This is a personal story that I would like to share at this symposium that is being held in my honor. For decades our focus has been on the discovery of new materials and seeking ways to improve properties and performance; and yet in comparison to the collective efforts of the MSE community, little effort is placed in the recovery and reuse of materials. During 2003, the “journey” for me started when I was preparing to deliver the Distinguished Lecture on Materials and Society (TMS-ASM). The grandest challenge of the 21st century is to sustain the development we are experiencing across the globe. Materials and their use have grown rapidly in the last three decades, and we are now using most of the elements of the periodic table, and some of these elements are near critical, if not critical, in terms of supply. This presentation will focus on the role of education, innovation and most importantly policy.