Think: Here’s a thought for you: How we think about the future affects the future. Case-in-point: Because younger people are pessimistic about the future, they are having fewer children — which, in turn, affects the future. There are, of course, reasons to be pessimistic about the future but there are also plenty of reasons to be optimistic. If you are inclined towards pessimism, these two sites: HumanProgress and Reasons to be Cheerful offer plenty of evidence for why and how the world is getting better.

Think Harder: As younger people come into political power they will think about the world and its problems from a different perspective. Climate change is an obvious example but how the next generation assigns blame and attempts to deal with the issue may be different. Two scientists recently calculated the amount of money companies owe for causing global warming. I mention this because it is entirely plausible future generations will seek “reparations” from the companies and organizations most responsible for causing the problem.

Think Different: Last year, I shared an article about how a company in Finland is seeking to make food from thin air, literally. Now, scientists have found a way to harvest clean air from nothing but air. (The technology is still in its infancy and may still be years away from widespread commercialization but it offers a wonderful example of how innovators are thinking differently about how new technologies can be used to combat old problems.)

Think Harder: Later this month, I will be traveling to Florida to deliver a keynote to a large association of investor-owned utilities. One unconventional idea I will be sharing with them is how large, 24-ton bricks could solve a huge renewable energy problem–namely, the bricks offer an innovative way to help store solar and wind power for use in those times when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

Think Cheaper:  Health care costs always seem to be rising and that, sadly, may still be the future. There is, however, some hope on the horizon–3D printing offers hope for a future of low-cost personalized medical devices.

Afterthought: “A man is about as big as the things that make him angry.”–Winston Churchill