Hello, my name is Ester van der Voet and I work for Leiden University, and I welcome you to this course. I'm happy that there are so many participants, from so many different countries, with all kinds of different backgrounds, really a global class for global solutions, to a global challenge. In this course, we will teach you about metals. What they are used for, how important they are, and what the challenges are of keeping society provided with metals. Those challenges are about the supply of metals. They are also about the environmental impacts, related to the production of those metals. And it will all come together in the end, and solutions around the circular economy. This MOOC is a joint production between Leiden University and the International Resource Panel of the United Nations. In 2015, the United Nations have agreed on the sustainable development goals, 17 important and ambitious goals, to make the world a better place. These SDGs will be mentioned frequently in this course. Metals have been in use since millennia. Our bronze age started 5,000 years ago, the iron age 3,000 years ago. And now, we see an increasing number of metals, for an increasing number of different applications. Steel, aluminum and zinc, for example, are widely used in construction. Stainless steel, we see back in all kinds of household appliances. Copper, we see that in wiring and in cables, to conduct electricity. Rare-earth metals in electronics and other kinds of novel technologies. Precious metals in jewellery. These are all essential applications to our society nowadays. Since the industrial revolution, the use of metals really took off, mainly as a result of the discovery of fossil fuels. Metal mining has been documented well. This picture shows a time series for iron, all the way through the 20th and 21st century. The main events in the world can be seen clearly in this graph. The economic crisis in 1929, the World Wars, the development after World War II with the buildup of OECD countries during the 50s and the 60s. The levelling off, and finally the take-off in the late 20th century, when emerging countries started to build up their economies. The picture clearly shows that metals are basic materials in economic development. The last century has seen an exponential demand rise. There's no reason to expect this development to change anytime soon. So the demand is rising steeply, and supply really struggles to keep up with that. It takes a lot of effort, it takes a lot of energy, and also all kinds of industrial processes, to get the metals out of the ground, and into all these applications. When you know that it takes 25 years from the first stages of exploration, until a mine actually gets operational, you can see that it's not easy to scale up supply very quickly. And that is the metals challenge. How can we supply the world with sufficient metals, and in a sustainable way? The United Nations is also concerned about these issues. Therefore, they have established the International Resource Panel. This panel advises governments on the use of resources, including metals. So there's also a working group within the IRP on metals. Leading for the work of the IRP, are the Sustainable Development Goals. Two of them are of particular interest when looking at metals, or resources in general, SCG 8 and SCG 12. SCG 8 says promote, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all. And SCG 12 says ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. So basically what these two SCGs say is that well, we have to grow and the world will have to be a better place, with employment and resources for all. But it should be done in a sustainable way. Economic growth means more extraction and more use of resources. That is not necessarily in line with sustainable consumption and production, or with other Sustainable Development Goals, such as SDGs 13, 14, and 15. Those contain targets on climate change mitigation, and also on reducing environmental impacts in general. Providing government with information to address this challenge, is the task of the International Resource Panel. The panel has produced a series of reports on metals. And those reports are the course material for this MOOC. The first report is being published by Professor Thomas Graedel, is on stocks of metals. Not stocks in the ground, not geological stocks, but stocks in society. All the metals that are presently used in all kinds of applications, in buildings, in infrastructure. Then there are two reports on recycling. Report 2A is on recycling rates, present recycling rates for a great number of metals. Reports 2B by Professor Markus Reuter, is on all options that we have for recycling, and also the limitations that we encounter when trying to recycle metals. The third report, compiled by me, is on the environmental risks and challenges related to the production and use of metals. Now, I would like to introduce you to the course teachers. Besides me, there's Thomas Graedel, he's from Yale University, he's a member of the International Resource Panel, and has been the Chair of the working group, Metals from the Start. Then there's René Kleijn, he's a colleague of mine at Leiden University, and he's an industrial ecologist. Then we have Erik Offerman, a Professor at Delft University of Technology, and he's a material scientist. Conny Bakker, also from Delft University of Technology, she's an industrial designer, product design. And then we have Nabil Nasr, from Rochester University of Technology in the United States. He's also a member of the International Resource Panel, and an author of a report on remanufacturing that will appear somewhere during this, or next year. Now, I would like to give my thanks to all the people that have made this MOOC possible. They're not visible, but they are very important. So I want to thank everyone from the Centre for Innovation, who has helped and have contributed to the production of this MOOC. And I want to give a special thanks to my teaching assistant, Sylvia Marinova. Now, I would like you to introduce you into the course schedule. As you know, we have six weeks in this course. And each week treats a different topic. Week 1 is an introductory week. Here, we will introduce you to some of the basic concepts. And we will introduce you in some of the background, that is essential to understand the rest of the course. In week 2, we will talk about The Metals Challenge, and this is really a key week for the whole course. Because this is what this MOOC is about. The metals challenge, and how we can solve it. Week 3 is a bit of theoretical background. It's about stocks and flows, and how they interact. You need to understand, well, how the solutions will work out, not just now, but also in the future. And those solutions, are really the part of week four. We will treat some solutions for the Metals Challenge, individually. And that will come together in week 5, where we will introduce you to the circular economy as a framework. The circular economy framework is important to place those different solutions in, and to see how they may work out together. And then finally, in week six, we will have a look into the future. How will demand develop, and can we indeed meet that demand sustainably? So we will also come back there to sustainable development goals. Well, that's about it. I would like to end by saying I'm very happy that so many subscribed to this course. We really have a global population, to design global solutions for a global challenge. Have fun with this course.