San Francisco-based Matt Richtel is a novelist, cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times. His writing includes exploration of technology, its impact on society, and how it changes the way we how we work, play, and relate to each other. Matt joined CPS Lectures in advance of the publication of The Devil's Plaything; his second novel, it is the sequel to Matt's national bestseller Hooked.

Author Matt Richtel 

In his latest book The Routes of Man, Ted Conover explored the ways roads can both bind cultures and people as well as sunder them, taking a look at six major byways across the globe and using them to engage with some of today's most pressing global issues. Says The Economist: "One of Mr Conover's previous books, about being a corrections officer in Sing Sing prison, was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize, and it is easy to see why. He has a wonderful eye for detail and the easy, unshowy style that marks the best travel writing. ...Like the hoboes he met on the railways and the Mexican migrants of his earlier book, Mr. Conover here has taken an unpromising subject and turned it into a book that is about far more than just the strips of tarmac that criss-cross the world." Ted Conover describes himself as an author "that writes about real people, often by living, or 'visiting' their lives for awhile." He is currently a writer-in-residence at New York University.

Ted Conover and The Routes of Man

Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith on "The Dragonfly Effect" 

How do you connect meaning to social media to create impact? In The Dragonfly Effect, Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith drew on social psychological insights to reveal why some ideas take off when they harness social media--and why others don't. They will conclude with key insights on the psychology of happiness and meaning. An experienced tech marketer, Andy Smith is a Principal of Vonavona Ventures where he advises and bootstraps technical and social ventures with guidance in marketing, customer strategy and operations. A social psychologist and marketer, Jennifer Aaker is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. Her research spans time, money and happiness. Co-authors and husband and wife, Jennifer and Andy live in Lafayette, California.

Peggy Orenstein on "Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture" 

Peggy Orenstein joined us to read from her forthcoming book "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" on Feb 5, 2011.

MovieFest 2011 with Mick LaSalle 

Mick LaSalle joined CPS Lectures for its fourth annual movie fest, sharing his top picks for 2010 and looking ahead to films in 2011. Mick is the longstanding lead film critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, and is the author of two books on pre-code Hollywood. He has written nearly two thousand reviews and has been podcasting since 2005. Read Mick's work at his Chronicle blog.

Author Kelly Corrigan on Lift and The Middle Place 

Kelly Corrigan, author of Lift and The Middle Place, was with CPS Lectures on Dec 8th, 2010 to read from her latest work and share her reflections on life, loss and family. Kelly's touching, warm and funny writing can be found at

Bill Hemenger on High Tech Flight from San Francisco: What it is and why it's happening. 

Bill Hemenger, candidate for District 8 Supervisor, has twenty years of experience with local technology businesses, from working with small startups during the dotcom boom to his tenure at, most recently, Oracle, where he spent nearly a decade. On Oct 30, 2010, he spoke with us on what attracts tech and other businesses to the area, as well as constraints—and discussed ways San Francisco can learn from other cities. Learn more about Bill at

Marion Nestle on Food Politics and Today's Healthcare Mess.

Marion Nestle on Food Politics, Pet Food Politics, and Today's Healthcare Mess." Marion Nestle is a Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health and Professor of Sociology at New York University. She has a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition, both from the University of California, Berkeley. She is author of the widely praised Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (2002), What to Eat (2006), and Feed Your Pet Right (2010). See more at

James Hirsch on Willie Mays

Best-selling author James S. Hirsch spent seven years trying to meet Willie Mays -- he finally did, and the result is "Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend," the groundbreaking biography of a baseball immortal. ( Arguably the greatest player of all time -- and a true icon of San Francisco -- Mays is still revered for the passion that he brought to the game. He began as as a teenager in the Negro Leagues, became a cult hero in New York, and was the headliner in Major League Baseball’s bold expansion to California. Athletically, he was a fusion of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, a new archetype. With 3,283 hits, 660 home runs, and 338 stolen bases, he was a blend of power, speed, and stylistic bravado that enraptured fans for more than two decades. He also contributed to blacks’ assimilation during the turbulent civil rights era, a distinctive figure of ambition, sacrifice, and triumph who became a lasting cultural touchstone for a nation in search of heroes. 

Hirsch lifts the veil on Mays's complex relationships with everyone from Jackie Robinson to Barry Bonds, his sometimes contentious dealings with the press, and his long commitment to children's causes. 

