topics.

Jodi is a recipient of a Columbia Young Alumni Achievement Award, was named to Crain’s “Forty Under Forty” list of New Yorkers, and appears regularly on television. Though she is a Washington correspondent for the Times, she lives in Brooklyn with her family (her husband is NYT "Your Money" columnist Ron Lieber - he spoke at CPS Lectures #32).

Erin Keown Ganju of Room to Read on Scaling Social Good

We were supremely excited to have Erin Keown Ganju, CEO of Room to Read, come speak at CPS Lectures on Saturday, March 3.

Room to Read is a nonprofit that promotes literacy and gender equality in education. The organization works in collaboration with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and to support girls to complete secondary school with the life skills they'll need to success in school and beyond. It began in 2000 with books that were donated to local communities throughout Nepal. Through various programs, Room to Read affects change in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Zambia; to date, it has distributed over 10 million books, has enrolled nearly 15,000 girls in its education programs, and has provided over 6.0 million children with books. The organization's goal is to reach 10 million children by 2015 - see more at roomtoread.org.

Before joining Room to Read as its first employee in 2001, Erin was a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs in New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore. She helped expand Room to Read from a small nonprofit to one of the most respected nonprofit organizations today - it has been awarded the Charity Navigator 4-star rating each year since 2006. Erin will join us to discuss Room to Read's pioneering model of scaling social good.

Bedtime Story: Annie Barrows, Wax, and No News is Good News

Think of your favorite childhood book. I'm sure that simply even picturing the cover of it still brings back fond, fantastic memories. CPS was extremely delighted (actually, positively over the moon) to have Annie Barrows, author of the Ivy and Bean book series. The books revolve around Ivy and Bean, two girls who, despite having completely opposite personalities, become best friends and allow their differences to complement each other. The two go on a number of adventures together, both big and small, all the while relying on the other to bring out the best in each other.

Annie Barrows was born in San Diego into a family of book lovers and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area shortly thereafter. She spent most of her childhood at the library; "because I wouldn’t leave, they hired me to shelve books at the age of twelve."" After attending UC Berkeley and getting a BA in Medieval History, she had a succession of publishing jobs, rising to the position of senior editor at Chronicle Books, where she acquired their first New York Times bestseller, Griffin & Sabine. The first book in her children’s series Ivy and Bean was published in 2006 and was an ALA Notable book for 2007; it was followed by four others, with the sixth book in the series to be published in fall 2009. Her 2008 stand-alone children’s novel, The Magic Half, was described by School Library Journal as "a delightful tale brimming with mystery, magic, and adventure."

On January 6 Annie read from her books, in addition to leading a mini tutorial on making wax mustaches from Babybel cheese! Be sure to bring your kids (and tell them to come in their PJ's, too!!). You definitely won't want to miss this one! Copies of her books will be available for purchase, and Annie will sign them post-talk and workshop.

The Bay Area's Hidden Gems - A Guide to the Best Bay Area Restaurants You May Not Know About!

Food brings people together, but great food can keep them together. The Bay Area has some of the best culinary delights in the country and some of the best organic movement initiatives to boot. Lauren Kiino of il Cane Rosso was our speaker on Saturday, December 10.

il Cane Rosso is known for its wondrous Italian food that has a special twist! Born in California but raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan Lauren, chef and owner, had a vision upon opening il Cane Rosso: great-tasting food made from quality ingredients Italian in feeling but nearly completely local. Lauren began her culinary education in her mother’s kitchen. After graduating from Amherst College in 1994 with a BA in geology, she eventually found herself working at Chris Schlesinger’s East Coast Grill in Cambridge, MA and has been in the food world ever since. In 1998 she moved to San Francisco and began working at Lulu, became a top chef at Delfina, and is now the Chef/Owner of il Cane Rosso.

Lauren discussed with us her favorite "hidden gem" restaurants in the Bay Area, especially those that are excellent value and very healthy! You won't want to miss this delicious treat.

Supporting Independent Bookshops

Booksmith, our favorite local independent bookstore (1644 Haight Street, right around Clayton, just up from Masonic) offered CPS Lectures attendees 15% off CPS Lectures authors' books and 10% off all books in their amazing upper Haight bookshop for all CPS Lectures shoppers Friday evening between 5 and 7 pm!

Star Wars hiking, whitewater rafting, tarantula petting, oh my! How to make any day in Northern California an adventure

Laure Latham, author of "Best Hikes with Kids: San Francisco Bay Area," writer for local websites The Red Tricycle, Daily Candy, SFKids, and the Examiner, spoke CPS Lectures'  gathering on Saturday, November 19 at 7:30pm. Laure talked about the benefits of greenbonding with your loved ones and why everyone needs a little nature, and she’ll also share her favorite haunts and foraging experiments. Author of the travel and outdoors blog Frog Mom, Laure Latham connects the dots between what gets kids excited and what’s out there waiting to be discovered.

A former tax attorney, Laure is a French native who grew up in the South Pacific island of New Caledonia, in Thailand and in France. Based in the Bay Area since 2001, she learned about local green spaces as a naturalist for an environmental education program in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. As a mom of two girls, she decided to share her passion and keep doing what she liked at kid level. Her book “Best Hikes with Kids: San Francisco Bay Area” came out in September 2011 with The Mountaineers Books.

Todd Wanerman on Disability, Diversity, Democracy: Directions in Education From the Inclusion Preschool Classroom

Todd Wanerman, co-author of Including One, Including All: A Guide to Relationship-Based Early Childhood Inclusion and Head Teacher at San Francisco’s The Little School, spoke at CPS Lectures on the topic of inclusion, a model of early childhood education that sees all children as aligned through their strengths and challenges; all programs as able to serve children with challenges; and the job of teachers to be attuned to the unique needs of individuals and groups. Todd will share stories and insights gained from two decades of relationship-based inclusion teaching to kick off a discussion on how serving one child at a time can inform and inspire the field of early childhood education from developmental perspectives through curriculum planning, administration and funding, community networking, up through public policy and the role of education in a democratic society.

Todd has been teaching at The Little School (a pre-school in San Francisco that focuses on giving unique, individualized attention to each child through a curriculum that balances child initiation and teacher planning) for 21 years, before which he spent 10 years as the school’s Development Coordinator. He holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from San Francisco State University, where he now teaches undergraduate ECE courses. Todd’s work has been so meaningful to the field of education that he, along with his coworkers, received a certificate of honor from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for their contribution to the field of early childhood education.

Christin Evans is one of the owners of the Haight’s very successful independent bookstore, the Booksmith. Christin and her husband Praveen bought the Booksmith in 2007 after leaving their jobs in corporate America, and have great plans (that are underway as we speak!) to nurture the Booksmith into “the bookstore of the 21st century.”

Alex Beckstead is the director of the documentary, Paperback Dreams, which recounts the history of two of the Bay Area’s favorite independent bookstores, Cody’s and Kepler’s. The story of these two bookstores exemplifies the trends that, on a national level, all bookstores have faced over the years.

The two will speak about the current crossroads that independents are at—the roads taken and not taken—and some of the exciting experiments underway to reinvent the independent bookstore nationally, particularly amidst the rise of online shopping and eBooks. We will make Pimm's, our favorite cocktail, for the first 20 people who sign up!

Christin Evans and Alex Beckstead