Sacramento, Calif. — On Dec. 4, 2012, former president Bill Clinton spoke to hundreds during Sacramento Speaker Series, held at the Memorial Auditorium in downtown Sacramento.

Clinton, who founded the William J. Clinton Foundation to turn good intentions into measurable results by improving global health, economies, governments and more, spoke about the state of the nation’s economy, the health-care system and about encouraging STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) growth so that tech companies can fill these jobs with U.S. college graduates. In addition, the president talked about the importance of educating the middle-aged non-college educated group, which will assist with economic prosperity.

The 42nd president also shared lessons in international diplomacy and his humanitarian experience of bringing imprisoned journalist Euna Lee home to the U.S.

The self-described addicted video gamer said one lesson he’s learned is to be tough in private — this, he believes, helped with his negotiations with the North Korean government for Lee’s freedom.

He also addressed questions, one being: What would you do if you were president now?

Clinton said he’d restrain spending, bring back manufacturing and maximize energy efficiency.

The former president also touched on the reality of climate change and cooperative networks. Clinton also advised the younger generation wanting to enter politics to understand the people, policy and politics. And his advice to current politicians: “It’s OK to be wrong.” Experience comes from learning, he said, so correct those mistakes.

Here's a visual look at Clinton's Sacramento Speaker Series discussion:

Infographic by Karen Stewartson. Main photo of President Clinton at the dedication of the Presidential Park Bridge and Bill Clark Wetlands, courtesy of the Clinton Foundation.

Karen Stewartson, Managing Editor Karen Stewartson  | 

Karen Stewartson served as the managing editor of Government Technology for many years. She also contributed to Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.