Hirsch, a former reporter for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, is the author of four other books, including "Cheating Destiny: Living with Diabetes." He is a columnist for diatribe (, an online newsletter about diabetes.


Is There a Connection Between Law and Justice? Roger Berkowitz on the threat that science poses for an ethical legal system 

The front pages of our newspapers and the lead stories on the evening news bear witness to the divorce of law from justice. The rich and famous get away with murder; Fortune 500 corporations operate sweatshops with impunity; blue-chip energy companies that spoil the environment and sicken communities face mere fines that don't dent profits. In The Gift of Science, a bold, revisionist account of 300 years of jurisprudence, Roger Berkowitz looks beyond these headlines to explore the historical and philosophical roots of our current legal and ethical crisis. Berkowitz will talk about this in his discussion with us.

Moving from the scientific revolution to the nineteenth-century rise of legal codes, Berkowitz tells the story of how lawyers and philosophers invented legal science to preserve law's claim to moral authority. The "gift" of science, however, proved bittersweet. Instead of strengthening the bond between law and justice, the subordination of law to science transformed law from an ethical order into a tool for social and economic ends. Drawing on major figures from the traditions of law, philosophy, and history, The Gift of Science is not only a mesmerizing and original intellectual history of law; it shows how modern law remains imprisoned by a failed scientific metaphysics.

Dr. Ed Hallowell on key principles for managing modern life 

Best selling author Dr. Ned Hallowell offers groundbreaking advice on how to survive in an ultra-competitive, ultra fast, attention deficit society while remaining sane, how to raise happy children, the art of forgiveness, the importance of connection, and how to manage worry. A graduate of Harvard College and Tulane School of Medicine, Dr. Hallowell is a child and adult psychiatrist and the founder of The Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health in Sudbury, MA. He was a member of the faculty of the Harvard Medical School from 1983 to 2004.

Dr. Hallowell is considered to be one of the foremost experts on attention disrupters. Dr. Hallowell observes that people who do not have ADHD still often show many of its symptoms due to lives that are so busy that they overload their brains. He explores this phenomenon in his book, CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! In this book, Dr. Hallowell shows how the hectic pace of modern life has led our society to suffer from broader, culturally induced ADD. His insight into how to unsnarl frenzied lives and take charge of how we really want to be living should prove quite inspirational as we understand it from others who have heard him speak. His new book, Married to Distraction: Restoring Intimacy and Strengthening Your Marriage in an Age of Interruption, will be published in March and both books will be available for him to sign at this event.

Dr. Hallowell is a highly recognized speaker around the world. He has presented to thousands on topics such as strategies on handling your fast-pace life, the Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness and other pertinent family and health issues. He has been prominently featured in the media, including 20/20, Oprah, CNN, PBS and NPR as well as 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Dateline, Good Morning America, US News and World Report, Newsweek, the Harvard Business Review and the New York Times.

From corporate audiences to parent-teacher workshops and national television shows, people who listen to Dr. Hallowell are said to come away stimulated, inspired and empowered to change their lives. We were excited to hear how he combines the knowledge of an amazing medical school instructor with his incredible understanding of human nature and the struggles we face in this crazy/busy world.

Historian Professor Richard Tedlow: Why Business Leaders Fail to Look Facts in the Face - and What To Do About It 

Denial -- the unconscious belief that a certain fact is too terrible to face and therefore cannot be true -- has torpedoed many good businesses and more than a few great ones. It turns challenges into crises, and dilemmas into catastrophes. It is one of the greatest obstacles business leaders face.

In Denial, Harvard Business School Professor Richard S. Tedlow tackles two essential questions: Why have so many sane, smart leaders refused to accept and act on the facts that threatened their companies and careers? And how have some executives found the courage to resist denial when facing new trends, changing markets, and tough new competitors?

To answer these questions, Prof Tedlow takes an in-depth look at examples of people and organizations that were crippled by denial, including Ford, Coke, and Sears. He also shows how companies like DuPont, Intel, and Johnson & Johnson were able to acknowledge harsh realities about their products, markets, and organizations, and use that information not only to avoid catastrophe, but to achieve greatness.

Finally, Tedlow identifies common signs of denial to look for in your own company (or life!) Denial will always be with us, but some people are particularly skillful at battling it. This book can help you to become one of them. This isn't one anyone should miss - even if business is not your strongest interest, Prof. Tedlow is routinely described as one of the top historicians of all time. He is one of the best speakers Kelly and John have ever, ever heard (he has been in residence at the Computer History Museum over the last couple of years, where they heard him speak multiple times). He is also one of the most popular Harvard Business School professors of all time.

