Directly Meeting With Aliens
AB, I like to look at our own progress as a species as a trend for most possible intelligence. Already we are developing 3D printing, solar power, optic data transmission, stem cell medicine. Each of these technologies have potential to incredibly alter our way of life as we currently know it. 3D printing can be considered the baby steps toward energy to matter - we are learning how to create objects from raw materials, even food itself, as a relatively simple manufacturing process, available to a consumer. Bring your old car/chair/clothes in, drop it into a recycler, and print out something new.
Solar power can meet the entire world's energy needs in the net area of a 300 km by 300 km square solar field, in a desert. Optic transmission of data has reduced our EM footprint and seems to be heading towards near zero broadcast, thus removing us from the detection of other intelligences that may be listening, just like SETI is. The small window of our EM wave is likely to only be around 150 years, and then all our communication outwards to the Galaxy will be deliberate and not just signal bleed.
And lastly stem cell medicine quite seriously has the near future potential to perform human regeneration, allowing us, as individuals, to live for as long as we wish, as long as no sudden death occurs.
All these technologies we've developed in our short years as a civilization, if extrapolated further and applied to possible other intelligent life, seem to foretell civilizations that have no need to conquer other worlds, they just build their own, where ever and whenever they want.