Introducing the Berkeley Forum’s Fall 2019 Lineup

Uncategorized September 4, 2019

BERKELEY, California―Today, the Berkeley Forum announced a selection of events from its Fall 2019 lineup, which includes 17 debates, panels, and talks with leaders from various fields and disciplines. 

“I am very excited to announce the Berkeley Forum’s event lineup for Fall 2019. Our members have gone above and beyond in curating a well-rounded slate of speakers, including experts in indigenous affairs, virtual reality, and graphic novels. My hope is for our audiences to both relate to and be challenged by the unique perspectives and lived experiences of our speakers,” said Tanya Mahadwar, President of the Berkeley Forum. “We are honored to host speakers such as Karen Diver, Sanjay Dastoor, and Jill Tarter. I am incredibly proud of our organization for contributing to the larger ideas-driven culture of Berkeley.”

The Fall lineup is tentative and subject to minor changes. For more information and the latest updates, please visit our website.

Registration is required. You can view more details about the announced events and sign up to receive notifications when tickets become available on our “Upcoming Events” page. All events are open to the public and free for UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff.


Fall 2019 Lineup


Jill Tarter, astronomer and former Director of the Center for SETI Research (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence)
“Technosignatures: What Are They, And How Might We Find Them?”
September 16, 2019, 6:00 PM

Fiona Ma, California State Treasurer
“Bank with California State Treasurer Fiona Ma” – In collaboration with the Goldman School of Public Policy
September 16, 2019, 6:00 PM

Gene Luen Yang, graphic novelist and author of American Born Chinese
“Asian and Asian-American Representation through Creative Mediums”
September 19, 2019, 6:00 PM

Travis Rosbach, founder of Hydroflask
“Engineering a Refreshing Solution”
September 24, 2019, 6:00 PM

Marianne Williamson, author, activist, and spiritual leader
“Renewing the Spirituality of Democracy”
September 25, 2019, 6:00 PM

Alexandra Waterbury, ballerina, model and #MeToo activist
“Breaking the #MeToo Silence in Ballet: Alexandra Waterbury at the Berkeley Forum”
September 26, 2019, 6:00 PM


Kristin Kirkpatrick, award-winning dietitian and best-selling author
“The Impact of Social Media on Wellness”
October 3, 2019, 6:00 PM

Michele Lamont, Harvard professor of Sociology, African-American Studies, and European Studies
“Evaluating Current Society with a Sociological Lens”
October 4, 2019, 6:00 PM

Kyle Hanagami, internationally-renowned choreographer
“The Direction of the Dance Industry”
October 7, 2019, 6:00 PM

Karen Diver, former Special Assistant to President Obama on Native American Affairs
“The State of Native Nations”
October 8, 2019, 6:00 PM

Sanjay Dastoor, founder of Boosted and CEO/co-founder of Skip
“The Evolution of the Transportation Industry”
October 14, 2019, 6:00 PM

Jaron Lanier, founding father of VR and activist against social media
“The History and Future of Humanity’s Relationship with Digital Technology”
October 16, 2019, 6:00 PM

Rebecca Saltzman, Vice President of BART (District 3)
“Understanding BART”
October 21, 2019, 6:00 PM


A Debate on Breaking Up Big Tech at the Berkeley Forum
November 12, 2019, 6:00 PM

Discussing the Harsh Realities of Homelessness and Food Insecurity in Bay Area: A Panel by the Berkeley Forum
November 14, 2019, 6:00 PM

Unchained? A Debate on Reparations for Slavery at the Berkeley Forum
November 21, 2019, 6:00 PM


Hasini Jayatilaka, Stanford researcher pioneering metastasis-slowing technology
“Slowing the Spread of Cancer”
December 4, 2019, 6:00 PM

The Forum’s team is working to confirm more events for the Fall 2019 session. All dates and speakers are subject to change. More information about these events and other upcoming events will be shared on the Berkeley Forum’s website and social media pages. Follow the Berkeley Forum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and subscribe to our mailing list for the latest updates.

About the Berkeley Forum 

The Berkeley Forum is a non-partisan, student-run organization at the University of California, Berkeley. Established in 2012, the Forum hosts debates, panels, and talks by leading experts from a variety of fields. The Forum exists to provide the Berkeley community with a space for the free expression and debate of a wide range of viewpoints. 

We have welcomed over 5,000 attendees to nearly 100 events. The Forum’s events have been covered by many media outlets, including the New York Times, Politico, CNN, the Associated Press, C-SPAN, and the San Francisco Chronicle

Since its founding, the Forum has hosted a number of distinguished guests, including Senator Rand Paul, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, ACLU President Susan Herman, Khan Academy founder Salman Khan, Director of Saturday Night Live Don Roy King and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro. 

The Forum’s events are only possible because of the dedication and hard work of our members. Learn more about our members on the Meet Our Team page of our website. If you’re interested in joining the Forum’s staff, you can apply here before Friday, September 6 at 11:59 PM.

Press Contact
Ian Wong
Press Manager