The world we live in now is very different from the one that was imagined 50 years ago. Past decades foresaw a future of flying cars and supersonic jets, but commercial air travel is slower in 2013 than it was in 1976. For years we were assured that we would have abundant clean and cheap energy; instead we have record fossil fuel prices, oil spills, and nuclear meltdowns. From poverty rates to superbugs, one thing is certain: this is not the future we were promised.
How did we get so far off course from the era of radical tech innovation and ambitious exploration? Why did our culture retreat toward risk-aversion and security? And how can we revive the spirit of innovation, and help bring about its promise of positive transformational change and far-reaching societal benefits?