Curtis Roosevelt: Too Close To the Sun 

Curtis Roosevelt is the oldest grandson of Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt. He and his sister are the only living people to have lived with Franklin and Eleanor and there is simply nothing out there like his recently-published book Too Close to the Sun. 

Curtis Roosevelt was three years old when he and his sister moved into the White House, soon after their grandfather's inauguration and in the wake of his parents' separation. They were the country's "First Grandchildren", known to the media as "Sistie and Buzzie." From age 3-15 Curtis either lived in or spent most of his time at the White House and his memoir Too Close to the Sun recreates the strange and magical world of the Roosevelt White House. He brings readers into the "goldfish bowl," as his family called it, that glare of public scrutiny to which all presidential households must submit. 

He recounts his adventures and misadventures as a child caught up in the heady atmosphere of his family's complex relationships. Having spent his formative years with Franklin and Eleanor, his perspective is unique. He offers a fascinating view of the private drama inside the famous household—from the tensions between his grandmother and her mother-in-law to the painful fact that his father was excluded from this tightly knit family and much more. 

Curtis Roosevelt currently lives in France, where he retired after a long career at the United Nations Secretariat and in university administration.

Dan Pink on Drive and the Surprising Truths about What Motivates Us 

Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, joined us and shared his take on this intriguing issue. While intuition might suggest that external rewards are the major drivers in our lives, Daniel explained to us why that is a mistake. In his book, he talks about how performance and satisfaction are deeply human needs to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world. 

Drive follows Daniel's trio of provocative, bestselling books on the dynamic world of work: Free Agent Nation, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, and A Whole New Mind. His articles on business and technology appear in New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Wired, where he is a contributing editor. He lectures to corporations, associations, and universities around the world on economic transformation and what he calls the new workplace. 

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 resides in Washington, DC, with his wife and three children.

"Obesity and our Children" with Fran Kaufman, author of Diabesity 

Fran Kaufman, MD, author of best selling book, Diabesity, is an internationally-known authority on diabetes and obesity. Dr. Kaufman has developed many important clinical innovations and is a tireless public advocate. She has developed innovative programs for overweight and diabetic children and their families, served for more than twenty years as medical director of a summer camp for diabetic children, and was instrumental in banning the sale of soda in the LA Unified School District. 

Obesity in children is increasing at alarming rates, and Dr. Kaufman will explain what is behind this. Experts predict that over one-third of American children born after the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime; she took a close look with us behind this and explained how excess weight destroys the body's ability to process sugar properly and what the steps are that we need to take to prevent this life-threatening epidemic. 

Currently the vice president of Global Medical Affairs for diabetes business at Medtronic, Dr. Kaufman has played an enormously important role in addressing the pressing issues of diabetes. She was until 2009, Head of the Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism at Children's Hospital Los Angeles; she has been Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Communications University of Southern California for over 20 years. A prolific writer, Dr. Kaufman has published over 120 peer-reviewed publications, as well as more than 200 articles and abstracts. 

A former president of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Dr. Kaufman has had an illustrious career in medicine. She has served as a delegate to the World Health Organization, and was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine. She has been funded by the NIH since 1980, and is the current Chair of the National Diabetes Education Program. She has been named Woman of Valor in 2003 by the ADA, and is consistently on the annual "Best Doctors in America" list. Dr. Kaufman is a graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Chicago Medical School. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Neal Kaufman, M.D., M.P.H., and is the mother of two sons, Adam and Jonah.

MovieFest 2010 with Mick LaSalle 

For the third year in a row, San Francisco movie critic Mick Lasalle gave us his best movie picks for 2009 and told us what to look out for in 2010. Mick is the longstanding lead film critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, and is the author of two books on pre-code Hollywood. He has written nearly two thousand reviews and has been podcasting since 2005. See more on his work at

Read a book, Ask a question, Start a conversation: A Discussion with Diane Frankenstein 

Diane Frankenstein, author of Reading Together: Everything You Need to Know to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read, joined us to share the secret that helps children become good reader: finding the appropriate book and talking with them about the story. Her book shares invaluable advice for parents, teachers, librarians, and caregivers on how to help children find what to read, and further find meaning and pleasure in their reading through conversation. Included in her book are over 100 book recommendations for kids Pre-K through sixth grade. Frankenstein has been an educational consultant in children's and adolescent literature for the past 20 years. She earned her Masters in Children's Literature and Language at SF State University. CPS Lectures partner, Alexander Books, provides a 15% discount to this valuable book, and we will have books available on the evening.

