We host salon style discussions at the Embassy every Thursday and lectures at our sister house, The Red Victorian Hotel every Tuesday. We've been lucky enough to host some incredible speakers and thought we should start recording them for others to see :)


See a record of some of our salon discussions here
Red Victorian Lectures: Entrepreneurship Vs Neocolonialism


Anna Waldman-Brown


With the rise of the internet and digital fabrication, we’ve all gotten unprecedented access to information and the means of production. Yet technology is a tool rather than some inherently impactful solution, and how we export “innovation” sets a precedent for future generations. With 2500+ Fab Labs, hackerspaces, and makerspaces across nearly every country worldwide, how can we better collaborate with local stakeholders? And what can we in the Bay Area learn from the rest of the world, when we’re not too busy feeling superior? From Cuba’s government-sponsored “Innovators and Rationalizers,” to India’s fight against Internet.org, to Ghana’s electronic waste dump, Fab Lab networker Anna Waldman-Brown discusses how everyone can engage more thoughtfully in international development.

Immanent Urbanisms: Marc Norman: Designing Affordability (part 1/2)


Immanent Urbanisms: Domestic Affairs at California College of the Arts

With the rise of the internet and digital fabrication, we’ve all gotten unprecedented access to information and the means of production. Yet technology is a tool rather than some inherently impactful solution, and how we export “innovation” sets a precedent for future generations. With 2500+ Fab Labs, hackerspaces, and makerspaces across nearly every country worldwide, how can we better collaborate with local stakeholders? And what can we in the Bay Area learn from the rest of the world, when we’re not too busy feeling superior? From Cuba’s government-sponsored “Innovators and Rationalizers,” to India’s fight against Internet.org, to Ghana’s electronic waste dump, Fab Lab networker Anna Waldman-Brown discusses how everyone can engage more thoughtfully in international development.


Red Victorian Lecture: "Einstein's Theory of Relativity - Red Victorian Lecture "


Adam Brown, Stanford University
"Einstein’s general theory of relativity is exactly 100 years old. I’m going to explain it to you. General Relativity is the closest thing we have to a perfect theory. You start with some fun thought experiments about jumping up and down in elevators, and before long you have a complete reconceptualization of nature’s most familiar force, a reconceptualization that tells us not just about falling apples and orbiting planets, but also about the origin and fate of the universe. It is one of humanity's crowning achievements, and in this talk you get to learn all about it. No science background necessary." Adam Brown is a theoretical physicist at Stanford, where he researches the universe and teaches General Relativity. Adam's scientific american article: https://profiles.stanford.edu/adam-brown His papers: http://arxiv.org/find/hep-th/1/au:+Brown_A/0/1/0/all/0/1


Red Victorian Lecture: "Make: Society - How The Maker Movement Is Building A Better Future From The Social To The Technical"


Nick Pinkston, Plethora

We've seen the Maker Movement rise from fringe hobbyists making electronics to filling fairgrounds with 100,000 people, but the true future of the movement is more than just making stuff. In this talk, Nick Pinkston tells us about how the politics of the Maker Movement and beyond are changing the shape of education and the economy. A little about our speaker:- Nick is CEO and founder at Plethora, Solver of Real Problems & Activist for the Future. @nickpinkston


Red Victorian Lecture: "Monkey See, Monkey Do - A Critical Look At Mirror Neurons"

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Zarinah Agnew, UCSF

Mirror neurons are single cells that are active when performing an action, and seeing someone else perform that same action. These cells have been hailed as the one of the most important findings in the last decade of neuroscience. Ramachandran made the somewhat nauseatingly bold claim that “mirror neurons will do for psychology what DNA did for biology.” Others have claimed that mirror neurons are the 'most hyped concept in neuroscience'.. so what's the truth? What are mirror neurons, and what do we know about them? Do humans have them? Are they the neural basis of empathy? Are they broken in people with Autism? After completing my PhD on this topic, and having left the murky world of mirror neurons 6 years ago, I will now give a brief critical introduction to the research in this area, and debunk some of the myths out there. Join us for some real data and dogma debunking.

A little about our speaker:- Zarinah is a neuroscientist at UCSF. She completed her PhD at Imperial College studying human mirror systems using neuroimaging and brain stimulation techniques, before completing post doctoral positions at University College London and now UCSF. Despite having done various public engagement of science activities over the last 8 years, and spoken on where the genitals are in the brain, showed some pretty horrific MRIs of people having sex, she has managed to steer well clear of the mirror neuron conversation. Until now that is.. @zarinahagnew


Red Victorian Lectures - The Psychology of Money

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Michael Ovadia, Stanford University
Money is demonized in our society, deprecated as a force undermining virtue, human connection, and social well being. As the Bible extolls: “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Despite this, we have seen money and markets increasing pervade every aspect of our society; you can even cut a line, for a price. As philosopher Michael Sandel noted, “Without quite realizing it, without ever deciding to do so, we drifted from having a market economy to being a market society.” What does money actually do to our brains? How does it influence our relationships and our society? In this talk, Michael will share his and others’ research on the psychology of money – how it changes our behaviors, our attitudes, and our dispositions. We will talk about the important distinction between “money” (like the US dollar) and currency. And finally, Michael will present research on non-monetary exchange systems – ranging from tribal societies in the South Pacific to alternative currencies in Europe to sharing economy sites here in San Francisco. We will explore models that would better allow us to live in a connected world of human relationships while still having a practical, efficient way to exchange goods and services with one another.

