Topics


Selecting a vibrant topic for each meeting is essential. It should be intellectually stimulating and generally accessible. For each topic a suggested reading list will be provided. Please add or edit the list below.

  • "Dying Well" - Reflections from Gene O'Kelly's extraordinary book, "Chasing Daylight" and how those of us in business deal with the topic of our own mortality.
  • How do we form a value system and what role does morality play in a fast paced business environment?
  • How does one define happiness and fulfillment and how does one get there? Is it immoral to not be happy? - Q2 '06
  • Envy; we've all felt it when staring at Google's stock price. How does one overcome the temptation to compare oneself to the Bills, Larrys, Michaels, and Jeffs of the world?
  • How will offshoring affect Silicon Valley's role as the epicenter of the high-tech industry? Is there anything preventing a gradual shift in power to Asia?
  • Race in America - affirmative action et al.
  • Human virtue - Was Mother Theresa acting out of self-interest? Is selflessness a virtue?
  • Does Silicon Valley have an intellectual life? What is the meaning of the word intellectual?
  • What is popular culture? What are its benefits? What are its ill-effects?
  • Ayn Rand/Objectivism
  • What is the state of our social institutions? What is happening to our community's social capital?
  • Higher Ed - Social Classes and Elitism
  • Americanism is an Idea – What does it mean to be American? What is our common bond? - Inaugural meeting
  • Humor – the most mature psychological defense mechanism. Who has it? Is it a skill?
  • Exercise - The Fit and the Dead – based on Harper's article
  • Philanthropy – individual, corporate, governmental. Do corporations have a moral obligation to give money back to their community? Is the Milton Friedman model correct? Is more government aid to Africa needed? How do individuals reconcile btwn giving to the neediest charities and giving to charities about which they feel a personal connection?
  • What is religion’s relevance today and how does American’s faith contrast to European secularism?
  • Globalism: should we focus on making the world ecosystem improve or our competitive position in it? These cannot always be the same goal, although they are sometimes. When they conflict, which do we do?
  • Education: how do we reform it so that it pertains to modern life in citizenship, business, and ideology?
  • What is the ethics course that should be taught to everyone? What is the role of religion in that ethics course?