Dr. David Ludwig and Chef Dawn Ludwig on Always Hungry? and Always Delicious

CPS Lecture #120

November 1, 2018

Health & Wellness

David and Dawn Ludwig rewrite the rules on weight loss, diet, and health. Forget everything you’ve been taught about dieting. They bring more than 25 years of research and state-of-the-art science, plus more than 75 delicious recipes and a 3-week menu plan.

Maria Ramos-Chertok, Want Chyi, Wanda Holland-Greene, Camille Hayes, Marti Paschal, and Deborah Santana on All The Women in My Family Sing

CPS Lecture #119

September 11, 2018


Six of almost 70 authors and contributors, Wanda Holland Greene, Deborah Santana, Maria Ramos-Chertok, Marti Paschal, Camille Hayes, and Want Chyi discuss their book of essays: All the Women in My Family Sing. Both written and published entirely by women of color, including the editing, cover design, and promotions, the book empowers underrepresented voices and endeavors to impact the world of book publishing in America — particularly important in an industry that considerably lacks diversity.


Matt Richtel and Matt Wrobel on American Muse

CPS Lecture #118

July 17, 2018


Matt and Matt collaborate on writing original songs with story-telling at the core. They played their songs and used the music as a jumping off point for a discussion and dialogue about how we can all tap into our inner creativity, take creative risk and give voice to the muse.

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Emily Esfahani Smith on The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters

CPS Lecture #113

April 12, 2017

Social Science

Positive psychology expert Emily Esfahani Smith discussed what makes a life worthwhile. Author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters, Emily shared how to connect and contribute to something that lies beyond the self, and the sources of meaning that surround us. 


Salman Ahmed on US National Security Strategy and Decision-Making in a Turbulent World

CPS Lecture #111

March 2, 2017


Salman Ahmed, an expert on international peace and security, reflected on his time serving on President Obama's National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Planning.

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Salman Ahmed on Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland

CPS Lecture #108

November 18, 2016


New York Times bestselling author Miriam Horn shared stories of unexpected environmental stewards – the people who live and work in the American heartland while simultaneously driving innovation and conservation.

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Emma Seppälä on The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success

CPS Lecture #105

May 26, 2016

Social Science / Health & Wellness

Drawing on the latest findings from the fields of cognitive psychology and neuroscience—research on happiness, resilience, willpower, compassion, positive stress, creativity, mindfulness—Dr. Seppälä showed that finding happiness and fulfillment may, in fact, be the most productive thing we can do to thrive professionally.


Adam Grant on Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World Forward

CPS Lecture #102

February 29, 2016

Leadership / Social Science

How do non-conformists change the world? How do leaders resist groupthink? Adam shared insights on how to recognize a good idea, speak up without being silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt. In addition, he discussed how parents and teachers can play a vital role in nurturing originality in children.


Tina Seelig on "Insight Out: Distilling the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs"

CPS Lecture #99

Date Forgotten/Unknown

Leadership / Social Science

Dr. Seelig read from her book, Insight Out: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and Into the World. In her book, she discusses the core concepts of imagination, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and presents a model for what she calls the “Invention Cycle.” Dr. Seelig describes this framework as revealing “how to harness the required attitudes and actions to take a compelling idea and transform it into something extraordinary.”

Stefany Shaheen, type 1 diabetes advocate, on “Elle & Coach” 

CPS Lecture #96

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Family, Health & Wellness

Stefany Shaheen has recently published a heartwarming and inspiring book, Elle & Coach, that chronicles the Shaheen family’s struggles with her daughter Elle’s diabetes, and what a gift it has been to have Elle’s diabetes dog, Coach, in their lives.

Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator

CPS Lecture #94

Friday, May 1st, 2015


A journey, through slides and photographs, of the life and times of Lincoln, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and of Lincoln's assassination.

Bernard von Bothmer has taught American history for twenty years. He teaches at the University of San Francisco, where he received USF's 2010 Distinguished Lecturer Award for Excellence in Teaching, and at Dominican University of California.


Jennifer Senior on “All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenting"

CPS Lecture #91

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Social Science, Family

In the highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, Jennifer Senior delves deeply and provocatively into questions about how children change the lives of parents - for better and sometimes for worse, in partnerships, work, friendships, and more.

