Global Witness’s Charmian Gooch is a firebrand. She’s spent the last 20 years working to expose those who exploit our natural resources and hide behind an anonymous corporate facade…and to change laws here and abroad to ensure such connivery can’t happen so easily in the future. Her passion in unmasking these scoundrels who traffic in blood diamonds and illegal logging engaged the audience and inspired many to ask how they can get involved.
The Lisa & Douglas Goldman Lecture
Made possible through the generous support of the Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund
Actor, writer, musician, and generally adorable person Jason Segel says the things we’re most afraid of are the things that make us strong. Jason read from his new middle school novel Nightmares! and talked with Kait Steele from 826 National about why his parents sent him to acting classes, why the Muppets are amazing role models, and what he hopes young adults take away from Nightmares! and the second and third books in the planned trilogy.
Yotam Ottolenghi charmed a sold-out Kanbar Hall audience to celebrate the release of his new book Plenty More, a continuation of the vibrant, flavorful, and amazing vegetable recipes he shared with the world in his bestselling cookbook, Plenty, and his Guardian column. He was joined in conversation by the always-amazing Peter Stein. They discussed everything from Yotam’s early taste memories to his current focus on ingredients a bit further afield than those of his native Israel.
Magnetic Fields troubadour Stephin Merritt charmed his fans with the stories behind (and a dramatic reading of) his new book, 101 Two-Letter Words, a collection of poems using all the two-letter words allowed in Scrabble. He made everyone’s night when he pulled out his ukulele and sang a few songs, including a special audience request.
Peter Thiel, the entrepreneur and investor behind many of Silicon Valley’s biggest success stories, sat down with Pandodaily’s editor-in-chief Sarah Lacy to discuss some of the ideas in his #1 NYT Bestselling book Zero to One, his PayPal days with Elon Musk and Max Levchin, and why monopolies, not competition, breed innovation and ultimately, human progress.
OkCupid cofounder Christian Rudder is a Harvard-trained mathematician, rock musician, and matchmaker to millions—cofounder and president of OkCupid, author of the recent book Dataclysm and Bishop Allen guitarist. He sat down with The Bold Italic editor-in-chief Jennifer Maerz to discuss everything from starting and running one of the world’s most successful dating websites to mining the data that has come up as we live more and more of our lives online— including analyzing massive amounts of behavioral data to prove that Belle & Sebastien is the whitest band ever.
All the stars aligned when Giants honchos Larry Baer, Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy played Kanbar Hall, in conversation with KNBR’s Brian Murphy. That very afternoon Timmy Lincecum delivered his second no-hitter, which got things off on a high note. Beach Blanket Babylon’s Tammy Nelson, wearing the Giants ballpark hat, belted out a rousing “San Francisco” with an introduction tailor-made for the guys on-stage. And the smell of hotdogs, beer and garlic fries dominated the atrium. It was an unforgettable and fitting Giants love-fest.
Richard Ravitch, former New York Lieutenant Governor, played a central role in rescuing New York City from bankruptcy in the 1970′s. Appearing in conversation with David Crane, former special advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ravitch turned his attention to how other cities and states can dig themselves out of financial crisis.