By 2050 the world population will reach over nine billion and “flattening of the world” will be an understatement. We anticipate burgeoning needs regarding energy resources, transportation, housing, food distribution/packaging for the masses, recycling, and health care/ health care delivery, not to mention climate change and environmental issues. World population is increasing at an average rate of 1.4%, and in contrast world energy consumption is increasing at an average rate of 1.7%. Such an imbalance is not sustainable. From a societal perspective, engineers have played a major role to enhance the quality of life in our world. Sustainable development in the 21st Century is perhaps the most critical issue we face. This keynote will address the solutions that light metals technologies bring to the table to meet these challenges. The opportunities for processing and component manufacture to address these challenges will be reviewed and discussed.