"Crazy Is A Compliment” with Linda Rottenberg, CEO, Endeavor, and Time Magazine “Top 100 Innovators

CPS Lecture #88

Friday, October 24th, 2014


We heard from Linda Rottenberg, whose book “Is Crazy a Compliment? The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags” had just been published. Linda is an American lawyer and businesswoman; she is the CEO and Co-founder of Endeavor, a non-profit organization that credits itself with pioneering the field of high-impact entrepreneurship.


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

CPS Lecture #85

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014


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.”


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

CPS Lecture #82

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Leadership, Business

CPSL is very excited to host Sheryl Sandberg in mid-February. Her first widely-awaited book, Lean In, was published in 2014 to incredible attention and success. 

Ben Davis on lighting up our San Francisco Bay.

CPS Lecture #79

Friday, October 4th, 2013


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

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

CPS Lecture #77

Monday, August 5th, 2013


Stewart Oksenhorn, longtime Arts editor for the Aspen Times, joined us for an evening of conversation about Aspen Culture. This lecture is an installment of the San Francisco based "CPS Lectures" series hosted by Kelly and John Close.


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

CPS Lecture #74

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Health & Wellness

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 also signed copies of his book "Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America."


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

CPS Lecture #71

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013


Todd Wanerman 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?


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

CPS Lecture #68

Saturday, January 26th, 2013


Wanda M. Holland Greene 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.


Kara Swisher on All Things D(igital)

CPS Lecture #65

Saturday, September 15th, 2012


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.


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

CPS Lecture #62

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012


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.


Jodi Kantor on "The Obamas"

CPS Lecture #59

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012


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.


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

CPS Lecture #56

 Saturday, December 10th, 2011


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 spoke at our CPS Lecture #56 on December 10th, 2011.


Christin Evans and Alex Beckstead

CPS Lecture #53

 Monday, June 20th, 2011


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.


Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith on "The Dragonfly Effect"

CPS Lecture #50

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Social Science

How do you connect meaning to social media to create impact? In The Dragonfly Effect, Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith draw 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.


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

CPS Lecture #46

Saturday, October 30th, 2010


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 www.billfordistrict8.com.

James Hirsch on Willie Mays

CPS Lecture #43

Saturday, May 1st, 2010


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. (www.williemaysbook.com) 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.


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

CPS Lecture #40

Monday, April 12th, 2010


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?


MovieFest 2010 with Mick LaSalle

CPS Lecture #36

Sunday, December 27th, 2009


For the third year in a row, San Francisco movie critic Mick Lasalle gave 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 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/mlasalle/index.

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

CPS Lecture #34

Saturday, December 5th, 2009


This was an incredible panel that examined the issues surrounding same gender marriage and proposition 8 for our 34th CPS Lecture. We discussed what happened last year with 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 were very eager to hear this most compelling slate of speakers.


Author Linda Himelstein on "Vodka Nation - the Story behind Russia and its First Family of Vodka".

CPS Lecture #31

Friday, May 29th, 2009


Linda Himelstein is the author of The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire. We are in for a HUGE treat as she discusses her new book (out May 12) and as we indulge in a vodka tasting by one of San Francisco's biggest cocktail experts. 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.

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

CPS Lecture #27

Monday, October 27th, 2008


Anyone who knows Chris or has followed his career knows what an extraordinary time this will be. 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".


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

CPS Lecture #24

October 19th, 2007


We are thrilled and honored to welcome Heather McLeod Grant and Leslie Crutchfield to CPS Lectures. They will be discussing 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.


Richard Heinberg: Peak Oil and the Oil Depletion Protocol

CPS Lecture #21

March 2nd, 2007


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." 

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Daniel Pink on When

CPS Lecture #116

February 16, 2018

Social Science / Business

Daniel Pink examined the impact that timing can have on our daily lives. A #1 bestselling author of two other books, To Sell is Human and Drive, Dan discussed how timing can be the key to success.

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Bruce Feiler on The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us

CPS Lecture #112

April 4, 2017

Social Science / Family

Celebrated author, television host of two popular PBS series, and columnist of the beloved “This Life” monthly column in the New York Times Bruce Feiler read from his latest book, The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us, and discuss how the story of Adam and Eve has forever changed the idea of love.

