The Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2008


2008 Challenge Winner
Comprehensive Design for a Carbon Neutral World: The Challenge of Appalachia
submitted by Dr. John Todd

The Comprehensive Design for a Carbon Neutral World project sets forth a revolutionary concept for the design of an entirely new economic model for a region that has been despoiled by extractive industries. Dr. Todd’s vision is inextricably bound to a set of highly advanced ecological design principles that he developed. Appropriately, they reflect not only deep understanding of biological systems, but also the best creative intelligence and cultural wisdom spanning the centuries. These principles are the fruit of Dr. Todd’s decades-long practice developing technologies around the world that build healthy symbiotic relationships between nature’s living systems and modern human needs.

The project’s methodology fully recognizes that transformation requires reconceiving virtually every aspect of how we go about valuing and meeting our life support needs. Accordingly, Todd’s design strategy takes on regionally specific interactions within and between the biosphere, the economy, the local community, the concept of ’right livelihood’, the development of new technology, and education. Its overarching goal is to model a post-industrial economy that mirrors the diverse abundance, cyclic patterns and structural resilience of nature.

Read more about this project...


Each year a distinguished jury will award a single $100,000 prize to support the development and implementation of a solution that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems in the shortest possible time while enhancing the Earth’s ecological integrity.

Category Award / Open to Students / Competition Result
Type International Design Science Award
Genre Design-Science
Country United States
RegDeadline 30 October 2007 GoogleCal iCal
30 October 2007 (Must be Postmarked)
Eligibility 18 years of age or older

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge seeks submissions of design science solutions within a broad range of human endeavor that exemplify the trimtab principle. Trimtabs demonstrate how small amounts of energy and resources precisely applied at the right time and place can produce maximum advantageous change.

Solutions should be:

  • Comprehensive — a clear demonstration of holistic systems thinking.
  • Anticipatory — projectively tracking critical trends and needs; identifying and assessing long term consequences of proposed solutions.
  • Ecologically responsible — reflective and supportive of nature's underlying processes, patterns and principles.
  • Verifiable — able to withstand rigorous empirical testing.
  • Replicable — capable of being readily undertaken by others.
  • Achievable — likely to be implemented successfully and broadly adopted.

Not yet announced

Competition Type

The winner (individual or team) will receive a $100,000 cash prize to support the on-going development and implementation of their winning solution.

Entry Fee
US $50

Submission by The Entry Form

Winner of The Buckminster Fuller Challenge notified: 2 June 2008

The Buckminster Fuller Institute

Official Website