In an article in the Jan 2012 edition of The Futurist Magazine, the CEO of the DaVinci Institute poses 8 grand challenges which he reckons would change the world if they were achieved.  To give some idea of the scope of these challenges, no. 3 is “reduce a solid block of granite (2 foot cube)to particles no larger than molecues in less than ten seconds using less than 500 watts of power without causing an explosion or physical damage to objects more than 10 feet away”.

Thomas Frey argues that if we only focus on solving today’s problems we become trapped in the past.  Hence, the only real way to advance civilization is to change the nature of the problems we’re dealing with, which is exactly what his eight gobal challenges have been designed to do.

Members of the World Future Society can read the entire article on the wfs website ( others can for a copy