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Lisa Kay Solomon on Designing Better Futures

CPS Lecture #110

March 1, 2017


 Lisa Kay Solomon, a thought leader in design innovation, shared key tips on how to work with, and thrive from, uncertainty, plus how to launch and sustain innovation as a discipline.

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Jim Hirsch on his collaboration with the Beach Boys' Mike Love and his bestselling memoir Good Vibrations

CPS Lecture #107

November 7, 2016


Renowned author and journalist Jim Hirsch, gave an insider’s perspective on working with Mike Love, the lead singer of quintessential American rock band the Beach Boys. Not only did attendees leave this lecture humming along to “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” but they also carried away some unprecedented insights into the life of an American icon.


Larry Tramutola on The People vs. Big Soda

CPS Lecture #104

May 9, 2016

Health & Wellness

What lessons from his previous work on sugar-sweetened beverage taxes Larry bring to campaigns in Berkeley and San Francisco, and what unique challenges does taking on Big Soda present? During a time when over 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, over 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes, and 1 out of 2 Latino and African American children will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime, can a soda tax in two of the United States’ leading cities catalyze a movement across the country that reverses these trends and helps build a culture of health?


Gopi Kallayil on The Internet to the Inner-Net

CPS Lecture #101

February 26, 2016

Leadership / Social Science

Gopi Kallayil writes in his published book The Internet to the Inner-Net that the Internet has become humanity’s invisible central nervous system. It connects us and can sometimes overwhelm us, he says. Yet the most important technology is within us, he emphasizes—our brain, body, and consciousness. A fast-paced career in the high-tech industry in combination with a deep yoga and meditation practice has allowed Gopi to integrate what he calls his inner and outer technologies to a remarkable degree. Wisdom from his yoga mat and meditation cushion guides his professional career, and in turn his professional life provides the perfect classroom to deepen his wisdom practice. In his talk with CPS Lectures, discussed tools for us to do the same as we learn more about integrate our disparate worlds.


Drs. Astro and Danielle Teller on “Sacred Cows: The Truth About Divorce and Marriage”

CPS Lecture #98

Tuesday, October 13th 2015

Family / Social Science

Astro and Danielle know better than most that finding the right partner in life doesn't always happen the first time around. Through their own divorces they learned how widely held cultural assumptions and misinformation that nobody thinks to question -- what they refer to as "sacred cows" -- create unnecessary heartache for people who are already suffering through a terrible time. Do you think, for example, that the divorce rate in the United States is rising? Or that children are harmed by divorce? Most people do, they tell us, but it turns out that neither of these ideas is supported by the data.

Laura Lauder on “A Year of National Service for All Americans Ages 18-28: The Franklin Project of the Aspen Institute”

CPSL Popup

August 25th, 2015


Laura discussed the movement being led by General Stan McCrystal in DC on a million young people empowering America. This is relevant for everyone in the RFV - potential par- ticipants, partner organizations and sponsors are all encouraged to participate.


Better Than Before by happiness guru Gretchen Rubin

CPS Lecture #93

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Social Science, Health & Wellness

Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life, and a significant element of happiness, according to happiness guru Gretchen Rubin. If we have habits that work for us, we’re much more likely to be happy, healthy, productive, and creative.

Gretchen will share from her new book Better Than Before (how great is that title?) the multiple strategies we can exploit to change our habits.


Chip Conley on Festivals and Cultural Curiosity

CPS Lecture #90

Thursday, January 8th, 2015


Chip Conley. Hotel guru. Armchair psychologist. Traveling philosopher. Author. Speaker. Teacher. Board member, Burning Man, the Esalen Institute, Glide Memorial*. Student. Chip Conley has lived out more than one calling in his lifetime. For those interested in the development and future of our country and world, those with a passion for creating joy, and anyone who wants to find (or has already found!) their calling in life and work.

Wanda M. Holland Greene, Sara Shenkan-Rich, and Amy Guggenheim Shenkan: Two Heads Are Better Than One: A Conversation Between Principals about the Challenges and Opportunities in Public and Private Schools

CPS Lecture #87

Sunday, October 5th, 2014


CPS Lectures welcomed Wanda Holland Greene (CPS Lectures #68), Sara Shenkan-Rich, and Amy Guggenheim Shenkan on who discussed with us the opportunities and challenges in education broadly speaking - Wanda Holland Greene and Sara Shenkan-Rich had a lively discussion moderated by Amy Guggenheim Shenkan.

