Independence would offer Scotland the best way of making a positive contribution to the world, Nicola Sturgeon has claimed.
The first minister was speaking at Stanford University in California as she continued her five-day US trip.
Ms Sturgeon also urged the UK government to recognise the “right” of Scots to decide their own future.
Opposition parties said she was trying to build support for a referendum which the majority of Scots did not want.
The Scottish Parliament last week voted to back the first minister’s call for talks to take place with the UK government over a second independence referendum.
Nicola Sturgeon at Stanford University: “Scotland’s Place in the World”