Great personalities and great contributions are rarely realized. Random names: Mozart, Ludwig Van, Mohandas Gandhi, Adolf Hitler, Mother Teresa, Michael Jordan?, Elvis Presley, The Beatles!
I believe that striking personalities are difficult to find now and will be even more difficult to find in the future.
There is a lack of independent thought. There is a lack of art (in its various forms).
Do we even know of great artists, poets, composers, authors or leaders from the past 2 decades? Sure, one can say Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Rushdie? - but eh...
What I see is that capitalism and prosperity have driven people into (largely) single files where everyone strives for individual 'success'. It's great that the end of the Cold War stimulated global prosperity. But has the pursuit of prosperity robbed humans of their inherent humanity?
The people who don't fall into files don't get the attention that they would have received some decades ago.
People have become part of the machine and it wouldn't be incorrect to say that things are nice, but I would say that there is an absence of human ingenuity today. Medical research, financial innovations, technological changes are largely driven by entrepreneurs - not as much due to curiosity and thrill, but more due to power and success.
The simplicity of yesteryears is lost.
On an individual level, I believe that some of the innocence can still be ploughed back, or rather, brought to life. Losing oneself and withdrawing from society is a fairly recent development and it can do some of us a lot of good methinks.
Too much time is spent on fear and obedience.