Sheila Heen, author of Thanks for the Feedback.

CPS Lecture #85

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Leadership/Social Science

CPS Lectures was VERY excited to welcome Sheila Heen who shared with us her latest thinking on feedback, based on her new book with co-Author Douglas Stone, Thanks for the Feedback; The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well.


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

CPS Lecture #81

Thursday, December 19th, 2013


CPS Lectures was excited to welcome Esther Wojcicki, who 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.


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

CPS Lecture #76

Thursday, June 27th, 2013


CPS Lectures welcomed Ron Lieber to discuss 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).


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

CPS Lecture #73

Saturday, May 11th, 2013


Nínive Calegari is a veteran teacher with ten years of experience in the classroom, including teaching at San Francisco's first charter school. Her experience spans suburban and urban high schools and she holds a Master’s Degree in Education in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.


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

CPS Lecture #70

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Health & Wellness

Dr. Robert Lustig discussed one of the topics he is most passionate about: how food sugar fructose can be damaging not only for your diet, but also on 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.


Dan Pink on The Surprising Truth about Moving Others

CPS Lecture #67

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Social Science

Dan Pink on discussed ideas from 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 returned. 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 Times bestseller, A Whole New Mind, and the #1 New York Times bestseller, Drive.


Sebastian Ruth: Redefining Musicianship For The Public Good

CPS Lecture #64

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012


CPS Lectures had the honor of hosting 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.


Ken Jennings, Author of The Greater Goal

CPS Lecture #61

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Social Science

Have you ever wondered what it takes to stay motivated? Where does that gusto come from? Ken Jennings's new book, co-authored 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."


Erin Keown Ganju of Room to Read on Scaling Social Good

CPS Lecture #58

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012


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 joined us to discuss Room to Read's pioneering model of scaling social good.


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

CPS Lecture #55

 Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Health & Wellness

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 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.


Author Matt Richtel

CPS Lecture #52

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Social Science

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.


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

CPS Lecture #49

Saturday, February 5th, 2011


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


MovieFest 2011 with Mick LaSalle

CPS Lecture #48

Saturday, January 8th, 2011


Mick LaSalle joins 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.


Tina Sciabica on Stories of Impact in Asia from Read Global.

CPS Lecture #45

Saturday, August 11th, 2010


Tina is the Executive Director of READ Global, an international nonprofit that is inspiring rural prosperity in Nepal, India, and most recently, Bhutan-- a country that measures its success in terms of Gross National Happiness. In nearly 50 rural communities, READ Global has built community library and resource centers that give adults and children access to books, computers, health services, vocational training and leadership development. READ Nepal received the Bill and Melinda Gates' Foundation's Access to Learning Award in 2006, and READ Global subsequently received Gates funding to bring its model to additional countries in the developing world. To learn more, please visit www.readglobal.org.


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

CPS Lecture #42

Sunday, April 18th, 2010


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.

Curtis Roosevelt: Too Close To the Sun

CPS Lecture #39

Monday, February 8th, 2010


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.


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

CPS Lecture #37

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

 Health & Wellness

Fran Kaufman, MD, author of best selling book, Diabesity, is an internationally-known authority on diabetes and obesity. Dr. Kaufman she 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.

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

CPS Lecture #33

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

 Health & Wellness

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.


Jacque Grillo on Raising Good and Engaged Citizens

CPS Lecture #30

Saturday, March 7th, 2009


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 were 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.


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

CPS Lecture #26

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008


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?

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

CPS Lecture #23

August 25th, 2007


We're 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.

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

CPS Lecture #20

December 21, 2006



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Julie Lythcott-Haims on Real American

CPS Lecture #117

May 31, 2018

Community / Education

New York Times bestselling author Julie Lythcott-Haims shared her experience with racism and her journey toward self-acceptance through the lens of her latest work, Real American.

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Nancy Koehn on Forged in Crisis

CPS Lecture #115

November 30, 2017

Social Science / Leadership

Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn shared the powerful stories of five great leaders. Author of Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times, Nancy discussed how leaders are not born but made.

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Adam Brown on Bright Spots and Landmines

CPS Lecture #114

June 3, 2017

Health & Wellness

diaTribe Senior Editor Adam Brown discussed how that the usual focus on the problems and mistakes we’re making (“Landmines”) misses the bigger opportunity: “Bright Spots.” 


