The Oakmont Sunday Symposium is open to all Oakmont residents and their invited guests. Topics in the Symposium's fall schedule include civil rights and wilderness legislation, drought resistant gardening and Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Court.

Sunday events for Oakmont residents and their invited guests are from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the East Rec Center.  A $3 donation is requested. Discounted passes are available at the door. The Symposium solicits comments and suggestions about our programs from our audience. Click on Contact Us.


Mark Randol, "The Paradox of Disclosure: The Snowden Leaks and the Future of Intelligence" on Jan. 25
Dr. Lynn Stauffer," Science and Technology at SSU: Past, Present and Future" on January 18
Dr. Allan L. Bernstein,"Advances in Alzheimer's Medicine" on January 4, 2015
Bob Kirk,"Pearl Harbor - Behind the Day of Infamy" on December 7, 2014

February 1st
Seth Shostak: "Are We Alone in the Universe?"

Seth ShostakNew approaches to detecting life suggest that there is good reason to expect a discovery of microbic organisms on other worlds soon, and that we could uncover evidence of sophisticated civilizations – the type of aliens we see in the movies and on TV – within a few decades.

Dr. Seth Shostak, the Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View and director of the Institute's Center for SETI Research will discuss why this might be more than wishful thinking and what contact would mean are the subjects of this talk on the continuing efforts to establish our place in the universe of living things.

February 8th
Lisa Folsom-Ernst and Kory Stradinger: "Becoming Independent"

Lisa Folsom-Ernst Kory StradingerFounded by parents determined to create an alternative to institutionalization for their children with disabilities, Becoming Independent has grown over 40 years to become the North Bay's largest and strongest resource for adults with developmental disabilities.

Lisa Folsom-Ernst, Fund Development Director, will provide the history of Becoming Independent and talk about the organization's history, mission, and track record of successfully partnering with people with disabilities as they advance their journey toward inclusion and independence.  

Kory Stradinger, Chief Operating Officer, will provide a "state of the state" overview of Becoming Independent's business model and the organization's vision for the future.

February 15th
Dr. Lisa Micheli: "Rolling the Climate Dice"

Dr Lisa MicheliPepperwood is a leader in forging solutions to advance the health of Northern California's land, water and wildlife.  

Dr. Lisa Micheli, Pepperwood's founding Executive Director, will offer an introduction to Pepperwood and provide an overview of the Climate Ready North Bay project that she is leading in partnership with our Regional Climate Protection Authority.  

Climate Ready is a private-public partnership to bring the very best science to bear on the challenge of how to prepare our natural resources and communities for climate change.  This initiative earned Sonoma County a White House award for being a climate champion in early December! Dr. Micheli will share some of her research team's latest findings and what it may mean for all us living in the North Bay.

February 22nd
Ky Boyd: "Let's Talk Movies and Oscars"

Ky BoydIn what has become an annual tradition for the Sunday Symposium, local film expert Ky Boyd will talk about the movies and the journey to this year's Oscars, including the surprises, delights, and slights of this year's movie awards season.

The proprietor of Rialto Cinema, Boyd operated the much beloved Rialto Cinemas Lakeside location on the East side of Santa Rosa from January 2000 until August 2010.  Rialto Cinemas relocated to Sebastopol in May 2012 after almost two years as a pop-up theatre operation. As part of his Symposium presentation, he will also give us a peak at what's going on with all that renovation at Rialto Cinemas including the question – when will it be done?

March 1st
William Crossman: "VIVO: The Coming Age of Talking Computers"

William CrossmanToday, voice-recognition technology and digital video are on course to completely replace text, and by 2050 almost no one will be reading or writing. Our great-great grandchildren won't know how to read or write, and it won't matter. They'll be able to communicate and transfer all information by speaking, listening, and creating/watching video.

William Crossman, founder/director of the CompSpeak 2050 Institute for the Study of Talking Computers and Oral Cultures, will explain why he views this new tech as a positive step forward in the evolution of human society that will impact every human activity and institution.

Crossman is a philosopher, futurist, professor, and human-rights activist concerned with the ways new technologies impact our lives. He received his B.A. in philosophy at Cornell and an M.A. in philosophy at Harvard. He did further study in philosophy and linguistics at M.I.T.

If the speaker requests the program be video recorded, an edited copy will be posted here one week later for those who could not attend in person. Contact Oakmont Video Productions for more information.

Contact the Symposium at