Proposition 8: Past Present and Future-A Seminar On Same Gender Marriage 

This incredible panel examined the issues surrounding same-gender marriage and proposition 8 for our 34th CPS Lecture. We discussed Proposition 8, the gay rights defeat in Maine, and how this issue will move forward in California and around the nation. We believe the issue of same sex marriage has become one of the most divisive civil rights issues of our time and we are very eager to hear this most compelling slate of speakers. 

Carl Rashad Jaeger, local film maker and gay rights advocate led the panel which included:

-Christie Herring, Producer/Director showed revealing clips from her current film in progress, The Campaign, which documents the struggle which took place inside the campaign to defeat Proposition 8 and discuss some of the major themes and issues from an insider's point of view. The film includes interviews with everyone from key decision makers in the campaign, all the way to people who worked at the street level. 

-Xavier Barrera Gonzalez, Board Member of EQCA (Equality California), and member of the executive committee. EQCA works to achieve equality and secure legal protections for the LGBT community and spearheaded the campaign against Proposition 8 in California. He will bring the latest news from the front lines in CA and Maine and discuss the next steps of this civil rights issue. Originally from Mexico, Xavier has worked as a civil rights advocate for most of his adult life. 

-Carl showed a few clips from "We", his short film about two men trying to put their marriage back together and discuss the issue of same gender marriage on a personal and relationship level, and explore the impact of this issue on families. 

Dr. David Kessler, former FDA Commissioner, on "The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American 

Dr. Kessler, author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, is an amazing advocate for public health. From 1984-1990, Dr. Kessler ran a major teaching hospital in New York City, and taught at the Columbia Law School and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In 1990, he was appointed as Commissioner of the FDA by President Bush and was later reappointed by Presidfent Clinton. He has served as the Dean of the medical schools at Yale and UCSF and today is a Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF.

In his role at FDA, Dr. Kessler made tremendous strides on improving consumer safety. Under his direction, the FDA announced a number of new programs, including the regulation of the marketing and sale of tobacco products to children, nutrition labeling for food, user fees for drugs and biologics, preventive controls to improve food safety, and measures to strengthen the nation's blood supply. According to The New York Times (11/96), David Kessler "... revitalized a beleaguered agency that had become mired in bureaucratic disarray." The Los Angeles Times (11/96) praised him for "... restor[ing] the FDA to what it was meant to be--an aggressive advocate for the public's health." With his departure, "[t]he American people lost one of their most effective champions..." (New York Daily News, 11/96).

In 2001, he published A Question of Intent, a book focusing on his historic David and Goliath-esque battle against the tobacco industry. His work at the FDA is widely attributed to the success of the landmark multibillion-dollar settlement between Big Tobacco and 46 states.

He has since shifted his focus to Big Food. The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite is highly critical of the high concentrations of fat, salt, and sugar in the American diet, and posits that our eating habits condition us to eat so much that our brain circuitry changes. He warns that if these eating habits are sustained, children may develop a permanent pattern of overeating and obesity. Dr. Kessler joined us for a riveting discussion on one of the major drivers of the world's biggest, most alarming public health issue.

The New York Times "Your Money" columnist Ron Lieber on "The Madness of Money."

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. He will come and speak about what he has learned in the last year writing this column and will interview two money experts from the Bay Area, Milo Benningfield and Spencer Sherman. Milo, of Benningfield Financial Advisors, headquartered in The Presidio, was a lawyer and management consultant before turning to financial planning. Spencer is the author of "The Cure for Money Madness" and is the Bay Area-based CEO of Abacus Wealth partners.

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 three 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. His first story in The Times was an op-ed about sexual assault and campus judicial systems that appeared during his junior year in college.

The three touched on irrational money behaviors, infuriating financial-system mismanagement, and how tough if it to trust anyone at a time when the financial sector is so crazy. As they point out, never before in the history of humankind have so many people been asked to provide for themselves over several decades by managing risky financial assets. 

