Thinking big has gone out of fashion. As former Facebook executive Jeff Hammerbacher tweeted, "The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads," 

Neil Stephenson, science fiction writer, continues the lament noting that even science fiction writers are not dreaming big enough. "We have lost our ability to get important things done... Any strategy that involves crossing a valley—accepting short-term losses to reach a higher hill in the distance—will soon be brought to a halt.. [we are in] a world where big stuff can never get done." 

On the other hand a few folks like Larry Page and Elon Musk are tackling big dreams like self-driving cars and private space flights. And not all big stuff are equal. The last big thing the US tried was the Iraq war. The results of that $1 trillion (!!!) investment were astonishingly poor.

Now is the time to think big responsibly.  To begin a project that may take a decade to complete. Or perhaps the task is such an audacious dream it can't be done in your own lifespan. Therefore future generations will note with gratitude that someone had the visionary gumption to initiate this culture-bending idea now. 

If you had 10 billion dollars, what think-big culture-bending generational project would you do? 


KEVIN KELLY is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He helped launch Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor until January 1999. He is currently editor and publisher of the popular Cool Tools, True Film, and Street Use websites.