The further back into history we look, the greater the progress that is apparent, eg

“Soon three billion people around the world will own a smartphone.

That is three billion people who each have more computer power in their pocket than the super computers of the 1960s had, with instant communication and access to all the world’s knowledge.”

And the more people who have access to knowledge, the more opportunity to work together and find new ways of solving problems:

“Considering what humanity has been able to accomplish when only a fraction of us had access to a fraction of that knowledge, and could collaborate with only the people we met and knew of, it is easy to predict that a world without such limitations will unleash incredible creativity.”

Source: Progress: Ten Reasons to look forward to the Future