Linda Himelstein is the author of The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire. Linda is a veteran award-winning reporter, having begun her career at The Wall Street Journal, and from there covering congress, federal agencies, city hall, and the courts, and appearing on networks like CNN and C-SPAN as an expert commentator on legal goings-on. In 1993, she joined BusinessWeek. There, she wrote about a wide array of topics, including the tobacco industry and Wall Street. As legal affairs editor, Ms. Himelstein also covered the lawsuit filed by Smirnov's descendants. They sought to return the trademarks and copyrights of the vodka empire, lost in the tumult following the Russian revolution, to the family and to Russia. It was a fascinating story that earned BusinessWeek's coveted publisher's award.

In 1996, Ms. Himelstein relocated to the Bay Area, writing about finance and retail for BusinessWeek. Two years later, she became the Silicon Valley Bureau Chief just as the technology boom took off. She wrote about the infancies of eBay and Yahoo! as well as many other early technology standouts. Despite the excitement of Silicon Valley, Ms. Himelstein could not forget the Smirnovs and their compelling story. She wondered what had happened to them and how many other Russians faced similar plights. At the end of 2004, Ms. Himelstein left the magazine and focused her energy for more than four years on the research, reporting, and writing necessary to tell the fascinating�and wrenching�tale in The King of Vodka. The book has won wide praise and Himelstein is MOST dynamic - this will be incredibly interesting for those moved by history and interested in entrepreneurial management and how a business like vodka emerged. Since it hit the market in mid-May, The King of Vodka has garnered some fantastic reviews, including in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

We were also joined that evening by "H," the cocktail ambassador who will prepare a wonderful vodka tasting following the reading. Joseph Ehrmann, better known as H., started his career in 1986 as a cook on the beaches New Jersey, under New Orleans� renowned chef Duke Locicero. He went on to cook, serve, manage and bartend around the country as well as study and live in Europe for several years. In 2003, he ventured off on his own when he restored one of the oldest saloons in San Francisco and reopened it as Elixir. As many of you know, the bar has won numerous accolades for its cocktails, marketing programs, and atmosphere, and H. and his cocktails are regularly featured in international, national, regional and local media. He is certified as �Bar Ready� with Beverage Alcohol resource, LLC and is a 2009 Cheers Magazine Rising Star Award winner.

In 2006, H. founded Cocktail Ambassadors, a consultancy for bar and restaurant operators as well as the product and service companies that supply them. His clients include Moet Hennessy, Remy Martin, Altamar Brands, Diageo, R.H. Phillips Winery, JW Marriott, Kimpton Hotels, W Hotels, and Mayacama. As Brand Ambassador and Mixologist for Square One Organic Spirits, he launched and continues to grow the brand across the United States. You can find H. at the Elixir nearly every day of the week and we are privileged to have him come to CPS Lectures - we thank a close friend of CPS Lectures for underwriting the tasting.

Jacque Grillo on Raising Good and Engaged Citizens

Jacque Grillo is known by many parents in the bay area - he has contributed to helping rear over a thousand pre-schoolers during his years in San Francisco. Jacque has been a teacher at Lone Mountain Children's Center for over thirty years and has directed the preschool program for nearly 15 years. All who know Lone Mountain are struck by the remarkable happiness about the place - infused with so much good karma, no one is sure whether the children or the parents relish the place more. It's always hard to get parents out the door! We are very lucky that Jacque joined us for CPS Lectures on March 7, where he will give us his view on what's required, beginning at a very young age, to raise good and engaged citizens. Jacque holds a BS in Human Development, with a specialty in Early Childhood, from the University of Massachusetts, and an MA in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. His first teaching job was in a laboratory preschool at Harvard University from 1975 to 1977. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Jacque is also licensed and a Marriage and Family Therapist.

Movies with Mick LaSalle

Mick gave us his best movie picks for 2008, his own personal oscar-watch, the best picks so far for 2009 ... and Johnny showed all the trailers with his trademark flourish!

Lloyd Sacks on Demystifying Darfur

Despite the international attention Darfur has received and the diplomacy attempted, the reality on the ground remains one of death, destruction, division and displacement. A nearly four-year-old government-sponsored counter-insurgency campaign has resulted in an inexcusable human rights catastrophe...and in the absence of unified international political will, 2008 may play out just the same.

