Transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to treat hematologic disorders is routinely used in the clinic. However, HSC therapy is hindered by the requirements of finding human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched donors and attaining sufficient numbers of long-term HSCs in the graft. Therefore, ex vivo expansion of transplantable HSCs remains one of the "holy grails" of hematology. Without the ability to maintain and expand human HSCs in vitro, two complementary approaches involving cellular reprogramming to generate transplantable HSCs have emerged. Reprogrammed HSCs represent a potentially inexhaustible supply of autologous tissue. On March 18th, 2015, Dr. George Q. Daley and Dr. Derrick J. Rossi, two pioneers in the field, presented and discussed their most recent research on these topics in a webinar organized by the International Society for Experimental Hematology (ISEH). Here, we summarize these seminars and discuss the possibilities and challenges in the field of hematopoietic specification.