Europe's economy is based on global resource use. Material commodities are sourced from various regions in the world. At the same time, European resources are used to supply other countries with products and services. In a globalising world, process chains from resource extraction and refining to manufacturing, use, recycling and final disposal are becoming increasingly complex. With regard to 'development as freedom' it is important to stress the seemingly unlimited ability of humans to create new opportunities, be it as adaptation to new circumstances, novelty or new technological devices or as a new means to organise collective action. Process-oriented innovation leads to huge savings for material purchasing costs and contributes to the decoupling of resource use and economic growth. Resources are imported to a growing extent from other regions, with an over-proportional growth of so-called 'hidden' flows: that is, resource extraction that burdens the environment but does not enter traded product. This chapter also presents an overview of this book.