To help extrapolate on current conditions of the crisis, Lloyd Sacks, former UN humanitarian worker in Sudan, will identify the root causes of the crisis, detail the domestic and geo-political interests of each party involved, evaluate diplomatic efforts to date, outline the most efficacious measures to reverse the current course of chaos and impunity in the region, and give a personal account of life in Sudan and Darfur. The presentation will include a slideshow and Q&A.

Lloyd's international affairs experience includes fundraising for the peace-building NGO, Glocal Forum, and three years with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); first as a donor liaison at FAO's Rome Headquarters, followed by a year in Sudan as FAO's field communications officer. While in Sudan in 2004-2005, Lloyd played an advocacy role for the agency, mobilizing resources for relief projects and reporting on the use and impact of donor funds. Traveling extensively in Darfur and Southern Sudan, he interviewed the conflict-affected, helped to conduct needs assessments, establish field offices, and coordinate, monitor and evaluate relief programs.

Lehane Unplugged: The Election, the Bailout, and the Post-Crash Economy

We heard political expert Chris Lehane riff on where the US is headed.

Chris has worked on a range of presidential, gubernatorial, congressional and initiative/referendum campaigns, was special counsel to Bill Clinton (1995-97), press secretary to Al Gore (1997-2000) .... and generally was perceived during his years at the White House of as the "Master of Disaster".

Since 2001, Chris Lehane has been a partner at Fabiani and Lehane, which provides strategic advice to corporate, sports/entertainment, and political clients facing complex financial, communications, government affairs and legal challenges.

Pete Blackshaw on "Angry Customers Tell 3000...."

In today's digital world, a single consumer can use social media — blogs, social networks, message boards, product review sites — to broadcast a complaint to an audience of millions. How influential are online consumers to a brand's reputation and how can businesses manage and thrive in this new reality — the consumer-driven world?

Nielsen Online's Pete Blackshaw, Executive Vice President, Digital Strategic Services, joined us for an energetic discussion of his book, "Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000," which has just been published.

Mick LaSalle on Movies in 2008

As is now tradition, Mick LaSalle gave us his insightful and erudite takes on 2008 films.

Heather McLeod Grant and Leslie Crutchfield | Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits

We were thrilled and honored to welcome Heather McLeod Grant and Leslie Crutchfield to CPS Lectures. They discussed their soon-to-be published book Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits and sharing the wisdom they have gleaned from years of experience in the business and nonprofit world. After getting her MBA from Stanford, Heather worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and then went on to co-found, with Leslie, Who Cares, a national magazine for social entrepreneurs. After that, Heather launched an independent nonprofit consulting business and has since served on the board of numerous nonprofit organizations. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, Leslie is a managing director of Ashoka, a research grantee of The Aspen Institute�s Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program, and a philanthropic advisor to foundations and high net worth individuals. She manages Ashoka�s recently-launched Global Academy program, whose members include the �global greats� of social entrepreneurship such as Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus. Leslie and Heather have lectured at Harvard and Stanford�s business schools, and have presented at numerous industry conferences on social entrepreneurship, international development, high-impact philanthropy, and women�s leadership. Heather and Leslie's inspiring and instructive book addresses issues that are very important in a sector that's defined by its contributions to society rather than its profitability: What defines success in the nonprofit world? How does a company achieve this? How can nonprofits apply a range of practices to become more effective in their goal of changing society for the better?

Jon Cowan | Building a Lasting Progressive Majority: What Will it Take?

We were very excited to present returning CPS Lecturer Jon Cowan, president and co-founder of Third Way, a non-profit, non-partisan strategy center for progressives.

Jon gave the very first CPS lecture, back in 2003, and he graciously made time to come back and talk about the amazing work he and his colleagues are doing at Third Way. For those of you who don't know his history, Jon handed the leadership of Americans for Gun Safety over to a new executive director in late 2004 and then joined up with a fantastic team to start Third Way, a centrist Democratic policy and messaging organization. He and the team took what they learned at AGS and sought to apply it to a wide range of issues - all in an effort to reform and reinvent the Democratic party. They are doing some incredible things in terms of shaping policy and gearing things up for 2008 and their messages are getting wide use in the Senate and House. In fact, the organization recently joined with Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin and Senators Evan Bayh and Tom Carper at a national press conference to release their new policy paper, entitled Beyond Bush: A New Strategy of Constriction to Defeat Al Qaeda and its Allies. The report details how the threat from the al Qaeda movement is growing, as well as how and why Bush's 20th century approach to this quintessentially 21st century threat has failed � and offers a new strategic vision of "constriction," which involves choking off all of the al Qaeda movement's supply lines.

