What’s the future done for you lately? Our hoverboards don’t hover, our Roombas are no Rosie the Robot, and almost half a century after Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon, the U.S. relies on Russia to get to space. Maybe the problem, says Michael Weiss, is that Americans don’t do things big anymore.
Weiss, 25, is the founder of Worlds Fair USA, a crowdfunded company that plans to raise $16 billion to begin the process of bringing the expo back to the U.S., which last hosted a world’s fair in 1984, in New Orleans. For a century before that, the country played host to expos that saw the public debuts of the telephone (1876, Philly); the Ferris wheel and zipper (1893, Chicago); the X-ray machine (1901, Buffalo); the baby incubator (1909, Seattle); the TV (1939, New York); videoconferencing (1964, New York); and touchscreens (1982, Knoxville). “For the world’s fair to matter again, it has to happen in America,” Weiss says. “America is where the future happens.”