About Michael: Michael is a dual MBA and doctoral candidate at Stanford University. His research is on the social psychology of money and sharing in communities, using a combination of lab and field experiments. Prior to Stanford, he has worked on collaborations in corporate sustainability, the US Department of Energy stimulus package, hazelnut farming in Bhutan, and planning the South African World Cup. He’s a yogi, ecstatic dancer, and Burner – and he’s pumped that he can now cite papers on Burning Man in his dissertation.


Red Victorian Lectures - Rose Broome - Homelessness on Haight


Rose Broome, HandUp
Walking one night in San Francisco, Rose Broome saw a woman sleeping on the street shivering under a thin blanket. At that moment she felt powerless - why can we pull out our phone to call a car or order groceries, but we can’t use that same technology to help someone in need? What started as a small idea in that moment grew to become HandUp - a startup that helps you donate directly to individual homeless people and other neighbors in need in your community, founded by Rose and her friend Zac Witte. Now HandUp is making an impact across the United States with locations around the Bay Area as well as Detroit and Salt Lake City. Come hear about Rose’s journey of launching HandUp, the stories of people who’ve fundraised on on the site, and a bit about the history of homelessness in San Francisco. About our speaker:- Rose is the co-founder and CEO of HandUp, a crowdfunding site for homeless people and neighbors in need. 100% of donations on HandUp.org go toward basics like food, medical care, and housing through partnering social service organizations. In 2014, HandUp was named Fast Company’s Most Innovative Startup of the Day and Rose was listed in the Top People in Tech by Business Insider. Previously, Rose served as COO at SuperBetter Labs and as a Data Manager for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. She can be found on twitter at @rosical rose@handup.org


Embassy Meeting Of Minds - Alex Gladstein - How To Free North Korea


Alex Gladstein, Human Rights Foundation
This week Alex Gladstein from the Human Rights Foundation will be talking to us about what we can do to help free North Korea. North Korea is the world's most closed society. The average citizen can't access the internet, and leaving the country is illegal. Any opinion critical of the government is forbidden, and there are concentration camps filled with thousands of people who have spoken out against the regime. Propaganda is the only truth. However, the rule of Kim Jong-un is starting to crumble. Over the past 15 years, outside information and culture has leaked into North Korea, smuggled through the land border with China, broadcast over shortwave radio, and floated in by hydrogen balloon. Today, the average young North Korean consumes foreign media on flash drives and on DVDs, and the addiction is growing. Learn how soap operas and films are leading an information revolution in the world's last totalitarian state, and find out how you can help free North Korea. About our speaker:- Alex is Chief Strategy Officer at the New York-based Human Rights Foundation. He also serves as VP of Strategy for the Oslo Freedom Forum, and coordinates HRF's North Korea initiative. Alex's writing and views on dissidents and dictators have appeared in TIME, NPR, The Atlantic, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, ABC, Foreign Policy, Ars Technica, The Daily Beast, NBC, and The Wall Street Journal. He has spoken about HRF's work at MIT, the School of Visual Arts, and the European Parliament. Before joining HRF, he served as a foreign policy advisor in the British Parliament. Alex is a magna cum laude graduate of Tufts University where he majored in international relations and Middle Eastern studies. He currently lives in San Francisco, and you can reach him at alex@thehrf.org.


Red Victorian Lectures - Craig Young - The Future of Real Estate in San Francisco

This week we welcome Craig Young to the Red Victorian. He will be talking to us on issues related to the current state of affairs of real estate investment and development in the City of San Francisco. Focus will be on where we are today and some of the possibilities for what the future may or may not hold for our City and how it will develop over time. How are some of the traditional means of development evolving given market fundamentals and an ever changing landscape? What are some of the major trends we are seeing related to real estate development in San Francisco? About our speaker: Craig Young is the Founder and Managing Principal of Tidewater Capital, overseeing Tidewater's investment, development, asset management, and organizational activities and was the force behind 'The Hall', a local food venue that has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He is actively involved in various philanthropic efforts aimed at promoting financial literacy, civic education, and entrepreneurial training for youth in under-served local neighborhoods. He is also on the Advisory Board of Urban Solutions, a non-profit focused on supporting small businesses.