San Francisco Symphony Director Michael Tilson Thomas at The New School

Imagine that you could listen to—and talk with—U.S. Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin. Or with visionary writers like Terry Tempest Williams, Jean Shinoda Bolen, and David Whyte; integrative physicians like Rachel Naomi Remen and David Servan-Schreiber; environmental health and justice leaders like Carl Anthony and Sandra Steingraber; or innovative cosmologists like Rubert Sheldrake and Sister Miriam MacGillis.

Imagine you could attend most of these gatherings free of charge, contributing only what you feel moved to contribute. Imagine you were a member of a community that formed around these gatherings, and that the place where you gather is a place of beauty and quiet power.

Imagine that—and you have discovered The New School at Commonweal.

ShashaHigby - Version 2

Performance and sculptural artist Sha Sha Higby at The New School

Who Are We?

The New School presents conversations, book signings, art, and lectures with thought and action leaders of our time. We are a learning community of 4,000 people in the Bay Area and around the world dedicated to learning what matters. Most of our events are free, and so are our podcasts and videos—200 on iTunes, Vimeo, and our Library.

The New School focuses on the emergent, seeking out the thought and action leaders who are bringing discussion, beauty, and change to the world. We present events in many areas: arts and sciences, health and the environment, and inner life. We follow streams of inquiry, including our End-of-Life Conversations, and series on Art and Healing, Archetypal Psychology, and Ibn ‘Arabi.

There are no required beliefs or perspectives, and we aren’t afraid to ask the difficult questions. Whether it is grief, or joy, or wonder, we are enriched by sharing the exploration together.

The New School was founded and is directed by Michael Lerner and is coordinated by Kyra Epstein.

How To Join The New School

You can join our community by signing up for our mailing list, by attending events, downloading our podcasts or videos, participating in our Facebook or Twitter communities, or by donating to support our work.

Welcome to The New School at Commonweal.


Contact Us

Let us know how to get back to you.

How can we help?

Feel free to ask a question or simply leave a comment.