SOURCE: City of San Jose, California

May 16, 2008 14:00 ET

Stewart Brand to Kick Off Great Cities Speakers Series

Futurist and Internet Pioneer to Discuss the Evolution and Importance of Cities

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - May 16, 2008) - Stewart Brand, co-founder and president of the Long Now Foundation, will kick off the "2008 Great Cities Speakers Series," 6-7 p.m., Thursday, June 5, San Jose City Hall Council Chambers, 200 E. Santa Clara Street. Free to the public, the presentation will immediately be followed by a reception. For reservations, please visit

Held in conjunction with 01SJ: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge, (, Brand's talk, entitled "City Planet," will discuss the history of cities and look at how a wholly new concept of city will take shape every 50 years going forward.

Taking part in the conversation with Brand will be Connie Martinez, managing director and CEO, 1stACT Silicon Valley.

Brand -- editor, author, lecturer, and futurist -- has focused on such subjects as digital media, education, and architecture throughout his career. He is perhaps best known for founding the Whole Earth Catalog in 1968, and the WELL, an early online forum community, a precursor of MySpace, in 1985.

"Envisioning a vibrant urban landscape requires dedicated, long-term thinking," Brand said. "It's my hope that residents and leaders are collectively part of dialogue that takes into consideration the profound changes that the future will inevitably bring to cities."

Produced by the San Jose's Office of Cultural Affairs, 1stACT Silicon Valley and the Commonwealth Club of California, the "Great Cities Speakers Series" engages residents, and business and civic leaders as well as those who will be directly impacted by the evolution of the "Envision San Jose General Plan 2040" -- the key planning document that will guide San Jose's growth, character, and service ambitions over the next 10-30 years. This series of monthly public lectures is designed to provoke thought, discussion and imagination about the city of the future and to bring important outside perspectives to local and regional efforts on civic planning, culture, art and design. The lectures are free. Each lecture will be followed by a reception to continue conversation among audience members.

The "Great Cities Speaker Series" is also supported by the American Institute of Architects-Santa Clara Valley Chapter, the American Planning Association (APA) California Chapter - Northern Section, the Fairmont Hotel San Jose, the San Jose Repertory Theater and the San Jose State University Department of Urban and Regional Planning.


The Office of Cultural Affairs is part of the City's Office of Economic Development. Together, they foster cultural and economic development as related strategies for building San Jose as the creative center of Silicon Valley. The Office of Cultural Affairs coordinates services for outdoor events and festivals, offers financial support for arts and culture providers, supports arts education, and leads the development of public art works throughout the city. For more information, please visit


From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San Jose has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San Jose stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley -- the world's leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, work, live, play and learn. For more information, visit,


1stACT Silicon Valley is a broad network of regional civic, cultural, and business leaders working to catalyze participation and investment at the intersection of art, creativity, and technology. 1stACT strives to create an authentic sense of place in Silicon Valley that fuels community pride, broad participation, and philanthropic investment. Please visit,


The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation's oldest and largest public affairs forum, bringing together its more than 18,000 members for over 400 annual events on topics ranging across politics, culture, society and the economy. The Club has offices in San Francisco and San Jose, with regular events in both cities, as well as programs in the East and North Bay. Please visit,

Contact Information

  • Contact
    Steven Brewster
    (415) 577-8851 mobile
    (408) 535-8168 land
    San Jose Office of Economic Development
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