On Thursday evening in San Francisco's Financial District, The Adam Smith Society's professional chapters closed out a busy opening month to a fall season packed with events. The San Francisco Professional Chapter welcomed Katie Biber Chen, the general counsel of sharing economy rising star Thumbtack. Her presence at a salon dinner capped a month in which Smith Soc members heard journalists, authors, and business professionals share their perspectives and expertise on a variety of topics: start-ups and the sharing economy, urban development, the current state of crime and policing, gun control, and (of course) the 2016 Elections.
Smith Soc's Boston Professional Chapter kicked off our fall program with a discussion on the 2016 Election. On September 14, they welcomed two guests, Jeff Jacoby, award-winning columnist for The Boston Globe, and Tom Bevan, the founder and publisher of RealClearPolitics. The current political and economic environment in the U.S. and around the world were also front and center in New Your City a week later on September 21. The New York Professional Chapter hosted a dinner featuring Patrick Foulis, who is the New York Bureau Chief and US Business Editor for The Economist.
At Smith Soc's Texas chapters, national issues of local importance - economic development and gun control, took center stage. On September 21, the Houston Professional Chapter had geographer, urban planner, and author Joel Kotkin as their guest. The author of the book The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us, and a recent contributor to City Journal's 'Texas Rising' issue, Kotkin talked about his writing and the future of development in Texas. In Austin on September 27, the Austin Professional Chapter welcomed Alan Gura,the attorney who argued the case DC v. Heller before the U.S. Supreme Court, for a discussion about the ongoing gun control debate. The law, policing, and guns were also on Smith Soc members minds in Chicago, where the murder rate for 2016 is on track to break a record for that city. The Chicago Professional Chapter hosted author Heather Mac Donald, whose recent book The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law & Order Makes Everyone Less Safe, has reshaped the national discussion on crime, policing, and race relations through Mac Donald's articulation of the 'Ferguson Effect'.
Smith Soc's final early fall event was on October 6 in San Francisco. Katie Biber Chen, who previous to joining Thumbtack served as an executive at Airbnb, brought her experience in the world of start-ups and the sharing economy to the San Francisco Professional Chapter. She discussed the current state of the sharing economy space, the regulatory environment, and the prospects for the future.
All told the Adam Smith Society's September/October events saw great turnout and allowed our professional members to connect in a relaxed setting with nationally-known speakers and experts, while also networking with each other. Our schedule for another round of fall events, stretching from late October to early December, is nearly complete. Please keep your eye on the Adam Smith Society Events Page and be on the look out for emails announcing Smith Soc professional events in your area.