According to an MIT survey reportd by CNN.com, compared to adults, teens have relatively more confidence in technology to solve some of society's biggest problems. Look here for the Lemelson-MIT program press release announcing the 2006 "Invention Index" results.
The results did surface one concern, however. Because of their relative lack of interest in science and engineering, the index raises questions about whether teens are invested in personally solving these problems.
On the other hand, the results suggested that this generation may be more interested in creative pursuits other than those that will make money or bring fame.