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, MD, and David Servan-Schreiber; environment and justice leaders like Joanna Macy 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.

Who Are We?

The New School presents conversations, readings, and performances with thought and action leaders of our time. We are a learning community of 3,000 people in the Bay Area and around the world, dedicated to learning what matters. The New School presents conversations, book signings, art, and lectures. Most of our events are free, and so are our podcasts and videos—200 on iTunes, SoundcloudVimeo, and our Library.

The New School focuses on the emergent, seeking out the thought and action leaders that 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 HealingArchetypal Psychology, Spiritual Biography, Healing Trauma, 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 coordinated by Kyra Epstein.

Welcome to The New School at Commonweal.