Stephen Satterfield on "Power Food"

CPS Lecture #109

January 26, 2017

Community / Health & Wellness

Oakland-based food writer and leader Stephen Satterfield's lectured centered on how eating locally is the most radical act you can take – both politically and for your health. 

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Catherine Newman on Catastrophic Happiness: Finding Joy in Childhood's Messy Years

CPS Lecture #106

October 10, 2016


Beloved writer Catherine Newman, author of the newly-published Catastrophic Happiness, led a reading and follow-up discussion that illuminated, inspired, and even unearthed some old childhood memories.

Cathy Hunter on "Clearing the Path for the Child or Preparing the Child for the Path?"

CPS Lecture #103

May 5, 2016


Well-intentioned, ill-prepared, subject to peer pressure - that describes the nature and challenges of parenting these days. Cathy Hunter cast a cynical eye on some of the most fervently held beliefs on effective parenting, and provided evidence favoring a version of "benign neglect" that produces kids with heartier spirits and better decision-making skills. She also encouraged attendees to bring some long-arc thinking to their parenting, and understand the "backwards design" that excellent teachers — and parents — use to fashion social, emotional and learning goals for their students.


Robert Greene on "A Dream Deferred"

CPS Lecture #100

January 30th, 2016

Leadership / Social Science

Robert has been a thought leader in independent schools and nonprofits for more than 20 years, having served successfully as a teacher and administrator in several independent school models on both coasts, as well as in urban school environments and social entrepreneurship agencies. Throughout his career, he has leveraged the experience and networks he gained in the independent school community to drive increased access and equity for communities of color and for students/families from communities where educational organizations have been traditionally underserved.


Jessica Lahey on “The Gift of Failure”

CPS Lecture #97

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Family / Social Science

Lahey is an educator, author, and speaker who writes the bi-weekly column "The Parent-Teacher Conference" for the New York Times, is a contributing writer for The Atlantic, and recently published a book called The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. Her new book explores how today's parents try so hard to keep their children from experiencing failure that it stops them from taking any kinds of intellectual risks, ultimately leading to a loss of love of learning. Join us for a discussion on how we can figure out where we've misguided our children, and how we can help them rediscover their enthusiasm for learning, their intellectual bravery, and their resilience.


Julie Lythcott-Haims on The Harm of Overhelping

CPS Lecture #95

June 14th, 2015

Family, Health & Wellness

We celebrated with Julie Lythcott-Haims, Stanford's former Dean of Freshman, who will join us to muse on her new book, "How To Raise An Adult" - the discussion is called "The Harm of Overhelping."

We heard her views on young adults today and what every generation can do to prepare themselves and the next generation more thoughtfully. In her words, Julie's love of writing stems from her interest in humans living lives of meaning and purpose. 


CPS Lecture #92

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Family, Social Science

The Opposite of Spoiled is being described as sort of a taboo-shattering manifesto - all how to raise kids, teens, and young adults who are grounded, unmaterialistic, and financially wise. Ron designed THE OPPOSITE OF SPOILED to be a practical guidebook for parents and friends who want to use conversations about money to imprint good values. Not only does he cover "all the basics ... (tooth fairy, allowance, chores, charity, saving, birthdays, holidays, checking accounts, part-time jobs and college) but he's also identified a set of virtues and character traits like modesty, patience, generosity and perspective, that, the hope is, " ... kids will carry with them out into the world."

Sam Mogannam, founder/owner of Bi-Rite

CPS Lecture #89

Monday, December 1st, 2014


For most people from the Bay Area, the name “Bi-Rite” is synonymous with fresh food, local charm, and the best salted caramel ice cream out there. But how did Bi-Rite, a grocery market that first opened its doors in 1940, become the San Francisco institution it is today? The answer starts with this CPS Lecture’s speaker: Sam Mogannam, Bi-Rite’s owner, one of Fast Company’s top 100 most creative people in business, and who The Atlantic characterizes as a pioneer in the farm-to-grocery store movement.

Matt Richtel on Reggie’s Brain

CPS Lecture #86

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

Social Science

Matt will speak with us about his book A Deadly Wandering, an exploration of technology’s vast influence on the human mind and society, through the lens of a tragic “texting-while-driving” car crash that claimed the lives of two rocket scientists in 2006.