Cathy Hunter | on Eyes for Invisibles

What is the connection between unstructured play and a vibrant inner life? How might boredom and frustration serve a child's healthy development? How do prevailing trends in parenting rob children of key life skills? How do children develop "eyes for invisibles"? How can a five year old child's intense interest in "fairness" develop into a twenty-year old adult's concern for social justice?

In over thirty years of work in schools, Cathy will share her perspectives on children, adolescents and the parents and teachers who (over!) manage them. She'll draw from the writings of Paul Lacey, Wendy Mogul, and Richard Louv, and share from the common sense and compassion of teachers and parents.

A little more on Cathy! As her school bio indicates, she is the daughter of a British Quaker physician and a Danish musician and was born in London, England and raised in upstate New York, where she attended public schools. She received her BFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design and immediately began her teaching career at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Cathy served as teacher, dean, and division head in four independent schools across the country before coming to San Francisco Friends School. She received her M.Ed. from Loyola College, Maryland. Cathy has received awards and other recognition for her work in teaching, building and supporting faculty. She has also written and presented on the topic of adolescent development, and was the recipient of a Fulbright research grant for study in the field. Cathy and her partner Scott have two sons, Benjamin and Matthew.

Richard Heinberg: Peak Oil and the Oil Depletion Protocol

According to Peak Oil theory, the global rate of oil production is (or soon will be) at the highest level it ever has been or will be. Given that oil is a finite resource, the only direction production can go from here is down. Given that human activity demands ever-increasing quantities of oil to sustain our culture and political economy based on "growth," decline in oil production will eventually lead to war, terrorism, and economic collapse on a global scale. The prognosis may be dire, but Richard Heinberg, one of the world's foremost Peak Oil scholars and educators, has a plan. His book, The Oil Depletion Protocol: A Plan to Avert Oil Wars, Terrorism, and Economic Collapse, outlined straightforward steps oil-importing nations can take to slow our consumption of oil and mitigate the consequences of our gas-guzzling ways.

If you've ever felt overwhelmed by the severity of our oil addiction, our government's refusal to act, and the degree to which our commercial, social, and political structures are entwined with oil production, then this is one CPS Lecture you won't want to miss. Far from being a prophet of doom, Heinberg is an author, journalist, lecturer, and Core Faculty member of New College of California, where he teaches a program on "Culture, Ecology and Sustainable Community." His writings and teachings explain our oil addiction, analyze the prospects and problems related to alternative sources of energy, and offer calls to action with clear steps that you can take to help your community and our world heal from its dependence on oil.

Mick LaSalle | Early Oscar Picks, Moviefest, and Movies You Must and Can't See Over the Holidays

For film buffs, culture curmudgeons, and plain old opinionated friends, CPS Lectures was thrilled to present a special benefit with a special guest - the man behind the little man, Mick LaSalle! As film critic for the SF Chronicle, Mick has inspired, delighted, challenged, and infuriated us with his witty, insightful critiques of the art and business of movie making. Mick also teaches film courses at Stanford and has written two books on pre-code Hollywood (a fascinating subject). He joined us for a lively evening of discussion, dining, and dancing.

Jim Hirsch | Cheating Destiny: Living with diabetes, America's biggest epidemic

Cheating Destiny reveals the human drama behind America�s biggest epidemic, a unique blend of historical research, contemporary journalism, and personal reflection. The narrative uses diabetes as a prism to view deeper problems in America�s health care system and its medical research industry. You will read about medicine and money, outrage and despair, resilience and courage.

Diagnosed with diabetes as a teenager, the author was already well-qualified to write this story. (His older brother, Dr. Irl Hirsch, is also one of America�s leading diabetologists.) Then one night, his three-year-old son said he was thirsty � and their lives, and this book, took a very different turn. We live in a diabetic nation, and Cheating Destiny is your guide.

Andrew Griffin runs Mariquita Farm, a small family farm located near Watsonville, CA. He is a legend in sustainable agriculture and discussed with us his opinions on changes in this field. Mariquita Farms is at San Francisco's Ferry Building every weekend; the farm grows organic specialty vegetables, greens, strawberries and herbs for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members in Santa Cruz County, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco.

Andrew Griffin |on Sustainable Agriculture