Just find someone willing to die for mankind, and you're golden.
Easy just tell them they get a one way ticket to Mars and you'll have hundreds lining up to die.
As for things that would change the world:
light-weight high capacity cheap batteries
Robots with dexterity equal to humans
faster-than-light travel (via wormholes)
and to a lesser extent:
Fast, reliable digital reading of human body language
Perfect real-time translation of spoken language
Artificial nose that can rival a bloodhound's
I don't see anything wrong with the OP. Younger people are simply more amibitous. Let me share an experience of mine.
Liberty Science Center (a museum in Jersey City for those of you not in the area) once had an exhibit that emphasized the human sense of touch. So they had a tunnel built in total darkness, but with twists and turns. The objective was to navigate from the start to the finish without the use of sight.
So as I was following a group ahead of me in the darkness, I heard to my dismay, "Looks like a dead end" spoken by an adult. At that point, my claustrophobia was about to set in when a child's voice 5 seconds later said, "Wait, it goes left!" It was then that I realize that younger people have hope, while adults, after several life disappointments, are too willing to give up in the middle of the game.
I'm not sure you can make the analogy from a single anecdotal case. The opposite may also hold true in a number of situations where the adult discounts dead ends from experience, cutting down the number of possible options, whereas a less experienced individual will follow each dead end to their inevitable conclusion before randomly finding the way out. Of course we miss things maybe due to hubris or ego, but therein lies the trade-off. In an organization you need a healthy mix of young "the sky's the limit / headless chicken" enthusiasm and "pensive / we've tried that before and it didn't work" experience. But that's pigeon-hole-ing, which in itself is doomed to error.
And the correct reaction for survival is to when encountered with a dark cave where you've an exit nearby you can see and potential danger ahead in a hidden passage to go to the exit you can see.
That's ingrained in the adult mind, don't want to face that cave bear in the dark. The young will press on and get eaten by the cave bear hiding in the darkness. Those that are smart enough to turn back survive and become adults...
@weitau: nobody said something is wrong with having ambition, but recruiting if you have no idea of what you might go doing, or who you might (not) need for it, is another matter.
We, in our earlier posts, were not "giving up in the middle of the game", we were merely pointing out to the OP, that, even though he believed to be somewhat advanced in the game, not only had he not yet started to play 'the game', he hadn't even decided what game he was going to play.
ambition and enthusiasm are great, but they should be combined with some common sense as well.