The former first family brought 1,000 students from around the world to Tempe for a weekend of networking, brainstorming and seminars.
The panel at Friday night's opening session featured former President Bill Clinton, Sen. John McCain, the founder of Wikipedia, a Harvard medical student known for groundbreaking cancer work, and a women's rights activist who dared to drive in Saudi Arabia.
The panel addressed issues ranging from social media's influence on society to the turmoil in Syria and Ukraine.
The Clintons say they were drawn to ASU for a variety of reasons.
"This is a school where more than a third of students are the first in their families to go to college," former Secretary of State Hillary clinton said.
She also noted ASU's plan to become carbon neutral by 2025.
"As you know by looking around, ASU is probably the largest consumer and deployer of solar power of any university in America, for which I am very grateful," the former president told the crowd.
The Clintons will appear with their daughter, Chelsea, for an event on Saturday. Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel will play moderator.