Secretary of State Antony Blinken sits down with Condoleezza Rice at Stanford

At Stanford University, a former Secretary of State welcomed the current one to talk technology and diplomacy.

Antony Blinken says we're at an "inflection point."

"The post Cold War era is over. Intense competition is underway to shape what comes next," says Blinken.

Condoleezza Rice, who now runs Stanford's Hoover Institution, pointed out much has changed since her time running the State Department.

"The national security strategy talks about restraining Russia and out-competing China and that's two very different ways to think about the great powers," Rice says.

In front of a packed auditorium, the two also discussed the importance of leadership and standing up for basic rules in places ranging from Iran to Ukraine.

"If we don't stand up to that where it's being challenged, then the risk you have is opening a Pandora's Box," Blinken says.

And Blinken says Silicon Valley has a role to play: that technologies developed here will shape the world in everything from how we fight disease, to food insecurity.

"When people see that this is what we're doing, that we're making smart investments in our future, they want to be part of it," he says.

Though students say luring them away from tech start-ups, won't be easy.

"If we can't convince even people here, like how is that going to look in the future," says 5th year student Frederic Urech.