He noted that for many people a happy future is something that seems distant and at times impossible to achieve.
However, while these concerns must be taken seriously, they are not "invincible," he said, explaining that happiness can be discovered when looking to the harmony that exists between the whole and each individual part.
Francis then moved to his second point, saying it would be ideal if scientific and technological growth were coupled with greater equality and social inclusion.
"How wonderful would it be if solidarity, this beautiful and, at times, inconvenient word, were not simply reduced to social work, and became, instead, the default attitude in political, economic and scientific choices, as well as in the relationships among individuals, peoples and countries," he said.
Only a thorough education in solidarity can overcome the "culture of waste" prevalent in today's society, turning people's attention not so much toward goods and food, but toward people.
"Solidarity is a term that many wish to erase from the dictionary," he said, but noted that solidarity "is not an automatic mechanism."
"It cannot be programmed or controlled. It is a free response born from the heart of each and everyone," he said, explaining that to truly do good to another person, courage, memory and creativity are needed.
"I know that TED gathers many creative minds," the Pope observed, but stressed that when it comes to developing projects and ideas, "good intentions and conventional formulas, so often used to appease our conscience, are not enough."
Rather, a concrete and "ingenious" attitude is needed, he said. "Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the other is not a statistic or a number. The other has a face. The 'you' is always a real presence, a person to take care of."
Pope Francis then pointed to the parable of the Good Samaritan, explaining, as he often does, that while the two powerful men of the day ignored the man on the side of the road, it was the Samaritan, a "despised ethnicity" at the time, who had compassion and paid for the man's healing out of his own pocket.
The story of the Good Samaritan can easily sum up the state of humanity today, Francis said, explaining that many people's paths are "riddled with suffering," as if everything centered around money and things, rather than people.
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"And often there is this habit, by people who call themselves 'respectable,' of not taking care of the others, thus leaving behind thousands of human beings, or entire populations, on the side of the road."
Pointing to Mother Teresa, whom he canonized in September 2016, Francis said she is an example of the people who are "creating a new world" based on care for others.
"We have so much to do, and we must do it together. But how can we do that with all the evil we breathe every day?" he asked.
While not everyone can achieve the scale of Mother Teresa or the Good Samaritan, the Pope stressed that we are all precious and irreplaceable in the eyes of God, and that amid today's conflicts, each of us "can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness, and never the other way around."
"To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is hope," he said, explaining that hope doesn't mean being "optimistically naïve," ignoring suffering or dwelling on the past, but is a virtue that is able "to see a tomorrow."
"Hope is the door that opens onto the future," he said, noting that it is like the hidden yeast that makes bread grow, and as such "can do so much, because a tiny flicker of light that feeds on hope is enough to shatter the shield of darkness."