The Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2016


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Each year a distinguished jury will award a $100,000 prize to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.

Category Award / Competition Result
Type International, Award, Open, Three-Stage, Anonymous
Genre Design-Science
Country United States
RegDeadline 1 March 2016 (See "Entry Fee" below) GoogleCal iCal
1 March 2016 (via Online)
Eligibility 18 years of age or older

Winning the Fuller Challenge requires more than a stand-alone idea or innovation that focuses on one aspect of a system failure. BFI looks for holistic strategies that demonstrate a clear grasp of the big-picture dynamics influencing your intervention. If a proposal emphasizes a new design, material, process, service, tool or technology, it is essential that it be part of an integrated strategy that deals effectively with key social, environmental and economic factors.
BFI seeks initiatives that tackle urgent needs at a range of scales: from macro-strategies that have the potential for widespread, tangible impacts, to local, community-based initiatives with global relevance and replicability.
Entries must meet the following criteria:
- Visionary: put forth an original idea or synthesize existing ideas into a new strategy that creatively addresses a critical need
- Comprehensive: apply a “whole-systems” approach to the design and implementation process; aim to address multiple goals, requirements and conditions in a holistic way
- Anticipatory: factor in critical future trends and needs as well as the projected impacts of implementation in the short and long term
- Ecologically Responsible: reflect nature’s underlying principles while enhancing the ability for natural systems to regenerate
- Feasible: rely on current technology, existing resources and a solid team capable of implementing the project
- Verifiable: able to withstand rigorous testing and make authentic claims
- Replicable: able to be adapted to similar conditions elsewhere
Winning initiatives integrate these criteria into powerful design solutions that have the potential to play a significant role in the transition to an equitable and sustainable future for all.

Janine Benyus (Co-founder, Biomimicry Institute)
Amy Chester (Managing Director, Rebuild By Design)
William McDonough (architect, McDonough + Partners)
David Orr (author, The Nature of Design)
Alice Rawsthorn (journalist, International New York Times)
and others

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 $200
(Early bird discount until February 17: US $150)
For Non-Profit Organizations: US $100

Ten required application questions and two optional questions; the word limits range from 50 to 250 words

Finalists Announced: September 2016

Past winners

The Buckminster Fuller Institute

Official Website