Visionary thinking requires optimism. Why bother reaching for the stars if you’re convinced we’re all headed straight to hell? These days genuine optimism is in short supply for a very good reason.
We may in fact all be headed for some earthly purgatory involving impending global calamity. So how do we proceed? (Passivity and nihilism are not options.) We think the solution involves taking large intractable problems and breaking them into smaller solvable pieces. It’s this kind of courageous pragmatism—fixing the fixable close to home—that characterizes our selection of Metropolis Visionaries. Nearly all of them operate comfortably under the “Think globally, act locally” mantra that we believe offers the clearest path to a more hopeful future.