Matt interweaves Reggie’s story with scientific findings regarding human attention and the impact of technology on our brains, putting forward actionable thinking to help manage this crisis individually and as a society.


Dr. Zeke Emanuel on Reinventing American Health Care

CPS Lecture #83

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Government/Health & Wellness

CPS Lectures was excited to welcome Dr. Zeke Emanuel, who 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 explored his point of view on the latest health care system reform, and discussed the six mega trends in health that will determine the market for health care to 2020 and beyond.

Kim Malone Scott on Virtual Love

CPS Lecture #80

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

Social Science

CPS Lectures was excited to welcome Kim Malone Scott, who discussed her 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.”


Jen Chaiken on "Inequality for All"

CPS Lecture #78

Monday, September 30th, 2013


We hosted a private showing of the film "Inequality For All," which examines the crisis of widening income inequality in the US through the eyes and the influential work of Robert Reich.

Jen Chaiken, the producer of "Inequality for All", joined us to answer questions 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.


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

CPS Lecture #75

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Health & Wellness

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


Dr. Adam Grant on giving and taking...

CPS Lecture #72

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013


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 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.


Jill Sheeley on "The Importance of Writing for Youth"

CPS Lecture #69

Friday, February 8th, 2013


Jill Sheeley 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!


Lehane Unplugged

CPS Lecture #66

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012


Chris Lehane reprised CPS Lectures #27 four years ago, when Chris spoke to us in a standing room only setting, riffing on the election, the bailouts, and the post-crash economy. A longtime political and economic strategist, Chris is a partner in the California-based company Fabiani & Lehane, has since 2001 provided strategic advice and tactical execution to corporate, entertainment, political and professional sports clients facing complex financial, communications, government affairs, electoral and legal challenges.


Pam Allyn: On the Write Track

CPS Lecture #63

Thursday, June 14th, 2012


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).


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

CPS Lecture #60

Saturday, March 31st, 2012


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" was just published and is making lots of 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.”


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

CPS Lecture #57

Friday, January 6th, 2012


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!!).


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

CPS Lecture #54

 Friday, July 29th, 2011


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 shared 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.


Ted Conover and The Routes of Man

CPS Lecture #51

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Social Science

In his latest book The Routes of Man, Ted Conover explores 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.


Author Kelly Corrigan on Lift and The Middle Place

CPS Lecture #47

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010


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 http://kellycorrigan.com/.


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

CPS Lecture #44

Saturday, May 15th, 2010


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 www.foodpolitics.com. We so hope you can join us! Easy parking a block away at Castro/Dubose; free for after 9 pm departures.


Dr. Ed Hallowell on key principles for managing modern life

CPS Lecture #41

Friday, April 16th, 2010

 Health & Wellness

This discussion is for anyone looking for practical, how-to solutions for, as Dr. Hallowell puts it, 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.


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

CPS Lecture #38

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

 Social Science

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 will explain 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.

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

CPS Lecture #35

Thursday, December 10th, 2009


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.

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

CPS Lecture #32

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

 Health & Wellness

Ron Lieber, Milo Benningfield, and Spencer Sherman will touch 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. Since we're not wired to focus on the long-term and find it challenging to deal with probabilities, rather than perceived cerainty, this is a problem - food for thought leading up to the 20th ...


Movies with Mick LaSalle

CPS Lecture #29

Friday, January 16th, 2009


At our evening with SF Film Critic Mick LaSalle Friday night (Jan 16) - for the third year in a row, Mick gave us his best movie picks for 2008, his own personal oscar-watch, the best picks so far for 2009 ... and Johnny showed us all the trailers with all the flourish that so enchanted you the last two years!


Lloyd Sacks on Demystifying Darfur

CPS Lecture #28

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008


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, identified the root causes of the crisis, detailed the domestic and geo-political interests of each party involved, evaluate diplomatic efforts to date, outlined the most efficacious measures to reverse the current course of chaos and impunity in the region, and gave a personal account of life in Sudan and Darfur.

Cathy Hunter | on Eyes for Invisibles

CPS Lecture #22

March 29th, 2007


Please join us in an evening to which we've long looked forward - San Francisco Friends School Head of School Cathy Hunter will come and lead a discussion of the ways in which children develop the resilience, spiritual strength, and tenacity they need for healthy lives.