World Business Forum: President Bill Clinton

by SixFigureStart | October 07, 2009

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President Bill Clinton offered up a variety of advice during his presentation and accompanying Q&A session at the World Business Forum. In a wide-ranging address, he touched on all aspects of the global economy, the environmental challenges we’re facing, the importance of “being a good neighbor” as a country, and—perhaps most importantly—the importance of recognizing that the interconnectedness of the world we’re living in means that, as far as relations with other countries go, “divorce is not an option.”

Framing his outlook on the world as the belief that “the world is too unequal, too unstable, too unsustainable,” he also offered a suggestion for solving many of those problems: “We all have to be part of civil society—to do something as citizens to make the world a better place.” While his presentation was unfortunately too short for him to be able to outline a point-by-point plan for how to do that, he did offer several notable quotes on how to make a start, and on what makes a great leader. While we’ll probably take the time to reflect on these in the coming days, here are some of the highlights:

  • Is the recession over: “yes, no and maybe.” Yes, if you’re a professor of economics, no if you’re looking at the jobs picture, and maybe because people in hiring positions can be easily spooked, meaning there’s a strong likelihood we could see further turbulence.

  • In order to make the right policies going forward: “I think it is necessary to talk about those things which have not changed since Sep 15 2008”

  • He favors “Interdependence” over “Globalization” as the latter is merely an economic term, while the former encapsulates our relationships and connectedness around the world on a whole bunch of other levels.

  • Solving the climate crisis is the only way to get the kind of job growth we need.

  • Leaders need to understand policies as well as people. Having an obsessive interest in people at all levels of society is key.

  • As mentioned above, more will undoubtedly follow on his address. For now, though, it’s the end of two long days of non-stop blogging from Radio City Music Hall, and we’re off to ice our fingers and attempt to recover!

    --Posted by Phil Stott, Vault Staff Writer

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