It's interesting.. we go through the day with our cell phones, our computers, our vehicles, TVs, mp3 players, etc, etc, etc. We take advantage of some pretty advanced technology every day. And newer, faster, better, more advanced things are brought into the world every day. Our lives are constantly being upgraded by scientific progress, by technological advancements – many that we deal with every day, but many more that we never see, and may never even think about during the course of our lives.
It wasn't that long ago that we didn't have running water, electricity, effective transportation, or even an easy way to look up or share information with others. And that's probably the biggest and most important change that human civilization has seen – the internet – an instantaneous way for ideas and information to travel across and throughout the entire planet. It's this shrinking of the world that I think will bring about the next big change, which is focusing on the "little guy" again.
There are still vast areas of the world where people live without running water, without electricity, and without a way to communicate with or travel to even their neighboring villages. There are a few philanthropic people that are devoting their time and resources to modernizing this un-modern world. A few years back there was some guy that was working on cheap shelters made from reinforced water-proofed cardboard, that could be shipped flattened cheaply and built quickly and easily. There's the OLPC (one laptop per child) project that aimed to provide laptops to children in impoverished countries to help with their education. And lately there have been a number of stories about people working on cheap methods for these areas to produce electricity to help them with their daily lives.
By taking this approach, and re-working things from the bottom up, we all benefit. These people are here, and they're people just like you and me, so why shouldn't they be able to live a bit easier and enjoy their time here more? I mean, as long as we just give them tools, and don't start trying to indoctrinate them with religion or anything, I can't come up with any reason why we shouldn't.
People seem to be inherently selfish. But I think that with the increasing amount of information being spread, and the resources available, a few more people will step up and start trying to change the world. And that's all it takes.